MOVE OR KNEE JERK REACTION?
Boston finally made a
good move and it wasn’t getting Coco Crisp. Former
Florida Marlins shortstop Alex Gonzalez will patrol
the middle of the diamond in Boston. This should
have happened a month ago, but the lure of possibly
getting Miguel Tejada held that up.
Defensively, the Red Sox are a lot better with the
signing of Gonzalez, who is still gold glove
caliber. Newly acquired Mike Lowell also has a nice
a glove at third, while J.T. Snow is still as good
as it gets across the diamond.
Good move signing Gonzalez, which comes while the
ink is still drying on last week’ deal with
Cleveland. The Indians sent Crisp, reliever David
Riske and backup catcher Josh Bard to Boston in
exchange for setup man Guillermo Mota and prospects
Andy Marte and Kelly Shoppach.
Crisp is a nice player, but was he worth parting
with two prospects? Some in the Indians’
organization believe Marte is one of the top
prospects in the game and Shoppach has nice upside
behind the plate. Granted Shoppach didn’t figure to
get a chance right away, with Jason Varitek around
for the foreseeable future.
This looks more like a reaction then a good move.
While Boston got Crisp to fill the void left by
departure of Johnny Damon, Cleveland acquired Jason
Michaels, from Philadelphia to replace Crisp in
left. Michaels will put up some good numbers,
playing everyday in that lineup.
In return, the Phillies got lefty reliever Arthur
Rhodes. Good deal for both sides.
The Phillies now have Rhodes and Tom Gordon to work
the eighth and ninth innings. Considering the money
they saved by not bringing back Billy Wagner, this
is a great deal (The Mets overpaid for another
But while that deal makes sense the Jim Thome for
Aaron Rowand deal is still a head-scratcher.
Defensively, the Phills are now solid up the middle
with Jimmy Rollins (SS), Chase Utley (2B) and Rowand.
And they got Rowand for Thome whom they would have
dealt for a box of baseballs. After signing the big
deal with the Phills, Thome got a little soft,
especially when it came to junk food.
Look for Shane Victorino to make a splash this year
in Philly. The 25-year old prospect should make the
team out of spring training. He can hit.
The Phills are playoff team in 2006.
BUYING TIME IN L.A.
Dealing for Vicente
Padilla was a good move by the Texas Rangers, but
signing Kevin Millwood for five years at 11
Million-plus is a little questionable. Millwood did
lead the American League in E.R.A. in 2005, but can
be a rotation’s top gun? Atlanta, Philadelphia,
Cleveland and now the Rangers are hoping that he can
be. But did they overpay? Yes.
When Johnny Damon signed with the Yankees, Boston
suddenly had some money to spend and the potential
target was Millwood. 9 Million per would have been a
little pricey, but he would look pretty good as
Boston’s No. 3 or No. 4, behind the likes of Josh
Beckett and Curt Schilling. Again, that was still a
sizeable number when you consider that Boston let
Pedro Martinez walk for similar money.
But the Rangers desperately need pitching and the
addition of Millwood makes them a more viable
contender in the A.L. West. Hopefully this signing
will work out better than Chan Ho Park.
The Florida Marlins haven’t limited their fire sale
to American soil. The fish sent infielder Joe Dillon
to the Yomiuri Giants for cash.
Nice move by Minnesota, picking up Rondell White.
Last year the Twins were unable to keep pace with
the Chicago White Sox because their offense wasn’t
producing. They did lose Jacque Jones (signed with
the Cubs), but the addition of White and Tony
Batista give the Twins a little more punch in the
middle of the lineup. And they acquired Luis
Castillo to fill the hole at second base.
It’s hard for San Francisco Giant fans to watch the
hated Dodgers continue to make moves, most notably,
the signing of Brett Tomko. You just know that Tomko
will beat the Giants in a big game this season.
What’s most difficult for Giant fans is that the
architect of the new-look Dodgers is one of their
own. Brian Sabean’s right-hand man Ned Colletti took
over in L.A. and arguably knows Tomko better than
any other GM. Imagine Theo Epstein resurfacing in
Tomko, who has the stuff to be a No. 2, but has
lacked consistency, will round out the Dodgers
rotation. That’s depth!
Beyond Tomko, Colletti has brought in the likes of
Rafael Furcal, Nomar Garciaparra, Kenny Lofton and
Bill Mueller, while dealing away the headache that
is Milton Bradley.
Colletti’s goal is to plug the holes and let the
younger talent develop. Names like Andy LaRoche are
still a year or two away from being able to
contribute at the major league level so signing
veterans for short-term deals will give the youth
And it’s not like the Dodgers are bringing in dead
weight. Furcal is still an All-Star. Garciaparra hit
well after his return to the Cubs lineup and Mueller
and Lofton are still tough outs.
And in case you missed it… Former Montreal Expo,
Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox closer Jeff
Reardon was arrested for apparently trying to rob a
jewelry store. Do you think this will hinder his
already slim hopes of getting a call from
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for ex-Red Sox
ABBREVIATED ROCKET LAUNCH?
This coming Tuesday
could present teams with a number of additional
options. Dec. 20 is the deadline offer contracts to
arbitration-eligible players. There aren’t any
franchise-changing players out there, but there is
one intriguing name.
The much-maligned Corey Patterson could be out there
for anyone to sign. The acquisition of Juan Pierre
from the Marlins, ended Patterson’s days in
centerfield. Now it remains to be seen if it ended
his days in Chicago.
Patterson came up with a world of talent and he
still has a lot of potential, but his high-strikeout
numbers have many in the Windy City soured on the
former prized prospect. The Cubs would love to deal
him before Tuesday.
Other intriguing potential non-tenders include Jason
Phillips (Dodgers) and Gil Meche (Mariners).
Phillips did a really job behind the plate for the
Dodgers last season, after being a part-time player
with the Mets. If the Mariners sign Jarrod Washburn,
Meche could become expendable. He, much like former
Giants pitcher Brett Tomko, should get interest from
more than a few teams.
Here’s an interesting thought…
Roger Clemens' agent Randy Hendricks told the Boston
Globe that Clemens is considering the idea of
playing a partial season to balance family demands
in Texas. How about a scenario where Clemens shows
up in Boston after the All-Star break?
Think about that. In each of the last two seasons
Clemens has had mind-boggling numbers in the first
half of the season. The second halves have been
impressive, but not as dominating. And he’s not
getting any younger.
With his workout regiment, there is no question that
he would arrive ready to go. An abbreviated spring
training in June/July and then off to Boston for
final two-plus months of the season?
Talk about a power staff. Josh Beckett, Curt
Schilling and Clemens? That would be scary in
The Texas Rangers let
one arm go, but acquired another.
Not long after Kenny Rogers signed with the Detroit
Tigers, Texas announced the deal, which brought
Vicente Padilla from the Philadelphia Phillies.
Padilla started slow last season and there was
speculation that he would be dealt to a contender
before the July 31 trading deadline. But the
Phillies remained a contender themselves and Padilla
started to pitch much better, after the All-Star
break. Nevertheless, he was sent packing.
A change of scenery and reuniting with Buck
Showalter and pitching coach Mark Connor might be
just what the 28-year old right-hander needs.
A change of venue is exactly what Kenny Rogers
needed. Despite making the American League All-Star
team, the left-hander could not escape the highly
publicized run in (or run over) with a television
Back to the city of Brotherly Love, where there is
talk of a deal between the Phills and Los Angeles
Dodgers. The Los Angeles Times reported that the
Dodgers are interested in third baseman David Bell,
and the teams have discussed a deal involving
reliever Duaner Sanchez and prospects.
Unfortunately, David Bell’s best days are behind
him. He signed a multi-year deal with Philly after
helping San Francisco to the World Series in 2002,
but according to one source, “his body has broken
The Phillies would love to move Bell, but it wasn’t
believed that there would be a lot interest. It’s
all about needs and the Dodgers need a third
basemen. Thus the reason that Bill Mueller’s name
has surfaced recently. Getting a young arm like
Sanchez and “prospects” would be a steal for Philly.
After making some “off-the-radar” moves to sure up
the bullpen, the San Francisco Giants have signed
coveted free agent pitcher Matt Morris. The Giants,
who were intent on adding another arm to the
rotation, were looking hard at both Morris and the
Angels’ Jarrod Washburn. The reported multi-year
deal is worth about 27 Million.
Morris essentially replaces Brett Tomko, who was not
offered arbitration by the Giants, and figures to be
a No. 3 starter behind Jason Schmidt and lefty Noah
Lowry (and No. 4 starter Matt Cain) When the Giants
met the Cardinals in the 2002 National League
Championship Series, Morris was the Cardinals ace
and he pitched a gem in the eventual game-five
clincher. He joins another former Cardinal in San
Francisco, catcher Mike Matheny.