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Catching Up

To recap all the deals since last we spoke:

Marlins sign Mark Hendrickson
Cubs sign Jon Lieber
Rays trade Jeff Ridgway for Willy Aybar and Chase Fontaine
Rangers sign Jason Jennings

Let's begin with Hendrickson / Lurch as he's become affectionately known as during his time in Tampa. The former NBA power forward is a soft tossing lefty who's spent the past season and a half as a swingman for the Dodgers. He'll be 34 in late June which automatically makes him an elder for the Fish, but he's all ready slotted in as a rotation member joining some combination of Scott Olsen, Sergio Mitre, Andrew Miller, Rick VandenHurk and Ricky Nolasco. In roughly 16 innings at Dolphin Stadium Hendrickson has an ERA near 4.9 which is pretty close to his career ERA of 5.01. I wouldn't expect too much from him, but maybe the Marlins can spin him off at the deadline.

It's nice to see Lieber back with the Cubs for nostalgia's sake, if we can call the period between 1999 and 2002 nostalgic nowadays. Lieber is essentially your prototypical back of the rotation average results, innings eater type that are more valuable than you'd think. He'll battle with Sean Marshall and Ryan Dempster for a rotation spot - assuming Marshall isn't traded for Brian Roberts.

Anytime you can move a 28 year old lefty reliever with control issues for a young third baseman with a chance to be above average off the bench you do it, when you can land a nice organizational infielder with early comparisons to Chase Utley you don't think twice about it.  Jeff Ridgway really doesn't fit in with the Braves who all ready have Royce Ring and Will Ohman, and you would think after Omar Infante broke his hand the Braves would want to hold on to Willy Aybar, but apparently the substance abuse issues weigh above his talent. Chase Fontaine should add depth to the deep Rays' farm system if nothing else.

Finally Jason Jennings found a home, and it was naturally in Texas. I'm pretty sure a 68 ERA+ isn't what Jennings thought of entering a free agency year, so he'll attempt to build upon his run of good success from 2005 as a Ranger. If nothing else the contract is very reasonable and he's going to give you better bang for your buck than Kyle Lohse who may never find a job at this rate.

Also on a BTB note, we'll begin team previews on Monday with the talented Mr. Sackmann kicking off the American League, I'll chime in on Wednesday with the Diamondbacks.