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December 08, 2009

Transactions Are Go!

Texas acquired lefty reliever CLAY RAPADA from Detroit for future considerations.

Rapada is a low-slot slider specialist with a mid-to-high 80s fastball, which sounds very similar to the post-rotation A.J. Murray (who is a free agent). Unlike Murray, who showed no platoon split in 2009, Rapada has been very effective against lefties and mediocre or worse versus righties in the minors. In his brief MLB career, he’s walked or hit 15% of opposing batters.

Texas outrighted reliever WILLIE EYRE to AAA Oklahoma City.

The gentlemen in Brokeback Mountain have nothing on the unstable relationship between Texas and Eyre. In three years, he’s been outrighted twice, optioned thrice, spent parts of 2007 and 2009 seasons on the 60-day disabled list, and spent all of 2008 on the shelf. Yet he remains with Texas. He’s a good AAA insurance policy.

OF MARLON BYRD and catcher IVAN RODRIGUEZ declined Texas’s arbitration offers. Rodriguez signed with Washington for two years and $6 million.

Byrd’s departure was assured, Rodriguez’s less so. Last week, in assessing the risk of offering arbitration to Pudge, I wondered whether “a tandem of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Pudge… [is] really better than Salty and Teagarden. At best, a full year of Pudge maintains the status quo.? Given his age, I thought Pudge might accept a contract similar to last year’s $1.5 million to stay in Arlington in a role no smaller than prominent backup.

Little did I know that a GM would be willing to double that contract in salary and years. Pudge isn’t toast, not yet, but at this point he’s only league-average defensively, a poor hitter, and will only get worse over time. Offering him 1 year and $3 million is a little daffy but ultimately trivial. Offering 2 and $6 is an act of self-bamboozlement.

With the supplemental picks accrued by losing Byrd and Rodriguez, and having failed to sign 2009 first-rounder Matt Purke, Texas will have four of the top 50-or-so picks in the 2010 draft. Texas’s 40-man roster remains at 38.

Posted by Lucas at December 8, 2009 09:19 AM