The Boston Red Sox recently offered former San Diego Padres General Manager Kevin Towers a position in their front office. Towers for the past couple of weeks has been taking time off to clear his mind before making a final decision. He has been involved with the Padres organization as GM since 1995.
San Diego since letting go of Towers are close to hiring former Red Sox assistant GM Jed Hoyer. Hoyer, although continuing to work under Theo Epstein has interviewed and been considered for higher positions in the past. Other Padres candidates include LA Dodgers assistant GM Kim Ng.
The front office adjustments for the Sox is only step one in regards to the long offseason ahead. The latest news around Fenway is that Tim Wakefield can now work towards a full recovery after his recent back surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital Wednesday. The 43-year old knuckleballer is hoping to return to the Red Sox for one more season.
The franchise holds a $4 million option on Wakefield that is required to be exercised within five days after the World Series concludes. Theo is looking to negotiate with Wakefield barring any additional health problems. “Wake is someone that is in our plans, and we hope he makes starts for us next year and is a member of the rotation,” said Epstein. “We haven’t sat down and finalized anything. Obviously, we want to see how the surgery goes, and then both sides will sit down and talk.”
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The Los Angeles Dodgers have just completed some last minute roster adjustments, adding Chicago White Sox power hitter Jim Thome along with Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Jon Garland. The White Sox in return will receive Minor League infielder Justin Fuller. Arizona has agreed to claim a player to be named, who is speculated to be Tony Abreu according to Dodgers players.
Thome will join the Dodgers with 564 total home runs, and General Manager Ned Colletti believes he can add the necessary leadership for their upcoming pennant race. “He’s a great influence in the clubhouse, one of the true good guys in the game,” Colletti said. “He’s a tremendous leader. He called me to make sure we knew first base was not an option for him, but he’d help in any way he could. For a player to get on the phone just lets you know what kind of guy he is and I appreciate that.”
Dodgers head coach Joe Torre is expected to put the ball in Garland’s hands right away. The right-hander is essentially their answer to completing a solid 5-man rotation. LA is currently in a series against Arizona, which made it much easier for Garland’s travels. “That might be the strangest part about it. Finding out in the sixth or seventh inning, packing up and showering up, walking right across, it’s a little weird,” said Garland. “For me, born and raised in L.A., the chance to come back and play for the Dodgers, be right in the thick of a pennant race, it’s exciting.”
The Dodgers have three more games against the D-Backs before hosting the San Diego Padres for the weekend starting Friday, September 4th.
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The final day before the trading deadline was an eventful one. Though no top-level players changed hands, a good deal of players will be donning new uniforms the next time they take the field. The Los Angeles Dodgers traded Josh Bell and Steve Johnson for Baltimore closer George Sherrill. The Pirates traded John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny to the Cubs for Kevin Hart, Josh Harrison, and Jose Ascanio. The Royals only needed to send cash considerations to the Tigers to obtain Josh Anderson.
Deals to look out for tomorrow: Roy Halladay talks are “dead” according to J.P. Ricciardi, though the team is open to discussing deals tomorrow. The Rangers, Angels, and Red Sox are still in the hunt. Padres closer Heath Bell may be on the move as well. The Marlins are reportedly interested, but are unwilling to part with the players San Diego wants. Bell’s teammate Adrian Gonzalez is also said to be the subject of heated talks between the Padres and Sox, but no deal is iminent.
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The San Diego Padres have sent shortstop Khalil Greene to the St Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals have been in the market for Ceasar Izturis’ replacement, and will be sending two pitching prospects to the Padres in return. This move may signal San Diego’s desire to lower their payroll and try to re-sign ace Jake Peavy.
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After making it through the top of the 3rd inning, the rains came and washed out the Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals in their season opener. The defending NL Champions were trailing 5-1 at the time the game was called but it will all be erased and replayed at a later date.
The Arizona Diamondbacks still have a bitter taste in their mouth after being swept last October in the NLCS by the Colorado Rockies. Taking the field for the first time since that playoff series, the defending NL West Champions looked very solid in a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Brandon Webb picked up right where the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner left off pitching 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits in route to his first victory of the year. The offensive attack was led by three solo bombs hit by Chris Young and Eric Byrnes in the 3rd inning and the other hit by Jeff Salazar in a PH at bat in the 7th that gave the D-Backs some breathing room with a 2 run cushion. Brandon Lyon recorded the save pitching a perfect 9th inning.
It was a pitchers duel for 8 innings in Chicago at Wrigley Field between the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers before both teams came to life for 3 run 9th inning performances, but it was the Brewers who would prevail with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings. Corey Hart lifted the Brewers with a 2 RBI double in the ninth that put them ahead 3-0. Closer Eric Gagne came in and suffered his first blown save of the season (surprise, surprise) by allowing a three-run home run to Cubs RF Kosuke Fukudome, the first of his major league career, which knotted the game at 3-3. In the 10th inning, Tony Gwynn Jr. hit a sac-fly that plated Craig Counsell for the game winning run for the Brewers. David Riske pitched a perfect 10th frame and recorded the save.
With 5 runs on 5 hits in the top of the 9th inning, the Washington Nationals turned a close game into a statement win in their 11-6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday at Citizens Bank Park. Nick Johnson’s RBI double opened the flood gates for National bats, and the hits just kept on coming as the team chased out Phillies closer Tom Gordon after allowing 5 earned runs on 4 hits and only recording 1 out. Austin Kearns and Lastings Milledge each produced 2 hits and 2 RBI’s for the Nationals in the win. The Phillies were led by SS Jimmy Rollins who went 2-4 on the game with a pair of RBI’s and a HR.
Behind the arm of Johan Santana, the New York Mets captured their first victory of the 2008 season over the Florida Marlins with a 7-2 win. Santana struck out 8 and allowed only 3 hits over 7 innings. The one mistake he made came in the 4th inning when he allowed a two-run homer to Josh Willingham. After the HR, Santana would only allow two runners to reach base. The Mets scored 6 of their 7 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning, led by a bases clearing double by 3B David Wright. Wright went 2-4 with 3 RBI’s for the game. New York’s bullpen worked a scoreless 8th and 9th to preserve the win for Santana, Mark Hendrickson suffered the loss for Florida.
Brad Penny pitched 6 and 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, and the Los Angeles Dodgers back it up with some early runs that would be hold up for a 5-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants. Barry Zito struggled for the Giants allowing 3 runs in the 1st inning and another in the 2nd. He last only 5 innings and was pulled after 87 pitches and allowing 8 hits. The Dodgers runs in the 1st came on a Matt Kemp RBI single, followed by a Jeff Kent two-run blast to deep left-center field. SS Rafael Furcal also added three hits in the winning effort.
The Atlanta Braves came up just short, twice, in a thrilling 12-11 twelve innings game that ended with the Pittsburgh Pirates on top. The Braves mustered up a 5 run 9th inning to tie the game at 9-9 and left the winning run on base. After a few scoreless innings, the Pirates were able to score three runs in the 12th on Xavier Nady three-run homer to dead center field. The Braves made things interesting scoring 2 in the bottom of the 12th on a Jeff Francoeur solo shot and an RBI single by Matt Diaz but stranded the tying run on base to suffer their second loss of the season. Tom Glavine pitched well for the Braves but took a no decision with 5 innings pitched, 7 hits and 1 earned run allowed. Pirates relief pitcher, Franquelis Osoria, pitched from the 10th inning on, and finished the game for the win.
Jake Peavy helped his own cause by going 1-1 at the plate with 2 RBI’s and then made those runs stand up by pitching 7 scoreless innings in San Diego’s 4-0 victory over the Houston Astros. 2B Tadahito Iguchi paced a balanced offensive attack for the Padres with 3 hits on the night. The Astros looked rusty at the plate only collecting 4 hits in the contest, 2 of them coming from newly acquired SS Miguel Tejada. Row Oswalt took the loss for Houston, scattering 11 hits and 3 strike outs over 5 and 1/3 innings worked.
While everyone’s eyes, ears, and …. imaginations have been focused on where Johan Santana would end up, the American League hot stove has been quietly churning. Here is a quick recap of some moves to date. (more)
When Mark Prior was drafted in 2001, many baseball analysts picked him to be the next great dominant pitcher. Unfortunately for Prior, he’s run into some of the worst luck any young phenom pitching prospect has had. On field collisions, constant freak tendon injuries, and a line-drive comebacker have severely limited his playing time. Since the beginning of the 2006 season, he has only appeared in 9 Major League games. The Padres took a gamble and signed Prior to a 1-year $1 million deal with as much as $4.5 million in performance bonuses. Prior is eyeing a mid-may return from his latest injury.
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