First, let's start with the White Sox. Multiple emailers have told me that SNY's baseball insider Seth Everett reported yesterday that he thinks Chicago might join the Barry Zito chase. I can't vouch for this report as I didn't see it myself. Regardless, the rumor is making the rounds. Here's why I think it would be highly unlikely:
1. While no team loves Scott Boras, the White Sox have a particular distaste for him.
2. Jerry Reinsdorf has a policy: no contracts over three years for pitchers. That came into effect after they signed Jaime Navarro for four years (he was awful).
3. It doesn't fit in with Kenny Williams's apparent plan at all.
Meanwhile, Jon Daniels is "not terribly encouraged" of the Rangers' chances at signing Zito, mentioned on the heels of his Brandon McCarthy acquisition.
The New York Daily News reports that the Mets have not yet made an official offer. It appears that the Mariners and Giants are still involved.
It appears that Listin Diario, the oldest daily newspaper of the Dominican Republic, indicated earlier this week that White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe may not be out of the woods on attempted murder charges. The original article seems to have vanished, but a decent English translation can be found here.
In late November it seemed like Uribe was going to be cleared of the shooting. However, the prosecution is promising new evidence that Uribe was involved. It certainly seems possible that the Sox will enter 2007 with Alex Cintron at shortstop.
Hat tip to Southside Sox for the story.
Did you realize Baseball Digest Daily snagged all these sweet exclusive interviews throughout 2006? I definitely hadn't. Have a look at their Top Personalities of 2006.
On an unrelated note, I updated the sidebar on this site with some new links. I've now got links to each team's rumors. I also updated the free agent position lists. There's not much left in the cupboard. I completely redid the free agent reliever post.
And finally I've made it where clicking on the banner returns you to the main page. Long overdue. Still on the fence about links opening in new windows - I've done it on RotoAuthority.com and I don't like it.
The Sox were interested in Masset at least a month ago, considering trading Brian Anderson to the Rangers. Masset, a righthander, will turn 25 in May. Baseball America ranked him eighth among Ranger prospects. He had Tommy John surgery as a senior in high school, which could be viewed as a positive (given that his new tendon/ligament doesn't have a lifetime of wear and tear on it). Masset converted to relief this year and was able to dial his fastball into the high 90s. He could be yet another hard thrower in Chicago's explosive bullpen in 2007.
Danks, a southpaw, turns 22 in April. He was the Rangers' best prospect according to BA. He throws three solid pitches and has pitched well in the minors despite being young for his levels. He'll compete for the fifth spot in Chicago's rotation. He's the prize of the deal.
While B-Mac has 150 innings of Major League experience, it'd be tough to argue that he's worth as much as Danks and Masset combined. The 23 year-old was confined to the bullpen in 2006 because the Sox had no openings in the rotation. With groundball rates around 37%, McCarthy doesn't seem particularly suited for Ameriquest. He'll still be a valuable commodity if he can find a way to keep the ball in the yard. You can view my RotoAuthority projection of McCarthy as a Ranger here.
No one thought Kenny Williams would trade McCarthy, but it looks like he got an offer he couldn't refuse. You have to admire that he has a plan and he's sticking to it.
Just got off the phone with an informed baseball guy, and we spoke on the topic of J.D. Drew.
He tells me that Drew has seen two surgeons for his shoulder, one requested by Scott Boras and the other by the Red Sox. It appears that one of the surgeons may have been Dr. James Andrews.
The likely result? A one-year clause similar to the one the Tigers gave Magglio Ordonez. The Red Sox would be able to opt out after the first season if Drew goes on the DL because of the shoulder. In the case of Maggs, Detroit could've voided the contract after '05 if he spent 25 days on the DL for his formerly troublesome left knee. There is no sign that Drew will end up anywhere other than Boston.
Bucco Blog is reporting tonight that the oft rumored three-team trade between the Yankees, Braves, and Pirates is all but complete.
Mike Gonzalez is taking a requested physical for the Yankees today and, if he passes, it looks like he will be a Yankee for Christmas. The Pirates will be getting Adam LaRoche and the Braves will get Melky Cabrera and at least one unidentified Pirate who is thought to be either Nate McLouth or Jose Castillo. There are a couple versions of this trade running according to Bucco Blog so more as we hear it.
According to Kat O'Brien of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "indications are that Mark Mulder is deciding between the Rangers and his previous team, the St. Louis Cardinals, on a two-year deal." Interestingly, the article includes a life-size picture of Mulder's head.
As far as Mulder's ERA goes, I don't think Texas would be a wise choice. Not only is it a tough ballpark, but John Dewan's recent team defense rankings put the Rangers' middle infield 23rd in the Majors in 2006. His rankings indicate that the Mets would be a much better choice for a groundball pitcher.
A couple of top baseball stories that can't be classified as trade rumors but shouldn't be ignored:
Dontrelle Willis was arrested this morning on a drunk driving charge and refused a breathalyzer. It's just a shame to see a stand-up guy and role model do this. I mean we've all urinated on the street before but there's no excuse for driving while intoxicated.
Meanwhile, Ken Griffey Jr. broke his left hand in a mysterious home accident. Most likely a vigorous session of Guitar Hero was involved. Griffey's teammate, Adam Dunn, actually played the 2005 season with a broken hand. I'm not sure which bones were involved in either case, however. It's still quite possible that Junior could be ready for spring training.
Sammy Sosa has begun working out in the Dominican Republic with hope of returning to the Majors. He's had a year off, but is quick to compare himself to Ted Williams. Um, right.
Sounds like he'd go to Washington for $500K if they'd offer it again. Sammy really just wants 12 more home runs so he can reach 600. The question is, if he really can help a Major League team, why didn't he play winter ball to prove it?
In a note at the bottom of his column, Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe mentions that Keith Foulke is expected to sign today. Edes thinks it could be the Tribe.
The Indians, having tried going young last year, are stocking up on veteran relievers this winter. They've already added Joe Borowski, Aaron Fultz, and Roberto Hernandez.