The Mets have finally made an offer to free agent starter Derek Lowe. They have proposed 3 years, 36 million.
If Lowe ends up with this, it will be a major steal for the Mets. Could you believe that after Carlos Silva nabbed 4 years, 48 million that Lowe could be stuck with only 3 years, 36 million? It makes no sense at all. Even after this year, a year in which AJ Burnett received 5 years, 82.5 million, Lowe could get less. I know that some will disagree, but Lowe is a better, more durable pitcher than Burnett. It is just blowing my mind that Lowe might only get a 3 year, 36 million dollar contract.
All the signs point to him making more, but who will give him more? Almost every mid or large-market contending team on the east coast or the mid west won’t be pursuing him.
- The Yankees officially have no money left to spend, especially not the 12 million per year Lowe will require.
- The Red Sox signed Brad Penny, filling the need for a starter.
- The Phillies have nothing left to spend after signing Jamie Moyer and Raul Ibanez.
- The Cubs would rather have a big bat for right field.
- The Brewers don’t seem willing to make any long term commitments because most of their players’ pay is rising through arbitration.
- The Cardinals don’t view starting pitching as a big need.
- The Tigers, Astros, White Sox, Blue Jays, Twins, and Indians can’t afford him.
So, when you narrow things down, the only suitor for Lowe is the Mets. There is a team, that I haven’t named, however. The Braves are a great fit for Lowe. They play on the East Coast, need a starting pitcher, are a contending team (sometimes), and have the money to spend. I predicted Lowe to sign in Atlanta in my Top 50 Free Agents, and I still love the fit. I don’t understand why there is such a lack of interest. The Braves were not shy at all about pursuing AJ Burnett. They even offered him 5 years, 80 million. If I’m GM Frank Wren, I’m making Lowe an offer of 4 years, 48 million. That would probably get him to accept, and if nothing else it will drive up the price for the Mets. The Braves should definitely get in on Derek Lowe.
As of right now, it looks like Lowe will be in a Met uniform next year. If they get him, they are going to be one hard team to stop. I think they’d win the division with Francisco Rodriguez, JJ Putz, and now Derek Lowe on the team. If they do make the playoffs, watch out! Could you imagine Johan Santana and Derek Lowe pitching 2 games each in a 5 game playoff series. Both pitchers have a lot of playoff experience, and they could pretty much end the game if they could go 7 innings each. That should be no problem for these two. Putz and K-Rod can come in and end the game. Scary!
Where in the world will Manny Ramirez go? The Yankees are obviously out after signing Mark Teixeira, and neither the Angels nor Mets are interested. I think it’s safe to say that the Red Sox won’t be signing him, so that leaves only the Dodgers. Of the other large market teams, the Cubs and White Sox don’t make any sense.
I guess that there could be some strange wild card teams, but most of the clubs people are throwing out there don’t make much sense for the team. For example, why would the Nationals want Manny? I understand that he would bring in a lot of fans to the game, but he would not make them a winning team. The reason that they pursued Teixeira was so that he would be there when they were a contending team. Signing Manny for a 2 or 3 year deal wouldn’t make sense, basically because they won’t be contending in 2 or 3 years. Not to mention all of the trouble he would bring to DC. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit the trade block the summer that he got there, if he does indeed sign with Washington. I doubt it, unless he comes for only 1 year.
The Braves have the money and the need, but I doubt that Bobby Cox would even entertain bringing in a player with Manny’s attitude. Like the Nationals, I guess they could make an inquiry if Ramirez would come on a 1 year deal. That way Cox could always just deal him at the trade deadline if the team is not in contention or if Manny is Manny. Still, I would call it a stretch.
The Reds might consider Ramirez if the price drops drastically and they think they can compete. However, why wouldn’t they have just resigned Adam Dunn instead of signing Manny? Not the perfect fit, is it.
Since there is no great fit for Manny other than the Dodgers, I think he returns to L.A., but at a very under-market rate. Earlier in the year he was offered 2 years, 45 million from the Dodgers, but he declined. That was back when Man-Ram thought he could get a 6 year deal. The offer was pulled at the start of free agency, and no one has made an offer since. I still think that the Dodgers are interested, but not at the price they offered earlier in the year. My prediction is that Manny will go crawling back to the Dodgers while whining for the 2 year, 45 million dollar offer that he didn’t even consider. The Dodgers will respond by offering him 1 year, 20 million. Manny will go shop himself to other teams, but when he finds out that no one wants him, he will sadly accept the Dodgers offer.
It serves Manny Ramirez right that no one is interested. He was a lazy jerk to the Red Sox, and now he’s going to pay for it. Ha Ha!
The Dodgers have signed Rafael Furcal to a 3 year, 30 million dollar contract. This is such a huge surprise to me, and a great move on the Dodgers part.
I can’t believe that they sign Furcal for only 3 years, and for only 10 million per. I thought that he would get 4 years, 52 million. I don’t know why the market collapsed the way it did. If the Giants added a year and an extra 3 million to the Edgar Renteria signing they could have matched Los Angeles’ offer to Furcal. There’s no question that Rafael is a much better shortstop than Renteria. He also made a lot of sense for the A’s. They offered the most years — 4 years, 36 million — but weren’t able to sign him. Why didn’t they just up their offer to 4 years, 40 million. That could have lured Furcal to Oakland. I would have also liked to see the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Reds make a better offer. A lot of teams just past up on the chance to get a very good leadoff man at shortstop.
The Dodgers did a fantastic job. They lock up the left side of their infield for only 16 million per year. 34 million is still available to sign a big bat for the outfield and a starting pitcher. With Takashi Saito being non-tendered, the Dodgers could look for some bullpen help as well. I’d like the Dodgers to sign Manny for 20-25 million per year, and then Randy Johnson for 1 year, 8 million. The remaining money could be used on a reliever. This team would be very solid, and almost as good as last year’s squad. (it hurts to lose Derek Lowe) This has been a very productive offseason for the Dodgers thus far.
By the way, the mystery team in all of this was the Braves. They were apparently very close to signing the leadoff man, and offered him the same amount of money that the Dodgers did. The Braves would’ve played Furcal at second base and moved Kelly Johnson to left field or to another team. Yunel Escobar could have been traded as well. Reports say that Furcal had a gentlemen’s agreement to sign with the Braves, but then he ditched them for the Dodgers. Atlanta won’t be working with Furcal’s agents, Paul Kinzer and Arn Tellem, for quite a while because of this.
Man, players have been jumping off the board ever since the start of the Winter Meetings. Ever since then, CC Sabathia, Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Furcal, AJ Burnett, Kerry Wood, and many others have signed. I can’t wait until we find out where the other players go. It looks like Mark Teixeira will be making a decision soon. Can’t wait.
The framework of a trade that would send Jake Peavy to the Cubs is in place. It would be a complicated 4-team trade, but apparently it makes sense to the GMs. The Cubs, Padres, Phillies, and Orioles would be the 4 teams. The Phillies and Orioles are satisfied by their part of the deal. The only part left of the trade would be whom the Cubs send to the Padres. I’m not sure on this, but guessing a trade would look like this.
- Cubs get: Jake Peavy
- Padres get: Josh Vitters, Garret Olson, Jason Donald, Ronny Cedeno, Sean Marshall
- Orioles get: Felix Pie
- Phillies get: Mark DeRosa
- Cubs lose: Mark DeRosa, Josh Vitters, Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno, Sean Marshall
- Padres lose: Jake Peavy
- Orioles lose: Garret Olson
- Phillies lose: Jason Donald
It looks like a trade like this could be completed, but first the Cubs will need to clear salary by trading Jason Marquis. It looks like all they have to do is pull the trigger on a Marquis trade and they’ll be able to make this huge, blockbuster trade. Overcourse, this deal needs to make sense for all teams.
The Cubs would be aquiring Jake Peavy. Adding him to setup a rotation of Peavy – Carlos Zambrano – Rich Harden – Ryan Dempster – and Ted Lilly would make the Cubs the unquestioned best team in the MLB. Yes, their whole entire farm system is getting traded away, but I think it’s definately worth it. Vitters, Pie, Cedeno, and Marshall all are blocked, anyway. It hurts losing DeRosa, but you have to give something to get something.
This looks like a pretty solid deal for the Padres, too. The get a great
prospect in Josh Vitters to take over at third base in the future. They can shop Kevin Kouzmanoff until Vitters hits the big leagues. The Pads can take their time, because he is at least 2 years away from prime-time ball. Jason Donald is a solid shortstop prospect; he adequately replaces Khalil Greene. Cedeno provides depth. Garret Olson and Sean Marshall are by no means top notch pitching prospects, but they add depth to the back of the Padres’ rotation. Because of PETCO Park, it will be easy to find pitching. This is arguably just as good as the Braves’ offer of Yunel Escobar, Goyrks Hernandez, Jo-Jo Reyes, and Charlie Morton. It is just a more crafty way of doing it. I like this trade for the Padres, even though I admit they could do better if they wait until the trade deadline.
It’s a no-brainer for the Orioles to make the trade. Garret Olson doesn’t have the same upside as Felix Pie. They have both been awful in the MLB, but Pie has been given less of a chance. I know that they both look like busts right now, but Pie has a much better chance at becoming a quality player than Olson does. Maybe it’s just because I’ve seen Pie play so many times while watching the Cubs. It appears that the Orioles also like the idea of swaping Olson out for Pie, and I agree with them.
It also makes sense for the Phillies. Mark DeRosa was a great player last year. He was a
huge reason why the Cubs won 97 games, and it would hurt them lose DeRo, but it seems the Cubs are open to this trade. The Phillies are reportedly really high on Donald, but it just seems like they would trade him for DeRosa in a heartbeat. Donald is blocked, and DeRo makes more sense than anyone else on the free agent market. He can play second base until Chase Utley returns from his injury, and then he can move to left field, replacing Pat Burrell. Eric Bruntlett, Greg Dobbs, and Geoff Jenkins would play left field or second base until Utley returns. This would be a great idea for Philly. The only problem is that they’re making it a lot harder to get back to the World Series by assisting the Cubs in aquiring Peavy.
So I think this huge, blockbuster, 4-team trade would make a lot of sense for all the clubs involved, but one little snag in negotiations could ruin the whole thing. I hope it happens!
If they go on to make this offer, will he accept it? I think that they’re almost sure to get him. It would be smart to put a deadline on this offer, because then it might keep the Yankees from offering a 5 year deal. If the Yanks miss out on CC Sabathia, they will have to turn to Burnett and will probably offer him something huge. It’s Burnett’s gamble if he decides not to take this offer. Seriously though, CC is going to end up in New York. The only teams possibly willing to challenge the Yankees’s offer are the Dodgers, Angels, and Giants. If any of them offer 120-130 million, the Yankees will up their offer to 160 million at least. Because of this information, I think Burnett will go on to sign with the Braves if the all important fifth year is offered.
Is it smart to offer 5 years? I don’t think so. This guy is very injury prone. I know everyone thinks that he is fine because he was healthy and very good last year with the Blue Jays. That is only 1 year, though. No one is talking about Ben Sheets, yet he has a better medical record and better stats. I recently wrote about how Sheets is a better all around pitcher than Burnett, despite drawing much less interest. Derek Lowe still makes the most sense out of all these pitchers. He is a solid, durable veteran innings-eater. I know he is getting older, but Lowe’s as much of a sure thing as any pitcher out there not named CC Sabathia. He also seems like he will cost less and will require a shorter term. I’ve been saying this for a while: AJ Burnett is not a smart signing.
I at least partly understand why the Braves would want to aquire Burnett. A rotation with Burnett and Vazquez added to it would give the Braves a much improved team. The leftover money could go toward resigning or replacing Will Ohman and signing one of the power outfield bats.
I don’t know if the Braves will make the offer, though. They are preparing to, but could always change their mind. It looks like they have become the frontrunners, either way.
The Braves have aquired pitchers Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan from the White Sox for catcher Tyler Flowers, shortstop Brent Lillibridge, third baseman Jon Gilmore, and pitcher Santos Rodriguez. I like this deal a lot for both teams.
The Braves get the established starter that they want to add. Vazquez is more of a #3 or #4 starter rather than the #1 or #2 they wanted to add, but he is a solid addition nontheless. Atlanta has stated that they want to add two starters, anyway. This guy seems more like the second tier aquisition.
Javier Vazquez had a down year; his ERA was 4.67. His other stats were still solid, however. He threw 200 strike-outs and 200 innings despite his ERA. I think the most likely reason for his poor performance was bad luck; his BABIP was second highest in the MLB. If Javy just continues doing what he has already done, he will really nice pick-up for the Braves. I love this move for them because I truly believe he can bounce back.
I still like this trade for the White Sox, but I’m confused on their direction. They have already dealt two veterans, Vazquez of course and also Nick Swisher. If the Sox are trying to compete, I don’t know why they are trading these guys away. There has also been rumors swirling of Jermaine Dye and/or Bobby Jenks getting shipped out as well. I’m at a loss.
On the package of players they got, I think the Sox recieved a great haul. Tyler Flowers is one of the best catching prospects in the game. If they want to, they could move him to left field or DH eventually because they have AJ Pierzynski at catcher and Flowers’s defense is awful. He will be a great hitter no matter where he plays. Brent Lillibridge comes in and brings depth to the second base position. (I think Alexie Ramirez is definately moving to shortstop) The two other prospects they recieved aren’t bad; they are solid C prospects. I like this haul, just confused why they wanted it over an established starter like Vazquez.
Replacing Javy will be tough. The White Sox depth at starting pitching was tested last year because the starters they called up once Jose Contreras went down were very ineffective. Now one of them will be starting the season in the rotation. An additional transaction will have to be made in order to accommodate for the loss of Vazquez.
My letter grade for the Braves: B. My letter grade for the White Sox: C.
I know that the Padres really want to trade Jake Peavy, but there are no good suitors left. The Braves dropped out when free agency started, and the Cubs have many obstacles to overcome. They need to fit him into the payroll as well as get a solid package together. I really don’t see what the Cubs have to offer, to the Padres or to a different team in the event of a three-team trade. Lou Pinella says that they’re not interested, anyway.
The Braves still make the most sense. I know that Tommy Hanson and Jason Heyward are off limits, so the Padres will have to accept an offer centered around Yunel Escobar. Back in October, I thought that Tommy Hanson, Yunel Escobar, and Jordon Schafer would be an accpetable package. The Braves apparently thought that would be way too much. Their offer was Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez, Jo-Jo Reyes, and Charlie Morton. That’s not even close to what the Pads wanted. I don’t blame them for declining.
A lot of people think that Padres’ GM Kevin Towers screwed up the negotiations, but I think he was doing a very good job. This is not like the Johan Santana situation where you have to trade the player, even if you take a bad offer. They have Peavy under contract for 4 more years. If they can’t trade him now, deal him at this year’s trade deadline. If you can’t trade him then, flip him next offseason. Continue until Peavy is gone. Unless the Braves come back with a much better offer than the one before, it looks like Peavy will be staying put.
I have a feeling that the Braves will come back, though. Whether they sign another top-of-the-rotation starter like Derek Lowe or AJ Burnett will make no difference. If they truly want to compete, they’ll need more than just Lowe or Burnett. Peavy plus a Lowe or Burnett would make them serious contenders for the NL East. They will probably pursue Peavy even harder if they miss out on Lowe or Burnett. I think a package of Yunel Escobar, Jordon Schafer, Jo-Jo Reyes, Charlie Morton, and Tyler Flowers would get it done. The Padres still get a very good deal, and the Braves are able to keep Tommy Hanson. This seems like a good compromise for both sides.
If the Braves are truly out of the picture, look for the Angels or Yankees to get involved. Whichever team that misses out on CC Sabathia could put in a huge bid. Could you imagine if the Angels signed Mark Teixera and added Jake Peavy? They would be unstopable. The Yanks could also use him, but the two teams might not be able to find a match with the prospects.
I really don’t know where Jake Peavy will end up. He might stay put, he might get traded to the Braves, and he might even go to a surprise team. I don’t know.
AJ Burnett is drawing a ton of interest on the open market. After opting out of his contract with the Blue Jays, he has 6 teams seriously interested in his services. The Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Mets, Oriols, and Blue Jays all want him. Because of all the interested teams, Burnett will look for a 5 year deal while considering nothing else. The Yankees don’t want to go to 5 years, but I’m sure they’d change their mind if the Red Sox offer that term. I don’t think the Sox will either, though. They really don’t need Burnett, they just want to keep him out of New York. It would probably be smarter to pursue a reunion with Derek Lowe. He wants to come back to Boston, and would be cheaper than Burnett even though he is probably a better pitcher. The Braves would rather have Lowe, also. They will pursue Burnett, but it’s no secret that they’d rather have the veteran durability of Lowe. The Mets will probably not be able to afford Burnett if they give Francisco Rodriguez a big contract. Maybe they’ll be the team to give him 5 years for less money than the 16 million per year he will command. The Oriols would like to add him because he would make a really nice 1-2 punch when combined with Jeremy Guthrie. When some of their great pitching prospects come up, the Oriols will be in great position to compete. I guess I could see them going to 5 years, but I really have to squint. JP Riccardi, the GM of the Blue Jays, has said that he would consider going to 5 years for AJ. If they are the only team offering this term, they’ll probably be able to resign him. I really think in the end that some team will offer Burnett 5 years, and I’m predicting it will be the Yankees. How many times have they changed their minds? A lot, and I think they will this time, too.
I haven’t done a player market in a while. Bobby Abreu seems like a pretty popular name so far. Let’s take a look at where he might end up.
Cubs (frontrunners) Now that Ryan Dempster is resigned and Kerry Wood won’t be back, the remainder of the Cubs’ money will go toward a left handed bat for right field. The Cubs are in a financial predicament, however. 130 million is already tied up in contracts, and arbitration raises could push them another 5 million or so. If it’s true that payroll won’t go past 140 million, then salary must be moved in order to aquire Abreu. Marquis could be traded. I think they’ll do that to clear at least 7 million, and then with the 12 million made available, they’ll sign Abreu. But that’s just my prediction.
Braves (frontrunners) If they miss out on other outfield possibilities, Abreu could make a lot of sense. It would give them the flexibility of demoting or trading Jeff Francoeur without having to put someone in right field that shouldn’t be there. He had very good stats last year, and would be an all around a great aquisition for any team to make.
Reds (frontrunners) He could solve their left field problems. Great American Ballpark should attract Abreu, and the Reds could use a high OBP player to replace Adam Dunn. If they can get a few big years from various young players, this team could compete for the Wild Card and maybe even the NL Central.
Mets (possible) The Mets have been saying all along that they view pitching as their offseason priorty. They would still be upgrading their pitching by signing Abreu, though. For example: The Mets trade Ryan Church to the Rays for Edwin Jackson, sign Francisco Rodriguez or Brian Fuentes, and sign Bobby Abreu. That all can fit into their payroll, and they improve the bullpen and offense while keeping the rotation the same. Abreu would take over in right field, replacing Ryan Church. I think this idea could work.
Rays (dark horse) I know that they’re running low on money, but if they want to stretch the payroll a tad, Bobby Abreu could make sense. He is a middle of the order bat that plays right field; Abreu would fill all of their holes in just one aquisition. This one is a dark horse only because of the possible salary it would take to lock him up.
Free agency started only 4 days ago, yet Rafael Furcal has already gotten a 3 year, 39 million dollar offer from an unkown team. That’s the same amount of money that he made during his last contract with the Dodgers. No one knows who made this big time offer, but my guess is the Giants. Furcal’s agent said that the Giants had made an offer, but wouldn’t reveal it. He also said that the A’s haven’t made one yet. No other teams have been named specificly, so I think he ends up in San Francisco unless the A’s or Dodgers make some offer out of nowhere to land him. Also, the article says that he is “very excited” about the chance to play for the Braves again. Yunel Escobar might not be traded in a Jake Peavy deal, but they might swap him out for a power hitting left fielder or a starting pitcher. Furcal would make a great replacement, plus they would be adding a true leadoff man. Other mystery teams that could have made the big offer are the Cardinals, Cubs, A’s, Blue Jays, or Royals. None are great fits for various reasons, but are all possible. His agent also said that he expects Furcal to sign within a couple of weeks.