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June 05, 2007

Hairston and Rheino Up, Cruz Down, Kata Out

Texas activated infielder JERRY HAIRSTON from the 15-day Disabled List and pitcher JOHN RHEINECKER from the 60-day DL. Texas optioned outfielder NELSON CRUZ to AAA Oklahoma and designated utility guy MATT KATA for assignment.

Welcome to the end of Nelson Cruz’s Major League career. Well, not the end, but as a soon-to-be 27-year old who failed a pretty lengthy trial stretching back to last August, he’s almost certainly done as a regular. Sure, there’s talk about him “making adjustments? and whatnot in Oklahoma, but really, he’s done.

That said, I still think the quasi-blockbuster Lee/Cruz for Cordero/Mench/Nix trade holds up. Cordero has pitched brilliantly, of course, but Mench is basically an expensive ($3.4 million) and ineffective (.285/.285/.417; 1 walk all season!) platoon outfielder, and Nix was dead as a prospect before the trade. With this trade, Texas tried, and failed, to make a run for the postseason last year but didn’t get burned too badly in the process. That’s a tolerable outcome.

As for Kata, here’s what I wrote on April 1st: “The surprise, in terms of incoming expectations, is Byrd, who only needed to beat out NRI Matt Kata for a roster spot and could not. Byrd would have made a fine fifth outfielder and 25th man.? And on May 27th, “Byrd ought to make one of Jerry Hairston or Matt Kata superfluous.? So I guess it worked out in the long run. Props to Kata for the hot spring that earned him two months of an MLB salary. The question is why Texas thought that hot spring was more indicative of his future than his career MLB line of .248/.308/.392 in 550 PAs or his line of .286/.325/.430 in 900 AAA appearances.

Posted by Lucas at June 5, 2007 06:50 PM