Tag:Matt Garza
Posted on: January 9, 2011 1:01 pm

Garza, Benoit, same difference

Matt Garza The Chicago Sun-Times went big with its cover story the day after the Cubs traded for Tampa Bay's Matt Garza, running a full-page photo with the headline "BIG G." The problem is, the photo is of BIG B -- former Ray and current Tiger Joaquin Benoit (photo courtesy of the St. Petersburg Times ).

In fairness, the jersey name and number are not visible in the photo, and the two right-handers do have the same facial hair and are listed at almost the same height and weight.  But that's obviously not Garza (who is pictured on the right).

I know, I know, people who live in glass houses ...

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 7, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: January 7, 2011 11:44 am

Rays, Cubs agree to Matt Garza deal

GarzaIn what is suddenly becoming an ultra-competitive NL Central, the Cubs are poised to add starter Matt Garza from the Rays, as CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports.

The deal is not yet 100 percent done as procedural matters (such as physical exams) have to be completed, but the players have been agreed upon. Chicago will essentially empty its farm by sending starting pitcher Chris Archer, who was the Cubs' minor league pitcher of the year along with shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, outfielder Brandon Guyer and catcher Robinson Chirinos.

Additional players may be part of the deal, with Knobler reporting the names of Sam Fuld from the Cubs and Fernando Perez from the Rays as the additional names. Both are outfielders. ESPN.com's Bruce Levine also adds that a minor-league pitcher from Tampa Bay may also be included in the deal.

Garza, who tossed a no-hitter and is eligible for arbitration for the third time (with another year of team control ahead), should sniff $5 million or more after making $3.35 million in 2010. The recently-turned 27-year-old hurled 204 2/3 innings for the Rays, posting a 3.91 ERA. His whiff rate dipped to 6.6 per nine off of a 8.38 K/9 showing in 2009, but also improved his command. His stuff should play up nicely in the National League with a mid-90s heater.

GM Jim Hendry has been of the opinion that the Cubs are only a few moves away from contending, and Garza would be the third such move after first baseman Carlos Pena and reliever Kerry Wood signed on. The cheap deal by Wood -- at just $1.5 million for a year -- likely freed up the money to pursue Garza.

Archer split 2010 between Double- and Triple-A, posting a cumulative 2.34 ERA in 142 1/3 innings, punching out 149. He was recently named the Cubs' top prospect by Baseball America. He profiles as a future No. 2 starter.

Lee, the No. 4 prospect in the system according to BA, was projected to bump Starlin Castro to second base upon promotion to the majors. Clearly, that has changed as Lee now has a clear path to the majors in Tampa as Reid Brignac can shift to second eventually. The left-hander is still a ways away, playing 2010 as a 19 year old for Class A and hitting .282/.354/.351 in 551 plate appearances.

Guyer ranked No. 10 on the top prospect lists as the 24-year-old (25 on Jan. 28) batted .344/.398/.588 in 410 plate appearances for Double-A, cranking 13 home runs. He could be part of the competition for the left- and right-field spots.

Chirinos is old for a top player, but the 26-year-old backstop hit .326/.416/.583 in 380 plate appearances between Double- and Triple-A. He could contend for a major-league spot, battling Kelly Shoppach for time behind the dish. Chirinos can hit, but he can also field, with BA tabbing him the best defensive catcher in the system.

Fuld (29-years-old) and Perez (28-years-old in late April) are old for the minors, but both are fleet of foot -- especially Perez. Fuld has a better stick, hitting .272/.383/.394 in 440 Triple-A PA while Perez hit an embarassing .223/.280/.299 in 429 Triple-A PA that seems like an aberration. Both figure to be backup outfielders, with the switch motivated by a change of scenery. 

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:04 am
Edited on: December 21, 2010 10:00 pm

Mets waiting out starting pitcher market

Young The Mets only have about $4 million to spend and the market for starting pitching is still robust enough that New York has decided to wait for prices to drop, as Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports.

Chris Young (pictured) remains high on GM Sandy Alderson's radar and the righty is among the candidates to sign in New York. The Mets will certainly end up signing one starter, but it may not be Young. Other candidates include Freddy Garcia and Jeff Francis although the Mets will also consider any other established starters looking for a deal such as Brad Penny or Jeremy Bonderman. (Bonderman, in particular, might be a nice grab as he is just 28 and could rebound for the Mets.)

However, Mike Puma of the New York Post hears from team sources that New York is more likely to go the trade route after so much frustration on the free-agent market. The top name on the trade market is Tom Gorzelanny, who figures to make less than $2 million via arbitration.

Matt Garza, the top pitcher left in the starting-pitching market , is also an option but Alderson would have to appeal to management for the funds Garza would earn as well as surrender some of his top prospects. That's highly unlikely to happen.

The Mets, as Martino writes, may be waiting for starter Brandon Webb to sign a deal and set the market for free-agent pitchers with injury concerns.

-- Evan Brunell

UPDATE: Martino tweets that the team isn't going forward with any negotiations with Garcia beyond its initial contact and is unlikely to make any moves until next month. The team has not made an offer to Young, Martino tweets .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 19, 2010 5:47 pm

Top 5 remaining pitchers available

Now that Zack Greinke is in the Brew City, where does that leave teams seeking an arm?

Options are dwindling fast, which will be to the benefit to free-agent pitchers or teams with pitching to deal.

With that in mind, here are the five best options left on the market. This does not include pitchers that may be available but have not been reported to be such and also does not include Andy Pettitte, who will either return to the Yankees or retire.

Rank Who Why
Matt Garza
Garza is actually not as good as his career ERA (3.97) might indicate thanks to a 4.45 xFIP, but the 27-year-old has age and contract on his side, with three years of arbitration eligibility left. He has topped 200 innings the last two years and could blossom in the NL Central. The Rays need salary relief, but would probably prefer to deal Shields (No. 5 on this list) instead. The Rangers figure to be the top bidder for his services, but he has been most closely linked to the Cubs.
Ricky Nolasco
Contract extension talks have broken down between the Fish and Nolasco, so the club has been fielding calls on the right-hander. While Florida has reportedly planned to retain Nolasco through the next two seasons regardless, the club would move Nolasco in the right deal. He would likely cost more than Garza to get a deal done, but his unlucky streak of ball the last three years may chill offers enough that he remains in Florida.
3 Blanton
Joe Blanton
Why Blanton over Carl Pavano, No. 4 on the list? Simple: Pavano is seeking three years and $36 million, while Blanton is due $17 million over the next two years and Philadelphia will likely eat part of his deal to trade him. Meanwhile, Blanton's xFIP over the last two years is similar to Pavano's, and Blanton edges Pavano in age. As a back-of-the-rotation innings eater who keeps teams in games, Blanton's pretty snazzy.
4 Pavano
Carl Pavano
That's not to say that Pavano isn't valuable. The best free-agent starter left on the market (and the only free agent on the list, which speaks volumes), has returned to his innings-chomping ways and hurled 221 frames in 2010. He should be good for an ERA around 4.00 the next couple of years and would do well near the top of a rotation, but he's not an ace. The Twins remain the favorites for his services.
5 Shields
James Shields
Shields actually may be a better pitcher than Garza despite his 5.18 ERA. His xFIP was 3.72, a career-low and has a better track record when it comes to durability. However, that ERA will scare off suitors as well. He has one year of a guaranteed salary remaining, but three club options at escalating prices that could drop him behind Garza in contract status.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 18, 2010 12:57 pm

Rays in no hurry to deal Garza

Matt Garza After Zack Greinke, the other starter mentioned most as a trade candidate is Matt Garza.

However, Rays general manager Andrew Friedman said on a conference call Friday that he has no intentions of trading one of his six starters -- Garza, David Price, James Shield, Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann and Jeremy Hellickson.

"I've said before it's not a situation we look at like having two first basemen," Friedman said, via the Tampa Tribune 's Roger Mooney . "We were very fortunate last year until August that all of our guys took the ball every five days. It doesn't always happen that way. Depth on the starting pitching front is more valuable than anywhere else. At this time our focus is on making deals that fit in our short-term and long-term objectives, and without pinning it to any one area, we're always going to be open-minded to something that fits that criteria. But as far as our motivation? No, that remains the same."

This could be posturing, because if you appear to need to make a deal, the less you can command, or it could be sticking with the old adage that you can never have too much pitching.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 17, 2010 9:18 am
Edited on: December 17, 2010 9:19 am

Mets looking to trade for starter

Tom Gorzelanny The Mets' search for a starting pitcher is more likely to be solved via trade than a free-agent reclamation project, Mike Puma of the New York Post writes .

Now, don't start getting dreams of Zack Greinke, Mets fans, lower your standards (surely, by now, you're used to this, aren't you?)

Anyway, Puma writes Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has already talked to the Cubs about Tom Gorzelanny (pictured). If that doesn't excite you, the team has talked, at least internally, about finding a way to shoehorn in arbitration-eligible right-hander Matt Garza, who is under team control through the 2013 season.

The team has talked to free-agent right-hander Chris Young, who is a big risk, and has apparently passed on lefty Jeff Francis, who was asking for $4 million for next season.

So rest easy, Phillies, you're still on track to have the best rotation in the division next season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 16, 2010 2:19 pm
Edited on: December 17, 2010 3:49 pm

Top 10 baseball storylines from 2010

Honorable Mention CBSSports.com will be revealing its Top 10 Stories of the 2010 season next week, but here at MLB Facts and Rumors we're going to reveal our own Top 10 list, sans the storylines that will be appearing on the overall list.

Here's the top storylines from the 2010 season that didn't make the cut:

  10. Felix Hernandez wins AL Cy Young
The Mariners ace ran away with the Cy Young Award after posting a 2.27 ERA (3.26 xFIP), whiffing 232 in 249 2/3 innings and walking just 70 batters and posting a 13-12 record.

Wait, what?

Yup -- a starting pitcher won the Cy Young with a 13-12 record. Now, there have been past winners who had shoddy records, but in light of Zack Greinke's victory in 2009 with "just" a 16-8 record, it's clear that wins are being marginalized -- and that's a good thing.

Hernandez The majority of GMs and front-office executives understand the fallacy of judging a pitcher's performance on wins. After all, for a pitcher to get a win, the offense and defense play important parts -- and one could argue the offense plays a more important role. Hernandez was clearly the best pitcher in the league (although CC Sabathia did get short shrift) and deserves the award, but could you have seen this coming just five years ago?

Nope. We're in the middle of a seismic shift where advanced statistics are starting to take hold in mainstream media -- for the better. While the statistics used in the sabermetric community (such as xFIP, which is quoted often in this blog) will always be ahead of mainstream media, the mere fact one can find national writers quoting ERA+ is a positive.

  9. End of an era for legendary managers
Four managers with impressive pedigrees saw their managerial careers come to an end (well -- for now).

In Toronto, Cito Gaston ended his return to the managerial ranks by guiding the team to a 85-77 record. Of course, Gaston will be remembered more for his original stint as a Blue Jay where he won back-to-back World Series titles.

Cox Lou Piniella was another to exit stage left, stepping down near the end of yet another disappointing season as Cubs skipper. Piniella takes with him a 116-win season (2001 Mariners) and World Series ring (1990 Reds) along with 1,835 victories.

Joe Torre joins Piniella as another ex-Yankees manager who retired. After Torre bounced around from the Mets to Braves to Cardinals, he landed with the Yankees with almost 15 years experience and then turned into a star. He won four titles in five seasons and remained in New York for 12 years. He just finished up a three-year stint with the Dodgers that saw him win an additional two division titles and retire with 2,326 victories.

Last, but definitely not least, is Bobby Cox (pictured). Cox managed the Braves for 25 years from 1978-81 and then again from 1990-2010. In between, he managed the Blue Jays and served as Atlanta's general manager. Cox had just three losing seasons as Braves manager, going 40-57 in 1990, 79-83 in 2006 and 72-90 in 2008. He oversaw the vaunted trio of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz and won 100-plus games five times, capturing his World Series ring in 1995. All told, he won 2,504 games and lost 2,001.

  8. Chase for Triple Crown
At one point during the season, a Triple Crown was a distinct possibility in both the AL and NL. Josh Hamilton and Miguel Cabrera had a showdown in the AL, but Hamilton's missing most of September cut short any possibility of winning the Triple Crown. Hamilton beat Cabrera in batting average, .359 to .328, but Miggy bested Hamilton with 38 homers to the Ranger's 32. (Jose Bautista pulled away from the field with 54 home runs, but this was a lot closer in July and August than it ended up being.) Cabrera overcame Bautista to win the RBI title with 126 ribbies, and Hamilton was 12th with 100 RBI on the nose.

Pujols The NL was a lot more closer with the combatants as Joey Votto and Albert Pujols (pictured). Pujols ended up with 118 RBI, Votto 113 -- but the reigning NL MVP beat Pujols in batting average with a .324 mark as compared to Phat Albert's .312. (Carlos Gonzalez won the title with a .336 mark.) Ah, but Pujols walked away the home-run king with 42 bombs, Votto cranking 37.

  7. Rookies of the Year
In the AL, two rookies grabbed everyone's attention with center fielder Austin Jackson flourishing in Detroit and Neftali Feliz notching 40 saves. A slow start derailed Brian Matusz's hype in Baltimore, but by the end of the year it was looking like he could be the ace many had predicted him to be.

The real story was in the NL, where there was a plethora of candidates in Buster Posey, Ike Davis, Mike Leake, Stephen Strasburg, Jason Heyward, Madison Bumgarner, Ian Desmond, David Freese, Mike Stanton, Travis Wood, Pedro Alvarez, Aroldis Chapman, Starlin Castro, Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez, Jose Tabata, Jon Niese...

Yep, there was a bona fide youth movement in the NL this year, and it should be one fun league to watch over the next few seasons. In any other given year, at least five, if not more, could have won Rookie of the Year awards. But they didn't.

Posey So, who actually got the Rookie of the Year Awards?

The AL honor went to Feliz for his 40 saves in 69 1/3 innings, punching out 71 and walking 18. He has the potential to be a stud closer for years... or could be moved back to the rotation. Your move, Texas.

In the NL, Buster Posey (pictured) whisked the award away from Jason Heyward with a .305/.357/.505 line in 443 plate appearances, bashing 18 home runs and leading the Giants to the World Series. Nah, he didn't set any expectations for himself.

  6. Dodger Divorce
This storyline isn't quite over, but 2010 saw the sordid trial and subsequent decision by the judge that both Frank and Jamie McCourt own the Dodgers. Whether or not this pushes the team to sell isn't known yet, but this was a divorce that captured the hearts of tabloids and overshadowed the constant Hollywood marital troubles that plague movie celebrities.

At the crux of the issue were two separate agreements that detailed either Frank (pictured below left) possessing sole ownership of the club, or both. Frank's lawyer admitted he made changed to the marital agreement without notifying Jamie or her representatives that gave Frank sole ownership.

With the agreement nullified, Frank is pursuing other avenues to be declared the sole owner while Jamie and representatives say that the Dodgers must be treated like community property. While there's still more battles to be had, the war is over: both McCourts own the team and it's difficult to fathom both co-existing, which will lead to the team's sale.

McCourt 5. Year of the Pitcher
Six no-hitters were thrown in 2010, a remarkable achievement. Only two other times were six no-hitters thrown, and that's not including the Perfect Game That Wasn't in Armando Galarraga's perfecto.

Ubaldo Jimenez tossed the first no-hitter in Rockies franchise history against the Braves on April 17 to get the no-nos started. Matt Garza also tossed a franchise-first no-hitter, doing so for the Rays vs. the Tigers on July 26, the final no-hitter of the regular season.

Dallas Braden then followed that up with a perfect game against the Rays on May 9th, adding a nice little wrinkle to the earlier flap with Alex Rodriguez, when he yelled at the third baseman to "get off my mound." Rodriguez responded in Pedro Martinez form , asking just who the heck Braden was. Cue perfect game. Now people know who Braden is.

New Phillie Roy Halladay (pictured) followed in Braden's footsteps 20 days later, pitching perfect against the Marlins May 29.

Edwin Jackson joined in on the fun June 25th, throwing an incredible 149 pitches to notch a no-no for the Diamondbacks.

Lastly, Halladay did perhaps the most impressive feat of all, blanking the Reds in Game 1 of the NL Division Series on October 6. It's the second no-hitter to be thrown in the postseason, behind Don Larsen's perfecto in 1956. He was one walk in the 5th away from a second perfect game.

Halladay That wasn't all that made the year all about pitchers, however. Fifteen hurlers tied the all-time record for most pitchers with at least 200 strikeouts, paced by Jered Weaver's 233 whiffs.

  4. George Steinbrenner passes
Steinbrenner was someone who loomed over baseball from Day One upon his acquisition of the Yankees in 1973. Brash and loud, Steinbrenner wouldn't accept any form of losing and while New York won two World Series in 1976-77 and appeared in two others in 1976 and 1981, New York quickly fell into obscurity as Steinbrenner's demands weren't the way a club should be run.

His overturn of management personnel was rough as well, as 20 managers served under his watch over his first 23 seasons, Billy Martin the poster boy for this overturn. Steinbrenner was also suspended for 15 months after the 1974 season for illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon. It wouldn't be his last suspension.

Despite this, however, the Yankees reinvigorated a brand that had been dormant for a decade. Then, the best thing that could have happened to New York did with King George's second suspension, handed out for paying a gambler for trying to dig up information on star Dave Winfield, whom Steinbrenner had made the highest-paid player in baseball history at the time before clashing with the Hall of Famer.

This allowed Gene Michael, the GM, to take over day-to-day Yankees business and upon Steinbrenner's reinstatement in 1993, he was more willing to be hands off -- as hands off as he could be, anyways.

This shift led the Yankees to their glory years behind Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, and so on. The Yankees captured four World Series in a five-year span, three straight from 1998-2000. They would continue to be the face of baseball throughout the beginning of the 21st century and captured another World Series in 2009, the last postseason Steinbrenner would see.

Steinbrenner The Boss passed on the morning of the 2010 All-Star Game, July 13. With that, the Yankees lost perhaps their most influential and important owner in franchise history (although one could make a case for Jacob Ruppert ).

  3. Cliff Lee Watch
On MLB Facts and Rumors, Cliff Lee has been written more than any other player -- and team. The Cliff Lee tag beats out the Diamondbacks, Pirates, Orioles, Rockies, Padres, Blue Jays, Tigers, Brewers, Royals, Angels, Athletics, Astros and Indians. That's a lot.

That's not all, however. There's also a Cliff Lee Watch tag, detailing his adventures through trades and free agency. What does that top? Well, Derek Jeter for one. Only Adam Dunn, Stephen Strasburg and Lee himself are the only players that top that tag. Yep, that means Derek Jeter, Carl Crawford, Josh Hamilton... they've all been written about less than Lee's nomadic career.


Lee is truly a journalist's dream, with the specter of free agency and constant trades keeping Lee at the forefront of the news. First Lee was dealt to the Phillies, and their push to the World Series provided plenty of fodder. Then you had Lee being traded to the Mariners and the head-scratching element of Philly turning around and acquiring Roy Halladay.

Lee Then the Mariners flailed, and Lee was in a tug of war between the Rangers and Yankees. With Texas, he advanced to the World Series yet again, but hit free agency and we all know how that turned out.

Lee has been a big part of baseball coverage the last two years, and especially this year as he went from the Phillies to Mariners to Rangers and back to Philadelphia. I've never quite seen a player sustain coverage this long in so many different ways.

  2. Strasmas
Cliff Lee may have dominated the off-the-field storylines, but Stephen Strasburg was a phenom on the field. He rocketed through the minors, with each of his farm starts must-see status.

Then: his debut.

Seven innings, two earned runs, no walks, 14 strikeouts -- and a whole lot of Nationals fans grinning ear to ear. He reached 100 mph on two pitches, and 34 of 94 pitches broke the 98-mph barrier.

It didn't stop there, as Strasmas blew through city after city, leaving shell-shocked players in its wake as Strasburg racked up 92 strikeouts in 68 innings over 12 starts. He posted a 2.91 ERA while walking just 17 and was an instant ace. Even a disabled-list stint in July for shoulder inflammation wasn't enough to curb the hype.

Until August 21.

Strasburg Then, Tommy John surgery showed up in Strasburg's stocking as a big lump of coal.

Strasburg was one of the most hyped pitchers of all time (David Clyde 's got nothing on this guy) and delivered with TJ surgery providing the rock bottom. And all the while, tons of ink was devoted to Strasburg. In fact, Strasburg was the most-written about player on MLB Facts and Rumors until Lee got sent to Texas.

  1. Jim Joyce blows Armando Galarraga's perfect game
What more can one say about this?

It was a brutal reminder to all that baseball simply needs instant replay. In this day and age, an "aw shucks, I messed up" isn't enough. Fans want to know that what they see on the field is legitimate. How many times do you hear about the 1985 World Series-winning Royals without the name Jorge Orta added?

How about the 1996 Yankees, who have to tote around Jeffrey Maier as part of its legacy?
Galarraga and Joyce
Imagine what would have happened in the 2004 ALCS had the original call of Mark Bellhorn's double had been upheld, as well as Alex Rodriguez's purse-slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove?

Give Joyce credit for owning up to blowing the call and being genuinely bothered by the fact Armando Galarraga lost his shot at history on a blown call.

Give credit too, for Galarraga and the Tigers for being incredibly gracious. The actions of the two involved defused what could have been a powder-keg situation. (Just look at the picture -- talk about reconciliation.)

That doesn't change what happened, though. And what happened was this: Armando Galarraga lost a perfecto on the final out of the game in which there is irrefutable proof that the batter was out.

In the Year of the Pitcher with Lee and Strasburg as the most-talked about players and amidst the slow advent (and inevitable arrival) of expanded instant replay, it's perhaps fitting that this storyline heads the list of top storylines of the baseball season that did not make the all-inclusive Top 10 sports list, due to run on CBSSports.com next week.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: December 16, 2010 12:17 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2010 4:08 pm

A's swap for Nats' Willingham

Josh Willingham You know, it might be time to start keeping an eye on the Athletics.

They went 81-81 last season, and their weakness was clear: They pitched great, but they couldn't hit. But Oakland has made big moves on offense so far this winter and could be poised to make another. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the A's are in "serious discussions" to get outfielder Josh Willingham from the Nationals.

When you consider that the three outfielders who made the most starts for the A's last season combined for seven homers -- yes, seven -- they're looking at a big outfield upgrade. Coco Crisp played in just 75 games last season due to injuries, but if he returns to form he'll be productive in the leadoff spot. The A's got David DeJesus, a high average guy with a little power, in November. Adding Willingham, who's good for 20-plus homers when healthy, would give Oakland a formidable outfield.

The Nationals' motivation for moving Willingham would be money. He made $4.6 million last season and is arbitration-eligible, and Washington needs to pay Jayson Werth. They also could have other moves in the works, reportedly pursuing trades for pitchers Zack Greinke and Matt Garza and bidding on first basemen Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee.

Rosenthal said the Nationals would get two minor leaguers from the A's in exchange for Willingham.

UPDATE: Buster Olney of ESPN.com says via Twitter the teams have a deal in principle, with the Nats getting "two young players, one of whom has major league experience."

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE : The deal is done. Washington receives fireballing reliever Henry Rodriguez, who can touch 100 mph, and minor-league outfilelder Corey Brown. Reports had GM Mike Rizzo demanding more for Willingham so this is a bit of a surprise, but the motivation may have been to get the left-fielder out of town after Rizzo refused to extend Willingham.

Rodriguez is the man with MLB experience and threw the second-fastest fastball in the bigs in 2010, touching 103.2 mph. He appeared in 29 games, hurling 27 2/3 innings of a 4.55 ERA, punching out 33 but walking 13. The 23-year-old will compete for the closer's job in Washington, which is wide open.

Brown, meanwhile, is a left-handed outfielder who appeared in Triple-A for the first time in 2010 as a 24-year-old. He hit just .193/.253/.378 in 148 plate appearances. He did, however, bash Double-A to the tune of .320/.415/.502 in 386 PA. With 22 stolen bases on the season, Brown could develop into a solid fourth outfielder for Washington.

Still, this package feels light for Willingham. Oh well, that's to Oakland's benefit who now have to figure out which starting outfielder hits the bench.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com