Wednesday, November 23, 2005


  • The Marlins are looking into relocating. In other news, they visited a local delicatessan and offered the owner "protection" for 50% of his business proceeds. Bud Selig supports both moves.
  • Trades, trades, and more trades. I had heard a rumor about the White Sox trading for Jim Thome, with Chicago giving up Aaron Rowand and a pitcher, either Jose Contreras or Brandon McCarthy. Now, is reporting that the Sox are getting Thome straight up for Rowand. I don't know exactly how much of Thome's giant salary the Phillies are paying, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 50%. This is a great deal for Chicago, who as I said earlier, need to be "proactive" this offseason. Thome isn't a sure thing, coming off a dreadful season, but even if he hits at 75-85% of his 2004 value (396/581/274), he'll be quite valuable. It's hard for me to believe that the Phillies couldn't get anything more than Rowand for Thome. Rowand's a decent all-around center fielder, which the Phillies need, but surely they could have gotten SOMETHING else. Of course, the Phillies haven't made a habit of making really great decisions lately.
  • The Artist Formerly Known as the Florida Marlins continues selling off its parts. They're getting rid of their pricey parts so they can sign their two core players -- Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera -- to long-term extensions. It's great to hear that the Marlins are following the wonderful example set by the Royals and Rockies -- trade off everything except one conspicuous star. He/They will make more money than the rest of the roster combined and the team will become a farce as one or two All-Stars are surrounded by 23 jabronis. Everyone will wonder when they get traded and the franchise descends. Willis and Cabrera need to call Mike Sweeney and Todd Helton and see how jolly they are about their situation.
  • It looks like Josh Beckett is going to the Red Sox. Rob Neyer is doubtful about the prospects Boston is giving up, but I think it's a positive move for Boston. They need another starting pitcher, but can't afford a free agent. Beckett is not, repeat not a miracle franchise player who's going to win any Cy Young Awards. Everyone, particulary Sox fans, are turning Beckett into the messiah. And instead of blaming themselves for making him into the next Pedro, they'll blame him for being the slightly good, amazingly injury-prone pitcher that he is, instead of the savior they want him to be. The real big aspect of this deal is Mike Lowell. Yes, Lowell is overpaid ($9 million for two years), but Beckett is underpaid, so it all works out. There's every reason to believe that 2005 was a fluke, and Mike Lowell from 2002-2004 was one of the best third basemen in baseball. Is he Mike Schmidt? No, but he'll replace Bill Mueller. The only aspect of the deal that really bothers me is that it leaves Kevin Youkilis out in the cold. The Sox didn't need a third baseman; they already had one. Now they're spending money on Lowell that could be spent on Johnny Damon or a relief pitcher. But it was the price to pay to get Beckett. What no one has suggested is for the Sox to play musical chairs with their infield defense; move either Lowell or Youkilis to second base (currently vacant in Boston), and the other man can play third. It won't be pretty defensively, but neither is Tony Graffanino, their other best 2B option. Let's think outside the batter's box.
  • The Mets are trading for Carlos Delgado, which is just plain good news for them. They needed a slugger? They needed a first baseman? A left-handed hitter? How's 3 out of 3? Delgado's still one of the best hitters in the league, and Mike Jacobs isn't exactly a steep price to pay. I know you can't count out the Braves, but the Mets are starting to look like the best team in the NL East. If they can sign, say, Bengie Molina to catch, they'll have a fine lineup (outside of the middle infield). If they can do something to goose their pitching staff, they'll be clear favorites in the east. The Mike Cameron trade was a true head-scratcher, but Omar Minaya is having a pretty good net effect on the Mets.
  • The Cubs signed middle-reliever Scott Eyre to a 3-year, $11 million contract. I'd call it a completely boneheaded contract, but I wouldn't want to offend any boneheads.

No comments: