01/08/2014 5:19 AM
Article By: Joe Sherman
It’s been a challenging offseason for fans who enjoy following the big league careers of their favorite Cape Cod Baseball League graduates. Thanks to trades and free agency, there have been some significant changes of addresses for both high-profile players and journeymen.
Roughly two dozen former CCBL players are still available as free agents while a similar number have already changed uniforms, including a trio who will attempt to revive their careers in Asia.
The biggest name among those who won’t be returning to their 2013 teams is Jacoby Ellsbury (Falmouth, 2004), who signed a seven-year, $153 million contract with the New York Yankees after a long and successful run as the Boston Red Sox center fielder.
One player who didn’t play a single game in 2013 still commanded a $5 million salary for 2014. Corey Hart (Brewster, 1996) underwent ankle surgery in January, which sidelined him for all of 2013. But the Seattle Mariners are gambling that the outfielder/first baseman, who hit .270 and slugged 30 home runs in 2012 for Milwaukee, will produce similar numbers for them.
Similarly, the New York Mets are betting a $7.25 million, one-year salary that former Oakland outfielder Chris Young will bounce back from a 2013 season in which he produced just 12 home runs and a .200 batting average for Oakland.
Here is what we believe is a complete list of former Cape League players who will be wearing different uniforms in the 2014 MLB season, plus those who still may do so.
CHANGING UNIFORMS AFTER 2013 SEASON
RHP Scott Atchison (Wareham, 1996) signed a free agent minor league contract with Cleveland. Atchison was 3-3, 4.37 in 50 starts for the New York Mets in 2013.
RP John Axford (Hyannis, 2002; Cotuit, 2003), who started 2013 with Milwaukee and finished with St. Louis, signs with Cleveland as a free agent for one year at $4.5 million. In 2013, Axford was 7-7, 4.02 in 75 games between the Brewers and Cardinals.
OF Brian Bogusevic (Falmouth, 2004) was traded to Miami for OF Justin Ruggiano after hitting .273, 6 HR, 16 RBI in 47 games for the Chicago Cubs in 2013.
RHP Brad Brach (Cotuit, 2007) was traded from San Diego to Baltimore for minor league RHP Devin Jones. Brach was 1-0, 3.19 in 33 games for San Diego in 2013.
OF Billy Burns (Harwich, 2011), a Washington Nationals minor-league player, was traded to Oakland for LHP Jerry Blevins. Burns hit .325 at Harrisburg (Class AA) and .312 at Potomac (Class A) in 2013.
P Shawn Camp (Chatham, 1996) signed a minor-league contract with Philadelphia. The veteran relief pitcher was 1-1, 7.04 in 26 games (23 innings) for the Chicago Cubs in 2013 and finished the season in the Arizona organization.
RHP Carter Capps (Harwich, 2011) was traded by Seattle to Miami for OF Logan Morrison. Caps was 3-3, 5.49 in 53 games for the Mariners last season.
RP Scott Downs (Y-D, 1996), who split 2013 between Atlanta and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, signed a one-year, $4 million free agent deal with the Chicago White Sox. Downs was 4-4, 2.49 in 68 games in 2013.
CF Jacoby Ellsbury (Falmouth, 2000) signed with New York Yankees as a free agent for seven years, $153 million. In 2013, he was .298, 9 HR, 53 RBIs, 52 SBs for Boston.
C Ryan Hanigan (Orleans, 2002) goes from the Cincinnati Reds to the Tampa Bay Rays as part of four-player, three-team deal which also involved Arizona. He hit .198 in 75 games for the Reds in 2013.
OF/1B Corey Hart (Brewster, 1996) missed the entire 2013 season after January knee surgery. The free agent signed a one-year deal with Seattle worth $5 million with the possibility of an additional $7 million in incentives. He hit .270, 30 HR, 83 RBI in 149 games for Milwaukee in 2012.
RHP Philip Humber (Yarmouth-Dennis, 2003) signed a minor league deal with Oakland as a free agent that includes an invitation to 2014 spring training. He was 0-8, 7.90 in 17 games (54.2 innings) for Houston in 2013.
RHP Brad Lincoln (Bourne, 2005) was traded from Toronto to Philadelphia for C Erik Kratz and LHP Rob Rasmussen. Lincoln was 1-2, 3.98 in 22 games for Toronto in 2013.
RHP Josh Lindblom (Cotuit, 2007) was traded with OF Craig Gentry from Texas to Oakland for OF Michael Choice and 2B Chris Bostick. He was 1-3, 5.46 with Texas in 2013.
SP Shaun Marcum (Harwich, 2002) goes from the Mets to the Cleveland in a free agent minor-league deal that includes an invitation to 2014 spring training. He was 1-10, 5.29 in 14 games (12 starts) in 2013.
OF David Murphy (Wareham, 2001-02) signed a two-year, $12 million, free agent deal with Cleveland that includes a club option for 2016. He batted .220, 13 HR, 45 RBI in 142 games for the Rangers in 2013.
1B Brett Pill (Orleans, 2005) was cut by the SF Giants, who sold his contract to the KIA Tigers in Korea. Pill will receive a $50,000 signing bonus and a $250,000 salary. Pill hit .224 in 48 games for the Giants in 2013.
2B Brian Roberts (Chatham, 1998) goes from Baltimore to the Yankees as a free agent for one year at $2 million plus incentives. He hit .249, 8 HR, 39 RBI in 77 games for the Orioles in 2013.
DH/1B Luke Scott (Falmouth, 2000), who spent most of 2013 on the bench for Tampa Bay, signed a one-year contract with the SK Wyverns in Korea for $250,000 and a $50,000 signing bonus.
IF Danny Valencia (Orleans, 2006) was traded to the Kansas City Royals for OF David Lough after batting .304 with a .553 slugging percentage in 52 games for Baltimore in 2013.
OF John Wooten (Harwich, 2010/11), a minor leaguer, was traded from Oakland to Washington for LHP Fernando Abad, a reliever who was 0-3, 3.35 in 39 games for the Nationals in 2013.
3B Kevin Youkilis (Bourne, 2000) will play in Japan in 2014 after signing a one-year deal with the Bakuten Golden Eagles for $4 million plus $1 million in incentives. Injuries limited Youkilis to 29 games in which he hit just .219 for the Yankees in 2013.
OF Chris Young (Chatham, 2000), signed a one-year, $7.25 million deal with the Mets as a free agent. Young hit .200, 12 HR, 40 RBI in 107 games for Oakland in 2013.
FREE AGENTS STILL AVAILABLE
RP David Aardsma (Falmouth, 2002), age 29, New York Yankees in 2013
SP Scott Baker (Orleans, 2002), age 32, Chicago Cubs in 2013
SP Chris Capuano (Cotuit, 1997-98; Bourne 1999), age 35, Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013
LF Chris Coghlan (Chatham, 2005), age 28, Miami Marlins in 2013
LF Chris Dickerson (Brewster, 2002), age 31, Baltimore Orioles in 2013
LF Sam Fuld (Hyannis, 2003), age 32, Tampa Bay Rays in 2013
2B Chris Getz (Chatham, 2003-04), age 30, Kansas City Royals in 2013
RP Matt Guerrier (Y-D, 1997), age 35, Chicago Cubs in 2013
SP Aaron Harang (Cotuit, 1998), age 35, New York Mets in 2013
RP Rich Hill (Chatham, 2000-01), age 33, Cleveland Indians in 2013
RF Reed Johnson (Brewster, 1998), age 37, Atlanta Braves in 2013
C Rob Johnson (Y-D, 2003), age 31, St. Louis Cardinals in 2013
LF Mark Kotsay (Bourne, 1994), age 38, San Diego Padres in 2013
SS John McDonald (Bourne, 1995), age 39, Pirates/Indians/Phillies/Red Sox in 2013
SP Jeff Niemann (Harwich, 2002-03), age 30, Tampa Bay Rays in 2013
1B Carlos Pena (Harwich, 1996; Wareham, 1997), age 35, Astros/Royals in 2013
SS Omar Quintanilla (Cotuit, 2002), age 32, New York Mets in 2013
SP Greg Reynolds (Bourne, 2004-05), age 28, Cincinnati Reds in 2013
1B Mark Reynolds (Y-D, 2002; Harwich, 2003), age 30, New York Yankees in 2013
SP Joe Saunders (Harwich, 2001), age 32, Seattle Mariners in 2013
C Kelly Shoppach (Harwich, 2000), age 33, Cleveland Indians in 2013
1B Chad Tracy (Orleans, 2000), age 33, Washington Nationals in 2013
3B Justin Turner (Y-D, 2005), age 29, New York Mets in 2013
SP Barry Zito (Wareham, 1997-98), age 35, San Francisco Giants in 2013