The big news this morning is that the Angels are close to a four-year deal with Justin Speier, who is very possibly the best reliever on the market this year. Tim predicted that Speier would get a three-year deal worth $17M--my guess is that the money per year is right, just with that extra year, for a total of $21-$22M or so.
Speier was a possible closer for many teams, so it's something of a surprise that the team that ponied up for him already has a great closer and a solid setup man in Frankie Rodriguez and Scot Shields. It's not cheap, and it'll certainly be more expensive once Frankie gets deep into his arbitration years, but LA could have the best 1-2-3 bullpen punch in baseball for a couple of years.
The market for relievers wasn't pretty in the first place; now the best guys out there are, uh, Danys Baez and David Weathers? The price was already high for Scott Linebrink; it just went up again.
One of the possibilities for Boston (who was presumed to be a suitor for Speier) is Joe Borowski, who sounds more than generically interested in the Red Sox. And who wouldn't be? Short of every fanboy's dream of Roger Clemens pitching the ninth inning, Borowski could end up closing games in Boston.
Yesterday I said nice things about the Reds signing of Alex Gonzalez. Today I can't be so kind to Wayne Krivsky. Apparently he's about to sign Mike Stanton to a two-year deal with a vesting option for a third. Stanton turns 40 in June. He had a nice run in San Francisco last year, but let's face it: the guy hasn't put up a good full season for two years. Sure, he might be worth more than the $1M he got for last year, but a vesting option for 2009? I guess that if you're worried David Weathers won't come back, there's only one choice: get older.
By Jeff Sackmann
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