On this date three years ago, Bud Selig announced that MLB would be taking over operations of the Dodgers because of concerns over team finances and the ability of Frank McCourt to run the franchise. The team was facing substantial debt payments which the owner planned to meet by using funding from the club’s new $2.5 billion, 20-year media-rights deal with News Corp.’s Fox Sports, but the Commissioner withheld his approval of the deal. It’s amazing what a difference three years can make. Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere.. Blue Jays Plus caught up with Sal Fasano, the Blue Jays’ hidden gem. IR Fast introduces you to Yuki Matsui.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo had to leave Saturday’s game because of back spasms but did not expect to miss Sunday’s series finale against the Reds.
Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, via two videos for FOX Sports. Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson are both vulnerable if the team doesn’t improve, Rosenthal says. Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick says he wants the team to rely more on data, and that isn’t Towers’ forte. (Kendrick says, in fact, that one reason the Diamondbacks haven’t employed as many defensive shifts as other teams is that they haven’t studied them as much.) Still, Kendrick is backing both Towers and Gibson right now, despite the D-Backs’ 5-14 start. When the Braves lost Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to Tommy John surgery, they acted decisively, Rosenthal says. They quickly signed Ervin Santana, and their scouting team identified Aaron Harang, who was released by the Indians, as another good target. Both pitchers have been terrific so far in the young season. Stephen Drew is still the most logical choice at shortstop for the Tigers, Rosenthal says. Drew, of course, remains in qualifying-offer limbo, and the Tigers will need to wait until June if they want to avoid giving up a draft pick to sign him.
Catcher Chris Snyder has retired, Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest tweets. Snyder had been playing for Triple-A Round Rock. Snyder played for ten seasons in the big leagues, collecting 2,459 at bats and finishing with a career line of .224/.328/.382. The Diamondbacks drafted Snyder in 2002, and for several years, he shared Arizona’s catching duties with Miguel Montero. In 2010, the Pirates acquired Snyder (and Pedro Ciriaco) for D.J. Carrasco, Ryan Church and Bobby Crosby, and Snyder spent an injury-plagued season and a half with Pittsburgh. Snyder played in 76 games with the Astros in 2012, and spent a short time with the Orioles in 2013, playing for much of the season in Triple-A. The Rangers signed him in March after losing Geovany Soto to injury, but have gone with J.P
Toolsy Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco ought to be the next top prospect to win a promotion, MLB.com’s Jim Callis writes. MLB.com ranked Polanco the No. 13 prospect in baseball heading into the season, and he’s done nothing to diminish his reputation since then, hitting .439/.475/.667 in 61 plate appearances so far for Triple-A Indianapolis. “He’s done a little bit of everything,” says Pirates assistant GM Kyle Stark.
Here’s a look back at this week at MLBTR: Key Moves The Padres signed infielder Jedd Gyorko to a six-year extension that includes five new seasons, going through 2019. The Athletics signed closer Sean Doolittle to a five-year extension. The Pirates acquired 1B Ike Davis from the Mets for RP Zack Thornton and a PTBNL. The Cardinals extended GM John Mozeliak for two years, through 2018. Trades Rangers — acquired P Hector Noesi from Mariners for cash considerations Athletics — acquired C Blake Forsythe from Mets for future considerations Claimed Athletics — P Marcus Walden (from Blue Jays — link) Designated For Assignment Yankees — RP Cesar Cabral (link) Diamondbacks — P Ryan Rowland-Smith (link) White Sox — RP Donnie Veal (link) Rangers — IF Andy Parrino (link) Red Sox — IF Ryan Roberts (link) Astros — SP Lucas Harrell (link) Athletics — OF Sam Fuld (link) Outrighted Diamondbacks — P Alex Sanabia (link) Rangers — RP Daniel McCutchen (link) Mets — P John Lannan (link) Phillies — RP Brad Lincoln (link) Retired SS Jason Bartlett (link) C/1B Jeff Clement (link) Released Athletics — RP Joe Blanton (link) Key Minor-League Signings Brewers — P Jeremy Jeffress (link) White Sox — RP Frank Francisco (link)
Here are the day’s minor moves: Mariners prospect Ji-Man Choi has been suspended for 50 games, the Associated Press reported yesterday (via ESPN.com). Choi, a 22-year-old who was on the club’s 40-man, tested positive for methandienone. He received the older first-time-offender penalty because his test was taken before new PED suspension guidelines were put in place. The Rangers have released lefty Rafael Perez, reports Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. Perez, 31, struggled at the Triple-A level this year. He was a significant part of the Indians pen between 2006-12, but has been dealing with shoulder issues. The DFA limbo ranks grew significantly today, as MLBTR’s DFA Tracker shows. In order of earliest to latest, here’s the current group: Sam Fuld (Athletics), Lucas Harrell (Astros), Ryan Rowland-Smith (Diamondbacks), Andy Parrino (Rangers), and Ryan Roberts (Red Sox).
Here are the day’s minor moves: Former White Sox pitcher Brian Omogrosso has signed on with the independent league Blueport Bluefish, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 29-year-old righty has a 5.54 ERA in 37 1/3 career MLB innings. Mariners prospect Ji-Man Choi has been suspended for 50 games, the Associated Press reported yesterday (via ESPN.com). Choi, a 22-year-old who was on the club’s 40-man, tested positive for methandienone. He received the older first-time-offender penalty because his test was taken before new PED suspension guidelines were put in place. The Rangers have released lefty Rafael Perez, reports Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. Perez, 31, struggled at the Triple-A level this year.
The D-backs activated outfielder Cody Ross from the disabled list Friday and manager Kirk Gibson put him right in the lineup, in left field and batting fifth. To make room on the roster, the club designated left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith for assignment.
The Diamondbacks have designated lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith for assignment, the club announced via press release. In a corresponding move, the team reinstated outfielder Cody Ross from the 15-day DL. Rowland-Smith, a 31-year-old Aussie, has tossed 370 MLB innings over parts of five seasons. He sports a 4.57 lifetime ERA, with a cumulative 5.6 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. He has seen time as both a starter and reliever, and as expected has generally been more effective working from the pen. Rowland-Smith has logged a 3.77 ERA and allowed a .735 OPS while throwing in relief, while working to a total 4.87 ERA and yielding opposing hitters a .806 OPS from a starting role.