I can no decide which is harder to wait for. Is it the start of the
regular season where every team still has a fighting chance? Or is it
the start of the off season free agent hot stove? On one hand you have
the actual start of play and something exciting to come home and watch
every day almost. Then on the other hand the excitement of “will my
team sign a big name free agent” is always exciting. It is just hard to
tell, but one thing is for sure. I can not wait until November 14th
gets here so the fun can really begin.
So for now I figured I
would type up an article on the trades and signings that have already
gone down. Some of these are rather boring, but some could have a real
impact on the 2009 season.
MLB Transactions: (or at least the “Best Of” anyways)
1. In a some what surprising move, the Washington Nationals sent Dmitri Young outright to Triple-A Syracuse.
After the 2007 season Young was named the National League Comeback
Player of the Year after only playing in 48 games in 2006. In 2008
injuries and difficulties in his battle with Diabetes limited Young to
only 30 games. Even so, Young be sent outright to Triple-A is a bit
puzzling to me.
2. The St. Louis Cardinals signed back up catcher Jason LaRue to a one year deal. LaRue played in 61 games for the Cardinals last year backing up Gold Glove winner Yadier Molina.
3. On November 6th the New York Yankees declined the option of Damaso Marte only to resign him six days later to a 3 year $12 million contract.
4. In an expected move the Texas Rangers exercised Hank Blalock’s $6.2 million option.
5. San Diego Padres exercised the $9 million option of Brian Giles.
With the state of the Padres right now no one was for sure if they
would pick up Giles’ option. On any normal circumstance it would have
seemed like a no brainer for the Padres to pick up his option.
6. Right handed Taiwanese pitcher Chia-Jen Lo’s dreams became a reality when he was signed to a minor league contract by the Houston Astros.
Chia-Jen Lo has always been a closer and the Astros seem inclined to
leave him in the role he feels comfortable. But do not worry Astros
fans, Chia-Jen Lo is not about to replace Jose Valverde anytime soon. The Astros believe the young Taiwanese pitcher is still a few years from the major league level.
7. LaTroy Hawkins
was rewarded for his stellar work out of the Astros bullpen. The Astros
signed the veteran pitcher to a one year $3.25 million contract. This
could mean the Astros are not as pressed in signing Doug Brocail even though they would also like to bring him back aswell.
8. The Washington Nationals acquired LHP Scott Olsen and OF Josh Willingham from the Marlins. To complete the deal the Marlins received for INF Emilio Bonifacio, RHP P.J. Dean and INF Jake Smolinski.
9. In the biggest offseason move so far, the Oakland Athletics acquired OF Matt Holliday in exchange for closer Huston Street.
Colorado also received LHP Greg Smith and OF Carlos Gonzalez. This puts
the Athletics in a position to contend in 2009. If they are able to
sign Jason Giambi to be their DH then the A’s may have a fighting chance.
10. The Kansas City Royals made a trade for power hitting first baseman Mike Jacobs Sending RHP Leo Nunez to the Marlins to complete the deal.
11. Shortstop Edgar Renteria will be a free agent now that the Detroit Tigers
declined his option. Edgar is classified as a Type A free agent and a
lot of teams may be unwilling to give up their first round pick for
him. There is an outside chance the Detroit Tigers can resign him to a
12. For the first time in a decade the purest swing in the game will be on the free agent market. The Chicago White Sox declined the option on veteran power hitting Ken Griffey Jr.
Even though Junior’s numbers have fallen off a bit do not look for him
to sign cheap. I would guess he would sign with a team he feels will
compete in 2009 so do not look for a Seattle reunion. (Even though he
said he is open to the idea)
13. Catcher Rod Barajas will be in Toronto in 2009. The Blue Jays have picked up the option on his contract.
14. Carlos Delgado had his $12 million option picked up for 2009.
15. The Boston Red Sox picked up Tim Wakefield’s
option for next season. In case you are unaware of how many option
years Wakefield has left on his contract I will let you know. The
number is indefinite. As long as Boston wants the knuckleballer then he
his theirs for $4 million a season.
Now, these are just the
transactions that have already gone down. These do not count the
endless Jake Peavy rumors that are swirling around. Or the Manny or CC
contract offers that have already been made.
I was kind of
hoping this blog would carry me into the beginning of the opening of
the free agent season, but sadly it has only brought me a couple of
You know, there is not a person in the world that would jump to defend
Pete Rose when debating the mans morality. He is a class A moron. No
doubt about it. I do not even think that Pete himself would refute his
bad reputation as a person, but (and this is a big but) The Hall of
Fame is not a shrine for the upstanding good guy award winners. No, it
is a shrine for the best baseball players to grace the baseball diamond.
Bud Selig’s claims that Pete’s actions brought in doubt the integrity of
Major League Baseball. Seriously? When in the world did MLB gain
integrity? I was not given any memo on this. What about you? Did you
get some memo from MLB saying, “Hey we have intergrity now!”?
guess the whole steroid era that Bud Selig himself turned a blind eye
to would not prevent MLB from having integrity. I mean baseball players
transforming from bean poles to various versions of the Incredible Hulk
and Bud never questioned any of it. Players who hit 12 or 15 homeruns a
season started belting out 40 and 50 right in front of our very eyes
and nothing was said. Why? Because it put fans in the seats and that
was good for business. More seats sold equals more revenue generated by
Major League Baseball.
And what about the Black Sox. The 1919
World Series? We pretty much have all seen the movie 8 Man Out. It was
a great movie. Well, great except for the small detail of it being a
true story. The majority of a professional baseball team, the White Sox, got together to
throw the World Series. Not just any series, but the World Series. All
because Charles Comiskey was a lying cheap no good shmuck. He never
paid promises of bonus monies to his players. He also saw to it that
some players were benched towards the end of the season to prevent them
from achieving certain levels in wins, hits or games played to be
guaranteed other bonus monies. So the team took matters in their own
hands to make a few extra bucks. The players get black balled from
baseball and Charles Comiskey gets a ball park named after him. Now
doesn’t that just scream integrity?
Now, do not get me wrong. I
am not saying that Major League Baseball sucks, because I am not. I
love the game. I love it with a passion. What I am saying is Major League Baseball does not have any integrity, and to use that as an excuse to keep a baseball
legend out of The Hall of Fame is a crock!! Pete is an idiot. Pete bet
on games. Pete has to be the dumbest person alive. But Pete, well when
he was on the field he was a God. No one played the game like him. He
played the game with the kind of reckless abandon that fans love to see.
it is not like Pete would be the first “Bad Boy” to be immortalized in
The Hall of Fame. One of baseball’s biggest icon was a drunk and a
philanderer. Yes, I am referring to Babe Ruth. What about Ty Cobb. He
was the dirtiest player in that game. Sharpened his spikes before his
games. Fought with opposing teams as well as his own team. He even
admitted to killing someone. Mickey Mantle was an alcoholic who played
some games through bloodshot eyes. Gaylord Perry doctored baseballs. It
could be argued that each compromised the integrity of the game in some
degree. Yet they’re all in the Hall of Fame.
So it is time. It
is time for Major League Baseball to honor Pete Rose. Open the doors
and let the man in. Let him into where he belongs. Let him in
Cooperstown. Let Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame.
After being shown the door by two different teams in less
than a year’s time Jim Edmonds went to Chicago
with something to prove. He had to prove that he was still a fierce competitor
on the baseball diamond and he accomplished that. Grant it, a .235 batting average is nothing to
sing about but keep in mind that he hit .256 for the Cubs and knocked 19
homeruns (20 on the season) and while still playing a high standard of baseball
in center field. Sure, he may have lost a step or two but lets face it, that only
brings his level of play down to just above average.
Now with free agency looming for Edmonds he seems to be pondering retirement.
The Cubs have mentioned they would like to bring Edmonds back but will not break the bank to
do so. Edmonds
made around $8 million this season and will probably see a significant pay cut
to around the $5 million mark. This could attract a hand full of suitors.
Side note: Jim Edmonds is 18 homeruns shy of reaching
400 for his career. This my be enough to bring him back for one more season.