Sunday, March 22, 2009
Available players, Teahen, Harang and more
• Some of the players being dangled because of roster space and economics: Geoff Jenkins, Phillies; Brian Giles, Padres; Gary Matthews Jr., Angels; Marcus Thames, Tigers; Nick Johnson, Nationals; Jason Repko, Dodgers; Jeff Baker, Rockies.
• Mark Teahen has made some progress in his second-base experiment, and the Royals have held on to him despite interest from several teams, including the Astros, Red Sox and Yankees.
• The Reds have let teams know that they will wait and see whether they need to move Aaron Harang during the season. Harang is scheduled to make $12.5 million next season and $12.75 million with a $2 million buyout for 2011. After going 34-23 with a 3.68 ERA from the start of the 2006 season until he made his four-inning relief stint on two days' rest on May 15, 2008, he went 4-11, 5.88. "Aaron's been OK this spring, because he battles so hard," one scout said. "But the life on the ball he runs in on left-handed batters isn't the same."
• Angels manager Mike Scioscia says Matthews "isn't comfortable" with his role as a fourth outfielder, but despite rumors that the Angels may try to work something out with the Yankees, the contract will be difficult to move.
• One reason for Billy Hall's expected resurgence is the laser surgery he had in the offseason. "It makes all the difference," Hall says. "I can see again." Hall believes the Brewers will be in on Jake Peavy, when and if he goes on the market.
• The way Milwaukee players describe the impact Willie Randolph has had on Rickie Weeks is that he has "quieted down Weeks in the field. He's much more calm."
• Brewers GM Doug Melvin points out that only four players (Adam Dunn, Jack Cust, Albert Pujols, Pat Burrell) walked more than 100 times last season, but that 90 players struck out more than 100 times, and of those 90, nine hit fewer than 10 homers (Carlos Gomez, B.J. Upton, Jack Hannahan, Akinori Iwamura, Fred Lewis, Michael Bourn, Adam Jones, Brian Roberts, Chase Headley). Of those who walked 100 times, only Pujols fanned fewer than 100 times. The game's best hitter had a 104 walks, 54 strikeouts and 81 extra-base hits.