Well, no news is good news?
Like the old saying goes, they have not yet begun to trade.
There’s Vinny Castilla, ex-Astro, current ex-Expo going to the Padres for Brian Lawrence, pitcher. Translation – the Nats need arms after letting Tomo Ohka and Sunny Kim walk for nothing and they didn’t need Castilla’s wimpy bat with Ryan Zimmerman ready to mash for a LOT cheaper AND the Pads have basically given up on can’t miss 3rd baseman Sean Burroughs, who, um, missed. And don’t like Joe Randa bettern Vinny, which I do NOT get at ALL.
We have the White Sox (gag – cough) forking over 3.5 mill to Frank Thomas so they won’t hafta pay him his guaranteed 10 mill option. Frank’s a great bat and bad glove so I’m sure SOMEONE will want to take a chance on him as a DH. But we already have the Bagwell/Berkman/Lamb overstuffing. so not us.
Now yall KNOW we need a good and I mean GOOD bat, preferably lefty.
I have absolutely ZERO idea how long the team is gonna give Roger Clemens to make up his mind bout whether or not he wants to play next year. I have heard that he wants to play for team USA in the March exhibition games (yall think this gonna last long if teams lose their players to injuries?) and that means he has a shorter time this year to get into playing shape. It also means that his yearly September breakdown because of tired legs is gonna happen even sooner. Unless, of course, the team decides that he’ll pitch like only every 6 days, or never on the road, or something, to give him more rest, so that he’s not cooked by September 1, like he basically has been for the past few years. But if there will be fewer starts, he might could sign for less than 18 mill.
But if he DOES sign for 18 mill again, and Baggy insists on playing, even if he’s terrible, this means we have no money to sign free agents.
So no Brian Giles, and I’m not real too sure it’s the best idea to sign a 35 year old guy to a long term contract anyhow. I would guess that he stays with the Padres, if I had to guess.
(all stats from yahoo.com and espn.com – all contract information from www.mlbcontracts.blogspot.com – a great site, BTW)
Jeromy Burnitz, a lefty, is a FA. He was paid 5 mill this past year. Now, I know a lot of yall gonna look at his .258 BA, .322 OBA, .435 SLG and .757 OPS – his 31 2B, 2 triples, 24 HR, 57 BBand 3 HBP, 109 K and 87 RBIs and sneer (why???) cuz even the Cubbies didn’t want him back and Dusty LUUUVVVVV veterans like grrrls LUUUVVVV shoes…
now he did GIDP 12 times
and he’s not a good base stealer – 73 career steals with 57 CS – ugh.
But he’s a fantastic glove and for a lefty, he does GREAT in the Box:
lifetime over 106 AB: .321 BA, .421 OPS, .585 SLG, 1.006 OPS – 7 doubles, 16 BB, 27K and 18 RBIs.
He’s from Conroe and I heard he wanted to play for the Astros last year but couldn’t get his calls returned. Another local boy who wants to play here – what could be better? I disbelieve he’ll get 5 mill again, but he’ll probably get more than Palmeiro would. He plays RF and is VERY good – I don’t know if he or Jason Lane could play left – some guys can’t (like Larry Walker.) But if Lance has to play left because of Baggy, Burnitz would be a bench or platoon guy and I don’t know if he’d want that.
I just don’t see another FA OF we’d want – do yall?
Another option, of course, is a trade. Stroman (and others) dyin to see Adam Dunn in an Astros uni. Adam, of course, is another homeboy who has said that he wants to play for his hometown team. Adam just finished his 4th full year of ML service, was paid 4.5 mill and is arb eligible. I hear tell that the Reds are looking to dump him (whatever – guess he too rich for their blood) and want to trade him, although this is rumors. Dunn is infamous for taking the ML strikeout/season record away from Bobby Bonds last year and is the all time record holder at 198. Yall know Phil has a reputation of not liking guys who strike out a lot…
so last year, he had a .247 BA, .387 OBP, .540 SLG, .927 OPS
yes, a lot of Ks, 168, with 114 BB and 12 HBP, 40 HR, 35 2B, 2 3B and 107 runs scored
77/134 hits were for extra bases
AND, by the way, GIDP only SIX times last year – so although he Ks a lot, he very seldom causes 2 outs.
Only Bobby Abreu and Brian Giles had more walks (in the ML)
7 guys had more HR (in the ML) – 4th in the NL
15th in runs scored (in the ML) – 5th in the NL
and was 17th in the ML in OPS (by the way, did yall know that Derrek Lee had a higher OPS this year than Albert Pujols? Dude picked the wrong year to be great…) – and 10th in the NL
So judge ye not by BA and Ks alone.
Little problem (other than he’s not a good glove and the Organization think he dogs it in the field)
lifetime @ the Box: over 111 AB – .189 BA, .302 OBP, .396 SLG, .699 OPS
with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 5 HR, 17 BB, 36 K
Now, here are the rest of the unsigned FA OF:
Cedeno, Roger – STL (yecccccch)
Conine, Jeff – FLA (righty – pretty decent – bet he stays where he is)
Cordero, Wil – WSH (yecccch)
Cruz, Jacob – CIN – lefty, well, let’s take a look
Damon, Johnny – BOS (Scott Bore-Ass is his agent – need I say more?)
Encarnacion, Juan – FLA – ho hum
Gonzalez, Juan – CLE (couldn’t make it on a 10 year old GRRRLS team)
Grieve, Ben – CHC (see Juan Gonzalez)
Grissom, Marquis – SF (see Ben Grieve)
Guillen, Jose – WSH – Club option for 2006 (he’s too mouthy – too bad – he’s good)
Hidalgo, Richard – TEX (nope – not here)
Higginson, Bobby – DET (see Juan Gonzalez)
Hocking, Denny – KC (and he sucked on KC – need I say more)
Hollandsworth, Todd – ATL (even Dusty didn’t want this Veteran Presence)
Jones, Jacque – MIN (a good lefty but can’t hit rightys – is gonna get a GOOD fat contract, so not here)
Jordan, Brian – ATL (cooked)
Kotsay, Mark – OAK – Club option for 2006 (GREAT glove, lousy bat)
Lawton, Matt – NYY (horse’s ass – I mean, that’s where his roids shoulda gone)
Lofton, Kenny – PHI – (money says they gonna keep him – he gonna wanna be the starting CF and we already got Willy)
Long, Terrence – KC (uh, NO – see Denny Hocking)
Mabry, John – STL (now THIS guy I like)
Magruder, Chris – MIL – Declined minor league assignment (uh, NO)
Marrero, Eli – BAL – (hasn’t been worth much in at least a few years)
McCracken, Quinton- ARI Declined minor league assignment (yeccccch)
Mondesi, Raul – ATL – (see Juan Gonzalez)
Sanders, Reggie – STL – now Reggie, I LIKE – he’s a great guy, a righty)
Sosa, Sammy – BAL – Club option for 2006 (hot dog is overcooked)
Surhoff, B.J. – BAL (gonna stay there or retire)
Tucker, Michael – PHI (a lefty, yes, but he sucks)
White, Rondell – DET (more fragile than a china doll)
Williams, Bernie – NYY – Club option for 2006 (uh, NO)
Williams, Gerald – NYM – (yeccccccccchhhhhhhhhhh)
Wilson, Preston – WSH – (not bad, but he’s gonna want too much money and he’s not near as good as either Burnitz or Dunn)
Young, Eric – SD – Club option for 2006 (a better IF than OF – but he’s like 38 and he was out all last year – maybe as an el-cheapo replacement for Viz?)
OK, well lessee the better looking ones –
Jacob Cruz – lefty, 33 in January, was paid 500,000 as a back up RF – been a backup since he came up in 96 with SF – had more AB with Cincy these past 2 years than with any other club. Not much of a hitter .241 BA, .331 OBP, .377 SLG, .708 OPS – lifetime 729 AB, 95 R, 176 H,38 2B, 2 3B, 19 HR, 105 RBI, 85 BB, 207 K. Not a very good glove, neither. Not worth swapping Palmeiro for.
Jose Guillen – righty, 30 in May – 3.5 mill – probably the best of the bunch, but he’s not a nice quiet type guy who gonna say nothin and fit right in, and I would bet that the “clubhouse chemistry” issue gonna stop him from signing him even if he was ML minimum. which he’s not. He’s not just a good bat, he’s a good glove.
Won’t walk – he’s in Willy Tavares territory – 31 this year with 107 Ks
In 148 games – 551 AB – 2B, 24 81 runs – .283 BA, .338 OBP, .479 SLG, .817 OPS (remember he hits at RFK for half the games – a major pitchers park…) Has a rep as a great arm, has a great ZR, but has only a .970 FPCT.
Actually, after looking at this, don’t think he’s really better than Jason Lane, who is a LOT cheaper (he be 29 in december – and to think this guy wasted like 3 years rotting on the bench – ARGGGGH!)
John Mabry, lefty, 35, paid 725K last year, was a bench guy for the Cards and we saw him plenty. Interesting, he’s almost always been a platoon guy, but he had his second best year the only year (1996) he was a full time player. His best year, naturally, was the year he got traded from Philly to Oakland for little Giambi – you know the guy with the lead glove who runs slower than I did when I was 8 months pregnant with twins, who has about as much sense on the basepaths as a drunk do on the highway, who Philly thought would be a great leadoff guy (snicker). Anyhow, he’s decent glove, hits leftys pretty well for a lefty – he’s a low walk, highish K guy -with OK power, but low for a corner OF – about 15 HR, 28 2B/ 500 PA, but a high GIDP rate of 20/ 550 PA. So, he’s not this great improvement over Palmeiro and not a guy for full time work.
Reggie Sanders, righty, 38 in December – 4 mill last year. AKA Traveling Man – I can’t help it, I like Reggie, always have. He spent the first 8 years with the Reds, then changed teams every year until last year. Missed over half the year with a broken leg – ROOLED in the playoffs until he smashed his head and back trying to catch a ball and wasn’t hisself, (thank goodness for our pennant, sorry Reggie, hope you OK). Actually, he had his best year in a LONG time last year – 14 doubles and 21 HR with 49 Runs over 329 PA – pretty good: 28 BB, 75 K and 14 SB with 1 CS – 271 BA, .340 OBP, .546 SLG, .886 OPS. Only bad was GIDP 8 times. I wouldn’t mind having Reggie on the team. I think he’d be great. But not cheap, unfortunately. He is, BTW, a better RF than LF, but he is a decent glove.
Eric Young, righty, will be 39 in May, 850K last year with the Padres – dislocated his shouder and missed most of the year. Was a 2B almost all of his career, with a few games here and thee at other positions, but did not become a real utility guy until he spent a year with the Rangers in 04. He’s got low BB, but low K, few HR, some doubles. He spent 4 1/2 years in Colorado, so I don’t want to give career stats, but here’s his line as a utility guy with Texas in 04:
over 402 PA in 104 games: .288 BA, .377 OBP, .381 SLG, .758 OPS
25 doubles, 1 HR, 3 triples, 14 SB, 9 CS, 43 BB and 8 HBP, 28K and 9 GIDP. As a fielder, he spent most of his life as a 2B and had a decent RF and an average FPCT – he’s only had a few games in other positions, mostly left, and he looked to be a little lower than league average, no surprise there. So he hits bettern Viz, but isn’t a switch hitter, and is older and more expensive than Bruntlett, AND I’m not sure he can come back from shoulder surgery at his age…
So my friends, there you have it. Infielders next…