* The Blue Jays drafted Brian Moran in the Rule V draft and then shipped him to the Los Angeles Angels for $244,000 US of cap space for international signing. .... Sign up for CBN Newsletter
By Bob Elliott
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. --It wasn’t trading former first-round pick Greg David for visas, but it was close.
Charlie Wilson leaned into the microphone with the fifth pick of the Rule V draft Thursday morning at the 111th winter meetings.
Who would the Blue Jays select?
The next George Bell, Kelly Gruber, Manny Lee, or Willie Upshaw?
“The Toronto Blue Jays select left-hander Brian Moran from the Tacoma roster,” said Wilson, director of minor-league operations.
And almost as quickly as Wilson uttered the words Moran, 2-5, with a 3.45 ERA and four saves at triple-A Tacoma and nephew of B.J. Surhoff, he was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels with the Jays receiving $244,000 US of international cap space.
“There are still some players out there from July 1 who we could sign for $50,000 or $80,000,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos told writers.
David, the Jays first-round pick (25th over-all) in 1985 was sent to the Padres after the 1989 season for work visas so the Jays could bring in more Latin players into the United States.
Only nine players were taken including the Texas Rangers drafting Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
The San Francisco Giants signed outfielder Michael Morse, who batted .215 with 13 home runs and 27 RBIs in 88 games with the Mariners and Orioles last year ...The Atlanta Braves signed reliever Jordan Walden to a $1.49 million, one-year contract avoiding salary arbitration. Walden was 4-3 with a 3.45 ERA.
The Chicago Cubs acquired outfielder Justin Ruggiano as Brian Bogusevic went to Miami. Ruggiano had 18 home runs with 50 RBIs, while Bogusevic batted .273 with six home runs and 16 RBIs ...The Kansas City Royals are trying to acquire Dee Gordon from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Justin Maxwell ... The New York Yankees rejected the Cincinnati Reds’ trade offer of second baseman Brandon Phillips for outfielder Brett Gardner.
During the minor-league phase of the Rule V draft the Jays added three pitchers: Roberto Espinosa, 21 (3-2, 2.55 at class-A Jamestown), Richard Bleier, 26 (6-6, 3.32 with four saves at triple-A Frisco and double-A Round Rock) and Scott Shuman, 25 (0-0, 9.51 at double-A Richmond).
Former Baltimore Orioles GM Roland Hemond remembers the end of the 1989 season, when the American League East came down to the final weekend with the O’s visiting the SkyDome.
“We get beat Friday when Tom Lawless steals second, goes to third on a ground ball and scores on a wild pitch, then Lloyd Moseby knocked in the winning run in the 11th” said Hemond. “Our Saturday starter Pete Harnisch steps off the bus on to a nail and couldn’t pitch.
“The cleanest city in the world and Harnisch steps on a nail. I think Paul Beeston (then and current Jays president) planted it.”
Emergency starter Dave Johnson and the bullpen took a 3-1 lead into the eighth when the Jays rallied. Nelson Liriano and Manuel Lee each walked. After a bunt, Mookie Wilson and Fred McGriff each singled home a run.
Then, George Bell hit a fly ball to bring home Wilson with the winner.
Seven former Blue Jays scouts were nominated for awards at the annual Scout of the Year Award: Gordon Lakey (now with the Philadelphia Phillies), Jerry Walker (Cincinnati Reds), Mark Snipp (Reds), Jack Gillies (Colorado Rockies), Ben McClure (Milwaukee Brewers), Bill Livesey (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Dave Yoakum (Chicago White Sox).
Two current Jays scouts were nominated: Bryan Lambe and Russ Bove.
And the winners are: Bill Bryk (Arizona Diamondbacks), Doug Mapson (San Francisco Giants) and Howard McCullough (Diamondbacks), father of Vancouver Canadians manager Clayton McCullough, with the director’s award going to Bill Kearns (Mariners).
TRY THE NEXT BLOCK
Jack Buck, the late Cardinals Hall of Fame broadcaster, was known for his generosity. He pulled up to Busch Stadium on opening day only to be met by a crowd of Chicago Cubs fans asking for tickets. Buck pulled out a $100 bill, gave it to a fan in a Cubs jersey and told him “I don’t have any tickets, but take your buddies and go down to the next block, find a bar and ... watch the Cardinals kick the Cubs ass.” ... Brad Hainje now of the Braves, tells of working as an assistant P.R. director with the Cardinalson his first trip into New York. The next night he found $100 in his score book. When Hainje protested Buck said “go out and have a good time.”
Pat Corrales, now a scout with the Dodgers once managed against Bobby Cox in winter ball in 1975. Corrales ran Caracus while Cox had the Lara Cardinales.
“I look at the lineup and the guy Bobby has DH-ing is in left, I go to the ump and protest the game,” said Corrales. “Gil Patterson beats us 2-1, so I figure we’ll win. They fined Bobby 5,000 pesos.
“He was making out his lineup and someone came up and talk to him,” said Corrales, who served on Cox’s staff with the Braves. “I don’t think he’s made a single mistake since.”