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The Phillies extended the baseball season at least two more days, so we’ll have to wait a little longer to see if the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo has a legitimate idea here:
4. Johnny Damon, LF, Yankees – If the Yankees don’t bring him back, the White Sox look like a good fit. They need a leadoff hitter, and while they’d love to sign free agent Chone Figgins and move him to the outfield, he may get too pricy. While Damon has been a No. 2 hitter for the Yankees, he could easily go back to the top spot and give the White Sox some leadoff power.
Damon’s had those “good at-bats” Ozzie Guillen craves, so it’s not a ridiculous notion by any means.
At any rate, let’s take a look at an offseason plan courtesy of Paul:
* * *
Octavio Dotel: Walk
Jermaine Dye: Buyout
John Danks: At least a 1 year contract. If extended, he deserves more than Floyd (~4 mil per year) and less than Lester (~6 mil per year). I’ll go 4 year, ~20 million.
Bobby Jenks: 1 year contract. If I remember correctly, he was pretty good until around the time he got kidney stone, so I forgive a little for that. He threw too many fastballs and not enough curveballs (I’m reading bleacher report), and I’m guessing too many of those fastballs were lower in the strike zone, resulting in more contact and more ground balls (his ground ball percent was a career high: fangraphs). So I really thinkpeople are riding him too hard and devaluing him too much. Come to camp in shape, throw more curveballs, keep the fastball up, and I think he’ll have a very good year. One side note: Jenks’ average fastball was faster this year (94.8) than in 07 (93.9) and 08 (93.8).
Which positions are in most dire need of an upgrade: Clearly RF/DH, then leadoff must be addressed next if Podsednik is not retained, and finally at least 1 solid bullpen arm, preferably a lefty. Nix/Gets at second is serviceable; Orlando Hudson would be money misspent.
DH Winner: Hideki Matsui, 2 years @ 12 million
RF: Bobby Abreu, 2 years @ 18 millions (we know 2/16 isn’t enough)
Scott Podsednik, 1 year @ 3 million
John Grabow, 1 year@ 2.5-3 million
Darren Oliver, 1 year @ 3-3.6 million
I keep thinking about trading for Carl Crawford or BJ Upton. As loathe as I am to trade pitching depth, depending on who Tampa wants to move, I’m sending John Danks to Florida for BJ Upton or Carl Crawford, plus Dan Wheeler. I can’t say I’d do this for sure, but I had to throw a wild one out here…Crawford only has one year left, and Upton would be a bit of a sell low, which is why I think we could get Dan Wheeler as well. Am I on crack or actually close on on trade value?
We’ll assume we sign Matsui, Darren Oliver, and acquire Upton or Crawford plus Wheeler via trade:
Upton (CF) or Crawford (CF/LF)
Random Good Defense Low OPS Backstop
Improvements: Outfield defense, leadoff hitter, bullpen, OBP, speed on the bases
Detractions: Starting rotation depth (we will definitely need some spot starts to rest Garcia and Hudson), possible slight loss in power which can be offset by a healthy/productive Quentin
Payroll: Between $100 and $107.5 million.
I think base is about $81 million before arbitration raises and I’m figuring about $90 million after. Add $6 million (Matsui), $3.5 million (Oliver), ~$3 million (Wheeler), $5 million (Upton w/Arbitration raise), and we’re at $107.5 million. If payroll is a major concern, Jenks could be traded for prospects.
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Mark Buehrle was voted the best defensive pitcher in the Fielding Bible awards. With Johan Santana in the National League and Mike Mussina and Kenny Rogers out of baseball, the next American League Gold Glove pitcher will be a first-time winner. I suppose Buehrle has as good a chance as anybody.
*Mark Gonzalez talks about his job and the 2009 Sox with WSI. Highly recommended reading, hat tip to Larry.
*We’ve poked fun at Joe Cowley’s aversion to all things California in the past, but Philly.com’s Frank Fitzpatrick takes it to a whole new level with Cole Hamels:
The whiny voice. The fashion-mag looks. He was born with those. In Southern California, no less. […] It’s easier to imagine him as a waiter in a trendy restaurant (“Hi, I’m Cole. I’ll be your waiter. Would you like to hear our specials?”); a dance instructor (“You call that a battement fondue?”); an architect (“If I don’t use dentil molding, it could ruin the neoclassical motif.”); or a model (“Work it, Cole. Work it!”).
When a guy like that fails in a town like this, it could get ugly.
Dated references to “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” look like Pulitzer material when putting it next to abject homophobia.
Arizona Fall League:
- Peoria 6, Scottsdale 4
- Jordan Danks went 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a strikeout.
- C.J. Retherford and Brent Morel each went 1-for-4. Morel struck out once.
- Making his AFL debut, Kyle Bellamy (new roster addition) walked one and struck out one in a scoreless innings.