Thursday, December 04, 2008

Winter Meeting Start-up

657 miles away is an event that sounds a lot like heaven. But it might be closer to hell.

It would be easy to drive myself crazy about the winter meetings this weekend. After all, they're baseball, and they're in Las Vegas, and if those two things aren't "Favorites" folder, they're sure within spitting distance.

But I long ago came to peace with the fact that the only thing that would drive me crazier than being away from the winter meetings would be being at the winter meetings. And if you wanted to raise that level of frustration exponentially, the easiest way would be to hold the event in my favorite city in the world.

I'd spend the whole time feeling like I should be chasing down rumors, but instead I'd be sitting in a bar (or sports book, or craps table, or retro lounge) and talking baseball. There would be no commentary, no analysis. There would just be ramblings, usually half-drunk ramblings, and hopefully lots and lots of stories involving smart-ass replies and inappropriate behavior. Which you would all likely find entertaining, if I in fact wrote any of them down. Which I would not.

But, um, if any media execs would like to send me in the hope that it plays out a bit differently, I'm game. You never know. We might get lucky.

And we might this weekend, too. I'd like to promise that instead I'll be posting all weekend on the various rumors that are popping up at, but this could be a crazy weekend. Let's see what we have right now and then see what happens this weekend.....

Sabean on Manny, Sabathia, Sanchez
The Giants have already made a splash by signing Edgar Renteria this offseason, and I gotta say, I like that signing. The conventional wisdom on Renteria is that he simply can't hit American League pitching, but that's based on a 721 OPS with the Red Sox in 2005 and his struggles this last year with the Tigers. Keith Law pointed out a few weeks ago that this year's struggles, both offensive and defensive, seemed to be largely based on Renteria showing up out of shape this year, and he hit quite well (812 OPS) after the all-star break. He's also a shortstop, and right-handed, and 33 years old. I wouldn't have cried if the Twins gave him a similar deal.

Other than that signing, there isn't a lot of reason I can think of to pay attention to the Giants. Their primary commodity is young pitching, exactly what the Twins have, so it's unlikely the Twins partner with them in any deals. It's more likely they end up as a competitor in a trade, so at least signing Renteria gets them out of the market for a shortstop.

Lowe Receives Two Offers
I'll caveat this with not being a huge Derek Lowe fan, but I'm baffled that anyone would hand him a four year, $60 million deal. I mean, he's been a ground ball pitcher throwing in a cavernous stadium. Wouldn't you expect him to post a sub-4.00 ERA? He's a solid #2 starter, but he's also 35 years old. Do I really want to make that kind of commitment to someone that age to be the second best pitcher on my staff? The second after that contract is offered it's going to be a burden on the team that offers it.

Brewers Sign Jorge Julio
Reds Sign Mike Lincoln
At least two relievers sign yesterday, and the Twins were supposedly "hot after Mike Lincoln" according to La Velle E Neal.

It's a moot point, but I like right-handed Jorge Julio better, who signed for half the time and 1/4 the money with the Brewers yesterday. Julio is an awfully good example of the type of reliever that the Twins should probably be targeting - good raw stuff, questionable control, probably underrated. I fully expect we'll see a signing like him sometime this offseason. I hope I like whoever they sign as much as Julio.

A.J. Burnett Rumors: Thursday
So the economy is tanking, the free agent market is dry, the hot stove is ice cold - and people are throwing money at AJ Burnett? Seriously? Again, do we all have amnesia?

At this time last year it was assumed that he would absolutely accept the option on his contract because he had spent the last two years hurt. Low and behold, he stays healthy enough to pitch over 200 innings with a 4.07 ERA and decides to become a free agent. Wanna guess the last time he pitched 200+ innings with nice low ERA?

It was 2005, and that was also the last time he was in a contract year. By the way, in 2004, he threw 120 innings. And in 2003 he threw 23. So if the Braves do sign him to a spanky new four year deal (as is rumored), what's the over/under on how many innings he pitches? I'm going with 145.

The best news about this, by the way is that the Yankees are rumored to be making an offer to him today or tomorrow. Burnett and the Yankees hooking up would be the best of all possible worlds for Twins fans. First, it would mean that he could Pavanotage their rotation for the next four years. And it would mean that the Braves would continue to be chasing pitching. They look like an exceptionally good trading partner for the Twins.

Jack Wilson Rumors: Thursday
I continue to be terrified of the possibility of Wilson ending up with the Twins. There have been plenty of rumors about him going to the Dodgers or Tigers, but now Jason Beck is reporting that the the hang-up is money:

"One obstacle for Detroit could be the salary. Though Wilson's contract fits the profile of the short-term solution Detroit wants, his $7.25 million salary for next season could be a difficult fit for a team looking to keep its payroll around the same level as last year...."

Uh-oh. I know a team that isn't looking to keep its payroll around the same level as last year. Shiver.

Oh, and are you ready for the punchline? Now the Tigers are looking to sign Adam Everett instead.

1 comment:

Nick N. said...