Just as the Cubs surged into first place, the team loses its $136MM-man Alphonso Soriano for upwards of a month with a quadriceps strain. The Cubs are likely to recall CF Felix Pie, but, if the team decides on AAA 2B Eric Patterson, he is the type of late season gamble one must take. He has double-digit power and speed in AAA this season (14 HRs, 16 SBs 299/360/470.)
Fantasy players are groaning as the season is too old to recover from such a high-profile loss as Soriano. Edgar Renteria is out for a similar amount of time, and the Phillies lost Chase Utley last week. These are key cogs for the stretch run, and championships are won and lost based on these random occurrences.
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the White Sox claimed Miguel Tejada, but the two clubs could not work out a deal. Without knowing the price, I can't say the Orioles' lost an opportunity to move forward. Mike Piazza did clear waivers according to the same report, though. That is somewaht surprising as his bat is needed in at least one play-off contender's line-up (Minnesota). A guess as to why? Those teams that need him hope to work out a trade where the A's cover his salary.
There is a full slate of chats today which should help pass the time. Fantasy footbal preparation should be getting into full swing following last night's Saints-Steelers exhibition.
USA Today's Steve Gardner at 11AM.
FBB with Chris Harris at 11AM.
MLB with Steve Phillips at noon.
NFl w/Scouts' Jeremy Green at 1PM
Baseball Prospectus' Derek Jacques at 1PM.
FBB with Pete Becker at 3PM.
NFL Draft w/Steve Muench at 4PM.
There is also an excellent article by Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus about the state of the Major League Draft and going "over slot" to sign the draftees. It is not behind the subscription wall, and I recommend it. Here is a sample question:
This issue seems to baffle both teams and agents. "The way some teams are spending in the international amateur market is far more damaging to any kind of parity than the draft or free agent signings," said one scouting director, and another agreed. "On July 2nd, the Yankees spent $3.9 million dollars on international players. That's in one day. Did they have to call anyone to do that?" he questioned.