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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.
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.
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.
Arizona Fall League:
- Scottsdale 11, Peoria 1
- Eduardo Escobar went 1-for-4.
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.