First we had Part I, then we had Part II, and now we have even more signings! We will not be undersold!
- Carl Pavano, Twins, $7 million. Heyman says he “wouldn’t give that guy a penny.” Maybe $7 million is a lot, but aren’t there such a thing as average starting pitchers in Heyman’s world?
- Russell Martin, Dodgers, $5.05 million. Not a big raise for Martin, but it’s not like he had the best year ever.
- Jered Weaver, Angels, $4.265 million. It’s hard to express in English, but I’m sure the Germans have some awesome, multi-syllabic word that perfectly expresses the notion of “a player who feels like he has been around forever due to the fact that he was a highly touted prospect, yet who is inexplicably still in his arbitration years.”
- Peter Moylan, Braves, $1.15 million. Dude missed almost all of 2008 following elbow surgery and then Bobby Cox throws him out there 87 times. Either his arm is made of rubber or Bobby Cox thinks he’s two different guys.
- Matt Garza, Rays, $3.35 million. Anyone else see a Sid Fernandez career for this guy? As was the case with El Sid, whenever I see him he looks dominant, but they you look at his numbers at the end of the year and he’s just like, eh. Good pitcher, but if he could harness the awesomeness of which he is occasionally capable he’d be somethin’ else.
- David Aardsma, Mariners, $2.75 million. Milton Bradley says that as long as Aardsma plays the right way, comes to spring training ready to
work and ready to be part of the team that they have–good guys put their
nose to the ground and bust their butts–they’ll even take Aardsma.
- Michael Bourn, Matt Lindstrom, and Humberto Quintero, Astros for $2.4 million, $1.625 million and $750,000, respectively. Bourn was the only one of the three NL Gold Glovers who actually deserved it last year.
- Jason Hammel, Rockies, $1.9 million. Jason Marquis gets $15 million over two years. The guy who the Rockies actually trusted to pitch in the playoffs is paid under $2 million for a year. Viva the free market.
- Kevin Kouzmanoff, Athletics, money not yet reported. Obviously the A’s knew they had to pay him when they dealt for him, but doesn’t doing this deal a mere couple of days after the trade feel like putting a new water pump in a car you just friggin’ bought?
- J.P. Howell, Rays, $1.8 million. Hey, J.P., I know you’re not the closer anymore, but please take this raise as a parting gift.
- Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, Blue Jays, $2.65 million and $ 2 million, respectively. I continue to be upset that Alex Anthopoulos didn’t get to kick ass and take names in arbitration like he said he was going to.
- Delmon Young, Twins, $2.6MM with $25,000 bonuses each for 575 and 600 plate appearances. You gotta figure that if he doesn’t step up and assert himself this year that he’s non-tender bait for next year.
- Alex Gordon and Robinson Tejeda, Royals, terms are top secret. They could tell you, but then they’d have to kill you.
- Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks $3.4 million. He’s the Ashlee Simpson of the Drew brothers. Wait, I forgot about Tim Drew. Let’s start over: Tim is Magda Gabor, J.D. is Zsa Zsa, and Stephen is Eva.
- John Danks, White Sox, $3.45 million,
and all of the Slim-Fast he can drink. Forget that. I got my Danks and Jenks mixed up. Again.
- Pedro Feliciano, Mets $2.9 million with $100K in performance bonuses. He’s used so much, however that he’s probably the cheapest pitcher in baseball on a pro-rata basis. If the Mets are out of it this year they should try to break Mike Marshall’s record with the guy.
- Chris Ray, Rangers, $975,000. Ray saved 33 games once upon a time, but a 7.27 ERA and Tommy John surgery in the rear window will cut down on your market price.
- Jeremy Accardo, Blue Jays, $1.08 million. Accardo is like that old barn on a road trip. I feel like I’ve reported this deal four of five times already today, but according to my map I’m still heading in the right direction;
- Rafael Perez, Indians, $795,000. Another member of the 7.00+ ERA club. I actually saw him pitch here in Columbus last year. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of chances this year too.
- Luke Scott, Orioles, $4.05 million. I like Luke Scott. I kind of hope he turns into Matt Stairs and hangs around forever.
- Jeff Baker, Mike Fontenot, Koyie Hill, Angel Guzman and Tom Gorzelanny, Cubs, for $975,000 $1million, $700,000, $825,000 and $800,000, respectively. Man, the Cubs were busy this morning. Kind of makes me wish I was in the room at the same time. I bet I’d have a good shot of slipping a contract with my name on it in front of Jim Hendry and walking away with $800K.
- Zach Duke, Pirates, terms unknown. And Duke comes from Parts Unknown. Used to wrestle with a mask back in his high school days. True story.
- Mark Lowe, Mariners $1.15 million. At some point in the last hour I became convinced that people just started making up names of baseball players and tweeted phony deals for them. Neat idea. I think I’m going to jump on the Twitter and make up one myself.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.