General manager Neal Huntington told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com that the Pirates and Chan Ho Park have mutual interest in the veteran reliever returning to Pittsburgh in 2011, but it sounds like Park would have to settle for a minor-league contract with an opportunity to compete for a bullpen spot in spring training.
He was a bust in New York after signing a one-year, $1.2 million contract last winter, but Park’s struggles can be traced to serving up seven homers in 35 innings for the Yankees. Obviously that’s not a positive thing, but his ground-ball rate suggested it wouldn’t continue and sure enough he allowed just two homers in 28 innings after the Pirates claimed him off waivers in early August.
His overall numbers include a 4.66 ERA and 52/19 K/BB ratio in 64 innings and Park was a big part of the Phillies’ bullpen in 2009 with a 2.52 ERA and 52/16 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. At age 38 and with the poor first-half showing in New York he’s unlikely to be in high demand, but he still looks very capable of being a solid middle reliever and probably still warrants more than a minor-league deal.
Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times catches up with new Rays’ closer Rafael Soriano, who is as cool as a cucumber:
Jeter and A-Rod, you say. And he does not quiver. Ortiz and Youkilis, you say. And he does not flinch.
Teixeira and Hill, you are about to say. And he does not wait
for you to finish because the list of imposing American League East
hitters is long.
“I do not care,” Rafael Soriano says softly, firmly. “If I am
healthy, if I am on the mound, I do not care who the hitter is. I am
I absolutely love this response and I wish everyone asked about how tough the AL East is said something similar.
Yes, it’s a good division. Even tougher than it has been if the Orioles take the step forward many are expecting them to take. But still, every major leaguer is a pro who, at some point in their lives, was the absolute best at what they did in their given peer group. The difference between being merely good and truly elite are not as great as many people realize.
There are differences in quality between the AL and the NL at present, and there are differences between the AL East and everyone else as well. But those differences are not akin to those between day and night or man and boy, and frankly, I’m tired of the exaggerations.
Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that the Yankees have signed reliever Chan Ho Park to a one-year, $1.2 million deal with incentives that could reach $300,000. The deal is pending a physical. And, presumably, the shaving of his Chan Ho Beard.
Park put up a 2.52 ERA in 50 innings out of the pen last year with the kind of stuff and velocity we haven’t seen from him since the Clinton administration. For the second straight year he signs with a team he blanked in the previous postseason, having jumped from L.A. to Philly after pitching well in the 2008 NLCS. There’s probably a primacy/recency lesson in there somewhere, but I just can’t tease it out right now.
If he pitches in 2010 like he did in 2009, the Yankees will have a pretty dominant 7th, 8th and 9th inning bullpen trifecta in Park, Hughes/Joba and Rivera. Good signing by Cashman and the Yankees.