Catching up with Pudge, Kendall

The Pudge Rodriguez signing became official today, so I can put my stamp on how it works out for the Nats.

It’s easy to say the Nats already look light years better than they were in 2009, Pudge, Strasburg, Brian Bruney, a healthy John Lannan, but let’s not kid ourselves.

Nobody in their right mind will tell you the Nats will contend even for a wild card spot next year, but don’t count them out just yet.

Sure the Pudge signing (especially as a backup) won’t be making a 10+ game swing for the team like it did for the Marlins in 2003. But if Pudge can work his magic on teaching FLores, Strasburg, Lannan and all the other young Nat battery mates and turn them into professionals, Washington could have some fun and will certainly be at least worth watching for the first time in years.

Back in the midwest, the Royals pick up Jason Kendall. Oh how the mighty have fallen. This makes Kendall’s fifth different team since 2004. I’m not so sure he’s going to have the same impact on this Royals staff that Pudge will on the Nats staff, but his veteran expertise (he did work with the Oakland pipeline for a while) could be a minor plus for the Royals. Still nothing to get excited about as the Royals will have trouble climbing out of the AL Central cellar.

The only other add this evening (so far) is Arizona inking Blaine Boyer. And there’s really not much to tell here. Boyer was added off waivers last June and will likely just eat up a bullpen slot and be a fresh arm 50 times next year.

The future of Dec. 10 transactions

Baltimore sends P Ben Snyder to the Rangers as the final piece of the Kevin Millwood deal. – there isn’t much they could have sent the Rangers that would have made this a bad deal. Millwood may not be the savior for this team, but they could have found a much worse role model for the young staff. and the Rangers get a prospect by dumping a salary that enabled them to sign Harden. This is a true win-win for both teams.

Boston gets P Boof Bonser from the Twins. – The Sox like to try and rework pitchers with problems. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Bonser’s never been a high ceiling guy, so the cost of a TBD player won’t be high.

Pedro Feliz signs with Houston. – We knew he was done in Philly after the Polanco signing, and this signals the end of Tejada in Houston, which again we pretty well knew already. I don’t think this is a “good” move for the Stros, but they could have done worse by not doing anything.

Royals release Mike Jacobs. – Why the Hell did they trade for him in the first place????

Pirates sign Bobby Crosby. – Certainly a step down from Jack WIlson and Freddy Sanchez, but the always cost-conscious Pirates have to have some kind of veteran presence to trade away midseason.

Rangers sign Rich Harden. – Rich Harden is now working for Nolan Ryan’s team…. If Harden stays healthy, I give you your AL West Champions in 2010 (so far).

The two Rule 5 picks that got traded immediately by the Nats and Phils. – I don’t understand how this is possible. I understand this “draft” is different from the amateur one in June, but seriously how can they allow it in one and not in the other????

Raffy to the Rays

Tampa added Rafael Soriano to their depleted bullpen after acquiring the former Braves’ closer in a trade this week.

This deal/signing won’t get the Rays any closer to the World Series in 2010.

What it does do, is gives the Rays a lynchpin for their bullpen. Instead of hanging on two aging, injury prone veterans for the most important inning of a game, they now have a 30 year old who held is own as the (most of 2009) closer for the Braves.

Of course, pitching for the Braves against the NL LEast isn’t quite the same as having to face the continuously reloaded Yankees and Red Sox 18-19 times each season, but it’s still an upgrade.

The cost for the Rays was the best part here. Aside from signing Soriano to a 1 year contract (he was arb-eligible), all it cost was an ineffective, mop up guy named Jesse Chavez. Chavez, as you may (or may not) know, was the player the Rays got back from Pittsburgh when Iwamura was sent packing in November.

Chavez held a 4+ ERA for the Pirates, not bad for a team with little to no future for the last 20 years, and will likely hold a similar position for the Braves.

In essence then, this trade really becomes (for the Rays anyway) Iwamura for Soriano. I do believe it helps the Rays pick up a few more wins, but again it’s not enough to launch into the 2010 World Series.

On the Braves side, it made complete sense. The Braves underestimated their hand and guessed totally wrong on Soriano’s intent for arbitration. So after signing Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, Soriano became expendable. Either that or they could have flipped Wagner or Saito.

What I see is the Braves potentially running into the EXACT same problems the Rays had last year because of this deal. Instead of having a 30 year old who’s done the job and did it pretty well, Atlanta is opting for 2 guys on the wrong side of 30 as the end of the night guys.

If Wagner is healthy and throws like he did for the Red Sox, the Braves survive and stay in the penant race, if Wagner breaks down anytime before June, Braves fans can start looking ahead to 2011.

Putz joins the Southside

A precurser to this piece is that I do intend to try and catch up on most of the prior signings and trades, but will begin with today’s big additions and steadily work backword (even if it’s brief wrap ups)

So the White Sox decided a year of JJ Putz looks to be a good addition to their bullpen for 2010.

I agree. Putz may not be the closer he was in 06-07 for Seattle, but lining him up with Bobby Jenks to close out games could be very dangerous for the rest of the AL Central.

The big question of course is how does Putz bounce back from injury this year. But is that really the best question?

I contend that moreso, Putz’s desire to close games and coming in as a setup guy for Jenks could again hinder his performance, not to mention working for the craziest manager in baseball, Ozzie Guillen.

Putz’s best bet here is to stay grounded. Rumblings about Jenks future as a closer grew from a whisper last season, and another ERA uptick could open the door for Putz to regain his old role.

Looking at it objectively, I still believe the 8th should be Putz and 9th Jenks, as I believe Jenks has better stuff and Jenks isn’t coming off an injury riddled season as Putz is.

I don’t believe this move puts the Sox back into the playoffs, but the added depth is certainly a plus in their win column for 2010.

Bet You Didn’t Know! – Putz’s was originally drafted by the White Sox in the 3rd Round 1995, but chose not to sign, eventually dropping to the 6th round for Seattle in 1999. (after not signing with the Twins in ’98, 17th rd.)

I’m back

So a lot happened to me since I abruptly quit blogging last spring.

My wife and I had a baby, Emylee Claire, who was born Aug. 3, and now shares a birthday with her older sister, Alysse McKenna. It was a rough couple of months, even though everybody was healthy, finding the right formula was a battle all in its own.

Her older sister Alysse began kindergarten, and my wife and I have spent the past few months working on our house which is now much to small to support our family.

My music blog, Sonic Dissonance, is doing well. It’s nothing more than an easy hobby, but it’s part of what’s keeping me sane.

I intend to restart and continue blogging about baseball, but with a slightly different premise.

The blog is going to be renamed “Here’s What Happens Next” and will essentially be my take on the transactions of the day in and around baseball. The first of which will be posted shortly.

Early frustration with WBC

It was nice to see a real baseball game this morning, even if it was the WBC and by the time I woke up it was the bottom of the eighth.

Then, in the few minutes I could watch, something really iritated me about the uniforms.

mcds.jpgCorrect me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure I saw some golden arches on the back of the helmets. I’m not going to sit here and diss McDonalds, but I’m really not interested in seeing any logo on the back (or side) of the baseball helmets.

I get why baseball and everyone involved would take the opportunity to add more advertising (it wasn’t that long ago that ads weren’t allowed on walls), but I’m just not so sure it’s necessary.

Obviously, I’m not seeing the $$$$ signs that Bud Selig or any other baseball authorities see when they sign-off on something like this, but isn’t there a better way to add advertising than putting it on someone’s noggin?

ads.jpgI mean how much longer before we start seeing the Omaha Steaks Kansas City Royals or the Google Inc. Florida Marlins. Sadly, this trend began with the introduction of the college football bowl games, taking on sponsor names in the recent past, and unless we as the public put an end to it, the advertisers will win.

I’ve worked for a newspaper and we chose not to work with a specific advertiser due to his expectations of being able to control the content of the newspaper. When we ran an article about a competitor (who also advertised with us), he raised holy hell, pumping his fists and demanding more publicity.

I’m not suggesting this will happen to baseball (or any other sport), but the question has to be raised . . . who’s making the decisions to add this type of advertising to the game and is it really necessary?


Sorry about the lack of posts recently, my music blog has sort of taken off and is getting much of my attention. The change in my available time for blogging will force me to limit my MLB 2009 preview and thus I will post a my final Preview post which will include brief summaries of the final 14 teams sometime this weekend, followed by my postseason predictions.


On another note, just found a new band called Gliss. If you like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, you’ll probably enjoy Gliss.


Baseball break, let’s talk about a kitty

I just can’t help talking about this story. I first heard it on the local news radio this afternoon.

A guy in Lincoln, Neb. was arrested today? and charged with marijuana possession and animal cruelty. He’d been wanted for drug possession already, and the police dept. finally closed in on him.

only when they found him in his house, he was smoking out of a homemade bong. Inside the bong…. a 6 month old kitten. The bong was apparently a shoebox turned into pot bong. he said he thought the kitty needed to relax.

just sick.

Look, I think we all can agree everybody’s done stupid things in the past. I certainly have my fair share, but putting a cat into a weed bong and forcing the cat to breathe 100% pot air while you get high. That’s flat out sick.

Anyway, here’s the link: