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Ten Moves You May Have Missed
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Top Ten Moves You May Have Missed
by Asher B. Chancey, BaseballEvolution.com
May 7, 2007

In the off-season, we often keep a watchful eye on the transaction wire because, well, there are no games being played. But during the season, it can be easy to miss the smaller transactions, and then one day you wake up and ask yourself, "When did Ryan Langerhans get traded to the Washington Nationals?" before you realize, "It was the A's that traded him to the Nationals?.

That is just one of the moves over the past week that the casual observer may have missed. In fact, that is one of ten that you may or may not have noticed at all.

10. Chicago White Sox option OF Brian Anderson to Triple-A Charlotte, place DH Jim Thome on the 15-day disabled list.

Does anybody here remember the 2005 World Champion White Sox? That over-achieving White Sox pitching staff blooming under the watchful eye of a killer outfield defense? Does anybody here remember the Aaron Rowand trade for Jim Thome, that was supposed to be something-for-nothing because of how great Brian Anderson was going to be?

After a .118/.211/.176 start, the kid is headed for Triple-A, and after a fantastic 2006 Jim Thome has come up injured. Oh well, its not like Rowand is doing any better in Philadelphia.

9. Florida Marlins option RHP Anibal Sanchez Triple-A to Albuquerque in order to activate RHP Jorge Julio from the disabled list.

Who is the worst pitcher in major league baseball right now? As of May 4th, it is once again Jorge Julio. Julio gave up 12 earned runs while walking 11 and striking out only 2 for the Marlins in 5.2 innings before hitting the DL. Who knows? – maybe he really was hurt, and the time off will return him to form. But the Marlins are sending down a decent inning-eating starter to make room for him on the roster. One must hope they know what they are doing.

8. Atlanta Braves place Mark Redman on the 15-day DL with a “left toe ailment.”

Left toe ailment, eh? Is that what the cool kids are using as slang for “we gotta find a way to keep this guy from wrecking games for us.”

7. New York Yankees optioned Kei Igawa to Class-A Tampa.

Apparently, Steinbrenner and Cashman didn’t want Igawa screwing up their Triple-A and Double-A franchises any more than they wanted him screwing up the big club (8 HR, 26 ER in 30.2 innings).

6. Los Angeles Dodgers recalled INF Andy LaRoche from Triple-A Las Vegas.

The much heralded Dodgers third base prospect made his major league debut for the Dodgers on May 6, going 1-for-4 with a run scored after Grady Little decided to bench under-achieving Wilson Betemit. One can only hope he can fare better in the majors than his brother, Adam, who is currently struggling with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Funny coincidence – if Andy does in fact out-perform Adam, that would give the Los Angeles area two young prospects who are currently out-performing their similarly named older brother, Jered Weaver of the Angels being the other. Look for either the Dodgers or Angels to make a move for Delmon Young at mid-season.

5. Oakland Athletics acquire OF Ryan Langerhans from the Atlanta Braves for a player to be named later or cash; Athletics trade OF Ryan Langerhans to the Washington Nationals in exchange for OF Chris Snelling.

Billy Beane managed to turn cash or a player to be named later into Ryan Langerhans, and then somehow managed to convince the Nationals that Langerhans (.093/.206/.130) was worth 25 year old Chris Snelling (.233/.387/.333) straight up. This means that Beane owes the Braves a Langerhans-level player or cash, but gets a better player in return. Snelling, for his part, has a career OBP which is 117 points higher than his average – a classic Billy Beane player.

4. Houston Astros purchased contract of OF Hunter Pence from Triple-A Round Rock.

Want a quick definition of “stud”? See Hunter Pence. The 6’4” 24-year old centerfielder hit 25 homeruns in 80 games at Single-A Lexington in 2005, then hit 28 in 136 games at Double-A Corpus Christi in 2006. Oh, and he steals bases as well – 17 in 21 attempts in 2006. This does crowd the roster for the Astros, however, as Pence, Mark Loretta, Craig Biggio, and Chris Burke will all be vying for time at two positions. One can only hope that Biggio gets his 3,000th hit soon; forget the future, the Astros are putting the present on hold so their all time franchise player can limp his way to some career milestones.

3. Oakland Athletics acquire OF Jack Cust from the San Diego Padres for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Not sure why the Padres were so quick to part with Cust. This guy has been like a minor league Jim Thome the last few years. In 2006, he hit 30 homeruns with 143 walks and 124 strikeouts in 138 games at Triple-A. In 2005, he hit 19 homeruns with 115 walks and 153 strikeouts in 134 games. In 2004, he hit 17 homeruns with 65 walks and 127 strikeouts in 102 games. In 2002, he hit 23 homeruns with 83 walks and 121 strikeouts in 105 games.

There is no doubt why Billy Beane likes this guy – his on-base percentage in the minors was over .400 in seven of the last eight seasons. And in his first game with the A’s, Cust went (not-surprisingly) 1-for-3 with a homerun, a walk, and a strikeout. This guy will get lots of at-bats with all the injuries suffered by the A’s lately - Bobby Kielty, Milton Bradley, Mark Kotsay, and Mike Piazza – and he could be a major diamond in the rough.

2. San Francisco Giants purchased the contract of RHP Tim Lincecum from Triple-A Fresno.

The Future is now. Believe it. Some doubters say that 5’11” 170 pounds is too small to consistently throw heat and get batters out with authority. Funny, I seem to remember a certain pitcher doing just that for the Expos and Red Sox over the last ten years.

1. Roger Clemens snubs Astros, Red Sox; signs with Yankees.

Okay, so there is no way you missed this one. A seemingly great move for the Yankees, and a downer for the ‘Stros, but one should remember one thing – the Rocket posted solid but not great ERAs of 3.51, 4.35, and 3.91 in his last three seasons with the Yankees before blowing the world apart with the Astros from 2004-2006. Don’t expect Astros-like performances out of Clemens this summer; this has the potential to be a $25 million mistake for the Yankees.


Questions? Concerns? Comments? Asher lives in Philadelphia, PA, and can be reached at asher@baseballevolution.com.

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