Blanton, Phillies talking long-term deal; Heisey hopes to make Reds roster

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

Two more updates on the prominent Kentucky arbitration eligible players from this offseason, a profile of a 2009 minor leaguer and a  news release from one of the state’s minor league teams for your Thursday morning:

  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports the Philadelphia Phillies are negotiating a long-term contract with University of Kentucky alum Joe Blanton instead of just a one-year deal.
  • The Miami Herald reports Florida Marlins President David Samson said on his radio show he expects Louisville-native Dan Uggla to be Florida’s Opening Day second baseman.
  • Mark Sheldon of MLB.com profiles 2009 Louisville Bat Chris Heisey and his attempt to make the 2010 Reds roster.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods have released their 2010 promotions schedule.

Uggla, Marlins agree to one-year deal, avoid arbitration

Major League Baseball

Dan Uggla; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports the Florida Marlins and Louisville-native Dan Uggla agreed on a one-year, $7.8 million contract Monday. The agreement means the two sides have avoided an arbitration hearing. Uggla had been actively shopped by the Marlins this offseason, and he remains a candidate to be traded before Opening Day. The Marlins have made it clear they won’t just give the slugger away. (Read more)

Uggla had this to say about Frisaro about staying in Florida:

It feels good to get this out of the way. I can’t say that I’m going to for sure be a Marlin, because no one knows that. But I feel with the situation I’m in, I’m happy to be with the Marlins. I love it down there. They worked really well with me to come to an agreement, so I don’t have to go to an arbitration hearing. So I’m happy.”

Blanton, Uggla file for abritration; More Paxton breakdown

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Joe Blanton; UK Athletics Wallpaper

Arbitration filings were the story of the weekend with two of the state’s best players officially filing with their teams. Check out those stories and others on your MLK day.

  • Michael Compton of The Daily News interviews new Bowling Green Hot Rods manager Brady Williams.
  • Aaron Fitt of Baseball America examines where James Paxton might go from here after Friday’s ruling.
  • Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports University of Kentucky alum Joe Blanton officially filed for arbitration Friday in advance of salary figure exchanges with the Phillies.
  • Gonzalez also reports Louisville-native Dan Uggla also officially filed for arbitration with the Marlins.

Kentucky minor league free agent update

Minor League Baseball

News of minor league free agent signings is always scarce unless a player signs with an invitation to Spring Training like Somerset-native Josh Anderson or Louisville-native Chris Burke. For lower level minor league free agents spots contracts are signed as teams seek to fill organizational holes. The best resource for following these signings is usually Baseball America‘s weekly minor league transaction feature.

With that in mind here my most up-to-date Kentucky minor league free agents list with the players 2009 organization and level listed.

  • C Neil Wilson — Covington, Ky. — Florida  Marlins — AAA
  • 3B Tanner Townsend — WKU — Florida Marlins — 2009 DNP
  • LHRP John Switzer — Covington, Ky. — New York Mets — AAA
  • RHRP Matt Ginter — Winchester, Ky. (Morehead) — Milwaukee Brewers — AAA
  • RHRP Zack Pitts — Elizabethtown, Ky. (UofL) — St. Louis Cardinals — 2009 DNP
  • RHRP Matt Wilhite — Bowling Green, Ky. (WKU) — Colorado Rockies — AAA
  • RHRP Andrew Albers — UK — San Diego Padres — 2009 DNP
  • SS Ryan Wilkes — UK — New York Yankees — 2009 DNP

Marlins may add payroll but still move Uggla; College roundup

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

Dan Uggla; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Lots of college baseball news as the Spring Semester starts at UK on a Wednesday. Also check out more speculation about Dan Uggla and an update on a former college coach.

  • John Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com doubts pressure from MLB and the MLBPA on the Marlins to spend more of their revenue sharing money on payroll will lead to the team keeping Louisville-native Dan Uggla.
  • Brent Ingram of University of Kentucky Athletics profiles UK second baseman an preseason All-American Chris Bisson for the UK blog “Cat Scratches.”
  • Morehead State has a news release about shortstop Drew Lee being named a Ping! Baseball All-American.
  • Brian Foley of The College Baseball Blog previews the Southeastern Conference East and picks UK to finish third.
  • Former UK baseball coach Keith Madison is now working for SCORE International, a sports missionary organization, that has just joined with Dayton University to supply baseball gloves to needy children.

Uggla to remain a Marlin?; Green resigns with Mets

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Dan Uggla; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

A few afternoon notes to pass along as some updates of some of the storylines we were following before the Holidays.

  • Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports a source with the Marlins says the chances of Louisville-native Dan Uggla beginning 2010 with the Marlins are increasing daily.
  • University of Kentucky alum Andy Green resigned a Minor League contract with the New York Mets.
  • Hap Fry of the Fort Collins Coloradoan profiles Rocky Mountain High School’s baseball program which produced current UK infielder Andy  Burns.
  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports arbitration raises to players including UK alum Joe Blanton will affect what the Phillies can do in the remainder of the offseason.
  • Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune (writing for Baseball America) had this to say about UK alum John Shelby in BA’s White Sox prospect chat: (subscription required)
  • Treybone is still on the organization’s radar because of his speed-power combination. But he’s definitely viewed more as a possible role player than a likely regular. He needs to get his batting average back up near .300 this year, and that will be a challenge.

Uggla rumors; Hot Rods name new staff

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

The three-team multiple Cy Young winner blockbuster trade is official, and UK alum Joe Blanton is still a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Blanton appears likely to start the season in Philadelphia since the team parted with Lee, but due to his impending salary raise his status remains worth watching. Now that the baseball world can move past the trade here are some Bluegrass storylines to keep track of:

  • Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald passes on a few of the names in the Giants and Marlins Dan Uggla discussions. The most interesting: left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez.
  • With the number of available second baseman this offseason, someone like Uggla will probably have to move positions, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs.com writes.
  • Brady Williams was named the 2010 manager of the Bowling Green Hot Rods by the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • Michael Grant of The Courier-Journal talks to St. X-alum Chris Burke about the opportunity to play for the Reds or his hometown Louisville Bats.
  • You can see Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos talk about the blockbuster trade and his recent signing of Lexington Legends Hall of Famer John Buck in a video via MLB.com here.

Buck, Anderson become free agents; Uggla stays for now

Major League Baseball

Josh Anderson; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The arbitration deadline has come and gone and several new free agents are now available to major league teams, including two Kentucky alumni. Find out which former Bluegrass players are looking for new teams and what others will be sticking around in there previous homes below:

  • Dick Kaegel of MLB.com reports the Kansas City Royals non-tendered a couple of former Lexington Legends in catcher John Buck and outfielder Josh Anderson. Anderson is a Somerset-native and played collegiately at Eastern Kentucky University.
  • The Marlins offered a contract to Louisville-native Dan Uggla. All indications still point toward the Marlins moving Uggla before Spring Training.
  • UK-alum Joe Blanton was tendered a contract by the Phillies.
  • The Astros did offer contracts to Legends Hall of Famers Hunter Pence and Wandy Rodriguez.

Blanton may be key to Halladay trade; Uggla remains a Marlin

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Joe Blanton; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The Winter Meetings are over and not a lot of BluGrass Baseball players have moved teams. Dan Uggla remains a Marlin, Corey Hart a Brewer and Scott Downs a Blue Jay. Todd Wellemeyer, Austin Kearns and Paul Byrd all remain unemployed. Each of the those players and several other Kentucky alumni could still end up elsewhere to start 2010 so keep checking back to BluGrass Baseball for the latest news.

  • Jordan Bastian of MLB.com writes the Philadelphia Phillies will likely have to move UK alum Joe Blanton before making a serious run at Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay.
  • Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that even after the Winter Meetings, trading Louisville-native Dan Uggla remains high on the Marlins’ agenda.
  • Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post writes while Uggla remains a Marlin for now, Florida will still likely have a new second baseman to start 2010.
  • Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports the San Francisco Giants are looking to add some power to the lineup, but Uggla is not the Giants’ first choice.
  • Aaron Fitt of Baseball America doesn’t under stand the James Paxton camp’s strategy of prolonging its lawsuit against the University of Kentucky. He thinks if Paxton has any chance to play in 2010 he might be best served by meeting with investigators and proceeding from there.
  • The Louisville Bats named Matt Andrews their new director of broadcasting. Andrews also serves as the Morehead State men’s basketball lead radio broadcaster.

Winter Meetings: Mets and Brewers discussing Hart swap

Major League Baseball

Corey Hart; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Lots of Winter Meetings rumors to get to this morning. As for the other major Kentucky baseball story, some outlets had reported we should expect a response from James Paxton’s attorneys to the UK motion Monday, but I’ve seen no report that happened. As soon as I hear something about the case I’ll pass it on here.

  • Joel Sherman of The New York Post tweets that the New York Mets are talking about a trade of starting pitcher John Maine to the Milwaukee Brewers for Bowling Green-native Corey Hart.
  • Matthew Pouliot of NBC Sports writes the Brewers should be cautious when considering that trade, there might be more to Maine’s medical history than meets the eye.
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cautions that this may be a trade than never moves past the initial discussion stage, but Maine’s ties to Brewers’ pitching coach Rick Peterson may facilitate further talks.
  • Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun writes there has been no recent talks about any Baltimore Orioles trade for Louisville-native Dan Uggla.
  • Joe Frisaro of MLB.com writes Uggla faces an uncertain future.