Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hot Stove Heats Up

Now that the GM meetings are over the real fun will begin. While the GM's were busy working on their golf game or their bowling game, they managed to find some time and lay the ground work for some possible trades or free agent signings. This time of the year for baseball is possibly just as exciting as the actual season. Everyday there are new rumors and new possible deals coming out. One day you think its a lock CC Sabathia is going one place and Jake Peavy is going another only to read the next day that none of it was true and a third team has upped their offer. It is a fun time to sift through all the material and find the reporters who you believe. Some of the best to follow or Jon Heyman of SI and Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports; but the best in the business is Buster Onley (especially for Yankee fans. He seems to break all their major news.)

Right now it seems every team is interested in every player. This is especially true of the Yankees. It sounds like they are rumored to sign every player this offseason. A word of warning: Don't Believe the Rumors. They are just rumors. For every deal that happens there are 100 rumors. And usually the deal that happens, happens quick and is unexpected. For example:

Matt Holliday to the A's
This move was straight of leftfield. Everything I read seemed to point to the Cardinals or the Phillies. But Billy Beane swooped in made a giant offer and got a great hitter. I do not understand the criticism of Beane on this move. If he has proved anything, it is that he usually has a plan and knows what he is doing. He restocked the A's farm system last year in trading away Joe Blanton and Danny Haren. He had never been a fan of closers making big money so getting rid of Huston Street makes perfect sense. (Street is overrated as it is, but thats another story.) So worse case scenario for the A's now that they traded for Holliday is either A) They trade him in July and get prospects or B) They keep him make a run at the playoffs and get two draft picks for him when he leaves. Its really a win win, and why wouldn't you want Billy Beane to have extra draft picks? As for the Rockies they got a good young CF, two good young pitchers and another trade chip in Huston Street. This was a great deal for both sides.

A few thoughts:
1) What are the Royals doing? It seemed the Royals had a clue this season as they finally made some good draft picks and seemed to making a good step to being legit. Now they trade for Mike Jacobs, who is a solid player, but goes against their OBP plan. I just don't get it.

2) Was that the Nationals big move? I have been reading for days about the money the Nationals had and how they planned to make a move for Teixera, Adam Dunn, or Manny Ramirez. They believed they were a bat away from being in contention. Now they trade for Josh Willingham and Greg Olsen? Please tell me this isn't their big offseason move.

3) Where does Manny go? The whole Manny Ramirez offseason will be intriguing. Scott Boras orchestrated a player quitting on his team so he would be let out of his contract- that worked. Then said player has the best second half in MLB history and is lined up for a big pay day. Only one problem, no team wants to give him long term security b/c they are worried he will quit on them. I don't see Manny getting the contract he wants that will take him to 42. I think he will end up with Dodgers taking less then their offer of 25 million per year for two years and signing for three seasons.

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