News & Notes, Catching Up With Former Chiefs
Happy Players and Catchers Report Week!! Last week was a big week for Prospects lists and signings around baseball. This week we will have some special guests on the Blog in Audio Interviews looking at former and future Chiefs on those prospect lists with opinions and insight from around the industry. For today here is a list of things you may have missed over the last week or so that involve former Chiefs at the MLB and MiLB level.
- Darwin Barney was the Chiefs shortstop for the last two months of the 2007 season hitting .273 with two homers, nine doubles and 21 RBI in 44 games. The 2012 National League Gold Glove Award winner signed a one-year deal with the Cubs last week to avoid arbitration
- Jeff Samardzija made two starts with the Chiefs in 2006 including a home start in early August before heading back to Notre Dame for football season. Over the weekend he avoided arbitration and signed a one-year deal with the Cubs for 2014.
- Coco Crisp was a teammate of Albert Pujols in Peoria in 2000 and last week signed a two-year extension with the Oakland A’s keeping him in the Bay Area through at least 2016. Crisp hit .276 with seven steals, nine doubles and 14 runs scored in 27 games in Peoria in 2000.
- Oakland loves signing and acquiring former Chiefs and they added another one last week when 2005 Chiefs OF Sam Fuld signed a minor league deal with the team that includes an invitation to Spring Training. Fuld hit .300 with the Chiefs in 2005 with five home runs, 32 doubles, six triples, 82 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. Fuld joins Crisp, Daric Barton and Josh Donaldson on the A’s. Over the last five seasons Oakland has also featured former Chiefs Jerry Blevins, Eric Patterson and Sean Gallagher. Plus Danny Haren from 2005-2007.
On the Minor League side, a number of former Chiefs have changed teams this off-season. All are Minor League deals unless noted.
- 2014 Chiefs RHP Zach Russell has signed with the Texas Rangers
- LHP Kyler Burke (2008-09, 2012) is now with the Philadelphia Phillies. Wonder if his 2008 Chiefs manager Ryne Sandberg put in a good word there?
- RHP Rafael Dolis (2007) has signed with the San Francisco Giants. Dolis last pitched in September when he faced the Chiefs while on a rehab assignment from the Cubs with Kane County.
- 1B Russ Canzler (2007) is now a New York Yankee
- C Michael Brenly (2008) moves from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Boston Red Sox while INF Mike McCoy (2003-04) has also signed with Boston.
- 2008 RHP Jay Jackson goes from the Miami Marlins to the Pittsburgh Pirates after having a fantastic Winter League season in Mexico. Former MLB pitcher Josh Kinney has also signed with Pittsburgh. As part of his deal, the former Chiefs pitcher gets an invite to Spring Training.
- Blake Lalli (2008-10) leaves Milwaukee for the Arizona Diamondbacks with an invitation to Spring Training
- Matt Pagnozzi (2004) played with the Houston Astros last season and will now be with the Milwaukee Brewers. Pagnozzi also earned an invite to Spring Training.
- After an injury plagued 2013 season and a solid Winter League campaign in Venezuela, 2001-02 Chiefs RHP Chris Narveson has signed in Japan. Narveson got a one-year deal worth just under one million dollars.
- OF turned C Yusuf Carter spent the last three seasons in Independent Leagues on the East Coast. That hard work paid off as Carter announced on his Facebook page that he has signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. Carter announced his deal one day before his 29th birthday. He hit 22 home runs for the Chiefs, 12 in 2006 and 10 in 2007 while driving in 95 total runs. Carter last played affiliated baseball in 2010 at Double-A with Oakland.
- Eric Patterson, the Chiefs 2005 team MVP, has signed a deal with the Chicago White Sox. Patterson had one of the best seasons in Chiefs history in 2005 batting a league-leading .333 with 13 home runs, 71 RBI, 26 doubles, 11 triples, 90 runs scored and 40 stolen bases in 110 games.
- The Cubs last week released 2011-12 Chiefs OF Taiwan Easterling and 2012 Chiefs LHP Sheldon McDonald.
- Among the former Chiefs who are still Minor League Free Agents heading into spring training are: 2014 LHP Jay Voss, 2005 RHP Sean Gallagher, 2007 RHP Jose Ceda, 2007-08 INF Nate Samson, 2009 RHP Erik Hamren, 2000 C Eli Alfonzo, 2004 RHP Kyle McClellan, 2004 RHP Stu Pomeranz, 2005 OF Luis Montanez and 2007 OF Ty Wright.