Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter Meetings Day Three Part Three

Feel asleep soon after coming home from my Rockefeller excursion so here goes:

- Koji Uehara re-signs with the Baltimore Orioles
Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun report that the Orioles have come to terms with relief pitcher Koji Uehara on a 1-year deal with a vesting option for the 2012 season which is pending a physical, includes several escalation clauses that will kick in depending on how many games Uehara finishes. Originally a starter for the Orioles during 2010, Uehara came off the disabled list and eventually became the team's closer for the final month and a half, converting 13 of 15 save opportunities. In total Uehara compiled a 1-2 records with a 2.84 ERA in 43 games. He struck out 55 batters while walking only 5 and giving up 37 hits for a WHIP of 0.955.

According to Zrebiec and Connolly Uehara set a franchise record by not walking a batter in 32 consecutive appearances spanning 34 innings. He ended the season with a streak of 44 strikeouts since his last walk allowed. So keeping this quality pitcher in the Orioles bullpen for the 2010 season will be a plus for manager Buck Showalter.

- Click Here to access Koji Uehara's career statistics (including Japan) from

- San Diego Padres trade for shortstop Jason Bartlett
The reports that the San Diego Padres and the Tampa Bay Rays made a trade during the Winter Meetings. The Rays sent shortstop Jason Bartlett to the Padres in exchange for pitchers Adam Russell and lefty Cesar Ramos.

In Bartlett the Padres get a good shortstop who hit .254 with 4 HRs and 47 RBI. In 468 at-bats Bartlett had 119 hits (27 2B/3 3B/4 HR) while striking out 83 times and walking 45 walks with 11 stolen bases. Defensively, Bartlett made 11 errors in 1104 innings at shortstop for a fielding percentage of .977.

Tampa gets in Russell a reliever that went 0-0 with a 4.02 ERA in 12 appearances while Ramos went 0-1 with an 11.88 in 14 appearances.

While Bartlett fills a hole in the Padres' infield, I'm not sure if Russell and Ramos will fill the gaping hole in Tampa's bullpen created with the loss of Juaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano. I think the Padres got the better end of this deal.

- Click Here for Jason Bartlett's career statistics from Baseball
- Click Here for Adam Russell's career statistics from

- Click Here for Cesar Ramos' career statistics from

- The Milwaukee Brewers sign catcher Wil Nieves
Tom Haudricourt on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel announced on his twitter feed that the Milwaukee Brewers had signed catcher Wil Nieves to a contract. The terms were not disclosed as of yet.

In 2010 Nieves, formerly of the Washington Nationals, batted .203 with 3Hrs and 16 RBI. In 158 at-bats he had 32 hits (8 2B/0 3B/3 HR) with 29 strikeouts and 8 walks. On the defensive end, Nieves threw out 24% of base stealers (10 of 31).

Haudricourt says that the Nieves signing was done for the following reason:

it puts another guy in the mix to battle for the backup job behind young starter Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers still have last year's backup, George Kottaras, on their roster and not too long ago signed former backup Mike Rivera to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. The Brewers also added minor-leaguer Martin Maldonado to their 40-man roster over the winter.

It was also pointed out to me that Lucroy probably will catch at least 120 games, so the backup isn't going to play a tremendous amount. And I was also told that the report on Nieves is that pitchers like throwing to him, which is an important component.

We'll see if Nieves catches on after Spring Training or ends up wearing a different uniform during 2010.

- Click Here to access Wil Nieves' career statistics from Baseball

- Dioner Navarro signs with the Los Angeles Dodgers
According to Ken Gurnick of the Los Angeles Dodgers have signed catcher Dioner Navarro to a contract pending the result of a physical. Navarro previously played with the Dodgers in 2005-2006 before being traded to Tampa Bay where he was through 2010.

In 2010 Navarro batted .194 with 1HR and 7 RBI. In a limited 124 at-bats Navarro had 24 hits (5 2B/0 3B/1 HR) with 20 strikeouts and 12 walks. Defensively Navarro threw out 39% of base stealers (12 of 19). His playing time was greatly diminished in favor of John Jaso and Kelly Shoppach getting time behind the plate.

Gurnick says that Navarro will compete with A.J. Ellis as backup to starting catcher Rod Barajas who recently signed a $3.25 million dollar contract. For the Dodgers this means that former catcher Russell Martin probably moves on for the 2010 after coming off of a fractured hip.

- Click Here to access Dioner Navarro's career statistics from Baseball

It seems with the last few days that the Tampa Bay Rays are back at the starting block in terms of putting their team together. Since the end of Game 5 of the ALDS, the Rays have lost Peña, Benoit and Navarro to free-agent signings, Bartlett in a trade and Soriano is still unsigned (and as I will report with my next post, the big name of Tampa's free agent's has reportedly signed elsewhere).


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