Athletics Acquire Ike Davis
Ironically, in a related move, the A’s DFA’d former Met Andrew Brown to make room on the 40-man roster for Davis.
In other news, the Athletics also signed former Kansas City Royal Billy Butler. Considering that Butler is a righthanded-hitting DH / first baseman who tends to hit better against lefthanded pitchers, maybe Davis will have an opportunity to platoon a bit in Oakland.
Other transactions over the past week or so:
Mets killer Adam LaRoche has signed with the Chicago White Sox. This is great news for Mets fans on many fronts. First, he’s out of the NL, and the Mets won’t be playing the ChiSox in 2015. Second, he’s left the Nationals, who presumably will move Ryan Zimmerman across the diamond to first base, making their lineup righty-heavy. Third, the Miami Marlins did not get LaRoche — there had been rumors he was one of their top targets this winter.
The White Sox also signed LOOGY Zach Duke, so scratch him off the Mets’ wish list.
The Diamondbacks picked up Jeremy Hellickson from the Rays in return for two minor league prospects who played in low-A last year, outfielder Justin Williams and shortstop Andrew Velazquez. Interesting move for both clubs.
Catcher Russell Martin signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. Good move by the Jays, good news for Mets fans, as it’s always helpful to see a solid NL player move to the Adulterated League. Toronto also traded Adam Lind to the Brewers, but that was almost a month ago.
Anticipating the exit of Martin, the Pirates made a trade for Yankees backup catcher Francisco Cervelli. “Francisco” — that’s fun to say! Interesting that Cervelli joins another former backup Yankees catcher, Chris Stewart, on the Bucs’ roster. The Buccos also signed A.J. Burnett to a one-year deal — a move that immediately strengthens the Phillies’ rotation by subtraction.
The Braves released Jonny Venters and Ramiro Pena. The Venters release is mildly intriguing, considering the lefty’s history as a shutdown reliever from 2010-2012. However, Venters underwent a THIRD Tommy John surgery this past August, and won’t be ready to pitch in MLB again until late 2015 at the earliest. Imagine if MLB employed scientists, instead of former bullpen catchers, to monitor pitchers’ rehab? We might never see pitchers suffering re-tears while recovering from surgery. I know, silly talk. It’s much more important that MLB coaches and management concern themselves more with important factors, such as innings limits, when it comes to coming back from TJ surgery. But I digress …
Defensive-minded backstop Jose Molina has been DFA’d by the Tampa Bay Rays. Molina posted the lowest slugging percentage of a MLBer with at least 200 ABs since 1968 — also known as “The Year of the Pitcher.” He can frame a strike, though.
The Detroit Tigers traded minor league second baseman Devon Travis to the Toronto Blue Jays for Anthony Gose. Remember Gose? He was a Jays prospect that was briefly rumored to be obtained by the Mets in the R.A. Dickey deal. Gose has a great glove but not yet been able to put it together with the bat. Meanwhile, Travis is a diminutive (5’9″) infielder who carries a big stick — he posted a .936 OPS with 16 HRs in A-ball in 2013, and followed that up with a 10-HR, .817 OPS in AA last year. There’s a decent chance that Travis breaks north with the Jays next April.
The Tigers also re-signed Victor Martinez, so forget about him joining the Mets.
The Dodgers acquired righty Joel Peralta and lefty Adam Liberatore from the Rays in exchange for right-handers Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris. They also picked up right-hander Juan Nicasio from the Rockies in exchange for a PTBNL or cash considerations. I guess LA’s goal is to throw as much pitchers on the wall as they can, and see what sticks in the bullpen.
As of this writing, we’re still waiting to hear what happens with Pablo Sandoval. Otherwise, I think I’ve hit most of the more notable transactions. Feel free to post your comments on these moves, and/or add any trades or signings of import that I’ve missed.