Dodgers sign Tim Redding to minor league contract

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Tim Redding started 17 games and threw 120 innings for the Mets in 2009, but he spent all of last season at Triple-A and will likely begin this year there as well after signing a minor-league contract with the Dodgers.

Redding pitched pretty well at Triple-A with a 2.89 ERA and 83/22 K/BB ratio in 109 innings and he’s been a useful back-of-the-rotation starter in the past, but he picked perhaps the toughest rotation in the majors to crack because the Dodgers already have six veteran starters under contract in Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, Vicente Padilla, and Jon Garland.

Once upon a time Redding was a top prospect for the Astros, but now he’s 32 years old with a career ERA of 4.95 in 822 innings.

Mets acquire shortstop Chin-lung Hu from Dodgers

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Chin-lung Hu never really got another shot in Los Angeles after struggling as a rookie in 2008, and today the Dodgers traded the 27-year-old shortstop to the Mets for left-hander Michael Antonini.

Once upon a time Hu was considered a top prospect, but his bat never developed enough to match his strong glove and now his potential tops out at utility man.

He’s hit .303 in 274 games at Triple-A, but it’s an incredibly empty batting average with just 19 homers and 46 walks in 1,135 plate appearances and his .754 OPS is anything but impressive at hitter-friendly Las Vegas.

Antonini was an 18th-round pick in 2007 and spent this year between Double-A and Triple-A, posting a 4.49 ERA and 131/31 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. Antonini doesn’t project as a big leaguer, but unlike Hu he won’t require a spot on the 40-man roster.

Russell Martin needs knee surgery, but the Yankees signed him anyway

Russell Martin

Russell Martin officially signed his one-year, $4 million deal with the Yankees after passing a physical exam earlier this week, but it turns out he didn’t so much “pass” as the Yankees were only concerned with the status of his fractured hip.

Presumably they were encouraged enough by what they saw in his recovery from that injury to sign off on the contract, because Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the physical exam revealed Martin needs knee surgery.

Sherman classifies it as minor surgery and Martin is expected to be recovered from the operation in time for spring training, but going under the knife complicates things even further for the 28-year-old catcher who was already somewhat of a question mark coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons and a major hip injury.

Sherman opines that the Yankees’ willingness to sign Martin anyway “says lot about” their lack of faith in top prospect Jesus Montero being ready to catch in the majors in 2011, but realistically a minor knee surgery in mid-December seems unlikely to hold up a signing regardless.