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Caught in the Draft
Tim Kurkjian
October 12, 1992
When Florida and Colorado get together for the expansion draft, it may go something like this. God help them if it does
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October 12, 1992

Caught In The Draft

When Florida and Colorado get together for the expansion draft, it may go something like this. God help them if it does

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ROCKY: An A-ball player who made 50 errors this year? You gonna sign a preschooler to play first base?

MARLON: Martinez will need a couple of years, I know. So sometime before this draft is through, we'll take shortstop Felix Fermin off Cleveland's hands. He catches all the balls hit to him, and he only makes $950,000 a year. The Tribe wants to keep him, but they'll protect Mark Lewis instead, because he's younger and cheaper.

ROCKY: The Blue Jays would like to protect about 30 guys. They're like the Braves, they have so many good players in their organization. The Jays have Pat Borders to catch, so we're taking one of their young catchers, Ed Sprague, who can also play third.

MARLON: Take as many unproven guys as you want. We're going with Ellis Burks.

ROCKY: Why would Boston let him go?

MARLON: He hasn't fulfilled his potential, and he's breaking down physically. But if there's ever a time to take a chance on someone, this is it. Burks is only 28. He needs to get out of Boston. I'm not sure he can play centerfield anymore, but I'll roll the dice.

ROCKY: Talk about rolling the dice—you haven't said a word yet about starting pitchers. I know we're going to have a hard time luring free-agent pitchers to Denver because of the thin air. Bill Veeck's midget, Eddie Gaedel, would have hit 40 home runs playing at Mile High. So I'll draft a few pitchers who will have to pitch here. I'll start with Cincinnati lefty Chris Hammond. He was the Reds' best starter in April of 1991. He's only 26, and he comes cheap.

MARLON: He's your Number One starter? Your ace? I got your ace right here: During the draft we're going to announce the signing of Dave Stewart of the A's as a free agent. He gives us instant credibility.

ROCKY: Hey, you're the one who said to be careful with Type A free agents.

MARLON: Stewart might not be a Type A, because his last two years haven't been particularly good. But he'll come back. The A's have 14 free agents, so they probably won't re-sign him. Besides, Montreal's Dennis Martinez is openly campaigning to finish his career in Miami, his adopted hometown. Somehow we'll come up with a proven Number One starter.

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