2009-10 Hot Stove Baseball

BillD1984

BillD1984

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While four teams are still chasing baseball's ultimate prize, the lonnnnnnng winter has started for the other 26 clubs.

Here's a look at what some of those teams are looking at this offseason:



Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Twins, Mets, Rockies, Delgado, Nady, Butler

By Cork Gaines [October 16 at 12:51pm CST]

On this date six years ago, Aaron Boone ended the ALCS with an 11th inning home run off of Tim Wakefield. Yesterday we learned that Boone is likely to retire, ending his 12-year career. With this season's LCS underway, 26 teams are already in the Hot Stove season. Let's take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere...
 
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BillD1984

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Odds & Ends: Marlins, Miller, McCann

By Mark Polishuk [October 16 at 6:41pm CST]
In the wake of the Phillies' bullpen giving us all Mitch Williams flashbacks, here are a few pieces of news....

  • Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria thought about replacing manager Fredi Gonzalez with Bobby Valentine as far back as June. Capozzi also notes that Loria and Gonzalez are currently in Paris on a trip intended "to soothe the hurt feelings" that Gonzalez may have over his unexpected spell on the hot seat.
  • Florida left-hander Andrew Miller (the No. 6 overall pick in the 2006 MLB Draft), is pitching for Mesa of the Arizona Fall League to both get some extra work and to straighten out the kinks in his throwing motion, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
  • In other AFL news, MLB.com's Jason Beck thinks that Tigers prospect Scott Sizemore's performance in Arizona this winter might help him win a job in Detroit in 2010.
  • Atlanta's Brian McCann underwent his second bout of Lazik eye surgery today to try and solve his nagging vision problems, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com
  • WEEI.com's Alex Speier says Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie met with doctors on Friday and was told his surgically-repaired wrist should be in top shape for spring training after an off-season conditioning program.
 
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Rays Rumors: Zobrist, Iwamura, Kapler

By Ben Nicholson-Smith [October 16 at 3:53pm CST]
MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez provides the latest on a few Tampa Bay Rays:
  • <LI id="">If Ben Zobrist becomes the team's everyday second baseman, the club may decide to bring free agent-to-be Gabe Kapler back as a backup outfielder. Kapler made $1MM this year and hit .239/.329/.439 in 245 trips to the plate.
  • If the club keeps Zobrist at second, it appears highly unlikely that the Rays would pick up Akinori Iwamura's $4.25MM option.
  • Other club options to watch: Carl Crawford at $10MM, Gregg Zaun at $2MM and Brian Shouse at $1.9MM.
  • It's likely that the team will look for affordable late-inning relief help.
 
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While four teams are still chasing baseball's ultimate prize, the lonnnnnnng winter has started for the other 26 clubs.

Here's a look at what some of those teams are looking at this offseason:



Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Twins, Mets, Rockies, Delgado, Nady, Butler

By Cork Gaines [October 16 at 12:51pm CST]

On this date six years ago, Aaron Boone ended the ALCS with an 11th inning home run off of Tim Wakefield. Yesterday we learned that Boone is likely to retire, ending his 12-year career. With this season's LCS underway, 26 teams are already in the Hot Stove season. Let's take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere...

IF Joe Nathan gets traded, the Tigers better be there to make a great offer, he would solidify things quite nicely in Detroit.
 
BillD1984

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Discussion: Mike Lowell

By Mark Polishuk [October 16 at 10:07pm CST]
Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal broke down the options for the Red Sox in regards to veteran Mike Lowell headed into the 2010 season. Lowell posted a .290/.337/.474 line in 484 plate appearances with Boston last season and stayed off of the disabled list following hip surgery last fall.
Lowell has one year left on his Boston deal that will pay him $12MM in 2010, a price tag high enough to scare off any potential trade suitors unless the Sox were willing to cover some of the cost. There's also the added complication of Lowell's no-trade clause in his contract. Barbarisi suggests that Lowell might agree to be dealt to a National League team where he could play every day, but given Lowell's health history, it might be hard to find a club willing to take a 36-year-old with a lengthy injury history as an everyday third baseman without the safety net of the DH position. Lowell himself admitted to Barbarisi that he tired from playing almost every day in the first half of the season, but then also said that he wished he could have played more in August and September when Kevin Youkilis took a big chunk of the playing time at third base.

One intriguing possible trade partner could be St. Louis. Midseason pickup Mark DeRosa is a free agent and will soon be undergoing wrist surgery, according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. This leaves the Cardinals with a hole at third base should top prospect David Freese (a .931 OPS in Triple-A, Double-A and Rookie League ball last season and an .837 OPS in 34 plate appearances with St. Louis) not be ready to take over the everyday role next season. Lowell could keep the seat warm for Freese if Boston pays part of Lowell's contract, a condition that the Cards would likely insist upon given that they will explore re-signing Matt Holliday and signing Albert Pujols to an extension this off-season.


What do you think? Should the Red Sox think about moving the 2007 World Series MVP, or should they keep Lowell around to provide depth to the Victor Martinez-Casey Kotchman-Youkilis triad that mans the catcher, first base and third base spots?
 
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Astros Managerial Search Update

By Mark Polishuk [October 16 at 5:57pm CST]
The Astros are more than halfway through their first round of interviews for their open manager position, so here are a few of the items stemming from their search.

  • Bob Melvin cited his experience at winning with both younger and older rosters in his interview for the Astros managerial job today, reports Jose De Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Meanwhile, San Diego batting coach Randy Ready (who interviewed for the same Astros job on Thursday) may not have the experience of some of the other Astros managerial candidates, but he argues that every manager "had to get a start somewhere".
  • Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that former Astros skipper Garner originally contracted the team not in search of a job, but rather to endorse fellow candidate Bob Melvin.
  • Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle believes the Astros have so many intriguing candidates that they should hire three of them.
 
BillD1984

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Free Agent Lefty Mashers

By Tim Dierkes [October 21 at 8:18am CST]
Looking for free agent bats that can crush lefties? Among those with 100 plate appearances against southpaws this year, here are your best bets, ranked by OBP:
  • Nick Johnson - .440
  • Mike Cameron - .420
  • Matt Holliday - .405
  • Jason Bay - .402
  • Marco Scutaro - .389
  • Jermaine Dye - .387
  • Adrian Beltre - .384
  • Gabe Kapler - .379
  • Felipe Lopez - .379
They didn't make the OBP list, but Mark DeRosa, Bengie Molina, Gabe Kapler, and Jason Giambi showed good power (SLG) against lefties.
On the other hand, free agents Randy Winn, Hank Blalock, Alex Gonzalez, and Joe Crede struggled mightily against southpaws.
 
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Offseason Outlook: Chicago Cubs

By Tim Dierkes [October 21 at 11:32am CST]
Next up in our Offseason Outlook series, the Cubs. Their likely 2010 commitments:
C - Geovany Soto - $575K
C - Koyie Hill - $475K+
1B - Derrek Lee - $13MM
2B - Jeff Baker - $415K+
SS - Ryan Theriot - $500K+
3B - Aramis Ramirez - $15.75MM
IF - Aaron Miles - $2.7MM
IF - Andres Blanco - $400K
LF - Alfonso Soriano - $18MM
CF - Kosuke Fukudome - $13MM
RF - Milton Bradley - $9MM
OF - Sam Fuld - $402K
3B/OF - Jake Fox - $402K
SP - Carlos Zambrano - $17.875MM
SP - Ryan Dempster - $12.5MM
SP - Ted Lilly - $12MM
SP - Randy Wells - $402K
SP - Tom Gorzelanny - $433K+
RP - Aaron Heilman - $1.625MM+
RP - Carlos Marmol - $575K+
RP - Sean Marshall - $450K+
RP - Angel Guzman - $422K+
RP - Esmailin Caridad - $400K
RP - Jeff Stevens - $400K
RP - Jeff Samardzija - $2.5MM
Non-tender candidates: Aaron Heilman, Neal Cotts, Mike Fontenot
The Cubs have about $124.2MM committed before arbitration raises to Hill, Baker, Theriot, Heilman, Marmol, Marshall, Guzman, and Gorzelanny. Fontenot, at two years and 139 days of service time, is on the bubble for Super Two status (which could influence his 2010 status with the team). Heilman, Cotts, and Fontenot are candidates to be non-tendered. With at least seven arb cases, there is payroll uncertainty, but I'll put the Cubs around $135MM committed. The Cubs entered 2009 with a payroll right around that mark, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. The Cubs have new ownership for 2010, and their payroll plans are not yet known.
The Cubs seem dead-set on moving Bradley and finding someone else to play right or center field. A player they loved a year ago, they hate now. Bradley had a slow start and finish, showed little power, and had issues with the fans, media, and manager. Still, he posted a .378 OBP in the off-year and certainly could improve upon that in 2010. My advice: work it out, rather than eating $15MM+ or taking on a different bad contract. Bradley is not the reason the Cubs received over 2,000 plate appearances of subpar hitting from Soriano, Fontenot, Soto, Hill, Hoffpauir, and Miles, nor is he the reason Ramirez was limited to 342 PAs due to a shoulder injury.
With proper conditioning, Soto should bounce back. Baker can't do worse than the other Cubs' second basemen did in '09. Ramirez's shoulder is worrisome, but the Cubs must hope for good health. Soriano finished the season with knee surgery and will presumably be healthy for Spring Training. His contract is so absurd that the team has no flexibility. In all likelihood the Cubs will replace Bradley, but it is the holdovers who need to improve. It would be a shame to see new hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo encourage aggression from the hitters, as it was patience that led to the team's NL-best .354 OBP in 2008.
The rotation looks strong, with the front four locked in. Gorzelanny, Marshall, or Samardzija will probably fill the fifth starter role.
As for the bullpen, the Cubs seem willing to spend good money on John Grabow, perhaps not the best idea (5.0 BB/9). Heilman could be non-tendered. Marmol is the de facto closer, despite 65 walks in 74 innings. Adding a Billy Wagner type makes sense, if payroll allows. Guzman is interesting if he can stay healthy, while Caridad is a sleeper.
The Cubs are a pricey team with room for little more than tinkering. GM Jim Hendry will need to push the right buttons this winter after a 2008-09 offseason filled with miscalculations.
 
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Anyone know how many of the Reds players are free agents?
 
BillD1984

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Anyone know how many of the Reds players are free agents?


Offseason Outlook: Cincinnati Reds

By Tim Dierkes
Next up in our Offseason Outlook series, the Reds. Their likely commitments for 2010:
C - Ryan Hanigan - $400K
C - Corky Miller - $450K+
1B - Joey Votto - $438K
2B - Brandon Phillips - $6.75MM
SS - Paul Janish - $400K
3B - Scott Rolen - $11MM
IF - Drew Sutton - $400K
LF - Jonny Gomes - $600K+
CF - Drew Stubbs - $400K
RF - Jay Bruce - $418K
OF - Willy Taveras - $4MM
OF - Laynce Nix - $600K+
OF - Chris Dickerson - $400K
SP - Aaron Harang - $12.5MM
SP - Bronson Arroyo - $11MM
SP - Johnny Cueto - $418K
SP - Homer Bailey - $401K
SP - Justin Lehr - $400K
Other candidates: Matt Maloney, Micah Owings
RP - Francisco Cordero - $12MM
RP - Arthur Rhodes - $2MM
RP - Nick Masset - $418K+
RP - Mike Lincoln - $2.5MM
RP - Jared Burton - $420K+
RP - Micah Owings - $420K+
RP - Danny Herrera - $400K
Other commitments: Ramon Hernandez - $1MM buyout
Non-tender candidates: Corky Miller, Bill Bray, Laynce Nix
The Reds have about $70MM committed before arbitration raises to Miller, Gomes, Nix, Masset, Burton, and Owings. We'll allocate another $5MM for those raises, puting the team in the $75MM range. The Reds were at $73.6MM heading into the season, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. Given the lack of payroll space, it's no surprise GM Walt Jocketty told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon his interest in free agents will be minimal this offseason.
The Reds should have a strong defensive infield in 2010, especially if they decide Janish's glovework makes up for his poor hitting.
Between Stubbs and Dickerson, the Reds should have a workable internal solution for center field that does not involve giving 400+ plate appearances to Taveras. Replacing Taveras and getting more out of Bruce and Rolen seems to be the easiest route to an improved offense in 2010.
Jocketty has spoken of his desire to add a "quality RBI man" despite the lack of payroll space. Non-tendering Gomes would make little sense, as he could be that RBI man for a few million bucks (Gomes slugged .541 this year).
Jocketty could also free up cash by trading Harang or Arroyo. A team like the Mets might be interested in assuming one of those contracts if the demand for players is minimal. But it's hard to see how that would improve the Reds, who are not in a position to subtract a starter now that Edinson Volquez is unlikely to contribute in 2010 (Tommy John surgery). The best rotation addition for the buck is probably free agent pitching coach Dave Duncan, but his inclination is to stay in St. Louis.
One pitcher Jocketty could afford to trade is Cordero, given Masset's success in 2009. The Reds' closer has two years and $25MM remaining. The problem is that the Reds would have to assume half his contract to make Cordero mildly appealing.
Jocketty overspent on Taveras and Lincoln a year ago, committing $10.25MM to the pair. Add that to the $11MM the Reds GM took on for Rolen next year, and it's clear the Reds don't have much flexibility this winter. Improvements will have to come from within.
 
salsadancer7

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The Reds have about $70MM committed before arbitration raises to Miller, Gomes, Nix, Masset, Burton, and Owings. We'll allocate another $5MM for those raises, puting the team in the $75MM range. The Reds were at $73.6MM heading into the season, .

IF the Marlins would have "allocated" $75 million to this years team....I am willing to bet they would have been STILL in the playoffs! LOL!
 
S

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IF the Marlins would have "allocated" $75 million to this years team....I am willing to bet they would have been STILL in the playoffs! LOL!

The Marlins did quite well considering their $2 million payroll...:)


Sandra
 
goreds2

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:( So much for my Reds getting La Russa:


La Russa likely to manage Cards in '10

Announcement of veteran's return expected Monday


Tony La Russa appears to be coming back for a 15th season to manage the Cardinals. The team has called a news conference for Monday at 11 a.m. CT at Busch Stadium. A change on La Russa's coaching staff may indicate that his return is in fact imminent. Multiple reports have indicated that Hal McRae is out as the team's hitting coach and will be replaced by Mark McGwire, and a source confirmed those reports to MLB.com on Sunday afternoon. Moreover, former player Brian McRae, the son of Hal McRae, wrote on his Twitter account that it "looks like the Cards will hire McGwire."

More.....
La Russa likely to manage Cards in '10 | stlcardinals.com: News
 
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HD MM

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Apparently Houston wanted Acta too.

Houston Chronicle’s baseball expert Richard Justice said this morning that yesterday was a bad, bad day for the Astros, allowing the Indians to steal Acta from them....

Manny Acta was the guy they wanted. The Astros liked everything about him. His presence and personality. How he forged relationships with players. His ability to run a game.

Astros have a very bad day, and that's being kind | SportsJustice | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
 

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