Luis Castillo had the shortest stint in a uniform the United Rotisserie League has ever seen.
Just hours after being acquired by the Brewville Style in a deal, Castillo was shipped out to Wendy’s Peffercorns in a four-player deal. Going with Castillo was third baseman Bill Hall, while the Peffercorns sent Takashi Saito, Kenny Rogers and financial considerations to the Style.
“Flipping Castillo like this was never our intent,” said Style owner Steve Egge. “However, Mike (Salony, owner of the Peffercorns) and I got to talking and it seemed to work out for the both of us.”
The Peffercorns were pleased as well with the deal, according to Peter Gammons, Wendy’s GM.
“Getting a guy like Hall that can play so many positions, that’s going to be a very helpful asset as we round out the roster and finish putting the pieces together,” said Gammons in the press conference held in the “Northern Command”, the Boston division of the Wendy’s braintrust.
After the moves of Friday morning, only the Conway Capitols now have a complete roster.
While rumors of a Johan Santana trade had everyone looking one way, the Edwardsville Armada surprised the United Rotisserie League by shipping another superstar off to the Brewville Style on Friday morning. The Armada sent Vladimir Guerrero, along with Tony Armas, Luis Castillo and financial considerations in exchange for Freddie Sanchez.
“This frees up some roster space for us,” said Armada GM and owner David Reed said in a press conference. “It’s a lot of talent to give up, I know that, but we think we’ll be able to fill some of those holes in the free agent market.”
The Style were ecstatic to be able to land Guerrero.
“Adding a bat like that, and at such a reasonable price, is a great move for us,” said Style owner Steve Egge. “We are very excited to get him into the Style orange and start marketing him to our season ticket prospects.”
Both the Brewville Style and the Conway Capitols wrapped up their free agent signings, filling in the rest of their roster with quality signings on Thursday as business resumed with a vengance after the Christmas break.
Prior to Thursday’s signings, familar trade partners Wendy’s Peffercorns and Atkins Alley Cats swapped players, with Raul Ibanez going to the Cats and Mike Gonzalez to the Peffercorns. This became very beneficial for both teams, as they landed free agents that they normally would not have been able to land.
As of this writing, the Cats were still deciding on the pitcher they were going to sign, having landed the rights to two of them. The Peffercorns signed outfielder Carlos Beltran to a five-year, $125 deal.
“Getting Beltran makes that whole Ibanez trade that much sweeter,” said Peffercorn owner Mike Salony.
Conway only needed one player to finish their roster, and they signed outfielder Jeff Francouer to a $35, five-year contract. The Style made a bigger splash, wrapping up the last five players they needed, headlined by second baseman Ian Kinsler’s five-year, $61 pact.
“I didn’t expect to complete my roster today,” Style owner Steve Egge was quoted as saying, “but if I had to, these are great guys to get. Looking over the team, it looks very good in my eyes.”
The Clarksville Cubs finished up their pitching staff by signing Ben Sheets to a $150, five-year deal.
“For the last pitcher we signed, he’s darn good,” grinned owner Jason Hoover.
The URL will take another breather for New Year’s before resuming next week in a last push to finalize rosters and prepare for the minor league draft.
The offices of the United Rotisserie League will close at 5:00 PM (CST) today. A skelton staff will stay on duty in case any trades are made, but major business is expected to be held until offices reopen on Tuesday morning.
The commissioner and employees of the URL wish everyone a wonderful Christmas season.
Even a program may not help you keep track of who is playing in Arkansas. By time they get back from the printer, everything has changed again.
The Cardinals completed two trades on Thursday after making two on Wednesday. First, they sent Brady Clark to Edwardsville Armada for Scott Schoeneweis and financial considerations. Then, the Cardinals sent Jonathan Papelbon–who had signed only hours before–to Wendy’s Peffercorns for Jim Edmonds and financial considerations.
Owner Daniel Shoptaw faced the press instead of general manager Billy Beane, who was still out with the flu. “Billy better hurry and get better,” Shoptaw joked, “or there won’t be anybody left he recognizes.”
On the Clark deal: “Getting Schoeneweis was a nice move for us, I think. We needed someone to get holds, and we think Scott will be a good bridge to (closer) Chris (Ray). It was a win-win deal for the two teams, I think.”
On Papelbon: “He was a bargain and a great talent, but we have our eyes elsewhere and wanted to make sure we had the room to make a run at someone. In any other situation, we’d have kept Paps for a long time, but moving him to Wendy’s–who has even more affection for him than we do–seemed to work out well. And Edmonds will give us some great leadership in the clubhouse.”
From the Aramada side, owner David Reed was pleased. “It’s nice to be able to get back into the free agent market, for one thing. We’ve been sitting on the sidelines for too long. Getting the chance to get a solid outfielder like Clark was a great thing as well.”
Peffercorn owner Mike Salony was not available for comment.
In a first for the Untied Rotisserie League, a player was traded for the second time. At least Jorge Cantu will be going to a familiar place.
In a trade made late Wednesday night, Cantu, along with financial considerations, was shipped from Wendy’s Peffercorns to Atkins Alley Cats in exchange for pitchers Tom Gordon and Kenny Rogers, outfielder Brad Hawpe, and financial considerations.
“Now that we’ve freed up some payroll room, getting Jorge back was a priority,” said Atkins owner Charles Rector. “This will also give us the opportunity to remake the team a little bit.”
Wendy’s seemed especially intrigued with Hawpe.
“Brad is at a good price and at a good contract and we look forward to having his bat in the lineup for quite some time to come,” said head Peffercorn Mike Salony.
Experts expect that trade activity may pick up as rosters begin to finalize, with teams wanting to tweak their mix or take on payroll they were not able to do earlier.
Scoop McGee, who covers the URL for the blog The Infield Flyer, says he expects activity to pick up.
“Things may slow down for a bit with the Christmas holiday, but between that and the New Year, I could see three or four more trades being done.”
The Arkansas Cardinals made their second trade in less than 8 hours, sending second baseman Chase Utley, third baseman Brandon Inge, and outfielder Jeremy Hermida for third baseman Miguel Cabrera, late of the Edwardsville Armada.
“Miguel Cabrera is a rare talent, in our view,” said Cardinal owner Daniel Shoptaw, who replaced Arkansas GM Billy Beane at the press conference when Beane reported “flu-like symptoms”. “I know that Utley is amazing as well, but Cabrera is younger and has even more upside.”
Cabrera has the second-highest contract in United Rotisserie League history, only surpassed by the Conway Capitols’ deal with first baseman Albert Pujols.
“Miguel is a great player, but that contract was swamping us,” Armada owner David Reed said in a press conference. “We couldn’t do a salary dump on a guy like that, but getting quality players back and reallocating our payroll made this a great deal for us.”
The Arkansas Cardinals and Texas Outlaws announced today they had completed a three-player trade, with the Outlaws sending pitcher Anthony Reyes to Arkansas for pitchers Adam Wainwright and Vicente Padilla.
“This helps strengthen our staff and brings a flexibility as well. Wainwright will likely start for us, but it’s possible he could close some games out should the need arise. And Padilla will bring us quality innings at a good price,” said Texas owner Robert Arnwine in a statement.
The Cardinals were content with the deal as well.
“We hated to part with those guys, but we wanted to free up a little room on our staff to see if we couldn’t be in on a few of the free agents still available,” said Cardinal GM Billy Beane. “Getting back what we feel is a quality talent in Reyes really softens the blow.”
It was one of the smallest groups ever to close in the United Rotisserie League, but that didn’t deter the Texas Outlaws, who signed 60% of those coming to terms on Friday.
The Outlaws signed two first basemen and a pitcher. Jason Giambi agreed to a one-year, $20 deal, while Justin Morneau signed for a longer and more lucrative $240, five-year pact. Reliever Rafael Soriano come on board at $18 for three years.
“Got some pop in the lineup, which is what I like to see,” said Outlaws owner Robert Arnwine. “Having Soriano possibly moving into a closer’s role is great for me as well. Couldn’t be happier with how today worked out.”
The only other signings were Nomar Garciaparra to Wendy’s Peffercorns for three years and Scott Thorman to Conway Capitols for a one year deal.
Thursday’s list of free agent signings had a definite theme, as the Texas Outlaws and Brewville Style combined to sign ten of the 18 players that came to terms today. The headliner, in terms of money, was the Outlaws’ signing of third baseman Garrett Atkins to a $155, five-year deal.
“We’re glad to really start filling up the roster,” said Texas owner Robert Arnwine. “We got guys at good prices, in our opinion, and we really feel this will help push us to the top of the standings. Outlaw fans really have something to get excited about now.”
Brewville became the fifth team to fill their pitching staff, leaving few jobs left in the URL for those making their living from the mound.
Owner Steve Egge stated that he was glad to get quality relievers such as Francisco Cordero ($42, 3 years) and Joe Nathan ($110, four years) to round out his staff.
In other signings, Wendy’s Peffercorns came to terms with outfielder Andruw Jones, locking him up for $130 over five years, and the Clarksville Cubs won the tiebreaking bidding on reliever Akinori Otsuka, getting him for $25 over three years.