Entries Tagged as 'Hot Stove'

Diamond Jim is back

Centerfielder Jim Edmonds is making a comeback.  After an ill-fated 2009 when his wife died of a cocaine overdose and he spent most of the rest of it recuperating from that, Edmonds is back in baseball.

The Milwaukee Brewers are taking a flier on Edmonds hoping he can help the team.  A good move in my opinion if only because they’re getting him on the cheap.

The Gold Glove centre-fielder, making a comeback after taking the 2009 season off, had his minor league contract purchased Thursday, giving the 39-year-old a spot on the 40-man roster.

The move put US$850,000 in Edmonds’ pocket, with the ability to make up to $1.75 million in bonuses.

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Fair value for Ryan Theriot

Ryan Theriot and the Cubs will be heading to arbitration it seems.  Which is probably doesn’t bode well for The Riot, as much as I like him, doesn’t look so great on paper.  My bet is that arbitration will go down in favor of the Cubs and the $2.6 million figure.

Which in a way, is a shame.  The Cubs have gotten a steal the past two years with Theriot and his sub-mil salary.  He’s been a solid, full-time infielder.  His average took a dip last year mostly because (rumors say) he was taking swings for the fences).  True enough, the homers increased (from 1 to 7) but so did the strikeouts (58 to 93) and the OBP dipped (.387 to .343).  Management has reportedly talked to Theriot at the end of last season about reverting to making more contact. 

When I read that Skip Schumaker signed recently with the Cardinals for a two-year deal worth $4.7 million I was reminded immediately of Theriot’s situation.  Ok, they’re not of exactly the same value but they are close.  Young middle infielders who hit for decent average.

I’m not about to take sides in this battle but at the same time, I will say this:  the Cubs have gotten more than fair value from Theriot the last few years.  Maybe it’s time for payback. 

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Hot Stove Talk

Xavier Nady to the Cubs

If healthy, let’s say that again… IF HEALTHY, I like this move by the Cubs.  One, he comes at a good price (rumored at 3.3 mil guaranteed, 2.5 mil in incentives and quite honestly I don’t mind any incentives because that means he’s working for his money).  Two, he hits lefty pretty well and would fit into a Kos Fuk platoon.

Finally, Ronnie would have fun with the X thing.

Rich Hill to the Cardinals

I’m doing my best to suppress laughter (7.80 ERA in 2009) because before I know it, Rich Hill will be the next comeback kid.  Despite all his troubles and all his mental blocks, he IS still under 30. 

And at one point, I really liked him.

Ben Sheets to the A’s

He’s going to Oakland so who cares except that my buddy Don is a Halos fan.  His comment?  “One year, $10 million.  The Price of Poker is STEEP.”  Heh, maybe.  If I were an Oakland, I would be cautiously optimistic.  If healthy (see Nady above) might be what the A’s need.  The downside:  Sheets has never won more than 13 games.

Athletics Nation certainly likes the deal.

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Cubs looking at “Heart Attack” Jonny?

There are rumors out there that the Cubs are interested in free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes.  They could do worse. 

Gomes has plenty of potential but the knock on Heart Attack Jonny (he suffered a heart attack in 2002) is the injury issue.  He hasn’t put in a full season in the seven years in the majors.  To be fair, let’s call it five since he was up for just a cup of coffee for the first two. 

I feel Gomes has a lot of power potential.  Take the last five years.  Accumulated, he’s averaged 28 homers per 500 at-bats.  Yes, his batting average is a tad low.  By a tad low, I mean averages like .216, .244, .182 and a whopping .267 last year.  To his credit, Gomes ability to get on base with the walk raises his OBP to a more respectable career level of .330.

Last year to go along with his Hornsby-like .267, Gomes hit 20 longballs in 281 at-bats proving that he’s making improvements.  The question is could he do this over an extended and more importantly, do the Cubs have a need for him. 

At this point, yes, I feel the Chicago Cubs could most certainly find a use for Heart Attack Jonny.  I wouldn’t expect him to play a full season if he was acquired but he would play a vital role.  As a righty, he could platoon in right field and spell Soriano when (yes, when not if)he goes down. 

Gomes is 29 and if he could fashion a respectable year in 2010, he could right his career.  He’s been one of those players that had very interesting numbers and I’ve always liked to see what would happen if he was given a chance.

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Cubs-Contreras rumors

ESPN’s Bruce Levine reports that the Chicago Cubs are interested in former White Sox starter Jose Contreras.

(Emphasis mine),

Listed at age 39, his real age is could be anywhere from 40-45, nonetheless the Cubs are looking at him as protection for Lilly, and also to push the No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the iffy bottom of the rotation

Jose DID pitch well after coming to Colorado in late August (Levine reminds us that he had a 1.59 ERA in Sept/Oct) but his overall second half ERA was still 5.40 coupled with a 2-6 record.

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Cubs News Bits

-Curt Schilling says he’s not sure he’s coming back but if does, the Cubs are on his short list.

-“I’m going to strike him out.  I’m going to try. He’ll be the enemy out there.”   Marmol said this with a smile about Geovany Soto.  The two of them may face each other in the World Baseball Classic.

-Carlos Zambrano pitched a near perfect two innings Monday in his first appearance in 2009.  Big Z only sin was giving up a walk and he struck out three.  Lou Piniella is still debating the Opening Day starter issue, though.  It’s ok, Lou.  You still have about a month.

-Finally, Lou Piniella supports Carlos Marmol’s decision to attend the WBC.

“It’s an honor to represent your country.  He’s here competing for a job, and he was a little concerned. I said, ‘Lay your fears to rest. We’ll let you compete for that job when you get back and we’ll make a decision then.’ No decision will be made without Marmol being here.”  

Now, just stay healthy, Carlos.

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Crede falls to the dark side

I’m curious what Sox think of this.

Not so much that Crede won’t be with Chicago any more.  I think that song was written a few months ago.  But now he’ll be playing for their arch-rivals Minnesota Twins. 

Comments from the South side?

Oh, from the article (emphasis mine):

Crede, who provided stellar defense and was a clutch hitter during his tenure with the Sox…

I’ve heard from more than one Sox fan that Crede’s defense had been lacking in 2008 at least in comparison to his past years.  Perhaps that’s true?  Or maybe that was due to his injury??

For what it’s worth, Crede does say he’s almost back to 100%.

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Who wants Manny?

Apparently, there was a small rally of Mets fans outside Radio City who were calling for the signing of Manny Ramirez.  According to Matt Cerone of Metsblog, it was organized via messageboards and was billed as a Bring Manny to the Mets Rally”.

Deep in the heartland, Albert Pujols had other ideas.  He’s actually been in contact with Manny “every three days” and wants him on the Cardinals. 

“Maybe St. Louis doesn’t have the money to sign him, but he could give them a discount because St. Louis is a great city that supports its players,” Pujols said.

haha!  Yeah, that’ll happen. 

St Louis IS a great baseball town, though.  I’ll give him that.

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Teixeira Signs With the Yankees

An Angel Fan’s Viewpoint:

As a fan of the team that got the short end of the stick in this, here are my observations and conclusions:

Does anyone doubt that The Boss remains in charge of the Yankees? Maybe not the day-to-day operations of the team, but the BIG decisions. Who do they spend the money on? How much money is spent? Maybe even whether Joba starts or relieves. I think that The Boss still makes the big decisions.

I also think he was embarrassed last year to spend all that money and miss the playoffs. And he has vowed that IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN. Maybe he was even pounding on the desk.

Meaningless DonS Observation: One way to make it less likely to happen again is to have a third baseman who is less interested in chasing Madonna and more interested in chasing the pennant, but that’s just MY opinion. Well, mine and Nick’s.

Two Other Interlocked DonS Observations: 1) I hate The Boss – in nice way, as “The One, The, Only Groucho” used to say. “Say the secret word and a duck will come down and give you fifty bucks. It’s a common word, one that people use every day.” 2) I wish The Boss owned a team that I root for, because he settles for no less than victory…and spares no effort to achieve that victory. I think he would be spending similar money even without the New York financial advantages that he enjoys, because he is the most competitive owner in sports.

Who says “money can’t buy me love?”

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Baseball Zealot Radio: Trade Talk and All Star Jabbering

Pirate fan and resident umpire Todd V and I recorded show 45 for Baseball Zealot Radio.

We analyze the two big trades in the NL Central, Harden and the big guy before critiquing the voters’ choices in the All-Star balloting.

It’s been a while since we’ve done an honest-to-goodness roundtable so the two of us took a look at the MLB division-by-division pinpointing the big surprises of the 2008 season so far.

Length: 41:26

Date Recorded: 7/14/08

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