Record of the Day
Youngest player to appear in a 2011 game (correction): Mike Trout, born 8/7/1991.
In a previous blog, I said that Julio Teheran (born 1/27/1991) was the youngest player to appear in a 2011 game. Actually, the youngest was Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, who was born more than six months later. Trout, MLB.com's No. 1 prospect heading into 2011, debuted on July 8 at just 19 years, 11 months, and one day old. Though he was 0-3 against the Mariners, the New Jersey native would pick up his first hit the next day and his first home run by July 24. Drafted at just 17 and bursting to the majors in just two years, Trout has a very bright future.
Free Agent Signings
Red Sox agreed to terms with Vicente Padilla (0-0, 4.15 ERA, .226 BAA, 3 saves, 2012 age: 34) on a minor league deal.
A's agreed to terms with Bartolo Colon (8-10, 4.00 ERA, .267 BAA, 2012 age: 39) on a one-year, $2 million deal
Royals signed Kevin Kouzmanoff (7 HR, 33 RBI, .235 AVG, 2 SB, 2012 age: 30-31) to a minor league deal.
Twins agreed to terms with Joel Zumaya (missed 2011 season, 3.05 career ERA, 171 games, 2012 age: 27) on a one-year, $800,000 deal (plus up to $900,000 in incentives).
Indians signed Chin-Lung Hu (0 HR, 1 RBI, .050 AVG, 1 SB, 2012 age: 28) to a minor league deal.
From the ups and downs that Padilla has seen over his 13-year career, one might be surprised to know he is only 34 years old. A former All Star with the Phillies and just a couple of years removed from a 12-win season, Padilla could be a nice candidate for a bounce-back season. With Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey and Clay Buchholz already slotted in the first four of the rotation, Padilla, Carlos Silva and Rich Hill are ready to battle it out for the fifth spot. Coupled with Silva's signing, the pair look like the Yankees' two signings last offseason of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. Padillas best days came with the Phillies, with whom he was converted to a starter for the 2002 season. That year, without any previous starting experience at the major league level, he was 14-11 with a 3.28 ERA in 32 starts. Famed for his use of the rare eephus pitch, he would repeat his success in 2003 by going 14-12 with a 3.62 ERA in 32 starts, but after missing parts of 2004 to injury, Padilla would never be the same pitcher. He made 20 starts in 2004, but in 27 starts in 2005, Padilla was just 9-12 with a 4.71 ERA. Traded to the Rangers in 2006, the big righty bounced back with a 15-10 record and 4.50 ERA in the Texas heat. After a rough 2007, he bounced back again with a solid 2008 in which he was 14-8 with a 4.74 ERA in 29 starts. He split 2009 between the Rangers and Dodgers, going 12-6 with a 4.46 ERA in 26 games (25 starts), including a 3.20 ERA in eight games (seven starts) after his trade. He has struggled to stay healthy these past two years, totaling a 6-5 record and a 4.08 ERA in 25 games (16 starts). Over his 13-year career, the northeast Nicaragua native is 104-90 with a 4.31 ERA in 330 games (237 starts).
Rockies traded Seth Smith (15 HR, 59 RBI, .284 AVG, 10 SB, 2012 age: 29) to the A's for Guillermo Moscoso (8-10, 3.38 ERA, .212 BAA, 2012 age: 28) and Josh Outman (3-5, 3.70 ERA, .277 BAA, 2012 age: 27).
This is controversial trade to me. Seth Smith is very good, but Guillermo Moscoso had a breakout year last year, though he may not be able to repeat it. Outman is also a high upside reliever. He did become expendable after Colorado signed Michael Cuddyer and traded for Tyler Colvin. On the Oakland side, Smith brings a much needed young bat to the A's, however. The Mississippi native was 5-8 (.625 AVG) in his debut season before striking out to end the World Series against the Red Sox in 2007, then made strides in 2008 by playing in 67 games, hitting four home runs and batting .259. His career took off in 2009 as he played his first full season, hitting 15 home runs and batting .293 with four stolen bases in 133 games. Though he set a career high with 17 home runs in 2010, his average dropped to .246 in his 133 games and he knew he had to prove himself in 2011 if he wanted a starting role. He did. In 147 games, he hit 15 home runs and batted .284 with 10 stolen bases, providing great depth for Colorado. Over his five-year career, he hit 51 home runs and batted .275 with 17 stolen bases in 487 games. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts from the ultimate hitters' park that is Coors Field to the pitchers' park that is the Oakland Coliseum.
The Rockies acquired two quality arms in return for Smith. Moscoso had a huge breakout year last year after being traded from the Rangers, going 8-10 with a 3.38 ERA and .212 BAA in a year nobody expected. In fact, Moscoso was not even guaranteed a spot on the major league roster, but bursted out as one of Oakland's most effective starters. It will be interesting to see if he can repeat his success from 2011. The A's also acquired Josh Outman, a lefty who has struggled with injuries in his career. He posted a 3.48 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) in 2009, but had to undergo Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2010. He made a comeback in 2011, posting a 3.70 ERA in 13 games (9 starts). Over his three-year career, Outman was 8-8 with a 3.75 ERA and .258 BAA in 33 games (25 starts). If he can stay healthy in 2012, he could be a real asset to the Rockies.
Nationals agreed to terms with Gio Gonzalez on a five-year, $42 million extension to avoid arbitration. The extension includes options for 2017 and 2018.
Teams followed in this update: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves
If your team is not included, please leave a comment.
HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases. ERA: earned run average. BAA: batting average against. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage