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Rival Roundup, Vol. 6: The 40/40 Club

A little bit of action this week, as teams jostle their rosters in advance of the Rule 5 draft.

Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Rooooooooooooooooooooooooundup! Getcher rooooooooooundup here!

Roundup Record

I spent some time yesterday restringing the axe (that’s guitar code for “turned a few knobs a bunch of times”) and settled on this stripped-down acoustic version of a much heavier (in terms of sound, not thematic content, although you be the judge of what really hits home) song by a band fronted by Mr. Myles Kennedy, one of my all-time favorite vocalists.

Cleveland Spiders

  • For a minute this week, it looked as though Cleveland executive Mike Chernoff would be interviewing for the new president of baseball ops position at Citi Field.
  • But shortly after the report came out, Twitter-savvy rookie owner Steve Cohen refuted the claim.
  • While it’s a possibility that Cohen could be keeping his cards close to the vest, it’s worth noting that on the hierarchy of who to believe in a baseball operations discussion, the guy who literally owns the team is pretty high on the list.
  • Five bucks if you’re familiar with any of the following names, each representing a player who was added to Cleveland’s 40-man roster this week: Gabriel Arias, Ernie Clement, Nolan Jones, Eli Morgan, and Carlos Vargas. Invoices can be sent directly to Larry Dolan.

Chicago White Sox

  • The White Sox have made their first major addition to the coaching staff led by Mr. Tony La Russa, Hall of Fame Baseball Person.
  • In addition to that coordination position in New York, the 46-year-old Cairo was a Grade-A journeyman, with a big-league career that lasted 17 years and made stops at nine different ballclubs. He appeared in ten different postseason series, but never won the big one, getting only so far as the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies roster.
  • 40-man additions this week include Jake Burger, Tyler Johnson, and Gavin Sheets, who reminded me of Ben Sheets, who I bet you forgot was a four-time All-Star.
  • If he makes his major-league debut in 2021, third baseman Jake Burger will provide a marketing department with the easiest thematic lay-up since Aaron Judge.
  • Finally, the White Sox claimed minor-league righty Emilio Vargas off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Vargas didn’t see any action last year and looks like an organizational depth move.

Kansas City Royals

  • The Royals’ pre-Rule 5 moves include the addition of Khalil Lee, Sebastian Rivero, Daniel Tillo, and Angel Zerpa.
  • While those names are likely unfamiliar to you, you’ll recognize some of the weight cut loose from K.C. in corresponding transactions: Glenn Sparkman and Gabe Speier have been DFA’d, while Chance Adams was outrighted.

Detroit Tigers

  • Detroit legend Brandon Dixon is heading to Japan. Ahead of the Rule 5 roster shuffle, Dixon — who led the 2019 Tigers with a colossal 15 homers — will be shipping out across the Pacific after going 1-for-13 in a handful of 2020 games.
  • Rule 5 protectees are Matt Manning, Alex Faedo, Alex Lange, and Joey Wentz. Manning, Faedo, and Wentz are each in Detroit’s top-10 prospects. Our dreams of selecting all four of these guys have been resoundingly crushed.

See you next time!