Tag: Ronnie Belliard

New York Yankees Depth: Can Justin Maxwell, Ronnie Belliard or Eric Chavez Help?

Earlier in the week, the Yankees acquired outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Washington Nationals in exchange for minor league righty Adam Olbrychowski.  Just yesterday, the team signed veterans Ronnie Belliard and Eric Chavez to minor league deals with invitations to spring training. 

Now that GM Brian Cashman is likely done bringing in possible bench options, I’ll predict how helpful each of the aforementioned players can be to the Yankees in 2011.

Maxwell is a very, very big boy.  He’s listed at 6’5” and 235 pounds, but he may very well be a little bigger.  He’s always been considered a superior athlete, and that athleticism could translate well into a reserve outfield spot on the Yankees.

Once a top prospect in the Nationals organization, Maxwell broke into the bigs in 2007 in grand fashion.  In his third pinch-hit appearance, just six days after being called up to the club for his debut, he smacked a grand slam off of an 0-2 pitch against the Florida Marlins.

The promising talent missed just about all of the 2008 season with a fractured wrist that he suffered while diving for a fly ball.

Most of Maxwell’s 2009 season was spent at AAA Syracuse, but he was called up late in the season to cover for the injured Nyjer Morgan.  The highlight of his 2009 season was a walk-off grand slam that he hit off of Francisco Rodriguez to give the Nationals the win on Fan Appreciation Day.

He again spent a significant amount of time in AAA Syracuse in 2010, but returned to the majors later in the season to hit yet another grand slam, this time off of the Braves’ Mike Minor.  That gave him three career grand slams in four at-bats with the bases loaded.

Maxwell is currently recovering from an October Tommy John surgery, but he’ll be given every opportunity to make the club out of spring training.  Who knows?  He might regain his top prospect form in the Bronx.

Infielder Ronnie Belliard has been a journeyman of sorts throughout his major league career.  He has had stints with the Brewers, Rockies, Indians, Cardinals, Nationals and Dodgers. 

He has been very inconsistent throughout his career, and has always battled constant issues with his weight.  The one-year, $850,000 deal he signed with the Dodgers last January had a clause in it that Belliard could be given his official release if he failed to report to camp under 215 pounds.

Hopefully weight won’t be an issue this season with the Yankees.  Even if he comes into camp at 230 pounds, the Yankees won’t care as long as he produces.  Realistically, he’ll be battling with Eric Chavez for a bench spot this season.

Speaking of Chavez, he’s finally healthy.  Or, so he says.  It’s hard not to feel sympathy for this guy.  A lifetime Oakland Athletic up until yesterday, Chavez has battled his fair share of injuries throughout his career.

His most recent string of injuries began in 2008, when he hit the disabled list due to pack pain.  That same season, he found himself on the disabled list again with right shoulder inflammation.  In Jun. 2009 he was placed on the disabled list due to back pain, effectively ending his season.  Chavez played in just 33 games in 2010.

When healthy, Chavez was one of the best third basemen in the league.  He won six consecutive Gold Glove awards from 2001-2006 and he won a Silver Slugger award in 2002.

Chavez will be competing with Belliard, as well as Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez, for a reserve role this year for the Yankees.  Although both Pena and Nunez are superior fielders (at this point in his career, it’s hard to know the kind of defense you’ll get from Chavez), Belliard and Chavez are superior bats.

It should be interesting this spring to see who gets the call.  Chavez is only useful as a corner infielder, while Belliard can play all over the infield.  Pena and Nunez are best suited for up the middle, but they both can play third base as well.

The acquisitions of Maxwell, Belliard and Chavez could very well help the team this season, but we’ll have to wait and see as to what capacity they actually will.

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MLB Trade Deadline: Five Players Dodgers Should Have Dealt

This season’s trade deadline held no surprises for the Dodgers and General Manager Ned Colletti.

As per usual, the tenacious GM pulled off some big moves in the 11th hour, acquiring best-of-the-remaining starters Ted Lilly, a reliable infielder and everyday starter in Ryan Theriot, a seasoned veteran fireballer in Octavio Dotel, and stability and speed in the outfield with Scott Podsednik.

However, there are still several players on the Dodgers’ roster that should have been shipped out in the process.

It is certainly considered a victory when a team can pick up established stars for little more than prospects and cash, but Los Angeles has expendable players to move to make room for the regular starters to have a place on the active 25-man roster.

Here are five players squatting on the Dodgers’ roster that should have found new homes.

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2010 MLB Trade Rumors: L.A. Dodgers Potential Trade Moves

The MLB trade deadline is just two weeks away and talks are beginning to heat up around the league.

This year’s deadline is sure to be filled with sellers as a lot of teams are looking to free up cap room in an ever-struggling economy. Despite a meager bank account and not many prospects for improvement, the Dodgers view themselves as buyers.

The lack of a solid starting rotation has prompted the Dodgers to reach out to several teams regarding pitching, but the Dodgers seem unwilling to part with core talent. However, with pressure mounting and GM Ned Colletti sweating, those “No’s” might just be “Not yet’s.”

Here are a few possibilities for Dodger trades, although any talks of the Dodgers making moves may be like panning for gold in a tar pit.

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2010 MLB Trade Rumors: Top Five L.A. Dodgers Most Likely To Be Traded

Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti has built a reputation for pulling off sensational moves at the trade deadline, and this season looks to be no different despite funds being tied up in a bitter divorce and ownership dispute with the McCourts.

The list of players acquired or dealt by Colletti before the deadline over the last five years has some big names on it:

Acquired pitcher Mark Hendrickson and catcher Toby Hall, dealt Sandy Alomar Jr., Odalis Perez for Elmer Dessens, got Greg Maddux and Julio Lugo while only giving up Caesar Izturis and prospects, also acquired Marlon Anderson.

David Wells, Estaban Loaiza, Mark Sweeney and Scott Proctor were added with essentially just Wilson Betemit departing.

Casey Blake, Angel Berroa, Greg Maddux again, and then the big one: Manny Ramirez in a three-team trade just minutes before the deadline.

George Sherrill, Vicente Padilla (via free agency), Jon Garland, Ronnie Belliard, Jim Thome.


With the above rapsheet as evidence, expect the tenacious GM to pull off some big moves. But who will be on the trading block in the upcoming weeks?

It may take some big name position players to land an A-Type starting rotation pitcher, as most of the former talented prospects have found their way to the Major League roster.

The Dodgers appear to have some talent below the Triple-A level. However, most teams are looking for immediate impact players when dealing at the deadline, so it may be tough to acquire pitching relief without losing key positions in the line-up.

To see the possibilities, click on the big orange box below.

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2010 MLB Trade Rumors: James Loney on The Dodgers Trading Block?

The Dodgers have begun to shop options for pitching help.

Earlier this month it was reported the Dodgers had inquired about veteran aces Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee. Reports said both teams answered “not right now” but the underlying theme was a denial back from the Dodgers to include first baseman James Loney.

Loney is currently hitting just under .300 for the Boys in Blue. He is a solid fielder with Gold Glove potential, but the Dodgers are looking for him to power-up, providing a more potent bat in the middle of the line-up.

The left-handed first baseman has a career .285 batting average but has just 50 home runs in 535 games.

His performance at the plate is the main focus for improvement in the Dodgers’ eyes. However, for that same reason, he is attractive to other teams for his run production while providing sharp fielding abilities.

Loney will be a free agent at the end of 2010, and his contract will likely require a higher salary if he continues to perform at a higher level. 

Teams looking to re-tool their offense will soon be enquiring further about Loney, but what will it cost L.A. to move him? 

The Dodgers don’t have another option at first base. In Spring Training, the team attempted to groom Ronnie Belliard for the position, but it has been clear ever since that he is much more comfortable at second or third. 

Is it worth it for a solid ace to anchor a weakened starting rotation? Ned Colletti is known for pulling the strings just before the deadline, and July is sure to be an exciting month in Tinsel Town.


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