November 2005

Brian Giles Re-Signs With Padres

The Unofficial MLB Blog is reporting that Brian Giles has re-signed with the Padres.  The news came via KGTV-10 in San Diego, according to the blog.  The deal is said to be for just three years and $30MM with a $6MM option for 2009.  Looks like it wasn’t all about the money for Giles.

Unofficial MLB is the only published report of the signing at this point, and I have known them to be reliable in the past.  I’ll get you more info when I have it.

Update: Ted Leitner and Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton are also reporting the signing in San Diego.  Apparently Kevin Towers sent an apology to Giles’s agent yesterday and a deal was struck quickly.

Thanks to John and Dave


Center Fielders With Potential

Today over at RotoAuthority, I’ve got a list of center fielders who could really break out if given the opportunity.  Check it out to see why I’m so fond of Jason Michaels and Milton Bradley.


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More Cardinals Rumblings

Trusted blogger Lboros has a new post over at Viva El Birdos that does a solid, thorough job of sifting through the rumors flying about in relation to the Cardinals.  Especially with that infamous memo.  The memo!  The memo!  You can check out our post from yesterday morning as a refresher.

The short version:

Walt Jocketty has been unusually uptight this offseason and has been keeping things close to the vest.

The Abreu to the Cards rumor is more than idle speculation; it seems some talks have taken place on that.  Lboros doesn’t think the deal is a good fit economically or logically for the Cardinals, regardless.

Jason Marquis is as good as gone; Anthony Reyes is likely to stay.

Solid sources are saying the Cardinals are expected to sign A.J. Burnett soon, and lboros thinks that’s the most likely scenario.



Brad Wilkerson To Cubs For Ronny Cedeno

I promised myself I was going to take the evening off from rumormongering, I really did.  But this one was too sweet and reliable to leave til the morning.  Here’s the scoop – stay with me on this one.

A source went to college with Barry Larkin‘s cousin, Michael.  (Michael is a wide receiver at Miami at Ohio, by the way).  My source was in Cincinnati for Thanksgiving, as was Michael Larkin.  Michael passed along the following info to my source via his cousin Barry.

It appears that Nationals GM Jim Bowden has asked Barry Larkin what he thinks of Cubs SS/2B Ronny Cedeno and for Barry’s help with Cedeno’s defense if he’s acquired.  The Nationals’ front office has a covert concern that Jose Vidro is done for his career, and Cedeno would be an ideal safety net at 2B.  Plus, the team wasn’t exactly thrilled with Cristian Guzman‘s horrific season in ’05.

Barry Larkin relayed to his cousin that the potential deal was Ronny Cedeno for Brad Wilkerson straight up.  Then the info got to my source, and now it’s in your adoring hands.  Believe it if you want to – I think it’s on the level.

Ronny Cedeno was ranked 16th among Cubs prospects by Baseball America before the 2005 season.  He’s 23 years old and has a cannon arm.  He hit .300 in 80 ABs with the Cubs in 2005.  Before that, he managed a .355 mark in 245 Triple A at-bats.

Brad Wilkerson had an off year at age 28, ranking 13th among all CFs.  He’s got superb on-base skills.  He spent time at all three outfield positions and first base in ’05.  He’s yet to reach free agency.

Thanks to Rob G.


Cleveland Courting Paul Byrd

Although sources have indicated the Orioles’ strong likelihood of signing Paul Byrd, it seems that the pitcher is visiting Mark Shapiro in Cleveland today. 

I was directed by an emailer to this thread on Scout.com a few minutes ago.  As a commenter mentions, putting B.J. Ryan‘s name in lights didn’t exactly seal the deal.  Regardless, the Indians’ interest is for real.  Byrd has looked solid pitching against current White Sox players, for what that’s worth.

Thanks to Eamon M.


Milton Bradley For Todd Walker

According to Bruce Levine on ESPN Radio 1000, the Cubs are talking to the Dodgers about swapping Todd Walker for Milton Bradley.  Considering the devaluing of Bradley around baseball, the proposed trade sounds plausible.

If the deal were to go through, it’s most likely that Walker would play third base for Los Angeles.  It’s also possible that Jeff Kent moves to first and Walker remains at second base. 

Walker has played 60 games at third base in his career, and Kent has spent 105 games playing first.

Thanks to John


Best of 2005: Center Fielders

In case you were wondering how I had the audacity to state that Jim Edmonds is "unquestionably the best center fielder in baseball," you can view the stats that back up the assertion. 

We’ve got the Top 25 Center Fielders in 2005 posted over at RotoAuthority – plenty of surprises in these rankings.


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Orioles Hot Stove Hearsay

All sorts of interesting hot stove boiling in the Baltimore area.  Here’s the latest.

Published reports have said that the Orioles have made a two-year offer to 35 year-old starter Paul Byrd.  My sources are saying that Byrd is very likely to sign with Baltimore, although it may take three guaranteed years.

Nomar Garciaparra at first base?  The Orioles are not likely to sign Paul Konerko according to sources, and Nomar is expected to sign a one year deal with an option with the Orioles.  Garciaparra would spell Melvin Mora at third and spend time at first and DH as well.

Erik Bedard is very much available and will probably be dealt this offseason.  The team questions his tenacity after a knee injury limited him to 24 starts in 2005.  If not packaged in a deal for Bobby Abreu, Bedard may be part of an Adam Dunn trade.  The Orioles also have interest in Wily Mo Pena from the Reds if they decide to make a trade of less magnitude.

The Orioles could also make some room at first base for 23 year-old Adrian Gonzalez.  The #1 draft pick in 2000, Gonzalez has yet to get the opportunity to translate his minor league success in the Majors.  He has just 192 Major League at-bats under his belt and nowhere to play in Texas.  The O’s would be happy to send soft-tossing Rodrigo Lopez over to the Rangers for him.  However, Lopez projects terribly in Ameriquest and wouldn’t be enough to get a deal done.


Details On Cubs’ Furcal Offer Revealed

It has been widely reported at this point that Cubs GM Jim Hendry had dinner with Rafael Furcal and his wife on Sunday and made a contract offer.  Though the link is to a Paul Sullivan column, Bruce Levine initially broke the news yesterday on ESPN Radio 1000.  (Thanks to all that passed me that info).

MLBTradeRumors.com has now uncovered the details of Hendry’s offer.  According to a source close to the proceedings, the Cubs offered a four-year deal worth $38MM to Furcal. 

Furcal was the third-best shortstop in baseball in 2005, and it will take a deal larger than Edgar Renteria‘s four-year, $40MM contract for the Cubs to reel him in.  Ultimately, the Cubs will probably have to come back with a five year offer worth a little more than $50MM.


Further Thoughts On Bobby Abreu

Amid the Bobby Abreu for Erik Bedard and Jay Gibbons trade rumor yesterday, I made a comment that Abreu was "strangely unpopular in Philadelphia."  While I’ve read this in the papers and seen it on message boards, my comment doesn’t really do justice to Phillies fans.  So I emailed Jason Weitzel of the Beer Leaguer Phillies Blog to get further insight on Abreu.  Below are some excerpts.

Beer Leaguer visitors on Abreu:

Among Internet users who read my site and others, opinion is largely favorable. Most readers who check out blogs are familiar with the innovative ways teams are valuing talent, and few players in baseball are more deeply defined by numbers than Abreu. He’s the complete offensive package. He is easy to justify quantitatively.

Other Phillies fans on Abreu:

Among blue-collar fans that value hard work, grit and shining in big moments, Abreu stumbles. I’ve watched plenty of Abreu over the years and I don’t disagree with this take either. He disappeared in September, while others like J-Roll, Howard and Lofton stepped up and carried the club on their backs. I blame part of that on fatigue, which had reportedly caught up to him, but it’s not unusual for Abreu to disappear in September, or disappear in these types of games.

On Abreu trade rumors:

Word is the Phils have been shopping both Abreu and Burrell as a way to shake some of the longterm commitments. With Thome gone, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pat Gillick backed off. They need starting pitching and relief pitching badly, but dealing Abreu is not how they’re going to get it, at least not in this offseason. Burrell, Rowand and Abreu give them a powerhouse outfield, probably the best in the division, if not the entire NL.