First, Happy Holidays to all. Boy, does this time go fast or what? Seems like It was yesterday I was watching the Jets get beaten to the ground by the Cowboys and eating way too much on Turkey Day. After all the chaos of the shopping sprees and all the money spent, Christmas is finally here. Well, almost.
It's been the opposite for teams of MLB. Rumors have been in short supply as we near 2008. Santana and Bedard are still with their bad teams and every trade made has been minor. Every team now either has everything they were looking for, is still looking for some small pieces, or they are still debating who to include in a big trade. So the possiblity of you getting a Christmas present from your team is thin this year. Even so, there are still whispers. That's where this comes in.
Since their are no huge rumblings, these are just a bunch of quick hits on some players and teams:
Mark Prior- The Padres and Astros could be the favorite for the often injuried Prior, The Astros should go with someone more dependable (Liven Hernendez, Kyle Lohse, even Mark Redman). Houston has enough question marks in their rotation. The Padres, on the other hand, can afford it. They already have a great pitching staff.
The Texas Rangers- The Rangers need pitching. What else is new? They ALWAYS need pitching. Mark Prior seems to be out of the question and so is Freddy Garcia. That makes sense, considering how bad he was with the Phillies last year. What doesn't make any sense is Jason Jennings' name coming up. As I said before, he would melt on the mound in Texas. Bartolo Colon is a possiblity.
Sean Casey- When Casey was with the Reds in 2004, he hit 24 HRs. Ever since then:
2005-9 HRs, 2006-8 HRs, 2007-4 HRs
Obviously his power is all but gone. Why? Not sure. It's a huge drop, that's for sure. With that being said, he's still a guy I would want on my team to fill up a hole at 1B. He can still hit in the .290s and he provides a great clubhouse presense. Which makes sense that the Yankees and Giants are looking at him. Both teams could use someone like Casey. The Yankees almost got Casey in a trade when he was with the Pirates but backed out. He'll end up somewhere.
Pedro Feliz- His glove is very good, but he is nowhere near the type of hitter most teams want at 3B. He strikes out way too often and he doesn't have the big time power to offset that. He can knock a few out, but he is in no way a slugger. The Phillies should grab him. He would be perfect for them. They could use his defense and his power numbers would increase in that ballpark.
Abraham Nunez- This is the other guy the Phillies might go for at 3B. I would rather have Pedro Feliz. Feliz would cost more but he has more upside than Nunez. The Marlins might Nunez. He won't cost much and he has a good glove. You think he'll make the Marlins faithful (all 7 of them) forget about Cabrera? I'm not so sure...
Mike Cameron- He's been floating around for some time now. The Phillies are now out with the addition of Geoff Jenkins (good move by the way). And being suspended for the first 25 games doesn't help him either. The Astros have once again come up. Seriously, what the hell are the Astros doing? You need some form of pitching Houston, not more vetaren hitters who are on the downside. The Nats are the other name. They could use some experienced hitting so that doesn't seem crazy. Don't know how well Cameron will hit in that ballpark though.
He's not a starting OF anymore, but he can still hit and he adds wise leadership to any team he plays for. The Twins might get him. The Dodgers seem like a longshot with the addition of Jones in CF. They might not want another aging OF. The Twins need any form of pop they can get, so why not?
Kenny Lofton- Lofton is still very pesky. He proved that in the playoffs. But he's 40 years old and he's just a singles hitter. I could see a team like the Royals or the Pirates eyeing him. Both teams need a lead-off hitter and some speed. Lofton might not be able to play everyday anymore, but he's a nice little pick-up.
Mike Piazza- I think he's done. He can't play a position anymore, so he's limited to DH duty. He still has pop but he had a very rough season last year and no teams seem to be interested in him. Might be time to hang it up, Mike. Speaking of Mikes who might need to retire...
Mike Sweeney- The Royals were finally able to dump him following another disappointing season of injuries and subpar hitting. Here's another player who can probably only be good at DH. If you can get him for cheap, he might be a good surpriser. He's always had talent. I'll put the Twins, A's, Rangers, Giants, and Yanks in there. The Giants seem to be forgeting the "rebuilding plan" anyway.
Josh Fogg- I would take a chance on Fogg (a.k.a. The Dragon Slayer) if I needed a back of the rotation starter. The Royals have talked about it, but it seems he'll be much better in the NL. The Rockies seem to be heading in different directions so Fogg will probably have a new home. Phillies, Braves, and Astros look like potential buyers. I can actually understand Houston getting him. At least he is somewhat dependable. The Braves have been extremely quiet this offseason.
Livan Hernandez- The Mariners should give him a good deal. The thing that killed Seattle last year when they were in the playoff chase was the starting pitching not carrying the load, which put way too much wear and tear on the bullpen. Hernandez might have some hard times in the AL, but he will eat alot of innings and give the relievers some rest. Something that the back-end of the rotation couldn't do last year. Same thing can be said for the Mets, but they haven't expressed much interest in Livan.
Bartolo Colon- The Nats need some vetaren pitching. Bartolo would fit that bill. He won't cost that much and pitching in the NL and in that ballpark could help him to somewhat get his career back. Ever since winning the Cy Young in 2005, he has been lost. Since 2005, he has gone 7-13 with an ERA of 5.50. No other teams trying to contend would sign Colon.
He has alot in common with Colon. He's old, has appeared to lose most of his stuff, and might even retire. His name has been out there, connected to Houston and Washington. You can notice a pattern here in the teams that are coming up. Teams that need pitching in the worst way are looking at everybody trying to find the best deal. Lieber was an underrated pitcher in his career but he seems done.
Octavio Dotel- Here's a rumor that has nothing to do with any bad teams. Actually, 3 good/very good teams want Dotel. The Mets, Tigers, and Brewers can try for him. All teams make sense. The Mets still need some arms. Same thing for the Tigers and Brewers. I think the Tigers might get him, even though they need some young bullpen arms. I think he would be the best fit with the Mets.
Eddie Guardado- He's 37 and he's not a closer anymore. But he's a lefty pitcher who had a good finish last year. In his last 10 games, he had an ERA of 0.93. That says he might have something left. The Rangers like him alot. Hey, it's something right?
That's it. Have a great holiday season and a happy New Years.