Off-Season, NL East Mish-Mosh, and Other Miscellany

He's no Shel Silverstein

The Lowell Spinners, BoSox’s A-Team (not that one) have extended an invite to everyone’s favorite douche-bag couple. Their awards dinner will also Kevin Youkilis. I once went to a Spinners game and being that it was towards the end of the season all their good players had been promoted, which meant that almost every starter was sporting a BA (Barracus!) well below .200. The highlight of the game was watching all the children (and a baby?) run the bases post-game. I vaguely remember the NJ Devils’ AHL affiliate mascot wiggle its hips at me before heading into the men’s room. Anyway, another thing of note in that link are their promos of recent including a certain Jack Kerouac Bobblehead.

The NL East teams have done nothing too impressive unless you happen to be from Atlanta.
Florida has done absolutely nothing concrete so far, but you can assume that they have discussed moving every player on their team that has any worth for prospects. Goodbye to at least a few of the following: Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Matt Lindstrom, Leo Nunez, Renyel Pinto, Jorge Cantu, Cody Ross, etc. (I suppose it’s a little early for Chris Coughlan to go). Oh wait, they did offload Jeremy Hermida for a couple of low-grade BoSox prospects.

Washington signed a great player (where great is applicable to a few years ago) in Pudge to man the plate and traded a TBA to the Yanks for bullpen fatso, Brian Bruney. They are rumored to be looking at a handful of pitchers (Lackey-not that he would, Garland-maybe, Harden-one of the many high risk-high reward FAs, Padilla-really?) and besides all that have Stephen Strasburg to look forward to.

Atlanta shored up their bullpen to such a degree that they may have to trade some now. Billy Wagner has been the best non-Chone move so far this off-season. Takashi Saito takes the setup role for a good price. Rafael Soriano accepted arbitration, which caused the Braves to cut Ryan Church and now Soriano may be traded (success!). They also resigned Tim Hudson and brought in Scott Proctor on a minor-league deal (he may be a steal).

Philadelphia brought back Placido Polanco because trading away this good player a few years ago doomed them to failure (right?). Of course he is now older, but has versatility in positions and can still perform at the plate in all manners that Pedro Feliz couldn’t. Brian Schneider comes in as backup to playoff beast Carlos Ruiz and while it appears he has lost all sorts of hitting abilities (call him Mr. Feliz) he is still one of the better defensive/pitcher friendly catchers (Cole Hamels needs to fix something). Juan Castro was signed as a low risk, low cost “I can play anywhere” type of guy. Wilson Valdez and DeWayne Wise are two players of note receiving minor league contracts who could see time if too many Phillies get injured (it happens).

NY Mets are doing it wrong. Besides being associated with nearly every FA out there they have unhatched a plan to obtain every catcher available. Chris Coste and Henry Blanco may be great backup catchers, but do we need them both? In terms of cost to ability I would so much prefer having those two take on a full time roll than watching the Mets drop $6 million on Bengie Molina’s outrageous ability to not run, not hit (unless you want a HR every now and then), and not catch/defend. And, yes, there are other FA catchers who are also bad and the Mets are rumored to be talking to them (Rod Barajas, Yorvit Torrealba). The re-upped Alex Cora for another year (or two) because…why not overpay a backup. To be truthful he did spend a lot of time playing injured until he got too injured (from a torn ligament in one thumb to torn ligaments in both thumbs, just remove his thumbs already!). The more I think about Matt Holliday (in a very hetero manner) the more I am coming to terms with him possibly not signing with the Mets (if they offer anything). Citifield is huge and an absolute bastard for HRs (which would negate ALL of Bengie Molina’s minute value) and while Holliday could still offer a David Wright-like season, he would be an utter disaster as a fielder. Also, John Lackey can sign elsewhere for whatever obscene numbers he is asking for. A recent rumor was John Maine for the Brewers’ Corey Hart, which works for me since Hart is a decent enough OF and I have grown tired of Maine’s rampant injury history. Jason Marquis desperately wants to be a Met and I really wish they would just grant his wish since he would at least be better than anyone not named Santana. I would also take Joel Pineiro (and a Dave Duncan clone) instead of Lackey. If the Mets do one thing right this year it would be to listen to the blogosphere and NOT SIGN BENGIE MOLINA…I cannot stress how important this is to me and everyone else who has blogged about the Mets.

I have to agree with fellow ASCer, nmirra, that the Mariners’ Chone Figgins move is the best offseason move in MLB and by them in a long time. He is pretty much a guaranteed All-Star type player for $12 mill per year, which shows great judgement by GM Jack Zdurienikchdedwin…seriously, Bill Bavasi was such a complete ass-baboon that it’s unthinkable he helmed them for such a long time.

I have very strong doubts (who doesn’t) that Marco Scutaro will perform anywhere near as well as he did last season. BoSox might have a revolving door at SS again. Ok, he isn’t that bad, but he isn’t worth $12.5 million for two years.

Brad Penny could be Dave Duncan’s next everything-I-touch-turns-to-gold masterpiece. For $7-9 million and their possible FA losses that better happen for playoff contention.

Gregg Zaun, even at 39, might be the most complete catcher who would come cheap…and he signed with the Brewers. Sometimes it helps to be a smaller market team. (Stay away, Bengie)

Andruw Jones has a ridiculous salary history. From several seasons of 8 figures to two years at $500K each. Possible…something for the White Sox.

GO AWAY!

Bengie doing what he does best - pretending to be a baseball player

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