Alfonso Soriano is a Clarksville Cub and Scott Kazmir is the new sheriff in Texas as the two players headlined a solid group of signings on Thursday.
Soriano signed a $350, five-year deal with the Cubs, the seventh-highest in URL history. Owner Jason Hoover was “ecstatic” over the signings.
“I’ve been wanting Sori here for a long time, ever since the bidding opened. We stuck with it, and we were rewarded with his signature on the dotted line. Getting Matt (Clement), Cliff (Lee) and Barry (Zito) for the pitching staff, too? Is it Christmas already?”
The Outlaws, another team that has been quiet so far in the bidding process, landed Kazmir for a $265 deal spread over five years. The Outlaws also signed third baseman Mark Teahen and pitcher Javier Vazquez.
“We were trying to target a young base, and Scott has shown tremendous ability in his short major league stay. We think this is a solid contract and are glad to have him on board for the next half-decade,” said owner Robert Arnwine.
Other notable signings were Dan Haren ($110, four years) by Wendy’s Peffercorns and Jeremy Hermida ($130, five years) and Ervin Santana ($110, five years) by the Arkansas Cardinals.
After a week long break, sometimes it is hard to get back to work. That wasn’t the case with the owners of the United Rotisserie League, who signed fourteen free agents, with two others still pending as of this posting.
The headliner of the group was Mark Teixeria, who signed a $277, five-year contract with the Brewville Style. The only other contract over $100 was signed by his former understudy, Adrian Gonzalez, who went to the Arkansas Cardinals for $140 over five years.
“We’re glad to have Mark on board,” Style owner Steve Egge said. “Having that power bat in the lineup should be a major asset to our run up the standings in 2007.”
Teixeria was also thrilled by the signing.
“Brewville is putting together an impressive collection of talent,” he said from his Texas home. “I’m training hard to be a big part of it.”
The United Rotisserie League has closed many of his official offices this week for the Thanksgiving holiday. Trades and other related matters will still be processed during this time, though an understandable lag may be noticed. Everyone in the URL offices wishes you and yours a happy Thanksgiving.
While the bidding portion of the United Rotisserie League has been placed on hiatus for the Thanksgiving holidays, there have been no restrictions laid on making trades during this breather. On Sunday, the Atkins Alley Cats and Wendy’s Peffercorns did just that, swapping three players and some financial considerations.
The Alley Cats received third baseman Chad Tracy as well as financial considerations from the Peffercorns, who brought in outfielder Nick Markakis and second baseman Jorge Cantu.
“We freed up some much needed cap room and also recieved a heck of a player,” said Cats GM Dave Dombrowski. The Alley Cats had been pushing the limits of the $650 cap, but are able to breathe a little easier after this deal.
On the Peffercorns side, owner Mike Salony was very excited. “One of the assets this team has is the payroll flexibility to take on contracts,” he said. “Being able to snag two quality players like this is a wonderful opportunity for us.”
There wasn’t a lot of money in the United Rotisserie League signings on Friday, but there was a top-10 contract signed as shortstop Jose Reyes agreed to a five-year, $305 deal with the Texas Outlaws.
Texas, which has signed the fewest players of any of the eight teams, was glad to close the deal on Reyes, according to owner Robert Arnwine.
“He brings everything to the table–hitting for average, hitting for power, speed. He’s going to be a cornerstone in Texas for a long time to come,” said Arnwine.
Elsewhere in the signings, the Atkins Alley Cats signed a total of six players, while every other team inked one player save the Arkansas Cardinals, who were shut out in the signing process for the second straight group.
The United Rotisserie League announced today that paperwork for the first trade in the history of the league had been processed.
Closer Chad Cordero was shipped to the Brewville Style. In exchange, the Arkansas Cardinals received Jason Jennings and Mike Sweeney. Monetary considerations from both sides were exchanged as well.
“We needed to find a shut-down guy for the ninth inning,” said Steve Egge, owner of the Style. “Cordero gives us that presense. We hated to see Jason and Mike go, but we feel we’ve improved the team with this move.”
While the Cardinals were happy to receive the players they did, they also appreciated a bit more payroll flexibility.
“It’s not a lot, necessarily, but it does help us stay in the running for a couple of other players,” said Cardinal owner Daniel Shoptaw. “Besides, we feel Jennings will fit right into our staff, and Mike should help our other Mike (Piazza) in the leadership department.”
Though not for the lack of trying, there had not been a whole lot of buzz-worthy signings coming out of the Clarksville front office. That changed on Tuesday, when the Cubs signed four players, headlined by outfielder Vernon Wells’s $220, five-year contract.
“I was glad to finally break through and sign some very talented players,” said owner Jason Hoover, who also signed outfielder Emil Brown, third baseman Aramis Ramirez and pitcher Mark Prior. “To get players that have had experience on north side of Chicago, like Aramis and Mark have, was valuable as well.”
The other team most active in Tuesday’s signings was Wendy’s Peffercorns, who signed six different players, the most expensive being third baseman Chad Tracy at $52 over four years.
“We are filling our roster in a fiscally responsible way,” owner Mike Salony was quoted as saying, “but we still are bringing in quality players that we expect will help us challenge for a title. We’re not the Florida Marlins here, people. We plan to win and win now.”
The largest contract of the day was signed by outfielder Grady Sizemore, who signed a five-year, $305 contract with the Atkins Alley Cats. The Cats also brought in first baseman Prince Fielder, outfielder Brad Hawpe and pitcher Noah Lowry.
“A good haul today, I think,” said Alley Cats owner Charles Rector. “We may have spent some money, but we brought in young talent that will help us for years to come.”
Another signing day, more big contracts signed around the United Rotisserie League.
The Brewville Style made the big signing of the day, inking Manny Ramirez to a $175, five-year deal. Ramirez’s power number were too good for the Style to pass up.
“We know all about ‘Manny being Manny’, but who better to play for a team named Style? Manny is all about style–and putting balls over the wall,” said owner Steve Egge.
The other big signing was Carlos Delgado going to the Conway Capitols for $150 over three years. The Capitols were very active on the first signing day, but had been relatively quiet since then.
“Getting both Delgado and (Adam) LaRoche really anchors the first base position,” said owner Mark Scott. “We’re glad to have such talented and quality individuals leading the Capitols toward the biggest election of all, the postseason.”
All teams save the Clarksville Cubs signed at least one player in the just-closed group, led by the Arkansas Cardinals with three signings.
Another closing day in the United Rotisserie League brought the usual flurry of activity, but it was a different team making a lot of the signings this time around.
Wendy’s Peffercorns, who had signed only three players in the free agency period so far, splurged and landed five players on Thursday, headlined by the $148, four-year deal handed out to third baseman Troy Glaus.
“While I’m pleased that we signed so many quality players,” said Peffercorns owner Mike Salony, “I’m even more pleased that, on the whole, we were fiscally responsible while doing so. We were able to sign a broad spectrum of players, which should be good news to our fans.”
The largest contract of the day was signed by second baseman Chase Utley, who agreed to a $250, five year pact.
“Arkansas is trying to put together a quality team,” said Utley. “I’m glad to be able to be a part of that.”
Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was signed by the Atkins Alley Cats. Through a translator, he expressed his excitement to be part of an American team.
“I’ve wanted to come to America for a long time, and playing in the heart of it, the great town of Atkins, should be a dream come true.”
United Rotisserie League commissioner Daniel Shoptaw handed down a decision on the issue broached by the Edwardsville Armada, ruling that owner David Reed could release Brad Radke with no penalty, but must pay for part of Guillermo Mota’s contract.
Reed contended that since he was not aware of Radke’s retirement or Mota’s suspension before winning their services, he should be allowed to release them and replace them on the Armada roster.
“I would like to take this opportunity to strongly encourage all owners to do their due diligence when preparing and submitting bids. Please continually review them for accuracy and be aware of issues relating to those players,” the commissioner wrote in his decision.
Interviewed after the decision was released, Shoptaw stated that he was glad, in part, that this situation came up.
“It really gave me a chance to consider the retirement problem that we are going to run into as the league goes along,” he said. “Now we have procedures in place to deal with this issue.”
The Armada noted on their team blog that Radke and Mota had been released in accordance with the commissioner’s ruling.