Crown Gems: AL Central News and Other Notes


The non-tender news is coming in at a fairly good clip this evening.  To prevent duplication, I’m going to wait until tomorrow to publish some thoughts on who was let go.  Until then, however, there are a few AL Central items worth mentioning, and a few other random things as well.

  • One of my all time favorite (insert sarcastic chuckle here) players, Tony Pena Jr. (28) signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants on Friday.  The relief pitcher chapter of his baseball career will continue though I find it hard to believe it is going to go on much longer.  Then again, he has already done more as a pitcher than I thought possible.  In the Dominican Winter League he has a 5.14 ERA to go along with 13 H, 6 BB, and 12 SO in 14.0 innings.  Pena Jr. isn’t exactly dominating, but we should all keep in mind that he has been a reliever, and not a SS, for less than half a year.  I’m glad the TPJ experiment has moved on to a different organization, but in an odd sort of way I am pulling for him.
  • RHP-Eulogio De La Cruz (25), who I wrote about on Wednesday, is rumored to be on his way to Japan.  He is expected to sign with the Yakult Swallows.
  • In a bit of a surprise, the Tampa Bay Rays just resigned C-Dioner Navarro (25) to a 1-year $2.1 million contract.
  • MLB Trade Rumors provided a concise recap of all of the moves that occurred during the 2009 Winter Meetings this week.
  • Baseball America provided a complete recap of all the players selected in Thursday morning’s Rule 5 Draft.
  • The Chicago White Sox signed RHP-J.J. Putz (32) to a 1-year $3 million contract.  The deal allows him to earn another $3.25 million incentives, with $3 million of that based on the number of games he finishes this season.  Despite J.J.’s deal, RHP-Bobby Jenks (28) will reportedly remain the team’s closer in 2010.  Chicago also joined the “list” of teams to have interest in Yankees CF-Brett Gardner (26).  The other team on that list is, of course, the Royals.
  • With the 5th pick in the Rule-5 draft, the Cleveland Indians plucked RHP-Hector Ambriz (25) out of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.  I doubt the selection eased the concern surrounding Wednesday’s news that C-Carlos Santana (23) and RHP-Adam Miller (25) both underwent surgical procedures.  Heading into the 2009 season, Baseball America ranked Santana the Indians #1 prospect with Miller ranked at #4.  Yesterday, Cleveland was rumored to have interest in former Tigers OF/DH-Marcus Thames (32).
  • The Detroit Tigers designated RHP-Freddy Dolsi (26) for assignment on Thursday.  Wednesday, the team was reportedly looking to move Carlos Guillen (34) in a deal that would bring OF-Juan Pierre (32) back in return.  That same day, they signed RHP-Ruddy Lugo (29) to a minor league contract.
  • The Minnesota Twins, are willing to listen on offers for 2B-Alexi Casilla (25), according to a tweet by Star Tribune writer LaVelle E. Neal III.  This evening the team acquired RHP-Chris Province (24) from the Red Sox as the PTBNL in the Boof Bonser trade.
  • As far as the Kansas City Royals are concerned, they signed C-Jason Kendall (which I wrote about at length this afternoon).  I bring up our new catcher again because I wanted to drop a link to this.  Yesterday the team also signed LHP-Bruce Chen (32), RHP-Devon Lowery (26), LHP-Adam Bostick (26), RHP-Francisco Rosario (29), and 1B-Ernesto Mejia (24).  C-Vance Wilson (36) was also part of the press release even though it was originally reported that he signed at the end of November.
  • Looking forward to the 2010 Draft?  Baseball Beginnings published scouting videos on OF-Angelo Gumbs, Torrance (CA) HS, and INF-Kris Bryant, Bonanza (NV) HS.  They also published a scouting report on C-Stefan Sabol, Aliso Niguel (CA) HS.
  • Are you a Kansas City Chiefs fan who likes to write?  If so, Arrowhead Addict is looking for a new lead blogger to take the reigns of a truly excellent site.
  • I’ll close with this piece of news that the 2011 MLB Season Opener could be played in Rome.