Legends Hall of Famer Pence avoid arbitration with Astros

Major League Baseball

Hunter Pence; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Lexington Legends Hall of Famer Hunter Pence avoided arbitration with the Houston Astros by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3.5 million. Pence is under club control for three more seasons. Hunter was named a 2009 National League All-Star and slugged a career high 25 home runs last season.

His fellow Legends Hall of Famer and Astros’ teammate Wandy Rodriguez has yet to agree on a 2010 contract with the team. (Read more from MLB.com)

Blanton, Pence, Rodriguez don’t reach arbitration agreements; Cox among NCAA’s best

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball

Joe Blanton; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday was the MLB deadline for arbitration-eligible players and teams to exchange salary figures. If teams and players don’t agree to terms before a arbitration hearing a judge will side with one party. Check out two relevant arbitration updates and a honor for a Kentucky high school alum in some afternoon links:

  • Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports University of Kentucky alum Joe Blanton and the Philadelphia Phillies are far apart in their exchanged salary arbitration figures.
  • Most arbitration cases meet somewhere in the middle of the two exchanged figures, but Blanton and the Phillies are so far apart this probably will go to a hearing.
  • The College Baseball Blog ranked Louisville-native, PRP alum and Arkansas infielder Zack Cox the third best player in college baseball.
  • Brian McTaggert of MLB.com reports Lexington Legends Hall of Famers Hunter Pence and Wandy Rodriguez did not reach a deal with the Astros before Tuesday’s deadline to exchange salary arbitration figures.
  • Darren Heitner of the Sports Agent Blog examines what implications the James Paxton situation will have on college advisors.

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.

BluGrass Baseball top fantasy players

Major League Baseball


Joey Votto; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Tristan H. Cockcroft ESPN.com has released his preliminary rankings for the 2010 top 200 fantasy players. Clearly this list will change based on offseason movement and injuries before March, but it’s never too early to start preparing your fantasy draft. Here are the players with Kentucky ties on the list:


  • 41) 1B Joey Votto — Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
  • 44) 3B Mark Reynolds — Pikevilly, Ky. — Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 58) OF Adam Dunn — Louisville Bats — Washington Nationals
  • 90) INF/OF Ben Zobrist — Lexington Legends — Tampa Bay Rays
  • 100) OF Hunter Pence — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
  • 114) OF Jay Bruce — Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
  • 136) SP Wandy Rodriguez — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
  • 145) SP Brandon Webb — Ashland, Ky., UK — Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 146) 2B Dan Uggla — Louisville, Ky. — Florida Marlins
  • 177) 2B Felipe Lopez — Louisville Bats — FA

You can see Cockcroft’s full list here.

Arbitration raises; trade rumors; recruiting classes

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Hunter Pence; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Lots of news in on a Friday morning. Check back this afternoon for updates on a couple of the these stories as we start breaking down the early signing period baseball classes of the state universities.

  • Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports arbitration raises to Lexington Legends Hall of Famers Hunter Pence and Wandy Rodriguez will limit the Houston Astros’ offseason moves.
  • Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes in the Marlins do trade Louisville-native Dan Uggla they might be more active in the free agent market.
  • Former WKU pitcher Brady Frey has transferred to Nicholls State.
  • 2009 Bat Yonder Alonso was 1-5 with a double and two RBI in the Arizona Fall League finale. Teammate Sean Watson pitched two scoreless innings for Peoria. 2009 Legend Daniel Meszaros struck out the side in a scoreless inning.
  • WKU baseball reports it signed five incoming freshmen for 2011. (Check back later for further breakdown)
  • Morehead State also announced six signees for 2011.

BluGrass Baseball Arbitration Eligble Players

Major League Baseball


Corey Hart

Corey Hart; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

We broke down the free agents with Kentucky ties earlier this month, but now I thought we’d look at the arbitration eligible players. Players with three to six years of service time, or designated as “super twos,” are eligible for a salary raise through arbitration. Teams then chose whether to offer these players a contract for the coming season, though the salary generally can’t be less than 80 percent of the previous year’s salary. Some players receive huge raises in arbitration leading smaller market teams to trade them. So if you’re looking for trade candidates or non-tender candidates this is a good place to start.


  • RHP Joe Blanton — UK — Philadelphia Phillies
  • C John Buck — Lexington Legends — Kansas City Royals
  • RHP Jared Burton — Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
  • RHP Todd Coffey — Louisville Bats — Milwaukee Brewers
  • OF Corey Hart — Bowling Green, Ky. — Milwaukee Brewers
  • OF Hunter Pence — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
  • RHP Wandy Rodriguez — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
  • 2B Dan Uggla — Louisville, Ky. — Florida Marlins

Here’s the full arbitration list on MLB.com.

Bluegrass players among ESPN’s top 100 keepers

Major League Baseball
Photo by angela n. via Flickr

Photo by angela n. via Flickr

ESPN has released its list of top 100 fantasy keepers for 2010. Keepers in fantasy baseball are players that a fantasy owner has control of for multiple seasons. The list doesn’t necessarily reflect the best fantasy players, because youth is rewarded since an owner will control the player for multiple years. You can see the full list here, but these are the Kentucky players and their rankings:

  • 23 — Mark Reynolds — Arizona Diamondbacks — Pikeville, Ky.
  • 40 — Joey Votto — Cincinnati Reds — Louisville Bats
  • 56 — Adam Dunn — Washington Nationals — Louisville Bats
  • 69 — Hunter Pence — Houston Astros — Lexington Legends
  • 80 — Ben Zobrist — Tampa Rays — Lexington Legends
  • 83 — Jay Bruce — Cincinnati Reds — Louisville Bats
  • 92 — Drew Stubbs — Cincinnati Reds — Louisville Bats
  • 99 — Dan Uggla — Florida Marlins — Louisville, Ky.

Sunday Links: Moore Named BG MVP

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Matt Moore

A BluGrass player was recognized by his major league team and several players with Kentucky ties had major-league impact.  Check those stories in today’s links:

  • The Tampa Rays named LHP Matt Moore the MVP of the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
  • Jeff Wallner of MLB.com profiles former Bat Juan Francisco.
  • Lexington Legends Hall of Famer Hunter Pence hit his 24th home run of the season for Houston.
  • 2009 Bats Drew Stubbs (8) and Ryan Hannigan (3) both went deep for Cincinnati and Ramon Ramirez pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
  • Mark Reynolds Home Run Record Watch: 0-4, 2 K’s

Tuesday Links: Minor League Regular Season Ends

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Louisville Slugger Field

Labor Day was the last day of the minor-league regular season.  We already told you about the Lexington/Bowling Green game, but that wasn’t the only BluGrass baseball storyline.

  • MinorleagueBaseball.com previews Louisville’s playoff series with Durham.
  • The Bats fell 4-2 in their final regular season tune-up before the playoffs start Wednesday.
  • The Hot Rods’ Web site highlights Michael Jarman’s pitching effort in the season-ending loss to Lexington.
  • The Legends report on their series sweep of Bowling Green.
  • Lexington also has a news release on its Web site about former Legend Hunter Pence being nominated for the Roberto Clemente award.
  • Linda Younkin of the Frankfort State-Journal profiles UofL Hall of Fame inductee and career hits leader Tommy Barnes and his battle with cancer.
  • Jack Etkin of Baseball America profiles former Bat Darnell McDonald.
  • The Bats ranked as the ninth best team in the minor-league regular season according to BA.

Pellegrini One From Record

Minor League Baseball

Brian Pellegrini

Lexington Legends outfielder Brian Pellegrini moved one home run from the single-season team record with his 24th home run of the season in a 12-inning Lexington victory.  Pellegrini has eight games remaining in the season to break Beau Herod’s and Hunter Pence’s record of 25 home runs in a season.  Brian has 31 home runs on the year between Lexington and high A Lancaster.  His 31 home runs rank second in all of minor league baseball.