Leo: Winter Meetings clippings
Baseball’s Winter Meetings are officially under way in Dallas and there will be plenty of speculation about potential trades and free agent signings. The Cleveland Indians will be looking to upgrade the offense with a right-handed bat and add some pitching depth. There is also a need for a first baseman, if the opportunity should arise.
The Indians off-season moves, so far, have been highlighted by the re-signing of Grady Sizemore and the acquisition of Derek Lowe from Atlanta.
The Rule 5 Draft will take place on Thursday at 10:00am and the Tribe may look to steal a prospect there. They also run the risk of losing an unprotected player like Trevor Crowe, Chad Huffman, Tim Fedroff, Bryce Stowell, or Jared Goedert. Monday is the last day a team can outright a player before the Rule 5 Draft.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com has more on the Indians outlook heading into the meetings.
- The Indians added some catching depth with the signing of Matt Pagnozzi on Friday. Pagnozzi, 29, spent 2011 with the Rockies Triple-A club in Colorado Springs. He hit .275 (49-178) with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 3 HR and 29 RBI in 54 games. Pagnozzi was in the bigs from June 17-July 15, appearing in seven games and was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 14, appearing in five games with the Pirates.
He spent eight years in the Cardinals organization from 2003-10 after being selected in the 8th round of the 2003 draft. Pagnozzi made his Major League debut in 200 and in 2010 he hit .359 (14-39) with 2 2B, 1 HR & 10 RBI in 15 September games with the Cardinals. He is the nephew of NL All Star catcher Tom Pagnozzi.
Pagnozzi will be invited to major league along with Carlos Santana, Lou Marson, Luke Carlin, Michel Hernandez, and probably Chun Chen. Santana and Marson are set to comprise the major league duo, but the others will provide depth and battle for the Columbus catching spots.
- Mitch Talbot has signed a contract with the Samsung Lions of the Korean Professional Baseball League. The contract is reportedly worth $300,000 for one year. Talbot, 28, was 2-6 with a 6.64 ERA in 12 big league games in 2011. He was hampered by a lower back injury, but posted a 4-2 record and a 4.26 ERA with the Clippers. Talbot was excellent in the post-season, winning games in both playoff rounds, including a memorable a complete game performance in Game #2 of the Governors’ Cup Championship Series. The Clippers evened the series that night with a 4-1 win, scoring four times in bottom of the eighth.
- Tony Beasley has been named the new Syracuse manager, replacing Randy Knorr, who was hired as the National bench coach. Beasley was previously Washington’s Double-A Harrisburg skipper, guiding them to an Eastern League playoff appearance in 2011. He returned to the Nationals organization last year, his second stint, after serving as the Nats third base coach in 2006. Beasley has spent several years with Pittsburgh, including three seasons on the major league coaching staff.
There are now six new managers in the International League for 2012 as Syracuse joins Louisville, Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Norfolk, and Charlotte as clubs making a transition with a new skipper.
That’s all for now. Have a great week!