Some random news and notes.
3B Brandon Laird is a 26 year old third baseman from the Astros organization. He has hit .197/.255/.370 in 138 career MLB plate appearances. He has shown some good pop but not much plate discipline in the minors. He'll likely be Omaha's staring third baseman. The right-hander is the younger brother of Braves catcher Gerald Laird.
RHP P.J. Walters is a 28 year old starting pitcher from the Twins organization. Originally from the Cardinals organization, the Cards traded him to the Blue Jays in the Colby Rasmus/Edwin Jackson deal, but he was let go and put in the Twins rotation the last two years where he was pretty crummy. In 40 MLB games, he has thrown 152 innings, striking out 104, walking 62 with 29 home runs allowed and a 6.28 ERA.
RHP Wilking Rodriguez is the most intriguing minor league free agent signed. The 23 year old Venezuelan hails from the Rays organization. He has been plagued with shoulder injuries, causing him to pitch just 23 games over the last three seasons combined. When healthy, he can throw in the mid-90s, and has struck out over 8 hitters per nine innings with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3-to-1. Steamer seems to like him a lot, so if he's healthy, this could prove to be a steal.
George Kottaras, our three-true-outcomes stud, has been traded to the Cubs for cash. Because spending a million bucks on a backup catcher is a luxury we cannot afford, but we can spend $5 million on a low-leverage relief pitcher.
Twins beat writer Mike Berardino thinks Wade Davis might be an attractive trade target for those dastardly Twins. I know some Rays fans he needs to talk to.
Peter Gammons thinks Dayton Moore is building a bridge to success.
It’s not hard to imagine the Royals having one of those years in 2014 when they send three, four or even five players to the All-star game, and someone like Ventura or Zimmer bursts down the aisle and with Shields and the other veteran starters and bullpen be the Indians of 2014. That requires depth, hence Vargas, hence a few off-season additions, and it requires the maturation process to be fast-forwarded.
Did somebody say process?
Former Royal Mike MacFarlane is being inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Always was a big fan of Mac's.