It used to be that you couldn't sneak a mention of Ray Liotta past a baseball fan without hearing, "Oh, I loved Field of Dreams." Well, maybe now that he's in our organization, we'll begin hearing, "Oh, Ray Liotta, that amazing pickup by the Royals in the the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft."
From Megan Stock:
A complete list of draftees can be found here, and if you have no idea what any of this means, Rob Neyer has a primer for you on how the draft works.
Liotta, 24, split his 2007 season with Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. He posted a combined record of 4-14 with a 5.89 ERA in 28 games (27 starts). The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder from Metairie, La., was a second-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2004. He made an immediate splash, leading the Pioneer League with a 2.54 ERA in 2004 at Great Falls. The following season, he led the South Atlantic League with a 2.26 ERA at Kannapolis. Following the 2005 season, he was named the South Atlantic League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher as well as a Topps Class A All-Star.
In other news, Jose Guillen's contract has been finalized. Here's what his former manager in Seattle, Jim McLaren, had to say about him:
"Passion... great arm... clutch hitter -- I love Jose. He's one of the favorite guys I've been around the whole time. I thought he did a great job for us. I'm going to miss him. He will speak his mind and I've never had a problem with that. I think he's going to be good, not only as a player, but good for the young players out there. He does want to win and he's got a passion."
Catchword bingo, anyone? But that McLaren was willing to send Guillen out with praise is at least better than the alternative, such as pointing out that he may be suspended 10-15 games for purchasing HGH. Andruw Jones, meanwhile, has officially signed with the Dodgers at $36 mil/2 yrs. We have reason to believe the Royals pushed that price up a bit, even though our GM says he never said he was interested. Hmm, posturing... I love it. Jones, 30, is coming off a career-worst year, but reports say he was nagged by a wrist injury, and there's no denying that he's still capable of putting up big numbers. It would've been nice if the Royals got Jones, but the centerfielder had made it known that he preferred to stay in the National League, and let's face it, with Scott Boras as his agent, he wasn't going to come to Kansas City at a reasonable price. $18 million per year is a lot of money. Oh well. More work for Dayton and Co. ahead.