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Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Knuckle Curve

Adrian Beltre Inks Deal with Red Sox

January 4, 2010 by Stephen Kersey  
Filed under News, Transactions

Many thought that the Boston Red Sox were done spending money in free agency. Think again. On Monday, the Red Sox signed third baseman Adrian Beltre, formerly of the Seattle Mariners. Beltre’s deal is worth at least $10 million.

In 2010, Beltre will make $9 million. For 2011, he has a player option for $5 million, however the Red Sox can buy him out for $1 million. Beltre is coming off of a $64 million deal over five years he signed after the 2004 season.

Due to injuries, Beltre played only 111 games last year and hit .265 with eight homers, 44 RBIs and 54 runs. During his career, the 30-year-old has consistently hit around 25 homers and knocked in about 90 runs.

Although Beltre has potential to hit much better than he did last season, the Red Sox mainly wanted him for his glove. Beltre is a Gold Glove caliber third baseman who has the potential of dramatically improving the team’s infield defense.

From here on out, the Red Sox will probably not spend much more money. That said, we thought the same after Boston signed John Lackey and Mike Cameron.

Adrian Beltre - Boston Red Sox (Image: Zuma Press)

Adrian Beltre - Boston Red Sox (Image: Zuma Press)

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Carlos Delgado Playing in Puerto Rico

January 3, 2010 by Stephen Kersey  
Filed under Injuries, News

Carlos Delgado Playing in Puerto Rico

The last we heard from Carlos Delgado, the first baseman was recovering from hip surgery. He has reached the next step in his recovery and is now playing in Puerto Rico in winter league action.
In his first game, which took place on Sunday night, Delgado was the DH and went 1-for-4. His lone hit was a single in the sixth inning. It was the 37-year-old’s first action against live pitching in more than nine months.
Delgado is currently a free agent and teams will undoubtedly be watching him play in Puerto Rico. Last season with the New York Mets, he hit …read more


Edwin Edcarnacion Had a Bad New Year’s

January 2, 2010 by Stephen Kersey  
Filed under News, Odds and Ends

Edwin Edcarnacion Had a Bad New Year’s

Edwin Encarnacion didn’t start out 2010 on the right foot. While celebrating the New Year’s in his native Dominican Republic, one of his brothers accidentally shot Encarnacion in the face with a rocket firecracker.
After flying to Miami to meet with burn experts, the facial injuries Encarnacion suffered were deemed minor. He won’t need surgery and should be okay in a couple weeks.
Last season, Encarnacion was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Toronto Blue Jays. After getting traded, the 26-year-old hit .240 with eight homers, 23 RBIs and 25 runs in 154 at-bats. Encarnacion spent the first five and …read more

Chicago Cubs Net Marlon Byrd

January 1, 2010 by Stephen Kersey  
Filed under News, Transactions

Chicago Cubs Net Marlon Byrd

The Chicago Cubs have been in the market for an outfielder throughout the winter. On Friday, they finally got their man. Marlon Byrd, who emerged with the Texas Rangers, has signed with the Cubs for $15 million over three seasons.
There were a lot of outfielders on the open market but the Cubs had eyed Byrd since the beginning of the offseason. A big reason why they wanted him was due to Rudy Jaramillo, the team’s new hitting coach. Jaramillo and Byrd worked together when both of the players were with the Rangers.
Last season, Byrd hit .283 with 20 homers, 89 …read more


Kelly Johnson Gets $2 Million from D’Backs

December 30, 2009 by Stephen Kersey  
Filed under News, Transactions

Kelly Johnson Gets $2 Million from D’Backs

The Arizona Diamondbacks needed a second baseman. On Wednesday, they filled that void by signing Kelly Johnson to a one-year deal worth $2 million. Johnson spent the first four seasons of his big league career with the Atlanta Braves.
After playing well in the 2007 and 2008 baseball seasons, Johnson slumped last season. Scouts attribute his poor play to a wrist injury. For the season, Johnson hit .224 with eight homers, 29 RBIs and 47 runs in 303 at-bats.
Considering he is only 27 years old and has a couple good seasons under his belt, the D’Backs could very well have gotten …read more

New York Mets Land Jason Bay

December 29, 2009 by Stephen Kersey  
Filed under News, Transactions

New York Mets Land Jason Bay

Going into the baseball offseason, Jason Bay was regarded as one of the top two or three available free agents. On Tuesday, the New York Mets were able to sign the left fielder to a contract that can be worth as much as $80 million over five seasons.
Although not much of a defensive player, Bay is a force at the plate. The native of Canada hit .267 with 36 homers, 119 RBIs and 103 runs last year for the Boston Red Sox. His 94 walks allowed him to post an impressive .384 on-base percentage.
The Mets needed another big bat to …read more


Mets Bolster Bullpen with Kelvim Escobar

December 27, 2009 by Stephen Kersey  
Filed under News, Transactions

Mets Bolster Bullpen with Kelvim Escobar

Kelvim Escobar has been signed by the New York Mets to add another experienced arm to the bullpen. Although his recent history suggests he’s a starting pitcher, Escobar will undoubtedly be moving to a reliever role due to health issues.
In 2007, Escobar had a great season — finishing with an 18-7 record and a 3.40 ERA for the Los Angeles Angels. But injuries forced Escobar to miss all but one game in 2008 and 2009. In his sole start last season, the native of Venezuela picked up the loss as he gave up two earned runs in five innings.
The move …read more

Nationals Sign Matt Capps as Closer

December 26, 2009 by Stephen Kersey  
Filed under News, Transactions

Nationals Sign Matt Capps as Closer

The Washington Nationals have made a number of notable moves this summer, however they were still missing a closer. That hole was filled this week when the Nationals signed Matt Capps to be the team’s closer. Capps is a 26-year-old who has 67 career saves to go along with a 3.61 ERA.
Last year, Capps had a season to forget. In 57 games, he had a 5.80 ERA and five blown saves in 32 opportunities. Considering that he had a 2.28 ERA in 2007 and a 3.02 ERA in 2008, his 2009 baseball had to be considered a massive disappointment.
The Nationals …read more


Fernando Rodney Signs with Angels

December 24, 2009 by Stephen Kersey  
Filed under News, Transactions

Fernando Rodney Signs with Angels

After having a very productive season as the closer for the Detroit Tigers, Fernando Rodney has signed with the Los Angeles Angels. The contract he received is worth approximately $11 million over two seasons.
While Brian Fuentes remains the closer for the Angels, don’t be surprised if he isn’t pushed by Rodney. Fuentes struggled in the second half of last season and a few people in the organization question is closing capabilities going forward.
On the other hand, Rodney was 37-for-38 last year in save opportunities with the Tigers. His ERA was 4.40, however many of the runs he gave up were …read more

Yankees Steal Javier Vazquez from Braves

December 22, 2009 by Stephen Kersey  
Filed under News, Transactions

Yankees Steal Javier Vazquez from Braves

The rich just got richer. Javier Vazquez, who was one of the best starting pitchers in baseball last season, was traded from the Atlanta Braves to the New York Yankees. In return, the Braves received an underwhelming threesome of players.
The most well-known of the players the Braves get is the painfully average Melky Cabrera. Atlanta also received Matt Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino. Vizcaino is probably the biggest piece of the deal for the Braves, but the 19-year-old is years away from being ready.
Last season, Vazquez was 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA in 32 starts. He had 238 strikeouts in 219.1 …read more

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