For the next few days, the waiver wire will be buzzing. Now is the time when teams will be keeping their eyes open for tasty scraps being thrown away from another organization’s table. Teams are making their final roster decisions and want their rosters set by Saturday, so decisions are being made now, with players who are not making the 25 man roster being released, reassigned, designated for assignment, or for players who are out of options being sent through waivers to either be sent down to the minor leagues or released.
The Padres will of course be keeping a close eye on these transactions, and although they won’t be as active as they were this time year, when they were looking to replace nearly half of their pitching staff, they may make a claim for the right piece. Right now that piece may be a left-handed reliever. Joe Thatcher was positioned to be the lone lefty on the Padres bullpen to start the season, but his arm has been sore and he recently received a cortisone shot which could cause him to start the season on the DL. The Pads may look for a left-handed arm to fill in for him.
Here is a partial list of some lefties who are out of options coming into this spring, and some notes on their possible availability. Players in bold are either already on waivers, or possibly could be soon.
- Tim Byrdak – Middle reliever that makes the Astros bullpen, despite sore neck that has bothered him this spring.
- Brian Tallet – Makes the Blue Jay starting rotation.
- Chris Narveson – Makes the Brewers starting rotation by having pitched well this spring and the injury to Jeff Suppan’s neck which may put him on the D.L. to start the season.
- Manny Parra – Did not have a very strong spring and probably doesn’t make the rotation because of Narveson’s stronger showing this spring. If Suppan is put on D.L. it opens up spot in bullpen for Parra to work in middle relief, and avoid being exposed to waiver wire.
- Tom Gorzelanny – Makes Cubs rotation with his good spring.
- Hing-Chi Kuo – Dodgers are counting on him, but his problematic elbow makes him a question mark to be available in the early going.
- Eric Stults – Dodgers just sold his contract to the Hiroshima Carp in Japan – sayonara.
- Rafael Perez – Had a bad outing against Dodgers on Monday, but overall has had a good enough spring and is expected to make the Indians bullpen.
- Jeremy Sowers – Was put on waivers yesterday by the Indians after playing catch up most of the spring with a strained shoulder.
- Ryan Rowland-Smith – Will be a part of the Mariners starting rotation.
- Dan Meyer – Was recently announced as likely to make the team according to Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez.
- Renyel Pinto – Also mentioned by Gonzalez as probable to make the Marlins bullpen.
- Pat Misch - Was put on waivers yesterday by Mets after posting 1.38 ERA in 7 games and 13 innings this spring.
- Sean Burnett – Will make Nationals staff. Probably grumpy today since he just lost his arbitration hearing.
- J.P. Howell – Injured right now, but will be apart of the Rays staff this season.
- Anthony Lerew – Journeyman is fighting to make a spot on the Royals rotation in Gil Meche’s spot, who has an ailing shoulder. He may not make it, and could become available.
- Brad Thomas – Makes Tigers staff.
- Bobby Seay – May start the season on the D.L. for the Tigers.
Not a lot that is likely to be available through waivers, but there are usually some surprises this time of year with last minute releases. Let’s keep our eyes open.