Waiver Wire Update
To make room on the roster for newcomers Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez, the Braves had to release RHP Chad Paronto and C Corky Miller. Paronto had been DFA’d earlier, and was expected to be dropped anyway. The big — and I do mean BIG — righthander was fairly effective in a middle-relief role with the Braves over the past two years, sporting a 3.57 ERA in 41 games in 2007 and a 3.18 ERA in 63 games in 2006. He’ll be 32 next season, and doesn’t quite have a “wow” effect on anyone, but he could be a decent guy to have in AAA to provide depth in the ‘pen as the season wears on. Miller is a typical catch-and-throw backstop; essentially, a younger (32) version of Mike DiFelice.
In a more under-the-radar move, the Braves claimed RHP Chris Resop off waivers from the Angels — actually, they made room for him by DFA’ing Paronto. Only two years ago, Resop was a highly touted prospect in the Marlins’ organization; he was traded to the Angels for current Marlins closer Kevin Gregg. This could turn out to be one of the better moves by the Braves in the offseason, as Resop is only 25 and touches 98 MPH. He spent most of the last two years in AAA as a setup man and occasional closer, and posted OK numbers — 82 Ks and 31 BB in 95 IP. But before you dismiss those numbers, understand he’s a converted outfielder, and has only been pitching for four years. Since the Braves, I assume, get dibs on the waiver wire before the Mets, we can’t call out Omar on this one. But I’d imagine Resop would be the type of project ideal for Rick Peterson. Oh well.
Another hard-throwing reliever who became available is the well-traveled Jay Witasick, who was cut by the Devil Rays when they claimed OF Chris Snelling off waivers. Witasick will be 35 next year, and sported a 6.61 ERA in 20 games with the Rays — though only 3.60 with the A’s in 16 games. He still throws hard, but still walks far too many batters — 27 in 31 innings last season. In my mind, he’s the righthanded Ron Villone — just when you think his career is over, someone picks him up for garbage duty. A return to the NL might help him, but he’s not worth a roster spot. I’d prefer to take my chances with Guillermo Mota.
The White Sox released RHP Ryan Bukvich, a middle reliever who resembles Chad Paronto in size but not in effectiveness. He throws in the mid-90s but has always had control problems. Last season he appeared in 45 games but walked 25 in 36 innings (he struck out 18). I’m not sure he’s even worth a AAA spot.
The Reds dropped RHP Tom Shearn, who went 3-0 as a starter for them last season — including six shutout innings against the Mets. However, he’s not all that, and not much more than filler material for the back end of a AAA roster.
Corey Koskie was officially DFA’d by the Brewers. I don’t see a fit for the injury-riddled, 34-year-old Canadian.
There were other players dropped and moved, but none seemed remotely interesting. We’ll have another update in a few days or sometime next week.