- Brian Cashman pulls another deal out of nowhere in getting Ivan Rodriguez:
Even with the way he's pitched since replacing Joba Chamberlain as the eighth inning man, Farnsworth has always been a pitcher who is going to give up the big homer in a big game; it's not a matter of if, but of when; to get rid of him now when the Yankees have viable replacements for him----Damaso Marte pitches well enough to righties that he can be used as a set-up man; Jose Veras deserves a chance; and Chamberlain could conceivably be moved back into the role for the playoffs----and to get a veteran catcher was a smart move and they didn't even have to dip into the system to get it done.
Rodriguez's power has "mysteriously" deserted him in recent years (although I don't think, given all the factors of his vastly diminished size and power and the timing of the decline, that it's all that much of a mystery), but he's still hitting .295; has extensive post-season success and experience; is a well-liked leader in the clubhouse; plays good defense and calls a good game for his pitchers. He's a free agent at the end of the year and I wouldn't discount the possibility of the Yankees bringing him back to split time with Jorge Posada at catcher and first base; no one knows what Posada's situation is going to be when he gets back and having a backup who can provide both offense and defense isn't a bad idea.
The Tigers and Braves are two of Farnsworth's former employers who liked him enough to want to bring him back and I don't think that this is a short-term idea for the Tigers either; my guess is that they'll try and keep Farnsworth. Their bullpen is in tatters; Todd Jones is unreliable; Joel Zumaya is always one false step from another DL stint and is a prime candidate for a fast flameout. Farnsworth will at least add another body----biceps and all----out there to get a few outs. They've been using Brandon Inge behind the plate and must feel confident enough to put him back there regularly in order to get his, Gary Sheffield's and Marcus Thames's bats into the lineup every day. The Tigers are only one hot streak away from jumping into first place in the AL Central, so this made sense on all levels for both teams.
- Manny Ramirez headed for Florida?
- And still another reason why J.P. Ricciardi should be fired:
Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen plans to skip some games and cut back on his batting practice while undergoing an "extensive" rehab program for his surgically repaired left shoulder. "I've been having some shoulder trouble, some problems with it," Rolen said. "Not strength, not flexibility, not surgery. Nothing like that. Mechanically it's not functioning right. The therapist looked at it, the doctor looked at it. I talked to [manager Cito Gaston and general manager J.P. Ricciardi] and we're going to try to get some extra days off. I'll keep playing, keep going out there and doing what I can do, back off in the cage a little bit."
Rolen's an admirable guy; he's stubborn, proud and plays hard whenever he can get out on the field; but that's the problem----he's never able to get out on the field and his production is at a point where he shouldn't even be a starter anymore whether he's hurt or not. In looking at the numbers of the guy the Blue Jays traded to the Cardinals to get him, Troy Glaus, and there's no comparison on the field:
Rolen: Games-82; At Bats-295; Runs-36; Hits-75; Doubles-21; Triples-2; Home Runs: 6; RBI-31; Walks-35; Strikeouts-52; Average-.254; OBP-.349; Slugging-.400; OPS+-101.
Glaus: Games-107; At Bats-384; Runs-51; Hits-105; Doubles-27; Triples-1; Home Runs-18; RBI-71; Walks-60; Strikeouts-72; Batting Average-.273; OBP-.374; Slugging-.490; OPS+-127.
I understand that Rolen's been hurt, but that's part of the reason that the Blue Jays should've steered clear of him. The move was a huge mistake before even getting to the contract status of the players. Rolen has two more years on his deal at $11.8 million per year; Glaus has an $11.25 million player option for next year that was exercised as part of the trade from Toronto to St. Louis. This is yet a third example of the Blue Jays and J.P. Ricciardi putting an absurd contract option out of the hands of upper management and into the hands of the player. (The other two were Frank Thomas and A.J. Burnett.)
If Glaus had stayed in Toronto and had the year he's having for the Cardinals, he would've declined the option and gone into free agency, but given what they've gotten from Rolen, I'm sure the Blue Jays would take that deal right now. Worst case scenario, they could've kept Glaus and saved the money they'll be paying Rolen over the next two years; and Rolen's going to be 34; does anyone think that he's going to have a career renaissance at this point? That he's going to be healthy? And I think we're all beginning to realize that the "rest and rehab" program for injured players rarely, if ever, works. Jorge Posada is the latest example of a player who took that route and wound up wasting three months trying to play with an injury that needed surgery and delayed his return time because he tried to avoid what needed to be done. Rolen's career is on the decline due to injury, but the Blue Jays are going to be paying him for two more years at big money because they made a bad judgment call and took on another bad contract, which is turning into a hallmark of Ricciardi's tenure as GM.
Because of these contracts, they're going to lose Burnett after the season, but can't trade him because of the contract. They cut Frank Thomas because of the contract. And they're stuck with Rolen because of the contract. I'm still waiting for an answer as to how Ricciardi's still there, but no one's responding because they can't come up with one---even one that's total crud.