Around the Majors: Comeback attempts

1) The Orioles signed P Tony Saunders to a minor league contract, with an invitation to spring training.

Saunders, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 1999, has a 4.56 ERA/1 RSAA in 62 games.

2) The Tigers signed DH Dean Palmer, INFs Tony Giarratano, Jack Hannahan, Mike Hessman and Kevin Hooper, OF Alexis Gomez, Cs Brandon Harper, Sandy Martinez, Mike Rabelo, Michael Rivera and Maxim St. Pierre and Ps Nelson Cruz, Craig Dingman, Sean Douglass, John Ennis, Andrew Good, Matt Roney and Mike Bynum and Doug Creek to minor league contracts and invited them to spring training

Palmer, who retired last January, has 21 RCAA/.796 OPS in 1357 games and didn’t play more than 26 games in a season since 2001.

3) The Nationals signed free agent Ps Esteban Loaiza ($2.9 million) and Antonio Osuna ($800,000) to 1 year contracts.

After 2.90 ERA/39 RSAA and 4.86 ERA/1 RSAA seasons, Loaiza had a 5.70 ERA/-19 RSAA in 27 starts (31 games) with the Whitesox and Yankees. He has a 4.70 career ERA, compared to his league average of 4.51, and -11 RSAA in 300 games.

After 3.86 ERA/6 RSAA and 3.73 ERA/3 RSAA seasons, Osuna had a 2.45 ERA/6 RSAA in 31 games. He has a 3.50 career ERA,compared to his league average of 4.35, and 30 RSAA in 407 games.

4) The Rangers signed free agent INF Mark DeRosa to a minor league contract, with an invitation to spring training, and re-signed P Carlos Almanzar to a 1 year, $1.1 million contract, to avoid salary arbitration.

After -1 RCAA/.768 OPS and -7 RCAA/.699 OPS seasons, DeRosa had a .320 SLG, .293 OBA, .614 OPS, -20 RCAA in 118 games. He’s spent his whole career with the Braves and has a .690 career OPS, compared to his league average of .774, and -32 RCAA in 393 games.

Almanzar has a 4.62 ERA/0 RSAA in 204 career games, including a 3.72 ERA/11 RSAA in 67 games in 2004, his first year with more than 10 games since 2000.

5) The Phillies signed free agent 1B Jose Offerman to a minor league contract, with an invitation to spring training.

After being out of the majors in 2003, Offerman hit .395 SLG, .363 OBA, .759 OPS, 0 RCAA in 77 games with the Twins. He has a .734 career OPS, compared to his league average of .764, and -22 RCAA in 1565 games.

6) The Devil Rays signed OFs Marty Cordova and Dee Brown, INF Shane Halter and Ps Brian Sweeney and Mark Guthrie to minor league contracts, with invitations to spring training.

Cordova, who missed the entire 2004 season and only played in 9 games in 2003, has -20 RCAA/.792 OPS in 952 career games. Brown has -57 RCAA/.615 OPS in 263 career games, including a .349 SLG, .293 OBA, .642 OPS, -8 RCAA in 59 games with the 2004 Royals. Halter has -71 RCAA/.688 OPS in 690 career games, including a .351 SLG, .248 OBA, .599 OPS, -9 RCAA in 46 games with the 2004 Angels.

Sweeney has a 4.18 ERA/0 RSAA in 12 career games, including a 5.65 ERA/-3 RSAA in 7 games (2 starts) with the 2004 Padres. Guthrie, who was out of the majors in 2004, has a 4.05 ERA/19 RSAA in 765 career games.

7) The Braves signed free agent OF Brian Jordan to a 1 year, $600,000 contract.

After 13 RCAA/.807 OPS and 7 RCAA/.791 OPS seasons, Jordan had a .363 SLG, .275 OBA, .638 OPS, -18 RCAA in 61 games with the Rangers. He has a .798 career OPS, compared to his league average of .770, and 45 RCAA in 1332 games.

8) The Brewers re-signed PH-P Brooks Kieschnick to a 1 year, $550,000 contract.

Kieschnick has -7 RCAA/.760 OPS in 257 career games, including a .365 SLG, .324 OBA, .689 OPS, -3 RCAA in 75 games (68 PA) in 2004. As a pitcher, he has a 4.59 ERA/-2 RSAA in 74 career games, including a 3.77 ERA/3 RSAA in 32 games in 2004.

9) The Whitesox signed INFs Pablo Ozuna and Jorge Toca, OF Tony Alvarez and Cs Raul Casanova and Chris Widger to minor league contracts.

Ozuna has -7 RCAA/.630 OPS in 65 career games. Alvarez has -1 RCAA/.731 OPS in 38 career games, including a .342 SLG, .289 OBA, .631 OPS, -2 RCAA in 24 games in 2004. Casanova, who hasn’t played in the majors since 2002, has -45 RCAA/.670 OPS in 332 career games. Widger has -54 RCAA/.702 OPS in 532 career games.

10) The Mariners signed C-OF Kit Pellow and Ps Aaron Sele, Nate Bland and Dan Reichert to minor league contracts, with invitations to spring training.

After 4.89 ERA/-10 RSAA and 5.77 ERA/-21 RSAA seasons, Sele had a 5.05 ERA/-7 RSAA in 24 starts (28 games) with the Angels. He has a 4.52 career ERA, compared to his league average of 4.68, and 33 RSAA in 321 games.

Pellow has -8 RCAA/.716 OPS in 99 career games, including a .347 SLG, .308 OBA, .655 OPS, -9 RCAA in 59 games with the 2004 Rockies. Bland had a 5.75 ERA/-3 RSAA in 22 games with the 2003 Astros. Reichert has a 5.55 ERA/-22 RSAA in 124 career games.

11) The Diamondbacks signed P Jose Jimenez to a minor league contract, with an invitation to spring training.

After 3.56 ERA/12 RSAA and 5.22 ERA/-5 RSAA seasons, Jimenez had a 8.42 ERA/-16 RSAA in 31 games with the Indians. He has a 4.92 career ERA, compared to his league average of 4.43, and 3 RSAA in 329 games (he’s spent the majority of his career in Coors).

12) According to the Baltimore Sun, the Devil Rays are interested in Orioles P B.J. Ryan.

13) The Nationals designated OF Brandon Watson and P Sun Woo Kim for assignment.

Kim has a 5.05 ERA/-21 RSAA in 86 career games, including a 4.58 ERA/-7 RSAA in 43 games (17 starts) in 2004.

14) The Braves invited OFs Jeff Francoeur, John Barnes and Roosevelt Brown, C-1B Carlos Mendez, Cs Miguel Bernard, Jean Boscan, Brian McCann and Brayan Pena and Ps Adam Bernero, Matt Childers, Kevin Barry, Dan Curtis, Buddy Hernandez, Gonzalo Lopez and Zach Miner to spring training.

15) The Dodgers re-signed P Mike Venafro to a minor league contract, with an invitation to spring training.

After 4.62 ERA/0 RSAA and 4.74 ERA/0 RSAA seasons, Venafro had a 4.00 ERA/0 RSAA in 17 games. He has a 4.11 career ERA, compared to his league average of 4.68, and 19 RSAA in 300 games.

16) The Indians designated 3B-OF Corey Smith for assignment.


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