Saturday, December 13, 2003
According to Lee Sinins, Kenny Williams said he quashed the Weaver-Thomas-Brown deal. So he's not an idiot after all.
In the A-Rod rumour front, the Phillies are apparently now getting involved, meaning Trot Nixon and Nomar would go to Philadelphia, Jimmy Rollins and Manny to Texas, and (get this) Bobby Abreu would come along with A-Rod to Boston. I've long said I don't understand the point of dealing for A-Rod if you're including Manny in the deal (I'd rather try to package Damon, Garciaparra, and Lowe to Texas--$25 M worth of players whose contracts all expire in the next year or two), but getting a bat as good as Abreu as replacement makes a hell of a lot more sense. Abreu (career .314 EqA) is not as good as Manny (.332 EqA), but he's better than Nixon (.293 EqA), and his left-handed bat would be good in the #2 spot ahead of A-Rod (.319 EqA). Honestly, I can't see this three-way working out, if only because, out of sheer spite, somebody somewhere will stop it and say, This makes the Red Sox too damn good.
Vlad is not going to Cleveland. (What? Pranks and lies on the internet? Less than reliable information coming from bloggers? Say it aint so!) I just hope he doesn't sign with Baltimore, if only because I'd hate to see him regretting the move in a couple of years when the Orioles are still mediocre. Learn from A-Rod's mistake, Vladdy. Mariners, Yankees, Dodgers are good teams. The Orioles and Mets (and Rangers) are not. Hmm, come to think of it... I know the Braves are apparently obsessed with creating the first all Jones outfield, but with the money saved with the departure of Sheffield, Maddux, Lopez, and Castilla... Look, if you're counting on John Thomson to help anchor your rotation, you're going to need some serious offense.
Those Tejada rumours are heating up, and it usually comes back to the Mariners. I'm not surprised. His (relative) lack of OBP somehow makes him seem like a Mariner type (I know, I know, they have Olerud and Edgar... but they let Cameron walk because of his "lack of offensive production" and signed Ibanez instead.) There's no doubt Tejada would be an upgrade over Carlos Guillen (Tejada's .273 career EqA to Guillen's .259). But for what the Mariners will likely spend on Joe Morgan's perpetual MVP (5 yrs, $55M?) plus what they flushed down the toilet on Ibanez (3 yrs, $13.75M for a .267 career EqA DH), I bet they could have had Guerrero (.313 EqA). Boone, Guerrero, Martinez would be a truly fearsome middle of the order, and a Winn, Suzuki, Guerrero outfield would still rank with the league's best.
The (former Blue) Jays signed Miguel Batista for much less than I thought he'd go for: 3 yrs, $13.1M. I would have praised a similar deal for Escobar, but Batista seems to have his head screwed on tighter. Good job, J.P. Despite how Johnson, Schilling, and Kim dominated for the Diamondbacks, you might be surprised to hear that BankOneBallpark actually favours hitters quite a bit. (Well, maybe not too surprised.) That Batista has also had considerable success there (136 ERA+ in '01, 103 ERA+ in '02, 132 ERA+ in '03) bodes well for his tenure as a Jay. (I also like that he improved his K/9 and K/BB ratios this year, a trend he can hopefully continue working with Patterson.) Besides, if Halladay can have success as a right-handed groundball pitcher in Skydome, look for Batista to continue his winning ways. My oh my, the Jays look good enough to win the AL Central by a landslide.