Thursday, January 20, 2011

Questionable Roster Moves

Sometimes MLB General Managers do puzzling things (ie. sign Adam Eaton to a 3 year $24M deal or allow Milton Bradley to be in your team's clubhouse). Here are some examples of questionable roster moves made within the past week.

Detroit Tigers:Starting pitcher Brad Penny is added to the 40-man roster while starting pitcher Armando Galarraga is dropped a day after signing a $2.3M contract.

The 29 year old Galarraga is a league average starting pitcher with a lower base salary than Penny ($3M, plus another $3M in incentives) and has been more durable over the past few seasons. It is strange that the Tigers would pay Penny to do what they were already getting from Galarraga at a cheaper price. Penny has a bigger upside if healthy, but coming off a season in which he made only 9 starts, health is anything but guaranteed.

Furthermore, Galarraga's omission from the 40-man roster is also a mystery when you consider they opted to keep 30 year old no-hit outfielder Don Kelly aboard. Strange...

Oakland Athletics:
Relief pitcher Brian Fuentes was signed and placed on the 40-man roster and infielder Steve Tolleson was displaced. Fuentes obviously makes the A's bullpen better and one of the best in the Majors for that matter, but losing Tolleson isn't a good thing.

Tolleson, who made his MLB debut last season, batted .286/.748 in 25 games. His minor league numbers are even better- .284/.789, while improving over the past couple seasons. The 27 year old is versatile, playing 2nd, 3rd, SS, and OF. Seeing that Oakland is a bit lean in the infield makes this move even more questionable.

Then there's Conor Jackson. He of two awful seasons in a row, who just settled a $3.2M contract. He doesn't field well and doesn't hit well, so why exactly is he occupying a roster spot? Wouldn't Tolleson be a better fit for this club defensively, offensively, and cost-wise?

Washington Nationals:
Hello Jerry Hairston Jr, goodbye JD Martin. This is quite possibly the stupidest of all roster moves being discussed on here today. The Nationals seem to always be scrambling for starting pitching and Martin is just that. The 28 year old former 1st round pick has been good in the minors (63-33 record, 3.41 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) and passable in the Majors when given an opportunity (4.32 ERA in 24 starts). Yet, JD was taken off the 40-man roster in favor of players like Garrett Mock (a pitcher who hasn't had much major or minor league success) and outfielder Justin Maxwell.


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