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January 15, 2008 January 15, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.


1) RHP Eric Junge, Bridgeport
2) RHP Frank Castillo, York
3) 1B/OF Eric Crozier, Lancaster
4) LHP Anthony Ferrari, Camden
5) LHP John Halama, Long Island
6) OF Mike Lockwood, Somerset
7) LHP R.J. Swindle, Newark

NOTE: Only the Atlantic League negotiating rights to these players has been acquired and nothing else. This gives the Blue Crabs the exclusive rights to these players.

Expansion Draft Today (LIST ABOVE – Post Updated at 8:15 PM): Ah yes, Atlantic League fans, another season is upon us. Today’s expansion draft kicks off the first official player movement of the 2008 season, and atlanticleaguebaseball.com is the place to be for updated coverage throughout the day.

As I said yesterday, I contacted every team in the league about this and got responses from half…which is about right. From the team officials and managers I spoke with, there seems to be somewhat of a mixed bag.

Some teams seem to have a pretty good idea of who they’ll be losing, while others say it could be almost anybody who they haven’t protected.

From what I’ve learned, I think you’re going to see at least one player with big league experience selected, most likely more. I also wonder how many of the players “left over” from Butch Hobson’s days with the Nashua Pride that he’ll select, but will say I haven’t heard any names come up from that category as of yet.

I’ve received assurances from numerous people that I will get the names of the players in the draft as soon as possible, so make sure you check back here throughout the day for the information as soon as I get it.

10:50 AM Update – I’ve heard back from the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, and have been told that I should be hearing from Butch Hobson so I can get his thoughts on the seven players who could be suiting up for him this season. It’s a big day for Crustacean Nation, and I’m sure Hobson will be excited about his new players.

I hope to have that for you later tonight.

Of course, I also plan on asking him about his quote in The Washington Post, in which he said: “I’m predicting right now that we’re going to win the championship this year.”

With the first few players finally being added to his roster (keep in mind that only three or four of these guys will likely end up actually playing for the Blue Crabs, based on previous expansion drafts) I wonder if he’ll back off of that statement at all.

1:05 PM Update – The list of players selected has just broken, and my early impression was to be very impressed with the selections. I was also initially shocked that OF Mike Lockwood was even available to be selected, but I’m hoping to learn more about that later today. I was fairly certain that it would be OF Jose Morban who was selected, given his ties to the Maryland area and his fairly inconsistent season.

Of the seven players drafted, five are Major Leaguers, and two of them (Castillo, Halama) have Red Sox ties. Additionally, Crozier had recently played in their minor league system. None of the players have ties to the Nashua Pride.

Swindle, according to Bears officials, has already signed with the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

As I mentioned several times, I am expecting to hear from Butch Hobson today, and am curious to see how many of these players he feels are realistic chances for the 2008 Opening Day roster.

8:15 PM Update – Although nothing quite screams “waste of time” like all this work with no comments, here’s a few updates on everything.

I’m now hoping to hear from Hobson tomorrow. So scratch those plans.

I did get to speak with Patriots GM Patrick McVerry regarding the loss of Lockwood, and he revealed that a large part of why Lockwood was left unprotected was due to a conversation he had with Lockwood, in which the All-Star revealed he was unlikely to be returning to the Atlantic League in 2008.

Still, there was some thought that Jose Morban or others could be selected by the Blue Crabs.

“I’m not surprised it was Mike, he put up tremendous numbers last season,” McVerry said.

McVerry said there was not a conversation between himself or anyone associated with the Blue Crabs regarding Lockwood’s 2008 intentions, and agreed with my assessment that the draft can be somewhat of a crapshoot in that regard, referring to York’s selection of Mike Johnson last season.

Nivar Signs With Padres: INF Ramon Nivar, whose name was frequently associated with foul language thanks to the people he aggrevated last season, has signed a deal with the San Diego Padres.

Nivar QUICKLY wore out his welcome in Camden, and didn’t fare much better in that department with York. But you can’t argue with his relatively solid numbers, and he’ll be a decent Triple-A option with San Diego.

Odd Buttenfield News: P Nate Buttenfield, who pitched for Camden last season, appears on both the “released” and “signed” sections under the latest installment of minor league transactions by the Toronto Blue Jays as published by Baseball America. If I can clarify this at all, I will.

Cliff Hawks Suit Thrown Out: According to The Bergen Record, the lawsuit filed by Patriots owner Steve Kalafer against developers of the Xanadu project in the Meadowlands has been thrown out. Kalafer wanted to build a ballpark that would host an Atlantic League team as a part of the complex…for all the fun legal mumbo-jumbo that goes along with that, click the link.

Bears Hitting Coach To Be Named: It sounds like the new Bears hitting coach could be named as early as this week. I’m hearing it might be a familiar name, so stay tuned for all the info once we get it.

West Coast Tryout: I’ve spoken to a few people involved in the recent West Coast tryout that the Atlantic League held, and you can expect a story on that in a few days.

Jim Seip of The York Daily Record has written about it from a York perspective here. I’ve spoken to a few people from different teams about it, and as I said…I’ll have that shortly. – Mike Ashmore

Adding To The Flock: It’s as if the York Revolution don’t have enough former Baltimore Orioles associated with the team. (As an Orioles fan, I’m not arguing). Well, more were added yesterday. The York Daily Record is reporting that former Orioles Mike Bordick and Ken Singleton will speak alongside Jim Palmer at their February 6 Hot Stove Dinner. Former Revs outfielder and current Oriole — and possibly starting center fielder — Tike Redman will appear as well. – Scott Stanchak



1. dsosidka - January 16, 2008

It’s not a “waste of time” to inform the readers. A draft for signing rights with no guarantees is the waste of time.

2. BoosterBabe - January 17, 2008

Sorry Mike, I would have commented but was busy with personal stuff. My nephew (30 years old) had to put his cat down yesterday and I’ve been trying to help him through that. I know you can relate. He had Garfield for all of his adult life….he took it hard. Very sad. So Atlantic League baseball has been the last thing on my mind these past few days.

As for Bpt losing the rights to Eric Junge: who cares?
He played what, a week and a half for us last year? I didn’t even know Bpt still even had the rights to him!
This expansion draft is kinda dumb if you ask me. Last year we gave up Kevin Hodges to York. Well….Kevin had no intention of playing in 2007 anyway, so why bother? I agree…the expansion draft is senseless.

3. mnlem - January 17, 2008

Very nice piece. Thanks

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