I should be applauding Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees, today. (more…)
As far as the hot stove season in baseball goes, the first few days in December are when things really get going.
Now for those of you who didn’t understand anything I said in the first line welcome to baseball “nerd jargon” 101. For those who know exactly what I’m talking about you’re looking for a tidbit, a nugget, a gem, or a something indicating what your favorite team will and will not do. (more…)
While the Winter Meetings in Dallas have proven to be more about establishing a foundation for deals to be made at a later date, there was some action that took place that could allow for some major chips to begin falling. News of the day (which is a relative term when Albert Pujols is a free agent) revolved around the Marlins continued attempt to imitate the New York Yankees this offseason by signing Mark Buehrle to a four-year deal. This is huge because in Buehrle they gain a perennial All-Star and stalwart left-handed veteran to anchor their rotation. He becomes a major addition behind Josh Johnson and his true value will come in stopping any sustained losing streaks the Marlins may incur. We have to keep in mind that even with the signing of Reyes this is still a very vulnerable offense. Reyes’ legs are still an issue, Logan Morrison will need to make strides and Gaby Sanchez needs to put together two solid halves in order for this thing to work.
While things were getting hammered out with Buehrle, Jose Reyes, who just signed a six-year pact with the fish, was being introduced. One of the most telling reasons for his departure from New York was his statement that he “felt wanted” in Miami. While I know this is a determining factor at any level for an athlete I don’t think Reyes fully understood two things. First, the toll his injuries took on the team as they waited on leg injury after leg injury was a lot more massive than he might realize. Whether he wants to believe it or not, he is a catalyst and he needs to make things happen at the top of the order. When he plays he does just that; but when you can only depend on him for an average of 98 games per season it takes its toll. Financially the Mets just don’t have it right now. They’ve albatross contracts to David Wright, Johan Santana (remember him?) and Jason Bay still on the books and they are all coming off of sub-par, injury riddled seasons. In the case of Santana both. Not to mention the Wilpon’s ongoing legal troubles involving Bernie Madoff and already declining attendance it doesn’t make things easy on a now financially strapped team to give another player almost $18 million per season.
- FoxSports Jon Morosi tweeted the Mariners are interested in Jamie Moyer and Jeff Francis. I say try not to be so interested.
- Speaking of the Mets, they made a few moves acquiring Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco to deals as well as trading Angel Pagan to San Francisco for Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez.
- Mark Buehrle’s deal is for a reported four-years/$58 million dollars.
- Huston Street was traded to the Padres for a player to be named later
- Hanley Ramirez, a day after griping about moving to third base, is reported to have no issues with the move. Except for that whole defense part.
The winter meetings in Dallas, Texas for Major League Baseball kicked off with a bang on Monday with the announcement of Jose Reyes signing with the Miami Marlins (more on that later). This was just one of the many major chips expected to fall this week. Here are the three major themes to keep an eye on during the meetings in Dallas:
Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder signings: They are the marquee free-agents of this years class and no doubt the most expensive. But the team that lands either will take their offense and ball clubs to a whole new level. With Pujols, 31, it isn’t certain what he is looking for as far as contract demands. But he turned down the Cardinals offer the first time in February and you have to wonder if he was just trying to make sure they would be contenders for the duration of his career (which this contract would take him to the end of). The World Series the Cardinals won in 2011 wouldn’t have been possible without him and teams like the Marlins, Cubs, and Rangers must have taken notice as they are the top bidders, potentially, for his services.
Prince Fielder is just as important to the Brewers as Pujols is to the Cardinals. The overwhelming opinion throughout baseball is that he won’t be back in Milwaukee in 2012. Meaning the rumblings of the Mariners, Dodgers and Rangers could be more than just rumblings. He’s 27, coming off of a season in which he helped lead the Brewers to the division title, and most general managers would agree that his youth mixed with his team mentality are the right mix to propel a team on the cusp into annual playoff contention.
Trades, Signings, and More Trades: The Red Sox and Braves had monumental collapses. The Yankees and Phillies were unceremoniously bounced without a whimper in the first round. All four of them are in the dangerous position of knowing they’re better than that while not wanting to give up or spend too much. Let the talks begin! Now these aren’t the only four who are looking to make a move via trades (Jurrjens, Prado, and Lawrie have come up in trade discussion), or an impact signing (recently reported that Philadelphia is looking into Aramis Ramirez at third base) but they will be the most active. Especially in lieu of the Jose Reyes signing to the Miami Marlins. Look for New York to address their pitching concerns if not by C.J. Wilson then a pitcher like Jurrjens. Boston meanwhile is in the position of damage control as they look to re-sign Ortiz in hopes of solidifying that line-up and hammering out a possible deal for a pitcher (which is where Boston’s glaring deficiency is).
Collective Bargaining Agreement: While this may not seem as big an issue, with more teams focusing on building their teams through their farm systems the way draft compensation is divvied based on signings will be a factor in the way teams do business.
It will be an exciting week as the winter meetings should bring some off-season action down in Dallas.