Feliz, Gonzalez Filing for Free Agency (and Catching Up on Old News…)

Taking time away from writing means  I have to catch up – so further down the page, I’ll add a few comments regarding things that happened last week while I was in New York on business and otherwise less available to write…

Top Stories…

Pedro Feliz will be joining the Free Agent market as the Phillies declined his $5.5 million option.  Feliz is barely a league average hitter (12 homers, .266 average) and a tolerable fielder.   Greg Dobbs, a left handed hitter with some skills may well be in line for the job.  Meanwhile,  I checked the minor league rosters, the best option might be Neil Sellers, who is a few years removed from Eastern Kentucky where he was drafted in the late rounds by Houston.  Sellers is 27 and just finished time at AA (again), so he’s not a long term prospect.  [SI]

Despite having more holes at the position than a good chunk of Swiss cheese, the Red Sox declined an option on Alex Gonzalez, worth $6 million.  I’d have passed, too, at that price.  Gonzalez may be back, but for less money.  Better hope Jed Lowrie comes back healthy and surprises with new found production… [ESPN]

Venezuela is reeling over another kidnapping of a baseball related individual.  This time, it’s former Mets pitcher Victor Zambrano’s mother who was taken from his farm.  An amazing and sad story – hopefully will end with all home safely.  Yorvit Torrealba wound up leaving the country after his son and uncle were kidnapped (and returned safely) and now lives in Florida.  [SI]

Taking Sides…

Former KC Star writer and now Sports Illustrated scribe Joe Posnanski agrees with me as regards the excessive resources the Yankees have.  (Since he is the more famous writer, perhaps it’s that I agree with him…)  [SI]

Meanwhile, Peter Gammons feels the need to make sure that Brian Cashman will still leak stories to him, and defends the Yankees for playing by the rules that allows them to do what they do.  [ESPN]

Guessing the Future of Big Name Pitchers…

Buster Olney dishes his thoughts on where the aces are heading – and other things – in one of the great blogs you’ll find online.

I know – Old News, but I missed it at the time…

Scott Proctor, a one time horse for the Dodgers and then signed as a free agent with the Marlins, only to be injured and admit a chemical dependency, signed with the Braves.  Proctor is coming off Tommy John surgery.  The nice person in me wishes him luck.  The Marlins fan hopes the Braves rue the day he was signed.

Seattle claimed Yusmeiro Petit off of waivers.  Petit was 3 – 10 with an ERA near 6.00 for Arizona.  Good luck with that.

Washington claimed another former Diamondback, Doug Slaten, off of waivers.  Slaten might be better than most of what Washington has at AAA, but he hasn’t looked that good with Arizona lately.

The Marlins moved the frustrating Jeremy Hermida to Boston for two young pitchers, Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez.  Hermida is TOO patient at the plate, refusing to swing until he has two strikes on him.  He’s awkward looking in the field, and yet his statistics show him to be reasonably mobile.   That being said, he’s uncomfortable diving or leaping at the wall – so it’s hard to say he’s really any good out there.  STILL – he was a first round pick and looked at some points like he might actually be really good and never turned that corner.  I’ll miss him, I think.  The Sox moved a guy who has looked pretty good at times in Hunter Jones, though Jones probably wishes he had a stronger 2009.  Earlier in the year, I thought he looked really ready for the show and another solid arm on a roster with too many solid arms.  If you are a Marlins fan, trust me – we need arms.  He’ll get seventh inning duty until he gets his feet wet.  The other new Marlin is 20-year-old Jose Alvarez, a string bean Venezuelan with upside but still rather unproven.

It’s hard to grade the trade, but after seeing this for five or six years now (maybe more), you have to trust Larry Beinfest.  He seems to find all sorts of guys that have talent and need opportunities and Florida is nothing else if not a land of opportunity.  I know the Marlins didn’t want to pay $2 or $3 million for Hermida when they have other options (Maybin, Ross, Coughlin, etc.), and Hunter Jones could be a huge help with a good season.  So, I’ll just look forward to seeing Jones in uniform and check out Alvarez when he pitches for Jupiter this summer.

Happy Birthday!

A great list, headed by Hall of Famer Bob Gibson (1935) and manager Dorrel Norman Elvert (Whitey) Herzog (1931).  Others celebrating with cards and cake (or rememberances) include: Fred Brickell (1906), a member of the 1930 Phillies (ouch), Jerry Priddy (1919), Bill Bruton (1925), Jim Riggleman (1952), Ted Higuera (1958) – I loved that kid…, Kevin Mmahat (1964), Chad Ogea (1970), Dave Bush (1979), Adam Dunn (1979), Chuck James (1981), and Joel Zumaya (1984).

Afterthoughts…

People are wondering what happened to Sammy Sosa’s face after he had a rather deep cleaning the other day.  The picture certainly is odd.

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Filed under Alex Gonzalez, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Doug Slaten, Florida Marlins, Greg Dobbs, Hunter Jones, Jed Lowrie, Jeremy Hermida, New York Yankees, Pedro Feliz, Philadelphia Phillies, Scott Proctor, Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals, Yorvit Torrealba, Yusmeiro Petit

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