My Thoughts on Today’s Roster Moves

Today there was a bunch of roster moves made. I’ll add a few words on them..
Tommy Hunter was optioned to AA Frisco. A lot of guys are high on this guy, and he seems like a nice enough guy to me, but when he pitched for us in 2008 (only three times for an ERA of 16.36), I felt he was not ready. I’ll give this an “incomplete” rating (not that I’m rating ’em all).
Joaquin Arias optioned to AAA. There was some noise this week about him possibly being moved, but I didn’t really think that was happening. His injuries have bumped him down the pecking order, and had they not done the thing with moving Young to 3B, I could have seen Arias here being the backup infielder. However, they did move Young, wich brought up Elvis, which brought in Vizquel as mentor. I get the feeling we’ll never see Arias here full time unless there’s a major breakdown of someone. He’s tradebait eventually I suspect, but not now – it wouldn’t be selling high, I think.
Brandon Boggs optioned to AAA. Man, he caught fire when he first came up last year, didn’t he? Stuck around for awhile, but isn’t the “stud” name you’d expect. Probably pushed out by Andruw Jones, I would think.
Doug Mathis reassigned to minor league camp. Eight appearances in 2008 (four starts; 6.85 ERA). Kind of like Hunter, but I got the impression he was more “cooked” than Hunter was. Again, nice guy, got hurt, moved down the pecking order due to injury time off, I’m guessing.
Netfali Feliz & Derek Holland reassigned to minor league camp. Uh, not yet, guys.
And Frank Catalanotto. He was placed on irrevocable release waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release. That is a rather wordy way of saying “Bye!”. I know it’s not as cold as that. I told my wife they released Cat tonight, and she seemed surprised by that (but she doesn’t really follow the team too closely). In explaining it to her, I said something like “Well, when he came back, it was a great time for Cat. At that time, we needed his bat back, but he quickly got passed over by a bunch of other young kids, and eventually got squeezed out.” His contract probably kept him from being formally traded, but he’s in the same boat now that Adam Eaton, Andruw Jones, Geoff Jenkins, & Gary Sheffield are in. Someone else is going to be paying big bucks to play elsewhere. Catalanotto’s waiver period actually expires on opening day, so he’s in limbo between now and the start of the season. Unless he’s claimed on waivers in the meantime, he’s not going to be on an opening day roster. He’ll get a job somewhere, but I doubt he’ll have a starting job again in he majors. Shame, as he can still hit, but he seemed squeezed out here for sure. He did have a contractual clause in his current contract which stated this.. “If Frank has 500 plate appearances in 2009, or 1000 combined plate appearances in 2008 and 2009, the option jumps to $5.5 million and the buyout to $2.25 million.” If he goes somewhere and does get the 500 at bats, I wonder if we’ll be on the hook for the additional money, too. I couldn’t find anything online about it, and I asked a few people about it, and they didn’t know either. Any contract experts out there know anything about this?
As we wave goodbye to Frank Catalanotto, I think this picture taken at a game in Anaheim some years ago is appropriate.

Speaking of big bucks to play elsewhere, don’t forget, we still are paying money to Alex Rodriguez to play in New York. Not as much as we had been before due to his opt-out, but we still are. That knaws at you just a little, doesn’t it?
I’ll have more to say about the final opening day roster once the big bomb of roster moves are made to accommodate all the guys moving on and off the 25 man & 40 man rosters.