It's the time of year when Major League Baseball teams are making moves in preparation for the 2014 season.
Baseball pundits like to call this the "Hot Stove League." While some have been captivated with eye-popping trades, such as the one that sent slugger Prince Fielder from Detroit to Texas last week, other minor moves are surely overlooked.
For York Revolution fans, the biggest move to this point in the winter involves former Revs' reliever Josh Judy, who signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this week. Reached by phone Wednesday evening from his home in Akron, Ohio, Judy confirmed the Dodgers signed him to a minor-league deal, with no invitation to the club's big-league spring-training camp.
Either way, the former big leaguer is just glad to have a job next year following an up-and-down 2013 season that began in York and ended with him on the disabled list with the Los Angeles Angels' Class AA Arkansas affiliate.
"I put up good numbers at Triple-A and then had two bad outings that wrecked the ERA. Going back to Double-A, I had one bad outing that messed up the numbers. I pulled my groin while pitching in that outing," Judy said. "I tried to pitch through it and probably shouldn't have, in hindsight. Unfortunately I got hurt, but three or four days later I was OK and was completely 100 percent healthy."
Judy, who pitched in 12 games for the Cleveland Indians in 2011, was one of 10 former Revs who ended the 2013 season on the roster of an affiliated minor-league club. He'll be 28 and entering his eighth pro season next year. And he's faced the realization that he's nearing the end of opportunities to prove himself.
"Absolutely this is a good opportunity for me to resurrect my career after the last two years," he said.
In the meantime, Judy is spending his offseason working part-time in the electronics department at a Wal-Mart in Akron after a deal to pitch in Mexico this winter fell through.
Winter ball: Speaking of winter ball, there are currently 14 former Revolution players competing in winter leagues in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. It will soon be 15 former Revs, however. Pitcher Brett Tomko arrived in the Dominican Republic earlier this week and plans to make a few starts with the hopes of getting noticed by a major-league club.
Eppley: Northern York High School graduate Cody Eppley signed a minor-league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this week.
Eppley, a 28-year-old right-handed reliever drafted in the 43rd round in 2008 by the Texas Rangers, has appeared in 71 big-league games with the Rangers and New York Yankees over the last three seasons.
-- Reach John Walk firstname.lastname@example.org.