Trending: The Minor League Deal

by on November 20th, 2010
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Trending recently in baseball is the minor league deal. Nowadays, such a deal is used to acquire an aging veteran, whose talents may be in question by evaluators and is not garnering a whole lot of interest around the league. These signings carry essentially no risk because the league minimum salary is nothing to Major League teams. Minor signings have proven to be very useful and important to teams in recent years. In 2011, the Yankees signed starters Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. Both pitchers made the team, and started games throughout the entire season for the Bronx Bombers. Their performance was surprising, and it’s almost certain that there will be more signings like them this season.

One player with potential to be a great minor league signing is P Carlos Silva of the Boston Red Sox. Silva got off to a great start during last season with the Chicago Cubs, but his production fell of sharply and led to his release before the season was over. Silva, a sinkerball pitcher, has been fairly reliable throughout his career. This signing provides the Sox depth to a rotation that was decimated by injury last season. While no one will mistake Silva with other talented Boston pitchers, such as Jon Lester or Josh Beckett, he has the ability to slide into the bottom part of the rotation and eat up innings while keeping the ball on the ground.

Another potential great signing is located in Florida, where Tampa Bay continues to rebuild their bullpen. They have attempted to anchor the backend by signing P Fernando Rodney, who has struggled since signing a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. While Rodney signed a Major League contract, it can only total two million dollars in total value, and is mostly incentive based. In the past, Rodney has been a solid reliever, and has experience in the closer’s role. This could be a great, cheap move for the low budget Rays, as Rodney could possibly return to form in Florida.

Overall, minor league signings can be very impactful on a ball club. This is really where a team’s scouting department becomes so important, because they are the ones who decide who has talent and who doesn’t. These low risk and possible high reward signings are some of the most essential and interesting parts of Major League Baseball today.


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