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Archive for January, 2011

Say Goodbye To: Yovani Gallardo

SP – Yovani Gallardo
Acquired: August 17th, 2010 (trade with The Pi Train)
Traded: January 29th, 2011 (to Shoeless Jews)
In a Protected Roster deadline deal, the Atomic RoadRunners traded Brewers SP Yovani Gallardo to the Shoeless Jews, in exchange for Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez. Gallardo, who was acquired at the 2010 trade deadline from The Pi Train, was looking at a certain release once protected rosters were submitted tomorrow. Now, he’s the highest-priced pitcher for the Shoeless Jews, who still have two cheaper starting third basemen on the roster, making Ramirez a luxury. In 2010, in the seven weeks on the AaRr roster, Gallardo added some nice counting stats (wins, strikeouts), but his ERA and WHIP were hurting the cause. I don’t think he can be trusted, and he’s very inconsistent. Good luck, Hersh.

AaRr Stats IP W ERA WHIP K S
Active – Weeks 20,21,24-26 27.1 4 7.53 1.756 30 0
Reserve – Weeks 22-23 19 1 4.74 1.316 16 0

Meet the New Guy: Aramis Ramirez

In a Protected Roster deadline deal, the Atomic RoadRunners acquired Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez from Shoeless Jews, in exchange for Brewers SP Yovani Gallardo. Noting the dearth of quality third-basemen for the upcoming 2011 season, in addition to the loss of Chase Headley back to the player pool, and the ineffectiveness of Casey Blake, the Roadrunners targeted Shoeless Jews in trade talks, as they had three starting third basemen (including the protected Placido Polanco and Chris Johnson).

From today’s Baseball Prospectus:

Aramis entered the 2010 season coming off a run of six strong seasons that combined for a line of .303/.368/.551. This slugging percentage tied him with Lance Berkman for seventh in this span among batters with 3,000 or more plate appearances, and he was also top-17 in all of batting average, HR, and RBI. Yet, the expectations of a collapse continued to be written.

In 2010, the doom-and-gloom crowd was right. Aramis whacked 25 homers and drove in 83 runs in just 124 games, but his batting average cratered to .241, following the sinking of his BABIP to .245. He was pressing at the plate and trying to adjust for injuries during the first half of the season–his late surge accounted for almost all his production, as he was slugging under .300 as of July 5. It’s not clear that he’ll rebound fully to his 2004-2009 levels, but finishing the season with a .294/.338/.583 batting line for the final 68 games he played–including 19 home runs in just 272 PA-–certainly suggests that it’s far too early to write him off. His BABIP is likely to rebound to career levels, and that should be enough to keep his batting average out of the negative impact territory. The injuries are supposedly behind him, but having missed time in two consecutive seasons, it would be wise to temper playing time expectations somewhat. When healthy, though, he’ll again provide very good power for a third baseman.

Reds and Volquez Agree on 2011 Contract

Reds and RHP Edinson Volquez avoided arbitration Sunday by agreeing to a one-year contract. It’s believed the deal is for $1.6 million. The Reds wanted to lock up Volquez with a long-term deal like they have with multiple other players this offseason, but the right-hander preferred to take a one-year deal and build up his value. Volquez, who is under team control through 2013, posted a 4.31 ERA and 65/37 K/BB ratio over 62 2/3 innings last year. (Rotoworld)

Pirates: Spring Training Won’t Impact Closer Decision

Pirates GM Neal Huntington said a decision on who the team’s closer will be will not be based on spring training results. “To put a closer role up for grabs in Spring Training is just not something we’re going to do,” Huntington said. “It’s impossible to evenly match Spring Training competition among pitchers.” Huntington added that the front office “hasn’t spent a ton of time” trying to identify whether Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek will be their ninth inning man. “In talking with [manager] Clint [Hurdle] and with [pitching coach] Ray [Searage], in a perfect role, we’d probably identify one,” Huntington said. “That’s still not 100 percent.” (Rotoworld / Pirates.mlb.com)

Astros, Pence, Can’t Agree – Will Head to Arbitration

The Astros will go to an arbitration hearing with Hunter Pence, as the two sides were unable to reach a deal by the club’s Tuesday deadline. Pence filed for $6.9 million and was offered $5.15 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last week. The Astros are no strangers to arbitration hearings, as they won a case against Wandy Rodriguez last winter and Jose Valverde and Mark Loretta in 2008. They might not be as fortunate with Pence. The 27-year-old outfielder earned $3.5 million last season while batting .282/.325/.461, setting career-highs with with 91 RBI, 93 runs scored and 18 stolen bases and slugging exactly 25 homers for the third straight year. (Rotoworld / MLB.com)

Volquez, Reds, Enter Long-Term Contract Discussions

Reds GM Walt Jocketty said Friday that he is in talks with Edinson Volquez about a multi-year contract extension. Volquez is the only unsigned arbitration-eligible player remaining on the Reds’ offseason plate. He requested a $2 million salary for 2011 earlier this week and Jocketty and Co. countered with a $1.3 million bid. Rather than go to an often tumultuous arbitration hearing and rather than settle for a one-year pact, the Reds are thinking about going all-in. “We’re looking at both — one-year and multi-year,” Jocketty said. “We’re hopeful that we’ll get something done.” Volquez fanned 65 batters in 62 2/3 innings last year. (Rotoworld / Cincinnati Enquirer)

Fielder Agrees to $15.5m Contract for 2011

Brewers and 1B Prince Fielder avoided arbitration Tuesday by agreeing to a one-year, $15.5 million contract. By all indications, this will be Fielder’s final season with the Brewers. And he’s being paid quite handsomely. The 26-year-old batted .261/.401/.471 with 32 homers and 83 RBI in 2010 and will aim to do even better in 2011 with free agency looming. A number of teams will try for him next winter. (Rotoworld / Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Volquez and Reds Exchange Arbitration Figures

Edinson Volquez requested $2 million and was offered $1.3 million from the Reds when arbitration figures were exchanged Tuesday. Volquez is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. He worked his way back from Tommy John surgery to post a 4.31 ERA and 65/37 K/BB ratio over 12 starts last season, spanning 62 2/3 innings. (Rotoworld)

Hanrahan and Pirates Avoid Arbitration

Pirates and RHP Joel Hanrahan avoided arbitration Tuesday by agreeing to a one-year, $1.4 million contract. Hanrahan, 29, posted a 3.62 ERA, 18 saves and 100 strikeouts over 69 2/3 innings last season and is expected to battle Evan Meek this spring for the right to the Pirates’ ninth inning gig in 2011. May the best man win. (Rotoworld / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Kuo and Dodgers File Arbitration Figures for 2011

Hong-Chih Kuo requested $3.075 million and was offered $2.55 million from the Dodgers when arbitration figures were exchange Tuesday. Kuo earned $975,000 in his first chance at arbitration last winter. We’re inclined to think he’ll come pretty close to $3 million after posting a 1.20 ERA, 73/18 K/BB ratio and 12 saves in 13 chances last season. (Rotoworld)