Around the Majors: Mets are close to signing Martinez

1) The Mets are reportedly very close to signing free agent P Pedro Martinez to a 4 year contract.

2) According to the Chicago Sun Times, the Braves, Nationals, Royals, Mets and maybe the Orioles spoke to the Cubs during the winter meetings about Sammy Sosa.

3) According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Braves are now the frontrunners to acquire Tim Hudson.

4) According to the Boston Globe, the Redsox are denying the rumors that they are talking about trading Manny Ramirez to the Mets. According to the Boston Herald, the teams spoke on Sunday about a Ramirez, Doug Mientkiewicz and cash for Cliff Floyd and prospects deal and, when there was a dispute how much cash was involved, “the deal went from quite possible to unlikely.”

5) The Whitesox traded LF Carlos Lee to the Brewers for CF Scott Podsednik, P Luis Vizcaino and a player to be named later.

After 17 RCAA/.843 OPS and 11 RCAA/.830 OPS seasons, Lee hit .525 SLG, .366 OBA, .891 OPS, 26 RCAA in 153 games. He has a .828 career OPS, compared to his league average of .773, and 46 RCAA in 880 games.

After a 18 RCAA/.822 OPS rookie season, Podsednik had a .364 SLG, .313 OBA, .677 OPS, -20 RCAA in 154 games. He has a .743 career OPS, compared to his league average of .775, and -4 RCAA in 327 games.

After 2.99 ERA/9 RSAA and 6.39 ERA/-14 RSAA seasons, Vizcaino had a 3.75 ERA/5 RSAA in 73 games. He has a 4.52 career ERA, compared to his league average of 4.32, and -7 RSAA in 73 games.

6) The Angels signed free agent P Esteban Yan to a 2 year, $2.25 million contract.

After 4.30 ERA/1 RSAA and 6.35 ERA/-14 RSAA seasons, Yan had a 3.83 ERA/6 RSAA in 69 games with the Tigers. He has a 5.17 career ERA, compared to his league average of 4.67, and -33 RSAA in 396 games.

7) The Giants signed free agent C Mike Matheny to a 3 year, $10.5 million contract.

After -12 RCAA/.630 OPS and -16 RCAA/.676 OPS seasons, Matheny had a .348 SLG, .292 OBA, .640 OPS, -23 RCAA in 122 games with the Cardinals. He has a .629 career OPS, compared to his league average of .778, and -206 RCAA in 1124 games.

Over the past half century, Matheny ranks 6th in worst career OBA vs. the league average (min: 3500 PA)–

OBA                             DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE   
1    Hal Lanier                -.069     .255     .324   
2    Doug Flynn                -.065     .266     .331   
3    Johnnie LeMaster          -.054     .277     .330   
4    John Bateman              -.053     .271     .324   
5    Aurelio Rodriguez         -.051     .275     .326   
6    Mike Matheny              -.050     .293     .343   
7    Gary DiSarcina            -.049     .292     .341   
8    John Flaherty             -.049     .293     .342   
9    Deivi Cruz                -.048     .293     .341   
10   Ozzie Guillen             -.047     .287     .335   

8) The Indians signed free agent INF Jose Hernandez to a 1 year, $1.8 million contract.

After 11 RCAA/.834 OPS and -37 RCAA/.634 OPS seasons, Hernandez hit .540 SLG, .370 OBA, .910 OPS, 13 RCAA in 95 games with the Dodgers. He has a .738 career OPS, compared to his league average of .773, and -110 RCAA in 1418 games.

9) The Braves traded P Alec Zumwalt to the Brewers as the player to be named later in the Dan Kolb trade.

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10) The Nationals signed free agents 1B Wil Cordero (1 year, $600,000) and OF Jeffrey Hammonds (minor league contract) and designated OF Ron Calloway for assignment.

After 1 RCAA/.772 OPS and -7 RCAA/.803 OPS seasons, Cordero had a .288 SLG, .250 OBA, .538 OPS, -5 RCAA in 27 games with the Marlins. He has a .763 career OPS, compared to his league average of .770, and -41 RCAA in 1218 games.

After -6 RCAA/.729 OPS and -1 RCAA/.753 OPS seasons, Hammonds had a .358 SLG, .336 OBA, .694 OPS, -3 RCAA in 40 games with the Giants. He has a .790 career OPS, compared to his league average of .778, and -12 RCAA in 944 games.

After starting his career with -31 RCAA/.656 OPS in 2003, Calloway had a .226 SLG, .211 OBA, .437 OPS, -10 RCAA in 46 games. He has a .612 career OPS, compared to his league average of .773, and -41 RCAA in 172 games.

11) The Devil Rays signed 1B Steve Cox, INF Luis Ordaz, OF Damon Hollins and Ps Jimmy Haynes, Joe Beimel and Gerardo Garcia to minor league contracts and invited them to spring training.

Cox had -10 RCAA/.757 OPS in 378 games with the 1999-2002 Devil Rays. Ordaz, who hasn’t played in the majors since 2002, has -46 RCAA/.524 OPS in 205 career games. Hollins has -1 RCAA/.649 OPS in 15 career games, including 1 RCAA/.818 OPS in 7 games with the 2004 Braves.

Haynes has a 5.37 ERA/-120 RSAA in 227 career games, including a 9.60 ERA/-9 RSAA in 4 starts (5 games) with the 2004 Reds. Beimel has a 5.24 ERA/-27 RSAA in 167 career games, including a 43.20 ERA/-7 RSAA in 3 games with the 2004 Twins.

12) The Diamondbacks signed C Kelly Stinnett to a minor league contract, designated P Shane Nance for assignment and released P Andrew Good.

After -2 RCAA/.710 OPS and -8 RCAA/.657 OPS seasons, Stinnett hit .458 SLG, .379 OBA, .836 OPS, 3 RCAA in 20 games with the Royals. He has a .709 career OPS, compared to his league average of .777, and -53 RCAA in 608 games.

Nance has a 5.02 ERA/-3 RSAA in 49 career games, including a 5.84 ERA/-2 RSAA in 19 games in 2004.

Good has a 5.30 ERA/-8 RSAA in 33 career games, including a 5.31 ERA/-4 RSAA in 17 games (2 starts) in 2004.

13) The Rule 5 draft was held yesterday–

Diamondbacks–P Angel Garcia, from the Twins (traded to the Devil Rays afterwards for cash)
Royals–P Andy Sisco, from the Cubs
Nationals–OF Tyrell Godwin, from the BlueJays
Brewers–P Marcos Carvajal, from the Dodgers (traded to the Rockies afterwards for 2 minor leaguers and cash)
Rockies–P Matt Merricks, from the Dodgers
Orioles–P Luke Hagerty, from the Cubs (traded to the Orioles afterwards for a player to be named later)
Phillies–OF Shane Victorino, from the Dodgers
A’s–P Tyler Johnson, from the Cardinals
Twins–P Ryan Rowland-Smith, from the Mariners
Dodgers–P D.J. Houlton, from the Astros
Redsox–OF Adam Stern, from the Braves
Nationals–1B-OF Tony Blanco, from the Reds

The players have to stay on their new team’s 25 man roster for the entire 2005 season or be offered back to the original team for $25,000.

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