After a quiet start Monday, baseball’s Winter Meetings provided a return Tuesday to the active offseason we’ve seen so far.
All the news of note for this post didn’t happen at the Winter Meetings, but that’s where I’m starting. Two notable trades took place, and both involved former Midwest League players.
The bigger trade was a three-way deal involving the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels. The Diamondbacks got OF Mark Trumbo and two players to be named later, the White Sox got OF Adam Eaton, and the Angels got LHP Hector Santiago and LHP Tyler Skaggs.
Trumbo spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. In 2006 he batted .220 with 13 HR and 59 RBI in 118 games. In 2007 he batted .272 with 14 HR and 76 RBI in 128 games. He made his major-league debut with the Angels in 2010 and finished second in voting for the 2011 American League Rookie of the Year Award.
Skaggs split the 2010 season between the Cedar Rapids Kernels and the South Bend Silver Hawks. (The Angels traded him to the Diamondbacks during that season, and now the Angels have him back.) He went 9-5 with a 3.29 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 98.1 IP that year.
The other notable trade of the day involved the Colorado Rockies getting LHP Brett Anderson from the Oakland Athletics for LHP Drew Pomeranz and RHP Chris Jensen. Anderson pitched for the 2007 South Bend Silver Hawks, going 8-4 with a 2.21 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 81.1 IP.
Hot Rods sold to Manhattan Capital
It was announced Tuesday that Art Solomon sold the Bowling Green Hot Rods to Manhattan Capital Sports Acquisition, which is headed by Stuart Katzoff. Solomon had owned the team since its inauguration; the Hot Rods played their first game in 2009 and joined the Midwest League in 2010.
Molitor to headline Kernels Hot Stove Banquet
Minnesota Twins coach and Baseball Hall-of-Famer Paul Molitor heads the lineup of guests scheduled for next month’s Cedar Rapids Kernels Hot Stove Banquet.
Other guests include Twins pitchers Brian Duensing and Ryan Pressly, Kernels manager Jake Mauer and Twins play-by-play broadcaster Dick Bremer.
Molitor, Duensing and Mauer are Midwest League alumni.
Molitor played for the 1977 Burlington Bees, hitting .346 with 8 HR and 50 RBI in 64 games. He also made a rehab appearance with the 1990 Beloit Brewers, going 2-for-4 with a home run.
Duensing pitched for the 2006 Beloit Snappers, going 2-3 with a 2.94 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 70.1 IP (11 starts).
Mauer hit .226 with 0 HR and 20 RBI in 84 games with the 2002 Quad City River Bandits. Last season was his first as manager of the Cedar Rapids Kernels, who posted a Midwest League-best 88-50 record.
Mark Prior retires
Ex-Chicago Cubs pitching phenom Mark Prior announced his retirement Tuesday. His 5-year major-league career included a 2003 season in which he went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts 211.1 IP. Unfortunately, he was beset with injuries after that season and didn’t pitch in the majors after 2006, though he attempted comebacks with several teams.
Prior made four rehab starts in the Midwest League when he was a member of the Cubs — two games with the 2004 Lansing Lugnuts and two games with the 2006 Peoria Chiefs. In those four games, he struck out 21 batters in 14.1 IP. He walked one and allowed a home run.
I was at the first of Prior’s two rehab appearances with the Chiefs, and I recall that day being a hot one. It was the game when he gave up a home run, to Jose Pineda, who was an outfielder for the Kane County Cougars in 2005 and 2006. Pineda was out of professional baseball after the 2008 season, topping out in High-A and ending his career with the independent-league Evansville Otters.
Ordonez wins mayoral election
Two years after his 15-year major-league career came to an end, Magglio Ordonez has become a political figure in his native Venezuela.
Ordonez was elected mayor of Sotillo, a city in eastern Venezuela. He was backed by the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro.
Ordonez played eight seasons with the Chicago White Sox and seven seasons with the Detroit Tigers. He made a single appearance in the Midwest League, going 1-for-4 in a rehab start with the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2008.