Saturday, November 15, 2008

Parting Ways

Three somewhat surprising baseball breakups occurred over the past two days. One has a slight chance for reconciliation, so we'll call that a separation. The other two, however, are clearly divorces, although one is clearly more amicable than the other.

Randy Johnson and the Arizona Diamondbacks failed to reach a contract agreement, so Johnson filed for free agency on Thursday. While it's possible the two sides could work things out, it doesn't look likely. Diamondbacks General Manager Josh Byrnes said he would not rule out signing Johnson, but added "something would fundamentally have to change in our position or their position or both."

The Chicago Cubs traded minor league pitcher Jose Ceda, to the Florida Marlins, for Kevin Gregg, effectively ending Kerry Wood's tenure with the club. With the emergence of Carlos Marmol, and the acquisition of Gregg, the Cubs decided that they'll spend their resources elsewhere, rather than to try to retain Wood's services. Wood indicated that he was disappointed, and that his departure from his former club is "bittersweet", but seems to harbor no ill-will towards the team for its decision.

Trevor Hoffman, on the other hand, was shown the door in rather unceremonious fashion by the San Diego Padres, with whom he has spent almost the entirety of his record-setting 16-year career. San Diego rescinded their rather modest one-year, $4 million contract offer on Thursday, and Hoffman's agent said the impression the Padres' front office gave them was that it was a take-it-or-leave-it proposal. Then, to add insult to injury, they ignored his efforts to try to negotiate and informed him by fax that they were withdrawing their offer.

Hoffman will play elsewhere this year, hopefully for a contender who will give him one more legitimate shot at some post-season glory. The Padres will have a difficult time not finishing in last place for the second straight year. For more on the MLB hot stove, check out my latest post over on Casey's Clipboard.

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