More Hot Stove Features

Olney: Braves put together a power bullpenInsider
With the acquisition of Mike Gonzalez, the Braves have the parts in place to have a power bullpen in '07, blogs Buster Olney.

Olney: Phillies follow the old-school approachInsider
With GM Pat Gillick in charge, the Phillies are very much a team that's run by an old-school approach, blogs Buster Olney.

McAdam: Potential angst could await Red Sox
With Jonathan Papelbon expected to join the rotation, the Red Sox are presently lacking a proven closer heading into '07.

Neyer: Matsuzaka the next Nomo?
The Red Sox should be happy if Daisuke Matsuzaka follows the early lead of fellow Japanese pitcher Hideo Nomo, writes Rob Neyer.

Law: Arbitration system has many flaws
The arbitration process is tedious, expensive, and time-consuming -- but don't expect it to change. Keith Law explains.

Olney: Red Sox face tough decision on Pena's futureInsider
The future of Wily Mo Pena with the Red Sox is definitely one that's filled with plenty of uncertainty. Buster Olney explains.

Gammons: NL West is on the rise
With good young players, energetic organizations and pitching, the NL West is a division on the rise, writes Peter Gammons.

McAdam: Blue Jays stepping up in class?
With Vernon Wells and Roy Halladay signed for the long term, the Blue Jays have shown an ability to keep their best players.

Law: The pitfalls of desperate general managers
Trading prospects for "proven" veterans. Signing overvalued free agents. Heavily back-loading deals. These are signs of a desperate GM.

Olney: Yanks appear ready to be flexible with ClemensInsider
With Randy Johnson out of the picture, the Yankees can now give Roger Clemens all the cash and perks that he desires.

Neyer: Long tradition of hot stove chatter
Talking about baseball during the winter months is nothing new. The hot stove's been burning for nearly a century, writes Rob Neyer.

Klapisch: Uncertain times in the Bronx
While the Yankees are happy to get rid of the Big Unit, they still have plenty of question marks, writes Bob Klapsich.
• Keith Law Insider

Neyer: Good pitching doesn't need to cost a fortuneInsider
There are decent starting pitchers out there who won't break the bank. Teams just need to know where to look, writes Rob Neyer.

Law: Best, worst moves of the offseasonInsider
Barring a trade or two, the Yankees and Red Sox appear to be the winners of the Hot Stove League season, writes Keith Law.

Crasnick: Giants shake up the baseball world with Zito's dealInsider
The fact that Barry Zito signed with San Francisco wasn't completely unexpected, but the $126 million for seven years was.

Neyer: Good under-the-radar signings this offseasonInsider
Even in this winter of outrageous spending and head-scratching deals, it's still possible to find a bargain.

Olney: Why not us?Insider
The Brewers, now with Jeff Suppan, aren't that far from being a legitimate contender in the NL Central, writes Buster Olney.

Crasnick: Devil Rays searching for a winning identity
Time will tell whether the Devil Rays get the quality pitching they need to become more competitive.

Neyer: Zito's a good pitcher, but not a great oneInsider
In an attempt to get the good word out on Barry Zito, Scott Boras has been rather loose with the numbers his client has compiled over the years.

Rogers: Cubs, White Sox following different offseason paths
While the Cubs have handed out a number of big contracts this offseason, the White Sox -- their Windy City rivals -- have taken a far lower profile.

Crasnick: Checking in on the Zito market
Free-agent pitcher Barry Zito is likely to land in the city he wants and hit the mother lode financially, writes Jerry Crasnick.

Olney: Teams' most glaring needsInsider
The Mets and Twins need a starting pitcher, while the Red Sox and Marlins need a closer.

Olney: Red Sox brilliant with D-Mat dealInsider
The Red Sox were absolutely masterful in closing out the six-year, $52M deal with Daisuke Matsuzaka,

Olney: Blue Jays make their pitch to keep WellsInsider
By offering $126M to Vernon Wells, the Blue Jays have made a good-faith pitch to keep their star outfielder, blogs Buster Olney.

Gammons: Red Sox get Matsuzaka their wayInsider
Boston officials used the system to their advantage and made one of the best moves of the offseason.

Crasnick: Royals taking risks to gain rewardInsider
With the Gil Meche signing, GM Dayton Moore is sending a strong message about his desire to improve the Royals.

Neyer: Royals failed by giving big contract to MecheInsider
In handing out $55 million to Gil Meche, the Royals showed they were short-sighted in spending the new-found money they have.

Olney: Available free agents who have value
Buster Olney points out 10 free agents who are still available for the taking and offer plenty of value.

Allen: Matsuzaka keeps Japan waiting
The nation of Japan would be devastated if Daisuke Matsuzaka failed to reach an agreement with the Red Sox.

Neyer: Examining the value of 10 recent signeesInsider
Will Carlos Lee and other free agents who signed big-money deals this offseason produce enough to justify their whopping contracts?

Klapisch: Yanks dropped Lilly when Pettitte became available
The Yanks were close to signing Ted Lilly, but when Andy Pettitte showed interest in returning to the Bronx, it was just too good to be true.

Gammons: Making an early pitch for the AL East crown
Yankee Stadium is a different place than it was in the 1980's, and it's more than just money that's attracting players to the Pinstripes.

Stark: How the Astros lost Pettitte
In the end, the Astros decided not to add $2 million to the contract and thus lost Andy Pettitte to the Yankees.

Stark: Finished and unfinished business
Jayson Stark takes a look at what was and wasn't accomplished at the winter meetings -- and what looms just over the horizon.

Crasnick: Reds give troubled Hamilton another chanceInsider
Fallen star Josh Hamilton was as shocked as anybody by the news that he had been selected in Thursday's Rule 5 draft.

Olney: Rise of the TribeInsider
The Indians have quietly had a nice offseason and could be poised for a breakthrough year in 2007. Buster Olney explains.

Stark: Garcia trade balances White Sox's present and future
The White Sox sent durable starter Freddy Garcia to the Phillies to sustain both their future and their present.

Crasnick: Drew in for an awakening in BostonInsider
J.D. Drew wouldn't be the first major league player to reinvent himself with a change of scenery in the most unlikely of venues.

Stark: Manny's staying home for the holidays
In what's becoming an annual tradition, it's growing more likely Manny Ramirez will spend another offseason as a member of the Red Sox.

Olney: The Professor to San Diego?Insider
The Padres are considering Greg Maddux, who would be a perfect fit for them.

Stark: Pitching-starved teams paying a steep price
The cost of pitching is skyrocketing at baseball's pitching-starved winter meetings, and there's no end in sight.

Neyer: Winter meeting observations ... from afarInsider
The winter meetings are under way, and here are a few semi-random thoughts about what's cooking on the hot stove.

Stark: Why is the greatest slugger of his time still available?
It's not what the Giants are saying about Barry Bonds. It's what they aren't saying that leads us to believe they're interested in everybody but him.

Kurkjian: Teams that have plenty of bargaining chips
Free agency has limited the number of trades at recent winter meetings, but four teams have plenty of chips to play this year.

Crasnick: Sizing up the free-agent market for startersInsider
The forecast for this year's free-agent starters is sunny and raining dollars. Here's the rundown, from the priciest to the most affordable.

Law: Sizing up the major needs for all 30 teamsInsider
Who needs what? Keith Law addresses the major needs for each of the 30 teams.

McAdam: Thin market makes life hard for small-market teams
Small-market general managers, like shoppers on a tight budget, have to find a way to make their money go farther.

Olney: These free agents won't break the bankInsider
These eight free agents have value and won't break the bank.

Neyer: Huge, long-term deals can be a recipe for disasterInsider
The problem with monster contracts is that the big years and big dollars leave teams with little flexibility in the future.

Kreidler: Money burning a hole in their pockets
It's the offseason in baseball, which means obscene amounts of money are being thrown around by owners who may regret it in the morning.

Olney: The Manny X factor
It's possible that Manny being Manny could spoil any hopes the Red Sox have of trading their slugger. Buster Olney explains.

Rogers: An empty six-pack
The Giants and Rangers are among six teams that have done little to improve this offseason and still need to fill major holes on their roster.

Olney: A's setting their sights on PiazzaInsider
The A's have set their sights on signing Mike Piazza to replace Frank Thomas as their DH in 2007, blogs Buster Olney.

Gammons: 10 thoughts on the exploding marketInsider
From Ramirez to Soriano to Speier to Pierre, teams are paying whatever it takes to remain competitive, writes Peter Gammons.

Klapisch: What's holding up Glavine?
The Mets still believe Tom Glavine's coming back, but the fact that he's moving so slowly has forced them to contemplate Plan B.

McAdam: Trade market could heat up
With such big money being spent on free agents, trades could be the way to go for many teams this offseason.

Rogers: Free-spending Cubs on a mission
No team has been busier than the Cubs this offseason -- and they're not done dealing yet as they look to transform themselves into contenders.

Rogers: Looking for a 2006 Frank Thomas
Among this year's high-risk free agents, there are some reasonable options and some avoidable ones, writes Phil Rogers.

Crasnick: Six burning hot stove questions
With six hot stove questions in hand, Jerry Crasnick polled front-office execs at the GM meetings.

Crasnick: Rangers have many free-agent holes to fill
When it comes to filling in pieces of the puzzle, few teams face a more intriguing challenge than the Rangers.

Allen: Red Sox's bid of 6 billion yen stuns Japan
Daisuke Matsuzaka, his team and the Japanese public at large were stunned by the Red Sox's bid. It's the talk of Japan.

Crasnick: Red Sox paying their respects to Matsuzaka
Now that the Red Sox have outbid the rival Yankees, among others, they have to get busy and bring Daisuke Matsuzaka to Boston.

Crasnick: Kicking the tires on some big-name bats
Looking for a bat? Here are five productive players whose names are likely to be kicked around at the GM meetings in Florida.

Rogers: This year's free-agent market favors players
With a new labor agreement and record revenue and attendance, this might be the best year to be a free agent since the insanity of 2000.

Crasnick: Phils essentially held hostage by Burrell's no-trade clause
Armed with a complete no-trade clause, Pat Burrell continues to hold the hammer over the Phillies, writes Jerry Crasnick.



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