Tuesday, December 5, 2006
What's Going On?!
OK, I normally don't write and post this early in the evening, but with a Wild Wednesday posting set for late tonight, I thought I would post some baseball thoughts now. (It is about 6:30 central time at the SethSpeaks Headquarters) But first, check this out... this kid is my hero!
I am one of those people who enjoy the offseason, the Hot Stove League, almost as much as the regular season. I so look forward to the Winter Meetings because generally there is a lot of action, or at least rumors. Unfortunately this year, even the rumors seem to be down a little bit. There seems to be a lot of confusion about why nothing is happening.
Now, I can't really say "nothing" has happened. I mean, Pablo Ozuna re-signed with the White Sox.
But, none of the big stories have yet been resolved. Just two things need to happen and then there should be several moves. Hopefully those will happen soon and there is something exciting!
The first thing that needs to happen is that this annoying Manny Ramirez trade rumor needs to resolve itself. Now that his $17 million contract doesn't seem so out of whack, he should be marketable. However, Theo Epstein is apparently asking for too much. He wants Jake Peavy from the Padres. The Dodgers have the best minor league system of prospects right now. However, Epstein wants three of the following Dodgers prospects - Matt Kemp, Jonathan Broxton, Chad Billingsley, Andy LaRoche and James Loney. One would have to be Kemp and the Dodgers are wisely saying "No Thank You!" If the Red Sox don't come down from their expectations, they will likely be happy to end all trade talks and move forward. This isn't a big deal, but it potentially could be a big deal and that is why it is the big story right now.
In either case, the Red Sox are going to sign JD Drew to a five year, $70 million deal in the next day or two... as if we didn't hear about that a week or two ago.
The other major thing that needs to happen is that Barry Zito needs to decide where he wants to pitch. Apparently Scott Boras is telling teams that it will cost $102 million over six years to sign him. I don't know why anyone would go that long on a contract for any pitcher (not named Johan Santana), but the odds on favorite still has to be the Mets (even if the Rangers offer more money). Anyway, once Zito signs, I would expect that Jason Schmidt will sign soon after with the Seattle Mariners. I think everyone knows that is where he is going, he is likely just waiting for Zito to set the market.
Speaking of the Mariners, rumor has it that they are looking to trade Richie Sexson. I always think that it is funny when a player asks for a trade midway through a contract (as Miguel Tejada did last offseason). However, when a team decides to trade a player mid-contract, the team isn't questioned about its loyalty to the player!
Seriously, I just don't understand how Gil Meche and Ted Lilly, or more important, some big league general managers, think that those guys are worth four years and more than $40 million!? That is just crazy. And Jeff Suppan is solid (or average) enough, but $12 million a year??
That is why I fully believe that Terry Ryan needs to stay away from the free agent market. If they can get a solid #2 or #3 start without giving up any of their top level pitching prospects, go for it. Otherwise, just pick up two or three veterans who fall through the cracks and can be signed for cheap to battle for a rotation spot. Best case scenario, that guy has a solid, breakout year and becomes a Type A or Type B free agent next year at this time and the Twins could get some draft compensation when they let him go. What many people are beginning to realize that what the Twins have is SO valuable. Pitchers with huge upside who are not even arbitration eligible for a couple of years! That's how a team can compete with a budget. That is why the Dodgers would not be smart to deal three of those guys for Manny Ramirez.
I know we have heard a lot about Jason Jennings, but what about Jon Lieber of the Phillies. The man is just solid. He would be a great replacement for Brad Radke, and without looking, I believe his contract is just for 2007 and at about $8 million. What would it take to acquire Lieber? How about Lieber and Aaron Rowand for Torii Hunter and a mid-level pitching prospect or two?
Not a Twins question, but why are the Braves so insistent on moving Adam LaRoche?
According to Adam McCalvy of the Brewers.com site, "(Jeff) Cirillo, who is represented by Ken Felder, has also drawn interest from the Diamondbacks, Giants and Twins. "
Check back again as there may be short updates. This may just work a little easier for me for right now. As always, feel free to e-mail me or leave some Comments.
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