Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Old Gang of Ours

Hey, we thought we'd take a look at the old Pirate gang, and how they're making out in their new digs:

* Jay Bay is having a great time in Beantown, patrolling the hallowed grounds in front of the Green Monster in the shadows of Ted Williams, Yaz, Jim Rice, and Manny. He'll make $7.5M this year and be a free agent in 2010.

* Xavier Nady isn't feeling the love so much in New York. He signed a $6.55M contract for 2009, and promptly found his name blowin' in the trade winds, albeit at a high cost. The X-Man is in his walk year, and as of now is either the Big Apple's starting RF or fourth man, depending on who you ask.

* Damaso Marte caught a fistful of Yankee dollars, wisely signing early before the depressed reliever's market became apparent. The pin-stripers refused his $6M option, and then turned around and inked the lefty to a 3-year, $12M deal. Marte had a rough start, as Joe Girardi tried to use him as a LOOGY, but flipped it around when he returned to his more comfortable set-up slot.

* Jason Michaels inked a deal with the Astros for 1-year, $750K, and will serve his familiar role as pinch-hitter and fourth OF for Houston.

* Ronny Paulino probably landed on his feet at Philly. He's certainly cheap enough - Paulino won't be arbitration-eligible until next season - and from reports, has the upper hand on the 36-year old Chris Coste, who Philadelphia would love to move, as Carlos Ruiz's caddy.

* Jose Bautista signed a $2.4M deal with Toronto to avoid his second arbitration year, and will have his hands full leaving camp with his utility job intact now that the Blue Jays added Kevin Millar to the roster. It'll come down to Millar's bat weighed against Bautista's versatility in the field.

* Kyle Bloom was picked up by the Tigers in the Rule 5 draft, and Jim Leyland liked what he's seen so far in camp, especially the 26-year old LHP's hook.

* Todd Redmond, RHP, was the bait the Pirates used to land Tyler Yates from the Braves last spring. He was steady at AA last year, and Atlanta put him on its 40-man roster and invited him to camp. He's penciled in for their AAA rotation in 2009.

* Lotta ex-Bucs signed non-guaranteed contracts: Raul Chavez, Bryan Bullington, and TJ Beam with Toronto, Luis Rivas with the Cubs, Chris Gomez with Baltimore, Chris Duffy with the Brew Crew, Frankie Osoria with KC, and John Van Benschoten with the White Sox.

* We'll finish off with second round draft pick Tanner Scheppers, who turned down a Buc offer and signed with the indy St. Paul Saints to try to reestablish himself after suffering a stress fracture.

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