MLB Roster Updates

We’re only halfway through the month, but there’s already been a rash of signings and acquisitions around MLB. The vast majority of transactions has been minor league contracts and spring training invites, with the pitchers and catchers date rapidly approaching.

While there have been dozens more moves than the following, I’m pointing out these in particular for no reason other than I find them mildly interesting in relation to the Mets (or my personal whim).

Signed outfielder Chad Hermansen to a minor league contract.

Hermansen was once a highly touted prospect who fell short of expectations. The righthanded hitting slugger was property of the New Orleans Zephyrs for the second half of the AAA season in 2007. I suppose the Mets saw enough of him to realize what the Pirates, Cubs, Dodgers, and Blue Jays already had — he ain’t all that. Too bad, the Mets could use a RH-hitting outfielder.

Signed RHP Mike DeJean, Victor Diaz, and J.R. House to minor league deals.

Was it only four years ago we thought DeJean was a steal of a setup man? Not saying the Mets should have jumped on him, but would it have been so bad to have him available in AAA? Probably not. Diaz clearly wore out his welcome … again, too bad, because the Mets suddenly could use a RH-hitting outfielder — and he just turned only 26. House has been mentioned here several times through the winter as an ideal backup catcher and corner infield fill-in, with enough thump from the right side to intrigue as a pinch-hitting option. Best of all, he didn’t need a ML contract. Too bad we missed on this one — I like his versatility and potential with the bat.

Signed Emil Brown to a one-year deal. Traded Mark Kotsay to Braves.

Brown is another RH-hitting outfielder who might have fit in nicely. Not on a big-league deal, though. Kotsay is covered below.

Blue Jays
Signed Lance Carter and Shawn Camp to minor league deals.

Two former Rays when they still had the Devil in them. Not fantastic pitchers, but that’s why they’re signed to cheap minor league deals. I wouldn’t have minded either of these guys riding the Heath Bell shuttle.

Acquired Mark Kotsay for Joey Devine.

The Braves give up on the electric, but not divine, arm of Joey Devine for a desperately needed starting centerfielder. If history is any indicator (see: J.D. Drew, Vinny Castilla, Johnny Estrada, et al), Kotsay will have a massive comeback season in Atlanta, vie for the triple crown, and be the foremost free agent on the market next winter. Hopefully, the Braves’ luck has run out and he’ll spend an injury plagued season hobbling between the lineup and the DL.

Signed Mike Cameron.

Noteworthy in that Cameron lost so much value so quickly and that Bill “Butcher Boy” Hall moves back to the infield. With Geoff Jenkins leaving the club, the Brewers had to find someone to make up for all those lost swings and misses.

Acquired Troy Glaus for Scott Rolen. Signed Matt Clement to a one-year, ML deal with a club option for 2009. Signed 1B Josh Phelps to a minor league contract.

Glad that crybaby Rolen has a new manager and organization to irritate, since he seemed to enjoy playing against the Mets and I won’t miss his pouty face. Glaus, if healthy, and on undetectable PEDs, could be a boon for the Cardinals. Clement was another gamble, but smart risk considering the cost of starting pitching these days and the Cards’ history of rehabbing injured arms. Phelps, like J.R. House, would have been a nice ST invite for the Mets, as he can catch, play 1B, and knock the ball over the fence.

Signed RHP Chad Fox to a minor league contract.

There was a ten-minute period in his career when people thought he was good. He might have been nice AAA depth, but I won’t lose sleep over the Cubs getting him.

Signed RHP Victor Santos and 1B Brett Harper.

Santos is intriguing to me only because I caught him and coached him prior to his going pro. With the Mets in need of minor league arms, I was hoping they’d give him a contract (the Mets uniform is one of only two or three left that Santos has yet to wear) … maybe next year. Harper was previously Mets property and was supposed to be the heir apparent to Carlos Delgado. However, his stunted development and the emergence of Mike Carp made him expendable.

Signed Miguel Cairo to a ML deal.

Thank goodness the Mets didn’t sign him. We know how the organization likes to keep a full supply of second basemen.

Signed Jorge Cantu to a minor league deal.

It was hoping against hope to think Cantu would consider playing in AAA for the Mets when he could fight for a ML job in Florida. I’d have liked to see him make a comeback and take over 1B in 2009.

Signed Robert Fick and Jeff DaVanon to minor league deals.

Fick would have been a perfect fit had he been a RH hitter. DaVanon is another RH-hitting outfielder, though not my top choice. Either would have been nice depth in AAA.

Signed RHP T.J. Beam to a minor league contract.

Again, no lost sleep here … just another arm ideal for AAA depth.

Signed Eddie Guardado to a ML deal. DFA’d 1B Chris Shelton.

Guardado would have been nice on a minor league deal … and contrary to others’ opinions, I don’t see a problem with another lefty in the ‘pen, particularly someone like Steady Eddie who isn’t eaten alive by RH batters. Shelton is interesting because this is the second time he’s been DFA’d this winter. He’s a RH hitter who can also play the outfield and catch in a pinch. If you’ve read this far you know where I’m going — he might be worth a look as AAA depth.

Signed Mike DiFelice to a minor league contract.

Crash Davis moves on. But don’t be surprised to see him resurface in a Zephyrs uniform to catch Kevin Mulvey by mid-May.

Signed Andy Phillips to a minor league contract.

Another RH-hitting utilityman with some pop. He played well in the New York spotlight, can play all over the infield and outfield, and is accustomed to being a bench player. On a free-agent deal, he’d have been a good pickup. Only problem is that he’s an ex-Yankee, and some fans have an issue with that.

Signed Marcus Giles to a minor league contract.

Notable only because he was such a Mets killer in the Braves uniform. Hasn’t done much since the advent of PED testing. Huh.

Signed Zach Day to a minor league contract.

Was a time that Zach Day was a young, highly coveted starting pitcher with a bright future. Injuries decimated his career, and the sinkerballer is merely trying to survive at this point. I thought he had a connection to Omar Minaya, and might have been considered AAA filler. No big loss.

Signed Jason Lane, Scott Strickland, and Billy Traber to minor league contracts.

If you’ve been a MetsToday reader for at least a year, you know how I feel about Scott Strickland — the idea that he earn a spot on the Yankee roster makes me nauseous. Traber is a former Mets farmhand that was a key piece of the Roberto Alomar deal — but never panned out for the Indians nor anyone else (interesting history, for those worried about losing Mulvey, Pelfrey, Humber, etc., in a trade). Jason Lane is another one of those RH-hitting outfielders who’d be happy with a backup job, and he once hit 26 homers in a year. However, see Marcus Giles, above.

I’ll review the Mets transactions this month as soon as they sign someone slightly more interesting than Andy Cavazos or Salomon Manriquez.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. […] recently, I reported that Cantu signed with the Fish, and it probably made sense since he would get a chance to fight for a starting 3B […]