11/29/08 12:10 AM EST
Hot Stove: Few moves on Black Friday
Day after Thanksgiving yields minor deals, little scuttlebutt
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
There actually was one trade and one signing on Friday, though both of the decidedly below-the-radar variety.
The World Series champion Phillies inked a right-hander who has logged nine Major League innings since 2005, none last season. But the contract for Mike Koplove, 32, came with an invitation to Spring Training -- and with the implied promise that he could turn into 2009's Chad Durbin.
Koplove spent 2008 pitching for the Dodgers' Triple-A club in Las Vegas, where he had a 3.46 ERA in 41 relief innings spanning 54 2/3 innings. His most recent big league sighting was in Cleveland in 2007, when he made five appearances for the Indians.
In the day's one exchange, the Red Sox acquired Wes Littleton from the Rangers, who had designated the right-hander for assignment on Nov. 20. Boston will owe either a player to be named later or financial considerations for Littleton, who had no record with a 6.00 ERA in 12 relief appearances in 2008.
Ken Griffey Jr.'s agent, Brian Goldberg, told MLB.com that he is drawing the interest of nine teams, six of them American League clubs that doubtless envision the 39-year-old 10-time Gold Glove winner as a designated hitter.
Griffey is fifth on the all-time homer list with 611, and according to Goldberg, "realizes that he probably would be a middle-ground guy when it comes to salary."
In other developments, a reported shoulder injury suffered while pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League could make it even more challenging for Freddy Garcia to land a 2008 big league contract.
Garcia, a free agent, was in the process of continuing a comeback begun late last season with the Tigers, for whom he made three starts after rehabilitating a shoulder injury.
And, finally, out of Houston came one of the first confirmations of the slumping economy influencing a team's offseason agenda.
Astros GM Ed Wade, who had previously indicated his intent to bargain hard to re-sign left-hander Randy Wolf, informed his agent, Arn Tellem, that he was pulling back. Wade said at the present time he wasn't prepared to "move forward" on negotiations for Wolf, who went 6-2 after the Astros acquired him from San Diego in a late-July trade.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.