I’m not sure I buy this, but okay. The Toronto Blue Jays were disappointed by Alex Rios’ production on the heels of a huge contract signing in 2008 – and placed him on waivers. The White Sox put in a claim… So, the Blue Jays could either (a) recall Rios and make a trade offer or just keep him, or (b) let the White Sox keep him and absorb his salary. The Jays chose (b). Sure it’s a cash savings, but do they really have a replacement for him? Rios was the best centerfielder on the team – but they insisted on playing the older (and slower, and more injury prone) Vernon Wells out there. And, the Jays get NOTHING. No prospects, no short term help. A year ago, this team should have been in the playoffs. Now, Roy Halliday was placed on the trading block, A.J. Burnett left as a free agent, B.J. Ryan wasn’t allowed to work through his issues, and Alex Rios is gone.
For the White Sox, who haven’t really had a solid centerfielder all season, they get an immediate upgrade defensively and offensively (albeit for about $60 million over the next six seasons) and if Rios puts it together, they could have an impact player between elder statesman Jermaine Dye and the injured but exciting Carlos Quentin. And all they had to do was claim a guy off of waivers?
Should I be worried that this is just a precedent and other teams wishing to dump salary will no longer trade for prospects but just drop the player and keep the cash? Look out Texas, San Diego, and others. If you don’t win, your players may not get traded – they may just get dumped.
Two Cubs horses are making doctor visits… Carlos Zambrano had an epidural treatment to relieve pain in his back – sources saying its the third time (at least) that this has happened this season. And now comes word that Aramis Ramirez’s left shoulder is ailing again and needs a doctor visit – the same shoulder he separated diving for a liner earlier in the season causing him to miss two months of the season. [MLB/ESPN]
And it doesn’t get any better. The same night the Cubs were clocked by the Rockies (and Troy Tulowitski’s seven RBI, five hit – cycle even – game last night), starter Tom Gorzelanny was hit by a grounder in the second inning and had to leave the game. He should make his (well, Zambrano’s) next start. [MLB]
Two years ago, he was the toast of the 2007 rookie crop. Last year, he signed a five year extension. In 2009, with a batting average hovering around .180 with little power and no confidence, Diamondback centerfielder Chris Young heads to AAA to find his swagger. Gerrardo Parra will likely get the bulk of the playing time in center for Arizona. [FoxSports]
The Phillies are going to tempt fate, move Jamie Moyer to the bullpen, and give a start Wednesday to Pedro Martinez. For a couple of innings this might be fun. After that, who knows… Personally, I don’t want to see Pedro lose his 100th decision. [FoxSports]
Dodger second sacker Orlando Hudson strained a groin when he had to quickly change directions on a deflected grounder Monday night and will likely miss at least Tuesday’s game while he heals. So, he’s day-to-day until we hear otherwise… [MLB]
Chad Billingsley’s hamstring will keep the Dodger ace from making his start this week, and if he can’t go next Monday will head to the DL. [SI]
Another player leaving early with an injury is Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who will have his left hip flexor examined. Cueto was running to first on a grounder when he limped and quit running about 45 feet down the line. The Reds hurler has been off his game for a month, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a DL stint to rest up and comes back in September. [MLB]
The Cards got some bad news – Todd Wellemeyer’s elbow was sore following a bullpen session and may miss his next start. [SI]
And, two other pitchers may get moved soon – both Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang have cleared waivers, according to FoxSports. Any takers out there? I mean, a two month loan for a couple of guys who might be motivated to finish strong… Milwaukee? Houston? Los Angeles? Chicago?
Welcome Back! Jared Burton (Reds), Chad Durbin (Phils) return from the DL. Arizona signed Daniel Cabrera to a minor league deal. I used to love watching Cabrera – big fastball and no idea what he was doing out there. Maybe he’ll figure it out here – but I doubt it. I’ll still watch.
Hurry Back! Rodrigo Lopez got lit up by the Marlins, so the Phillies sent Lopez to AAA.