Results tagged ‘ Jason Bartlett ’

Padres look stronger up the middle

It wasn’t more than two days after the 2010 regular season ended when Padres general manager Jed Hoyer told reporters that he wanted the team to be stronger up the middle in 2011.

Hoyer then went out and traded for center fielder Cameron Maybin and shortstop Jason Bartlett and signed free second second baseman Orlando Hudson.

All three have made nice first impressions on Opening Day, as Maybin had a sliding catch in shallow center field on the first play of the game.

Bartlett and Hudson — with an assist to pitcher Tim Stauffer, of course — have combined to turn three double plays through the first five innings of Thursday’s game.

Strong up the middle, indeed.

– Corey Brock

Twins, Orioles talking Hardy

As MLB.com reported yesterday, the Orioles are still in the
market for a shortstop after the Jason Bartlett deal fell through. J.J. Hardy
remains an option, as does Brendan Ryan and Cesar Izturis. 

The Baltimore
Sun reported Wednesday afternoon that the Orioles are engaged in “serious talks” to acquire Hardy,
and while the two sides are definitely discussing their options, the Twins
might chose to wait until they can reach an agreement with Japanese infielder
Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

The Twins could move Hardy if they feel confident a deal with Nishioka will get done. The two clubs have talked about a Hardy trade before, and the Orioles are aggressively pursuing an upgrade at shortstop.

–Brittany Ghiroli

Mozeliak douses Bartlett notion

In his nightly powwow with reporters on Monday evening, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak touched on a wide range of topics — but before he even took the first question, he got right to one specific point.

“I guess I should start with an opening statement,” Mozeliak said, “that the Bartlett rumor is not true.”
The “Bartlett rumor” was a renewal of reports that the Cards are pursuing Tampa Bay infielder Jason Bartlett. Jon Heyman of SI.com and Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch were among those who reported that things might heat up once again.
However, Mozeliak explained that from his perspective, any notion of Bartlett coming to St. Louis is simply not realistic at this point.
He pointed to the fact that the club is happy with its recent acquisition of Ryan Theriot, and also noted that by spending $8 million on Lance Berkman, St. Louis is rapidly approaching the upper bounds of its 2011 player payroll.
“It’s twofold,” Mozeliak said. “One is, we’ve already made a trade for a player. And number two is after we did the Berkman deal, that [money] is becoming something that we have to be aware of too. We’re pretty comfortable now with what we’ve done in the middle infield.
“When we actually did that deal [trading for Theriot], there was still the potential to do something else in the middle infield. But then since then, subsequently, we’ve added Berkman and we don’t anticipate doing an additional move.”
–Matthew Leach

Cardinals odds and ends

A few odds and ends from the Cardinals on day one of the Winter Meetings:

* The Padres’ interest in Brendan Ryan is real and acknowledged. What exactly would constitute a fit between the two teams remains to be determined, but if the Cardinals decide to move Ryan, San Diego looks like a prime landing spot. Pittsburgh is a possibility, but the Pirates’ interest seems less ardent.
Moreover, it’s worth noting that the Cardinals and Padres have a good relationship, having dealt with one another several times in recent years.
Manager Tony La Russa said in a radio interview on Monday that one way or another, Ryan will not be the Cardinals’ starting shortstop. The skipper seemed to indicate that Ryan would be best suited by getting a change of scenery.
“If he stays with us, he’s a utility player,” La Russa said on the Bernie Miklasz show on WXOS radio in St. Louis. “I think he would
be useful as a utility player. I don’t know at this point in his career if that
something that would fire him up to come to the ballpark. I think ‘Mo’ is going to
be checking out to see where his value is. If there’s value in an area that we
can do some good, then that’s probably a better situation, to get him a place
where he can play. He would be an excellent utility man, but I don’t know that
that would motivate him to be excited to come to the park. He’s young and he
wants to be a regular.”
* A couple of outlets today reported that the Cards should not be ruled out as a suitor for Rays infielder Jason Bartlett. SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted “don’t coun’t them out,” while the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Cardinals “retain interest” in Bartlett.
However, in the same radio interview, La Russa dashed that notion.
“We’re not chasing Bartlett,” La Russa told WXOS. “I just don’t think that that makes sense for us. We probably need to figure out what we’re going to do in the utility role. We’ve still got Brendan and stuff like that, but I don’t think that… nor do we have the resources to try to add a multimillion dollar player. What we’ve got here is now finishing up and complementing the roster.  But I don’t think that’s accurate [that the Cardinals are pursuing Bartlett].”
* Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown tweeted Monday that Gregg Zaun is a player of interest to the Cardinals, and that’s one rumor that makes some sense. Zaun is a well-regarded veteran, widely considered an excellent clubhouse guy — and that’s clearly one of the aims of the front office in reshaping the roster for 2011. 
Additionally, Zaun can hit. In 2010, he put up a 265/350/392 line. Over the past seven seasons, he’s at 256/353/401, which is outstanding for any catcher.
The question is Zaun’s health. He didn’t play after May of last year, and underwent surgery on the labrum of his throwing shoulder in early June. That could be off-putting to a team that places a great deal of emphasis on stopping the opponent’s running game.
–Matthew Leach
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