Well, seeing as the first free agency thread got buried by the lack of activity in the opening weeks of free agency, I figured I'd start a new one seeing as things are starting to pick up, especially with the Winter Meetings next week.
In the past few days we've seen-
-Edgar Renteria to SF for 2yrs/18.5 mil. -Bob Howry to SF for 1yr/2.75(plus incentives)
These two I'm happy with because 1)Howry is a excellent setup guy, and is now no longer a Cub 2)I'm glad the Cards didn't overpay for Renteria.
-Javier Vazquez to the Braves for SS Brent Lillibridge, C Tyler Flowers, LHP Santos Rodriguez, and 3B Jon Gilmore.
I don't really get giving up 4 players for the mediocre Vazquez, but I don't really know much about the four players traded. Any White Sox or Braves fans to give perspective on this?
-Trever Miller to STL for 1yr/2mil. -Khalil Greene to STL for two yet unnamed minor league, relievers.
I like this deal for my Cards, as middle-infield production was a big problem last year. This is a good case of trading for a guy at his lowest value, and could be a very good gamble for STL. Khalil had a terrible 08, but hopefully a change of scenery and change of ballpark will help him get on track. Looking at his career splits, it just might. For his career, Greene has hit .228/.292/.374 slugging percentage at pitcher-friendly PETCO Park while putting up a .270/.318/.484 line in road games. I'll take a SS with .800 OPS.
-Mike Hampton to HOU for 1yr/2mil+incentives.
Could be a decent gamble for the cost for Houston, I just wouldn't count on him being on the field much.
It sounds like with the Vazquez deal there's one solid prospect in Tyler Flowers. Lillibridge seems to have plateaued and would need a major surge to be useful at the MLB level despite having good speed. Jon Gilmore is a 3B prospect who doesn't project to do much. Santos (L. Halper) Rodriguez is a bit of a wild-card. Good arm, learning the breaking stuff, potential but at least 3 years away.
Really Flowers will be the key for the White Sox. If he can keep raking like he did in the AFL, and doesn't need to be moved out of the C position (a possibility the scouts are bringing up) he could be the catcher of the future for the Sox.
As for Vazquez, good f'n riddance. He is the anti-Jack Morris. If you need a big game pitched against a last-place team in front of 12,000 people in May, he's your man. Shine even the tiniest amount of spotlight on him though and he cracks like a faberge egg dropped from the Sears Tower. I won't miss seeing the Sox spend $23 million over the next two years for "Big Game Javy".
I miss seeing Khalil do absolutely crazy insane defense without appearing to break a sweat. His bat was always "eh" but not horrible. He's fast, but his hits tended to stay in the ball park and he didn't always have success trying to knock them in the gaps to take advantage of his speed. Then every once in awhile he's just smack the ball really hard, and you'd think that maybe just maybe he could do some power hitting if he worked on it. Then he would fly out A LOT and go back to hitting it on the ground. (I did not see him in 08 for the record)
It will be interesting to see how he does in a new stadium, and with a different staff. I never really got a feel for if he did better when he was in every day or if he got time off, because usually he only got time off when he was hurt or sick. I just hope this means he shows up on my teevee more.
I know Renteria is the definition of a National League player, but the Giants gave him over $9 million per? Red Sox and Tiger fans are laughing at that. Though he will by default be an offensive improvement over Vizquel, he will be a defensive disaster by comparison. I'm guessing that Hampton must have had second thoughts about the Houston school system. I have to disagree with spf about Vazquez. I thought he was a great big game pitcher, especially in relief in Game 7 in '04. Oh wait, you mean a big game pitcher for the team he played for. My bad. Do the Braves have any sort of long term plan going on, because they have been flipping and flopping for about 2 years now on whether they are contending or rebuilding. Which team will be dumb enough to sign Eric Gagne? I'll go Orioles just because it seems the sort of move they seem to make the last decade.
As for Vazquez, good f'n riddance. He is the anti-Jack Morris. If you need a big game pitched against a last-place team in front of 12,000 people in May, he's your man.
Actually, Vazquez's best career month in terms of ERA/WHIP/OBA is September (3.89/1.19/.243). And, y'know, those wins in May count just as much as the wins in September do.
Most of those Septembers were in Montreal, where he was 20-30 games out by September 1.
He's been in 4 pennant races in his career. He second half numbers those years: 2004 - NYY - 4-5, 6.92 ERA 2005 - ARI - 4-7. 4.28 ERA (including 0-5 with a 7.09 in August, when the race was tied. He had a good September after the D-Backs went 7 back.) 2006 - CHI - 2-8, 4.58 ERA (again, torpedoing during the tightest part of the race, June and July when CHW and DET were neck and neck. He put up ERA's of 7.50 and 6.82 those months) 2008 - CHI - 5-9, 4.74 ERA (including a 2-4, 6.25 September with a 4 game losing streak and a 13+ ERA to close out the season).
Originally posted by drjayphd in THIS VERY THREADAdams: They might have to move Matsui to CF anyway
Originally posted by ibidwhen Bernie's defense gets to the point that they need to have him DH. Buh-bye, Giambi's reprieve. Bring it, pinstriped wenches.
(takes that to the bank, not unlike a Vern Fonk ad) And so what if I dragged a third party into it?
Originally posted by sameExpos challenging in the NL East, anyone? Sure, they lost a solid pitcher, but they got a GREAT young bat (I don't even REMEMBER who the 'Spos had at 1B last year) in Johnson, and Rivera's arm might be a nice addition.
It appears, by some reports, that the Yankees are set to sign CC Sabathia (sportsillustrated.cnn.com), though there's nothing anywhere that it notes a done deal. For the Yanks, it looks like they're also close to Sheets and/or Lowe (4 years/$66 million). Those 3...that would truly be something. Wang, Sabathia, Sheets, Lowe, and Phil Hughes.
I think there are 1-2 bad years the Yankees are paying a lot of money for and they probably paid significantly more than anyone else would (or could) offer, so I was down on this deal.
Then I read this
Originally posted by Rosenthal @ Fox SportsSabathia will receive an opt-out clause after three years, which was a prerequisite for him to sign with any team, not just the Yankees, according to a source. The deal is all cash and will include no deferrals.
and it's worse. If he's great (or even just good), he's a free agent at 31 and the Yankees are going to have to give him an extension or a new deal. If he falls apart, he's sure not going to opt out. (You can make the cases about location or comfort, but the media generally made those same points before this deal, and CC just took the deal that gave him the most money.) This contract says the Yankees are going to pay $23 mil a year for the next 7 years AT LEAST; the final number will be bigger.
Originally posted by jfkfcWang, Sabathia, Sheets, Lowe, and Phil Hughes.
Hughes would start in the minors if that's the case. Chamberlain is going to be a starter again.
As much as they're paying attention to innings limits now, it feels like the wise move to mimic last year. Joba starts in the pen, then as the season progresses, they lengthen him out and gradually put him back in the rotation. While statements have been made that he'll start the season in the rotation, it's not set in stone. If not Hughes, than Aceves certainly merits a chance to start.
There was a lot of debate about that this year; personally, I'd say that there really aren't more than 10 guys that I'd count on to go in and get the last 3 outs of a game, and pretty much know I'll walk away with a win. Wagner's one of those guys.