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
Each offseason and each trade deadline brings rumor upon
rumor about the Houston Astros considering trading Roy Oswalt. Before all that
starts I am going to let the world know Roy
is not going anywhere this offseason or even at the 2009 trade deadline.
First of all Oswalt has a complete no trade clause and has
no desire to play for any other team than the Astros, the only organization he
has ever been apart of in his professional career.
Grant it Roy
has been quoted as saying he would consider waiving his no trade clause if the
Astros approached him about it stating he would not want to play where he is
not wanted, and the Astros do want him. They realize that Roy is their ONLY pitcher. They have a number
one starter in Roy,
and four number five starters with the rest of the rotation.
Not to mention the fact that Drayton McLane Jr. is greatly
fond of the Astros one and only ace pitcher. He loves Roy so much he bought him a Caterpillar D6N XL
bulldozer for clinching the final game of the 2005 National League Championship
Series. Yeah sure, many a boss have bought extravagant gifts for employees that
go well above and beyond the call of duty, but a bulldozer is a pretty exact and
personal gift. You have to have a lot of love and admiration to know that a man
wants and needs a bulldozer.
Take away the fact that Roy has a no trade clause and is a admired by
team owner McLane, Roy is also a fan favorite. There is not an Astros fan alive
that does not know what this man means to the Houston Astros organization. They
have all seen his grit on the field and love him for what he does on the mound,
and for a team where image is everything this assures that the Astros organization
will not take a Public Relations hit like that.
The final reason Roy
remains with the Astros is probably the most important reason of all. Ed Wade
and his job security is the biggest reason. If by some chance Ed finds a way to
get around the no trade clause, McLane’s fondness of Roy and the PR night mare, Ed knows his
future with the club will ride on this single trade. If the Astros get a
pitcher or two and some minor leaguers and they turn out to flop or not live up
to expectations Ed will be looking for another job and the chances of Ed
finding a third GM job would be slim to none.
So mark my words, Roy will remain in an Astros uniform for
seasons to come.