Dropping Like Flies
Though it was a relatively quiet weekend for Mets fans, it hasn’t been all that quiet around MLB. For example, free agents have been dropping off the market like fly balls around Dave Kingman.
If you missed the last post, Andruw Jones signed a two-year deal with the Dodgers. It’s assumed Jones will push Juan Pierre to leftfield — or out of Los Angeles. Also in that last post was the announcement that Jose Guillen suckered the Royals into a three-year deal. Too bad for Guillen and KC, however, that in his first day as a Royal, he was suspended by MLB for HGH purchase (Scott Schoeneweis, however, was exonerated).
That’s the old news. Since then, the Brewers continued their bullpen rebuild by trading two minor league pitchers to the Pirates for Salomon Torres. Before you get too upset about this one, remember that Torres really hasn’t been all that good in his career, and he’s going to be 36 years old when spring training rolls around — no spring chicken. He and Guillermo Mota should make for sixth and seventh innings that resemble a rollercoaster ride. However, the Brewers also just signed Eric Gagne to a one-year, $10M deal. Doubtful the Mets would have come close to that, and judging from his inability to retire hitters in a setup role with the Red Sox, it’s probably just as well. So just like that, Milwaukee has a stocked — albeit shaky — bullpen.
In other news, free agent Mark Loretta accepted arbitration from the Astros, and was added to their 40-man roster. Strange, since his second base position has been handed to Kaz Matsui, who recently signed a three-year deal. He must be counting on a rash of injuries around the Houston infield.
Apparently, the Texas Rangers are really desperate for an outfielder; they reached an agreement with Milton Bradley, whose recovery from a knee injury is still uncertain. Bradley had been semi-expected to re-sign with the Padres, but saw the lithely built Texas manager Ron Washington as less threatening in combat. Bradley, on the 5’11”, 160-lb skipper, said, “I think I can take him”.
In New York, it’s being reported that the Yankees are close to signing middle-aged middle reliever LaTroy Hawkins to a one year deal. Simultaneously, Carl Pavano will be dropped from the 40-man roster and accept a minor-league assignment. Perhaps stressed by all these free agents disappearing from the board, the Mets are supposedly looking at Jeff Fassero. Good god. The 45-year-old lefty is currently working on his comeback in the Mexican League. I guess it’s better than trading Aaron Heilman for Brian Fuentes.