Mays, Perez Are Gone; Will Bigbie Follow?

Wilson Valdez is still in the Dodger system which is somewhat surprising to all concerned. Joe Mays, however, has failed in his quest to impress the team sufficiently. And a decision on outfielder Larry Bigbie is forthcoming.

Valdez appeared to be one of those rent-a-player for a season types when he was picked up last year but he not only played so well for Las Vegas that he stuck, making the 40-man roster. Then, this spring, he outplayed the more heralded Fernando Tatis and Damian Jackson among others that he survived the final cuts.

However, his time with L.A was cut short, especially with the decisions to see how Andy LaRoche and Tony Abreu fare at the big league level. However, general manager Ned Colletti felt that Wilson, hitting .239, deserved a big league opportunity so tried to make a deal somewhere. When that failed to materialize, Valdez was placed on waivers, passed through so now is back with Las Vegas once more.

That move spelled the end for another veteran- as far as L.A. is concerned. Infielder Tomas Perez, acquired just before the season opened to fill a void for the 51's, was now expendable and in his case, they could make a deal. Perez was shipped to the White Sox for that well-known player to be named. He is expected to be a pitcher from the Sox Triple A affiliate, Charlotte. Perez was hitting only .227 with two home runs for the 51's.

Mays, who always seems to be accompanied by the inclusion of "he won 17 games for the Twins in 2003" was seeking to be this year's version of Aaron Sele. Sele, you'll recall,was the onetime frontline big league performer who agreed to go to the minors for a month to see what might happen last year. In his case, he pitched well, was brought up and stayed for the season.

Although Mays, a 31-year-old righthander, looked quite competent in spring training, that didn't carry over for the season. He was only 1-2, 5.16 and wasn't going to get a call to L.A. so has been released so that he might explore opportunities elsewhere.

Like Mays, Bigbie is a former big leaguer with a time limit on his services. He has a June 1 option out if the club doesn't either bring him up or deal him to another team. Unlike Mays, he's doing well- .356 with three home runs.

The end also came for Luke Allen, the onetime prospect, who had been sent to Jacksonville after signing as a free agent. The 28-year-old outfielder was batting only .236 with one home run for the Suns so he, too, was released.

Jacksonville did add a pitcher from the lower minors with the promotion of righthander Ramon Troncoso from Inland Empire. Troncoso had been 3-1, 1.04 with seven saves for the 66ers.

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