Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Transaction Wire

  • Phillies take Matt Edwards in the 16th round of the MLB Amateur Draft. Dr. Dye celebrates with a comment about Townie's mom. Wait, what? No! Not that Matt Edwards! This Matt Edwards played first base for Notre Dame, and was First Team All Big East for the second time this year (he also was 1st team in '03), leading the conference in RBI. More ND draft picks to come, I'm sure.

  • Cavs plan to interview Kiki Vandeweghe for the GM position. Vandeweghe, currently the Nuggets' GM, would apparently be willing to accept working under Larry Brown. That is, of course, dependant on what the media thinks Brown's decision is as of this moment.

  • Indians annouce Ryan Ludwick cleared waivers and was assigned to AAA. Great news, considering Juan Gonzalez' comeback lasted 4 pitches before he re-injured his hamstring.

  • Indians fire Eddie Murray as hitting coach and promote organizational hitting instructor Derek Shelton to interim hitting coach. Well, the Tribe wasn't hitting, and someone had to take the blame. Eric Wedge decided that it had to be Murray. One interesting note on Murray: I've always been taught to use a lighter bat and choke up. Last year, in the midst of a good hitting season, Murray taught his pupils to move towards heavier bats for more pop. No word if he went with the lighter approach this year in the midst of the Indians' offensive woes.

  • Indians name Robby Thompson interim bench coach. Robby, who had been in the Indians' front office, is the second most famous Robert Thompson in Giants' history.

  • Royals trade Eli Marrero for a no-name A-baller. Marrero, a versatile C/1B/OF, was essentially released by the Royals shortly after Buddy Bell took over. A career .250 hitter, Eli hit .320 last year for Atlanta, but was hitting only .159 so far this year for Kansas City.

  • Mets sign Danny Graves. Graves' numbers have been a major point of criticism, but he does often get the job done. His release was a part of an apparent salary dump/rehaul by the Reds, and an inappropriate gesture after a blown save was the excuse to hand him his walking papers. He will join a bullpen that features a closer that one "expert" said has AA-quality talent.

  • Tigers trade Ugueth Urbina and Ramon Martinez for Placido Polanco. With a guy like Kyle Farnsworth and a closer like Troy Percival, the Tigers could afford to give up Urbina (especially when Urbina was disgruntled about not being a closer). The Phillies, who are 1.5 games back in their division compared to Detroit's 11, add depth to their bullpen with Urbina, and now have a great contingency plan for oft-injured closer Billy Wagner. Polanco is a solid infielder, and will most likely play every day second base, when not spelling Carlos Guillen or Brandon Inge at their respective positions. Now that Polanco's out of Philadelphia, Chase Utley will finally get a well-deserved chance to play second base every day. Many people looked at the Phillies and said that the best move would have been to release David Bell, move Polanco to third, and let Utley play second. But, I'll take a bullpen upgrade like Urbina any day, especially in a tight race like the NL East (where the last place Marlins are a mere 2.5 games back of the first place Nationals). Plus, you could always use Martinez, who looks like a poor (but not too poor) man's Polanco, to platoon with Bell at third, when not filling in for Utley or Jimmy Rollins. Overall, I'd say this is a really good trade for the Phillies. If the Tigers start to contend next year - and they are showing signs that they can - I'll say it's a good trade for them as well.

Finally, a story Cristin passed on to me about this year's graduation. Three of the most well-known people receiving honorary degrees this year were papal candidate Cardinal Arinze, underrated baseball legend Hank Aaron, and Maria from Sesame Street. The person who got the longest standing ovation from the students? You guessed it - Maria.