Royals fire up Central's hot stove; Wilder indicted

Blasts from the past abound as Kansas City makes the first big trade, and the feds make their move on former Sox scouts.

The Kansas City Royals made the first major move of the offseason in the AL Central, trading David DeJesus to Oakland for starter Vin Mazzaro and A-baller Justin Marks.
It’s an unremarkable trade at this moment. It seems like DeJesus could have brought back more, but it does clear about $5.5 million from the Kansas City payroll. Add it all up, and it’s a trade that Dayton Moore can’t really lose, even if Mazzaro and Marks are as ordinary as they appear.
The White Sox might not be happy about it, for two reasons.
First, Mazzaro is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA against the White Sox, including his first major-league win. Scott Podsednik singled, stole second, then was picked off, and Mazzaro threw six scoreless innings. Sox hitters looked equally lethargic against him in the other outing, save Ramon Castro’s two-run homer. Adding to the frustration is the fact that Mazzaro is 8-17 with a 4.89 ERA against the rest of baseball.
This move also comes on the same day they released Brian Bannister, and the Sox loved facing him. He turned their lineup into nine 2010 Paul Konerkos (.310/.373/.567).
Relatively poor play against the Royals (10 wins, eight losses) cost the Sox some games in the standings in 2010. Now they have a little more work cut out of them next year.
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Meanwhile, in the latest episode of “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Brian Anderson…”

The Royals also designated outfielder-turned-pitcher Brian Anderson for assignment. The two moves cleared roster space for DeJesus and catcher Jason Kendall to return from the 60-day disabled list. […] The Royals signed Anderson, 28, as a free-agent outfielder last December, but he asked to become a pitcher once he failed to make the opening day roster. He played both positions in college at Arizona.
Anderson spent much of the season in extended spring training before compiling a 2.08 ERA in 17 1/3 innings over 14 appearances for three minor-league clubs. He struck out 17 and walked five.

I’m sure Anderson is irrelevant to most of you, but his career fascinates me. He had a couple of chances to claim an everyday spot in the White Sox outfield. He couldn’t do it, and yet felt entitled enough to half-assedly demand a trade every winter. When Kenny Williams finally cut him loose and traded him to the Red Sox, he spent most of the remainder in Triple-A Pawtucket.
Then they cut him, and he ended up in Kansas City, the last refuge of much White Sox detritus. After failing to make the 25-man roster out of spring training, Anderson rashly switched to pitching, and spent most of the year out of real action.
Here’s the funny thing: Had Anderson sucked it up and played center field in Omaha, he probably would have spent at least half the season in the big leagues. The Royals’ three Opening Day outfielders — DeJesus, Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel — didn’t last through July. And Ankiel missed May, June and most of July with an injury.
It’s not one of the five tools, sadly, but Anderson has an otherworldly knack for putting himself in the wrong position. I imagine he’s got to stick to pitching now, and I wonder if one full season of pitching will be his last best chance. He can’t screw up many more.
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Speaking of blasts from the past, David Wilder and two former White Sox scouts were indicted for allegedly taking part in a skimming scandal that was uncovered in 2008. Its scars have yet to heal.

“The defendants were supposed to recruit players by paying amounts of money that matched their skills and were no greater than the amount needed to sign the players. Instead, the indictment alleges that the defendants secretly inflated those signing amounts to fund kickbacks for themselves,” said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
“These defendants allegedly defrauded their employer and enriched themselves by taking advantage of vulnerable ballplayers, who were anxious to pursue their dreams of stardom in the major leagues” said Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The indictment has provided a surprising number of thorough articles. The Trib’s Todd Lighty and Oscar Avila sum up the history of the case, Joe Cowley adds some details on the lives of Wilder’s last big signings, Juan Silverio and Rafael Reyes, and Mark Gonzalez looks at the road ahead for Jerry Krause as he attempts to rebuild their Latin American scouting program.
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Arizona Fall League:

And Baseball America released a comprehensive list of minor-league free agents. The body count for the White Sox system:

RHP: Greg Aquino (AAA), Ryan Braun (AAA), Charlis Burdie (Hi A), Mariano Chevalier (DSL), Clevelan Santeliz (AAA), Matt Zaleski (AAA)
LHP: Randy Williams (AAA)
C: Cole Armstrong (AA), Adam Ricks (AAA)
1B: Ian Gac (Lo A)
2B: Fernando Cortez (AAA)
SS: Luis Rodriguez (AAA)
OF: Buck Coats (AAA), Josh Kroeger (AAA), Miguel Negron (AA), Jeremy Reed (AAA), Salvador Sanchez (AA)

Nothing noteworthy in that bunch, except it will be weird to track a season in the White Sox farm system without Salvador Sanchez in it.
Other noteworthy minor-league free agents with White Sox ties:

  • Still around: D’Angelo Jimenez and Timo Perez.
  • Knuckleballers: Charlie Haeger (Charlie Zink is also available).
  • More fingers than you: Oneli Perez.
  • Half of Mike MacDougal: Tyler Lumsden.
  • Failed White Sox lefties: Andy Sisco and Horacio Ramirez.
  • Might have assaulted a guy: Lance Broadway.
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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fustercluck

Like the ‘shop job. Worried Boxcar Brian will get his head stuck under there. If pitching doesn’t work out, he can always try selling Thunder Muscle.
And those Wilder articles aren’t that thorough. There’s no mention of the bar he and I were trying to bankroll. It would have been called Squeeze Play.

knoxfire30

Couple interesting notes from MLBTR today,
1. Sox are checking in on Rafeal Soriano, I love this idea even though its usually not wise to pay big money for a closer. A pen with Soriano as closer and then Thornton and Sale from the left side and Santos and hopefully a resigned Putz from the right would be dominant.
2. “Rival exec’s expect the sox to listen to offers for gordon beckhman” This one makes no sense to me, sox didnt want to part with Beckham for Roy Halladay or Adrian Gonzalez so… why would sell now after his stock is a bit down and he has used up a year of service time. Plus he is one of 2 or 3 guys that is affordable on this team who helps balance out some of their bigger contract players. Doesnt make a lot of sense.

john

“Rival exec’s expect the sox” Clearly this is just some front office momo throwing Beckham’s name out there to throw the reporter a bone.
Why would they even entertain the thought of trading Beckham in an off-season where they could very lose AJ and Konerko, two guys who are considered faces of the franchise. Move along, nothing to see here.

tdogg

Why do you care if he listens?

ricksch

One thing about Anderson is that he never struck me as a very smart player. He always managed to work a 3-0 count into a pop-up. Any good pitcher could make him look bad.
DeJesus for next to nothing? Why couldn’t the Sox grab the guy? It would have solved RF and given us a nice hitter from the left side.

knoxfire30

I think a few teams are kicking themselves right now for not bidding more aggresively on DeJesus, he is a really nice player, and the cost wasnt too steep.

tdogg

If the price was a young mlb ready pitcher then the Sox really didn’t have much in that regards. Not like your giving them Sale for him.

brittburnsfan

Anyone see the comment about the Wilder situation in today’s installment of “Morning Phil”? Rogers really piles on Kenny today. Almost over the top!

john

Coming from the same guy who dubbed Juan Silverio as the next Miguel Cabrera when the Sox agreed to terms with him…Sounds like Phil is a little perturbed Wilder made him look dumber than usual.