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.

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. isuzudude October 30, 2007 at 3:10 pm
    David Wright will be on the Daily Show on Wednesday night…perhaps dropping nuggets on his feelings towards acquiring Arod?
  2. isuzudude October 30, 2007 at 7:28 pm
    In case anyone is keeping track, Houston resigned Brad Ausmus today. Another catcher off the list (although Ausmus wouldn’t have been anything better than a backup for the Mets).
  3. joe October 30, 2007 at 7:43 pm
    Thanks for the update.

    Hmm … that leaves LoDuca, Barrett, Kendall, and Torrealba. And there’s buzz that the Mets are interested in Torrealba. Ugh.

  4. Micalpalyn October 31, 2007 at 11:41 am
    From MLBrumors….’David Riske had a $2.9MM player option. He declined it given his stellar 2.45 ERA in 69.2 innings this year. He’ll get a nice Bob Howry/Jamie Walker type of deal for three years”
  5. isuzudude October 31, 2007 at 12:08 pm
    Good looking out, Mic. I was under the impression Riske only had a team option attached to his contract, which the Royals would have been silly not to pick up. However, now that Riske is available on the open market, you can bet your butt a lot of teams will be seeking his services. He looks like a very good reliever from all indications. He’s a workhorse, with 69 2/3 innings or more pitched in 4 of last 5 seasons. Less than a hit per inning pitched in each of last 7 seasons. Relatively low WHIP & ERA. Opponents batting averages are low with runners on base. He’s also equally effective against lefties and righties (he’s a RHP). If the Mets were to sign him, you would figure he’d be in line for additional success switching leagues for the first time in his career. All signs point to this guy being a fantastic pick-up for any team. I’d particularly like to hear from skibolton on this issue, who has been adament about not picking up any free agent relief pitching. Is Riske worth the risk? Sorry, I had to use that line. But really, I know the Mets have been burnt with recent long term contracts to relief pitchers (Mota, Schoeneweis), but isn’t Riske deserving? 3 years, $12-mil? Who among us would sign on the dotted line?
  6. joe October 31, 2007 at 12:22 pm
    The only “risk” with him is that he gets a 3-year deal — no ifs, ands, or buts. And knowing the volatility of middle relievers, the team has to be OK with the possibility of eating at least the last year, or two years, of that deal.

    How lucky are we that Guillermo Mota was signed to “only” a 2-year deal? And the Mets may not be so quick to eat his second year … partially because they’re also stuck with The Show for two more years.

    I liked Riske last winter, and still like him. But this year, I don’t like the market.

    But, as long as it’s the Wilpons’ money, I say get him.

  7. Micalpalyn October 31, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Why did I post that link?….Bottom line the Mets can afford a mistake and beeter yet dump either Sho or Mota.

    Riske is very much worth his $$$ and risk at a $$$ amount in the Sho range (+20%?). The only real weght is what compensation is involved.

  8. skibolton October 31, 2007 at 1:36 pm
    I like riske and think he would be as safe a bet as anybody. He’s fairly consistant year to year, never really had big injury issues, and has been pitching in the american league. It seems like he would be a fairly safe bet as an option. I think my biggest concern with relievers at this point is wondering how many of their good season might have been tied to performance enhancers. It seems like a lot of these guys are being implicated lately, more relievers than everyone else combined. The last several years seem to have brought about quite a fluctuation in reliever performance, probably a direct result of the drug testing. I just don’t like the idea of signing any reliever to a long term deal now. Too many of them seem to be breaking down from the workload they are given without anything to help them recover. I’d be all for going after a guy like cordero or mo, but I just worry about guys who broke in as relievers when there was no drug testing. I’m curious to see who gets named in the mitchell report. I’d really love it to come out prior to the start of free agency. If we can give riske more money to take a one year deal with options, I’m all for it. I don’t want to see us take on a reliever for 3 years unless he is just lights out. It just seems like the teams giving out those contracts get burned more often than not.
    The more I look at it, the more I like the idea of going after livan as a fifth starter. The guy will at least give the bullpen a day off every fifth day. I also think he’d benefit more than most by moving to shea. Carlos Silva is looking better and better as well. I think these two guys would do more for our bullpen than a guy like riske.
  9. isuzudude October 31, 2007 at 1:50 pm
    I agree with your final paragraph, skibo…although I’m more of a Silva guy than Livan. Something about Silva is more trustworthy than Riske, and I think starting pitching should always be paramount to relief pitching. That’s not to say relief pitching should be ignored, but if it came down to signing Silva or Riske, I’d pick Silva.
  10. skibolton October 31, 2007 at 2:02 pm
    The elias rankings came out today I guess, but I can’t find a complete list. None of the rockies would cost a team to lose a pick, and barrett is the only padre that would cost one. I can’t find anything on the mets free agents yet, but I will as soon as possible.
  11. sincekindergarten October 31, 2007 at 2:26 pm
    According to both MetsBlog and MLB Trade Rumors, Glendon Rusch wants back into baseball. I’d be willing to sign him to a contract for N’awlins and see how he does down there. Invite him to ST.