Time to talk about right fielders, since we don’t have one.
Let me start by commenting on a comment submitted by Karen on Sunday’s column:
“I’m no expert, but if Carlos Lee is not a really good left fielder, why not move him to another position so we can keep Luke? I can’t stomach the thought of losing Luke Scott! Talk about someone with a future!”
Girlfriend!!! Stop talking sense!!!!!
but what the heck, here’s the answers:
1 – Carlos Lee is getting paid 16.6 million. More than Lance, whose jockstrap he is not fit to carry. So that makes Carlos the top dog on the totem pole. Who knows if he COULD play right, which is a LOT easier to play in the Box than left. Point is, if he don’t wanna, he don’t hafta. And oh yes it IS all about the $$$ – remember how Phil wouldn’t bench Preston last year when it was MORE than clear that he should – remember all the talk about – he came here to play, he’s getting paid to play blahblahblahblah. What it meant was that 4 mill is more than the minimum Burke and Scott were getting, so that’s what mattered.
2 – The problem with Luke Scott is that he does not fit a stereotype of what a “prospect” should be – he’s “old” – which means, why should you even think about getting even 3 good years out of an “old guy” when you could get none instead.
So here’s where things stand – Aubrey Huff would put us over payroll and besides, he’s lousy, we all KNOW they are gonna trade/DFA Jason Lane, Hunter Pence is probably not ready for the majors, Charlton Jimerson will break Adam Dunn’s K record and Orlando Palmeiro is not a full time player. Or a good hitter. AND he has NO power. (Yeah, I suppose they can try Burke out there – he IS a great athlete and I’m sure he could run down balls and he CAN hit the cutoff man. But Burke is a great hitter for a 2B, not a corner OF. Luke Scott is a LF, not exactly a gold glover there, and he is a total butcher in right. But of course, looks like this team no longer cares about lousy defense, so youneverknow…)
Here’s the team so far best I can tell:
SP – Roy
SP – Woody
SP 3-5: Hirsh/Albers/Nieve/Sampson/Buchholz
RP – Wheeler, Qualls, Miller
(I think they will resign Springer, so I’ll add him in here)
Got a feeling they will get rid of Brad Lidge – he’s gonna cost over 5 mill. And besides, I think we all know that Albert Pujols destroyed him. (sarcasm, OK???!!!)
1B – Lance
2B – Biggio
3B – Lamb
SS – Everett (I think the pitchers will rebel if the team trades away the only good defensive player left)
C – Ausmus
LF – Lee
CF – Taveras
RF – ???
UT – Palmeiro, Burke, Bruntlett ? Brooks Conrad?
I’m pretty sure they will get rid of Ensberg – they been wanting to find an excuse for 6 years – and they will regret it BIG time.
I would guess Luke Scott is trade bait, and probably Burke, too, which would mean that Brooks Conrad will be the other utililty guy.
So best I can tell, guys on the trade block are Scott, Burke, Lidge, Ensberg – They luuuvvv Bruntlett – I think they would rather trade Burke. And they might could also trade Willy T – IF they got something good – Burke can play center, after all. AND Willy’s agent is Scott Boras, so he’s gonna be gone sooner or later, I would think.
Possible young pitchers on the trade block – Hirsh, Astacio (I HOPE), Buchholz, Sampson (I hope not), Wandy
They are in luuuvvv with Albers, and I don’t think he’s gonna be traded.
So let’s see who the ML RF are, since we gonna need one:
First, guys who are DEFINITELY not going anywhere: (in my opinion)
- Alex Rios, age 25, Blue Jays. He’s cheap, young, very good, and they don’t have another option after getting rid of Cattalanotto
- Milton Bradley, age 29, A’s – he’s good, cheap, and he loves it there
- Magglio Ordonez – 2 words – Scott Boras
- Vlad Guerrero, age 32, Angels – their only great hitter. He’s not available.
- Randy Winn, age 34, Giants – in the middle of a 3 year contract. Sabean doesn’t WANT young players. I suppose we could trade Mo Ensberg for him- they NEED a 3B. Watch Mo get tutored by Barry Lamar Himself and win the MVP…
- Brian Giles, age 37, Padres – has a complete no trade. He ain’t leavin home.
- Jermaine Dye – not a snowflakes chance in heck the Sox would trade him
- Nick Markakis, age 24, Orioles – cheap, young and a stud. Angelos wouldn’t trade Miguel Tejada for Taveras, plus Everett plus Lidge PLUS Ensberg. Markakis ain’t leaving.
- Bobby Abreu, age 32, lead glove, power bat died after last year’s home run derby. He costs 15 mill a year and he has a no trade besides. Anyhow, the Astros fans gonna hate him – he walks a LOT. And just like Mo Ensberg, for some odd reason he won’t swing at ball 4.
- Jeremy Hermida, age 23, Marlins. He’s gonna get paid minimum wage by Loria for the next 2 years. Loria won’t trade him unless we could come up with at least one prospect as valuable who could get minimum wage for THREE years. We got no one like that.
- Moises Alou, age 40 – just signed a 1 year deal with the Mets. I kept hearing how he wanted to come back to Houston, but he’s not wanted here. I would guess it might could have something to do with his 1 year DL stint from “falling off a treadmill”
- Jeff Francoer, age 23, Braves. They LUUUVVVV him. Even though he strikes out a lot and won’t walk. He’s not going anywhere this year.
- Carlos Quentin – the Dbax are NOT trading this guy. Period. He looks like MVP material to them. And to me too.
Guys who are either signed already or are under a team’s control but might could get traded:
- Reggie Sanders, age 37, Royals. Was hurt most of last year. Was a fine fielder when healthy, although it was a down year for his bat. Has always played well in the Box. I wanted us to sign him last year instead of Preston Wilson. Ah well… We could probably get him for Wandy. Or Astacio.
- Casey Blake, age 33, Indians – costs 3.75 mill, the team just exercised his option, has decent bat and glove and is dirt cheap. Would probably take either Mo Ensberg or Brad Lidge
- Michael Cuddyer, age 28, Twins – first year of arb. Decent bat, lousy glove. I suppose he COULD be traded, but Twins GM Terry Ryan is a LOT smarter than Astros GM Drayton McLane so I would expect another AJ Punch/Nathan/Liriano/Bonser trade with the Astros on the bad end.
- Juan Encarnacion, age 30, Cards. I’d rather keep him THEIR problem.
- Shawn Green, age 34. Terrible bat, terrible glove. HUGE salary. PLEEZE, NOOOOOOO
- Jacque Jones, age 32. Can NOT hit leftys at ALL. Terrible glove with an arm like Bess Clemens. A platoon guy at best who has to be pulled for DR.
- Geoff Jenkins, age 32. Seems it wasn’t but 2 years ago he had the best RF glove in the NL. But he’s gone downhill with both the bat and glove FAST and last year he was just awful. He’s gonna cost the Brew Crew 7 mill this year, the last year of his contract, and they are eager to get rid of him and I would bet they’d trade him for Astacio AND eat most of his contract, too. Best I can tell, and from what I’ve heard from Brewer fans, he’s washed up. But he’s another USC guy and you know how we luuuvvv them guys from USC… But he’s another lefty who can’t hit leftys, so he would need to be platooned.
- Xavier Nady, age 28, Pirates. The prospect evaluators all thought he was gonna be great when he was a prospect, but things don’t always turn out the way they predict. He’s a below average bat for a corner OF – a career .755 OPS, and has medium power, and has an average glove. But I think he’s arb eligible this year and guess who his agent is????? Yep. See, he ain’t the debbil – he doesn’t dump clients who are mediocre.
- Austin Kearns, age 26, Nats. Me, I think this guy is grossly undervalued. I would LOVE to have him on our team. He’s a fantastic fielder, hits for decent power and runs well. But he (horrors) strikes out and walks a lot and that will NOT go over here. It’s only his second arb year and he would be pretty cheap. I wouldn’t trade Burke for him, but I would a couple of pitchers not named Roy or Sampson. They wouldn’t want Mo Ensberg – they already got a great 3B. I don’t know who his agent is – couldn’t find it on google.
- Brad Hawpe, a TEXAN!!! age 27, Rockies – had a career year last year and he’s pre-arb. He’s not another Dante Bichette/ Vinny Castilla Coors Creation – he hits better away. He’s a below average glove. I haven’t hear anything about the Rox having him on the trade block. But youneverknow – I hear they want Chris Burke, in spite of just having signed Kaz Matsui.
- Jay Gibbons/Kevin Mench – too el Suck for words
- Damon Hollins, age 32, D-Rays – a glove man, mostly – career .701 OPS. Never had more than 330 AB in any year. Is a cheap pre-arbguy, but not bettern Lane, who I am POSITIVE will be gone.
- David Dellucci, age 33. Just signed by the Indians to a cheap 3 year contract. A good lefty bat who has had his best seasons the last 2 years. Of course, he’s been platooned, but then again, he pretty much always was. He is supposed to have a below average glove.
Free Agents still not signed:
- J.D. (Nancy) Drew, age 30. Two words. Scott Boras. I heard 4 years 70 mill with the Red Sox (snicker)
- Trot Nixon, age 32. Dude is almost always hurt. Too bad, because he used to be very good. A backup bench guy at best.
- Jose Guillen – age 32, Nats – is pretty darn good, both bat and glove. He was hurt most of last year and is coming off Tommy John surgery. He has the reputation of being a redass, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. And he might could be cheaper than you’d think. AND no Scott Boras neither.
- Gabe Kapler, age 31 – a part time guy since 2001 when he was with the Rangers. Good glove. OPS last 3 years around Adam Everett level. But you know, I gotta hand it to this guy – he was a 57th round pick by the Tigers in 05 and he was playing pretty much full time by 98 and he’s managed to land himself a job somewhere every year since. I gotta take my hat off to the guy. Even though I don’t want him as our full time RF.
-Jay Payton, age 34 – been with the A’s. He’ll expect to play full time, no matter what he originally says to the team that wants to sign him. Decent glove and can play center. Well, he’s one of those low walks low K, fairly high BA that the Stros fans seem to want. Lifetime .743 OPS. Very few homers, 20 – 30 doubles a year. He has said he wants to stay with the A’s. He should be cheap, but he’ll hit just a lil bettern Willy Taveras. He drove in 59 runs batting 5th, 6th or 7th – almost as much as Adam Everett in the 8 hole, so I wouldn’t count on him as a run producer.
- Matt Stairs, age 39. He broke out at age 29 with the “softball team” Billy Beane A’s in 97. He’s hit great every year but last year ever since. Problem is he played exactly 3 games in the OF last year and 15 games the year before. So he would be a lefty off the bench, really, which we don’t need.
- Craig Wilson, age 29. A good righty power bat. I have never understood why the Pirates organization disliked and disrespected this guy, who is a good and patient hitter. (By the way, he’s 6′2″ 225 lb. Go look at him then look at Carlos Lee and see if you think Carlos only weighs 10 lbs more…) The only year he played full time, he had a .853 OPS, and he played 60% of the time in right. Of course, he doesn’t have the greatest glove, he was originally a catcher and for some reason, the Pirates didn’t want to leave him there, but he isn’t worse than Jason Lane. He does strike out a lot – even more than Mo Ensberg (horrified gasp) so I guess he wouldn’t be a good fit here, although I would bet he’s gonna be VERY cheap
So, I guess I would either try to trade for Kearns or try to sign Jose Guillen, who should both be pretty cheap.
I would also think that signing Craig Wilson, who should also be very cheap, would be great – we could use another RH power bat who can play first and right.
If anyone has a subscription to BA or any other minor league evaluating site and would like to suggest top AAA 3B whose club might could agree to trade them, please feel free to suggest them.