Chicago White Sox
Traded: RHP Kanekoa Texeira and OF Nick Swisher to Yankees for RHP Jeffrey Marquez, RHP Jhonny Nunez and 3B Wilson Betemit
Traded: RHP Kevin Gregg to Cubs for RHP Jose Ceda
Traded: LHP Scott Olsen and OF Josh Willingham to Nationals for RHP P.J. Dean, 2B Emilio Bonifacio and 2B Jake Smolinski
Not much going on of interest minor-league signings-wise, but these trades all showed up in the listings.
-Big ripoff win for the Yankees, buying Swisher for pennies on the dollar. You think Brandon Phillips is a little hacktastic? Watch Wilson Betemit in action. Marquez is a starter who doesn't miss bats at all.
-Love that the Cubs traded a fireballing prospect for Joe Borowski Jr. to "shore up" their bullpen. Florida is smart.
-Maybe not that smart. The Nationals get a mid-rotation starter and a starting LF for a young Luis Rivas and a couple of fringe prospect pitchers? Dang! Jim Bowden's still got it sometimes.
This list of players added to the 40-man rosters
is probably more interesting than the signings page this time around. Among the names of interest:
-Cubs added RHP Marcos Mateo
. Mateo, 25 in April, was the payment from the Reds for immortal superstar Buck Coats. He's apparently been converted to a starter.
-Cleveland added RHR Jeff Stevens
, the Reds' sixth-round pick in 2005. Stevens was sent to the Indians as the PTBNL in the Brandon Phillips deal. While I'm sure no one here would take that deal back, Jeff's been pretty successful- pitching in the 2008 Olympics and reaching AAA Buffalo last year in his age-24 season. In 2008 he whiffed 81 in 58.1 innings.
-Colorado added SS Chris Nelson
, who was the general consensus RedsZone first-round pick the year the Reds chose Homer Bailey. (He also attended Brandon Phillips' high school in Georgia.) Nelson's had his share of messiness so far, but he's just 23 and will be in Double-A to start 2009. H
-Milwaukee added RHP Mark Rogers
. Rogers was picked by the Brewers ahead of Bailey in the '04 draft, fifth overall. You think Homer was an iffy selection? Mark hasn't pitched since 2006 due to arm injuries.
-San Diego added RHR Matt Bush
, the first overall pick in 2004. Bush was, of course, a shortstop when drafted- but switched to the mound after compiling a .219/.294/.276 line in parts of four seasons. Then, very soon after the switch, he had Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2008. The 22-year-old will resume his career virtually from square one this year.
Baseball America says the following about the Reds' five additions to the 40-man:
Added 3B Juan Francisco, LHP Matt Maloney and RHPs Carlos Fisher, Sam LeCure and Robert Manuel.
Francisco hit .277/.303/.496 with 23 home runs, 34 doubles and 92 RBIs at high Class A Sarasota, and didn’t turn 21 in the Florida State League until June 24. Maloney, acquired for Kyle Lohse in 2007, could battle for the Reds fifth starter’s job during spring training. Manuel doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, but his plus command paid off in 2008, as he earned a spot on the 40-man roster by going 6-3, 1.25 in 87 innings between high Class A and Triple-A. With only 32 men on their 40-man before the additions, the Reds didn’t have to make many tough choices. Lefthander Philippe Valiquette, the club’s seventh-round pick in 2004, is probably the most notable omission, but it was understandable seeing as he has yet to pitch above Class A, and he had a very rough (8.53 ERA, 10 BB in 13 IP) Hawaii Winter Baseball season.