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Posted 12-29-2013 at 06:39 AM by JoeyMac

We've offered reliever Kameron Loe a one year contract totaling 950K. Loe had a rough season for Seattle in 2013 pitching 39.1 innings with a 6.18 ERA. We feel he can turn things around though. Greg Smith really likes his stuff and he boasts a 72% groundball rate. His asking price was just right for us and I figured the best bet would be to go after him early so we hope to hear back from him soon.

This move works toward our goal of fortifying the bullpen and now we need to work on acquiring a left hander. Greg Smith has compiled a list of Left handers who we have the payroll flexibility to sign:

Scott Downs- The 37 year old had a solid 2013 season pitching 50.2 innings with a 3-6 record 3 saves and a 3.55 ERA. Downs is asking for 1.27 mil. for one year which is just within our price range and he's had a solid career so we may have to move quick to sign him. Right now though Id like to let the market play out so well see what happens.

Hideki Okajima- Had a rough year for Oakland pitching 36.1 innings posting a 5.40 ERA which was startling considering his .252 BABIP. At 37 his fast ball has dipped to the 86-88 MPH range and is definitely nothing more than a left handed specialist.

Rafael Perez- The 31 year old pitched 54.1 innings for Minnesota in 2013 posting a 3.64 ERA with 59 K's. He's been consistent through out his career and handles left handed batters really well. Our main concern with Perez though is his 42% groundball rate but with his asking price at $1.02 mil. we may be able to deal with that.

Tony Sipp- Pitched 44.2 innings for Arizona in 2013 going 2-1 with a 4.01 ERA and striking out 65 batters. Sipp has great stuff but has problems with his control. He has the cheapest asking price of the four (934K) and well keep that in mind as we move forward.

News from around the league:

The Chicago Cubs have finalized a deal with the Colorado Rockies for the services of 28 year old 2B Chris Nelson. In exchange the Rockies will receive 20 year old minor league 3B Jeimar Candelario. The Cubs also received $1.3 mil. in cash in the deal. Nelson batted .288 last year with 15 HR and 61 RBI. Nelson will add depth to the Cubs bench as a utility infielder.

Colorado and Cincinnati have made a swap. Players involved in the transaction are the Rockies 25 year old centerfielder Tim Wheeler and the Reds 20 year old minor league starting pitcher Robert Stephenson. Cincinnati plans to use Wheeler as a platoon option in LF.

The Phillies have reached an agreement with New York sending 28 year old reliever B.J. Rosenberg to the Yankees in exchange for 21 year old minor league 3B Dante Bichette Jr. and 21 year old minor league SS Cito Culver. Rosenberg pitched 13 innings with the Phillies last year going 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA. He will provide the Yankees with depth as a right handed middle reliever out of their bullpen.

Arizona and Cincinnati have agreed in principle to a trade. The Diamondbacks will send 30 year old CF Chris Young to the Reds for 21 year old minor league RF Yorman Rodriguez. Young who split the 2013 season between the Athletics and Dbacks finished the season with a .245 BA 25 HR and 73 RBI overall. Young will take over for the departed Shin-soo Choo in CF and bat 5th in the
Reds order.
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