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Rob Neyer (12:03 PM)
Me: Me. You: You. And you know what that means...
I have heard rumors of the Red Sox having talks with the Marlins for Hanley centered around Clay Buch and Ellsbury. This can't be anything more than smoke on the water right? The Marlins would never do this before 2011 when they start owing him bigger money right?
Rob Neyer (12:04 PM)
I think there was another young player mentioned in there, too. And apparently the Marlins would *not* do this. But it doesn't hurt to talk a little.
Is there any info on the Red Sox catching problem? I personally would be fine with letting Varitek walk. Atleast they would get a pick.
Rob Neyer (12:07 PM)
Well, do you consider Josh Bard a solution? What's interesting about his (reported) signing is that he was traded because he couldn't catch the knuckleball ... and if he's being signed as a backup, who's going to catch Wakefield?
Dan (Nutley, NJ)
That was a pretty good trade that the Rays pulled off with Detroit, right?
Rob Neyer (12:08 PM)
It's certainly possible that Dave Dombrowski knows a lot more about Matt Joyce and Edwin Jackson than we do.
Kenny (Coalinga, CA)
I've heard mixed reviews on the Randy Johnson signing. He was pretty good last year and is now moving into a great pitchers park while still pitching in a weak offensive division. What's not to like?
Rob Neyer (12:09 PM)
If he's healthy enough to start 20-25 games he'll be a bargain. And the Giants do have a chance to actually compete for the division title.
Ryan (Astoria, NY)
What is up with the Mets having interest in Andruw Jones? It's a little early for an April Fools joke
Rob Neyer (12:11 PM)
That one's a real head-scratcher. If he can't play center field -- and play it well -- what exactly are you getting? Anyway, I think the Dodgers are probably stuck with him unless they're willing to eat most of his 2009 salary.
Yankee Hater (St. Louis, MO)
At what point do even Yankee fans derive no joy from enjoying success SOLELY by writing enormous checks?
Rob Neyer (12:13 PM)
Y.H., I personally know Yankee fans who take less pleasure their team's successes than they used to. But generally speaking, the answer to your question is "Never."
Robb (Manchester, CT)
Well, we know last year's Mets went with the outfield for most of the season was Beltran plus 2...Church will certainly be back, but with the flooded corner outfield situation, who will be patrolling left for the Mets?
Rob Neyer (12:16 PM)
I think they think they can live with Tatis and Murphy out there again. That's risky, of course, but every team takes a risk somewhere.
Rob, the NYY fans are a bit too excited for Tex, no? He's well better than Giambi, but Giambi did produce 32 HRs with 96 RBI and a massive walk rate (with only 458 at-bats). Tex will hit for the higher average, but he virtually replaces Giambi in offensive output. Being that they have health issues in the rotation and arguably the worst up-the-middle defense in the majors, its still an uphill battle to make the playoffs, right?
Rob Neyer (12:20 PM)
I don't share your pessimism, Kevin. No, Teixeira isn't massively better than Giambi. Except he's a far better fielder and is likely to play 150+ games. But Tex *and* CC represent a significant improvement for a team that won 89 games last season. Yankees are the team to beat.
Jeff (Boston, MA)
Rob, I find it rather amusing that people like Drayton McLane saying they support a salary cap after spending $100 million on Carlos Lee.
Rob Neyer (12:23 PM)
Yes, it's always funnier when the hypocrisy is so outrageous. Remember Jerry Reinsdorf and Albert Belle?
Joe (San Diego)
Rob, is it Jim Rice's fault that he didn't know he wasn't a great player? Everyone told him he was in his time, so just because we find out now doesn't mean we should punish him for not actually being great in his time. Also, can you wait to start not voting for certain players on the ballot?
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
I'd like to figure out who invented that argument, build a time machine, and go back and do something about it. In Jim Rice's first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame, he drew support from only 29% of the voters. Oddly enough, the notion that he was a great player didn't really take hold until well after his retirement. I'm not exactly sure how that happens, but I think it helps if you drive in a lot of runs and have the Boston writers on your side.
Any chance the yanks trade some of their young pitchers for a young outfielder? Seems to make sense since the only young outfielder they have is Austin Jackson.
Rob Neyer (12:29 PM)
Sure, anything's possible. But they don't really need to do that this winter.
Why is Adam Dunn not getting love this offseason?
Rob Neyer (12:30 PM)
Because he strikes out a lot, plays lousy defense, and what J.P. Ricciardi said about him might really be true. He'll wind up with a job, of course. But he might wind up taking a pay cut.
josh (New Jersey)
What kind of contract would Chase Utley get if he was a free agent?
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
Utley's one of the five most valuable players in the game, and certainly more valuable than Teixeira. So you can do the math from there.
Andrew (Memphis, TN)
Rob, are the Braves in a rebuilding mode? The Mets and Phillies are ahead of us and we haven't spent much of our "extra" money this off-season. Is it time for a full rebuild in Hotlanta?
Rob Neyer (12:34 PM)
I think the Braves think they have a shot, which means no rebuild.
Would the Dodgers be foolish enough to think that "talking" to Dunn and Abreu would really force Boras and Manny's hand? Or, do you think they have serious interest in moving past Manny and signing one of them.
Rob Neyer (12:35 PM)
I think they don't want to spend $20 million per season on a sluggardly slugger if they can get one for $12 million.
What about the Rice's MVP shares argument? He has the highest MVP shares of any non-Hall guy.
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
I don't feel that Hall of Fame voters should be bound by misjudgments that MVP voters made in the 1980s.
Where do you see the Oakland A's going from here? Get some protection for Holliday? Another pitcher (Sheets?)
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
They're more likely to sign a hitter (Giambi or Abreu?) than a risky proposition like Sheets.
Rob, Any thoughts or updates on Mark Prior for this year and beyond? Thanks.
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
I'm afraid he's already been consigned to the scrap heap of history.
Not sure how much you look at Baseball Prospectus' JAWS numbers, but supposedly in Rice's era, there were fewer top tier WARP scores. Rice wasn't as dominant over a replacement player then as the best players before or after him, but he still was in a similar top percentile of the talent.
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
Brett, how do Bobby Grich and Fred Lynn and Dave Parker and Alan Trammell -- from the same era, obviously -- fare by that standard?
Taz (San Jose, CA)
Rob, you made it sound like Adam Dunn is sort of lighter version of Manny. If he was even half as good as Manny, he would have a job by now.
Rob Neyer (12:45 PM)
Fair point, Taz; Dunn is *not* even half as good as Ramirez. But I do think Manny's attitude scares some teams off a little.
Nick (Sandusky, OH)
Do you see any more moves by the Tribe? Is Joe Crede worth a look? In the past he has been great at 3B and a clutch hitter.
Rob Neyer (12:46 PM)
Crede's had the back injury, right? Scary stuff. But the Indians could certainly use a third baseman if they're not going to move Peralta. Because Andy Marte is a b-u-s-t.
You really think Dunn isn't HALF the player Manny is?
Rob Neyer (12:48 PM)
According to Win Value -- more about that in my blog today -- Ramirez was worth 6 wins in 2008, and Dunn roughly 2.
Matt (Charlotte, NC
How will Chipper Jones be judged by history when he's done? HOF? I think he has to get to either 500hr or 3K hits to get in
Rob Neyer (12:49 PM)
Voting for third basemen has always been a little bit strange, but I believe Chipper cemented his standing this year.
Do you think that Dale Murphy would be closer to the Hall if the Atlanta writers had mobilized like the Boston crew did for Rice?
Rob Neyer (12:54 PM)
I do believe that certain writers are capable of driving the discussion, and I don't believe I know of any Atlanta writers who have done that with any candidate. Also, the Red Sox PR department has been exceptionally aggressive about pumping Rice's candidacy. Another thing that's really helped Rice is the attachment of the word "feared" to his name. Unfortunately, nobody's able to come up with one word for Dale Muprhy. Here are four, though: "Better than Jim Rice."
Benjamin: Lawrence, KS
How would your rate Moore's offseason? Do you think the Royals will go after Marti? What kind of contract do you think he will demand?
Rob Neyer (12:56 PM)
I'm not familiar enough with the history of Cuban free agents to give you a number, but I think it's beyond what the Royals would spend. As for Moore's offseason, the Royals came into the winter a 75-win team and I suspect that's how they'll leave it.
Declan (Longford, Ireland)
Any chance the Red Sox can resign Kotsay? With the injury questions hanging over Lowell, and the inevitable JD Drew sick note, I think he would provide great flexibility off the bench.
Rob Neyer (12:57 PM)
The Sox need a fourth outfielder, but they can probably do a little better than Kotsay.
FYI, Dave Parker has the most MVP shares of any Hall-eligible player not yet elected.
Rob Neyer (12:59 PM)
Thanks, Mitchell. I knew Parker had done well. In fact, it's not at all apparent why a voter would support Rice but not Parker, as Parker has everything Rice has, plus better defense and a longer career.
Don (syracuse, Ny)
Is Kendry Morales an Angel overhyped prospect like Dallas McPherson?
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
I think it's been a while since Morales was hyped at all. Right now he's good enough to play in the majors, but has very little star potential. The Angels might as well give him the 1B job and hope for the best.
Brian (Santa Barbara, CA)
Manny brought an electricity to the Dodgers and their fans that Adam Dunn would not. Manny is probably worth the extra $8 million per year for his marketability/merchandising.
Rob Neyer (1:02 PM)
The marketability/merchandising thing will wear off eventually, don't you think? A two-year deal for $45 million wouldn't be out of line, though, and I think eventually they'll work things out.
I know the Sox checked in on Hanley and were turned down (nice try though) but what ever came of their discussions with Texas for Michael Young? Could the Sox land Young and Salty or Teagarden for a package that does not include Ellsbury and Bucholz? Would such a move put them back above the Yankees & Rays in the AL East?
Rob Neyer (1:04 PM)
There are two h's in Buchholz. Just want to mention that first. As for Young, I'm not convinced he'll be any better than Jed Lowrie in two or three years.
the redsoxs by the way got a fourth outfileder named eric byrnes
Rob Neyer (1:07 PM)
That was a rumor; ill-founded or no, it hasn't happened yet. On that Byrnes-centric note I'll take my leave. See you in 2009, and until then don't forget: "Time is the school in which we learn, and the fire in which we burn."
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