Mailbag: Crisp, Anderson, Fogg, and More

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What day had the highest readership so far this offseason (yesterday)? How many visitors? – Corbin

Yesterday we had about 200K pageviews, which still pales in comparison to the second day of the Winter Meetings (over 736K pageviews).  I am hoping to break this record on July 31st.

There seems to be more of a trend lately for teams to step up and extend key players before they reach free agency. Will this trend continue, and will the FA market at the end of 2008 end up looking as bare as the past market was? Does the Player’s Association have any concerns with this trend and the effect it could have on salaries (if any)? – The Stork

I can’t speak for the Player’s Association, but I can’t see what they could do about it even if they were concerned.  Players like security, teams like cost certainty and possible discounts.  I think the trend will continue.  Look at the Cubs with Aramis Ramirez.  They let him hit free agency and signed him at 5/75, but could’ve done better if they signed him earlier.

I was wondering if you really see a place for Coco Crisp somewhere other than Boston. – Tim

The Cardinals, Reds, White Sox, and A’s are four possibilities I can think of, and all of these destinations have reasons against.  With Crisp under contract through 2010 (assuming his option is exercised), Theo should be in no hurry despite whatever Crisp’s agent says.

You clearly need to pay attention to the local press for each team to sniff out trade rumors across baseball. We all know which markets have the heaviest media coverage of their baseball teams. Which markets do you find have the lightest local media coverage? – Kevin

The Orioles seem a bit light from my vantage point – it’s only really the Sun getting scoops.  The A’s are neglected, but fortunately we have Susan Slusser on the beat.  The Marlins seem really light to me on blog coverage.

Are there any truth to the rumors that the Chicago White Sox are shopping outfielder Brian Anderson?  I have heard that the Cincinnati Reds are a possible destination for him.  How would Anderson fit into the Reds plans and what type of package would net a player like Anderson? – Rob

Haven’t heard the Reds rumor, Rob.  I guess he could make sense for them just to add some depth.  Given that Anderson does not have a role on the White Sox, the price should be low.  A minor league pitcher or two that I’ve never heard of.

Tim, what teams do you think had the three best offseasons? The three worst? Thanks! – Judy

The magnitude of the Santana trade has to put the Mets in as one of the three best.  I know it’s simplistic but I will take the D’Backs and Tigers as the other two, just for adding impact players via trade without hurting their MLB clubs.  The Royals are among my worst.  I didn’t like the Guillen and Olivo signings or the trade of Billy Buckner.  The Astros signed Kaz Matsui, didn’t get any starting pitching, and traded the farm for Miguel Tejada (who has a few issues).  I will also nominate the Pirates, who mostly just sat around.

I know Josh Fogg is not a big-name guy, but do you have anything on his status? – Clay

It’s been strangely quiet on the Fogg front.  Interest was mostly confined to the Reds.  Maybe they’ll still get him at a discount.  Or maybe he’ll re-up with Colorado.

Who are the early favorites of guys who could be moved come July 31st with contracts ending? – Greg

Joe Crede, Mark Ellis, Mark Grudzielanek, Orlando Hudson, Felipe Lopez, Milton Bradley, Adam Dunn, Ryan Dempster, Matt Morris, Mike Mussina, Brian Fuentes, and Damaso Marte are my picks.

Is there any chance of Twins trying to sign another starting pitcher? Without Santanna it leaves Liriano, Bonser, Baker, Slowey for sure to start it seems. It really seems to look like the 4 and 5 spots are going to be filled with unproven pitchers. Is maybe Livan Hernandez or one of the other guys the Mets were looking at a possibility? – Nate

I hadn’t thought of this Nate but a bargain veteran does seem possible.  Tony Armas Jr., Eric Milton, Jeff Weaver, Odalis Perez, some random $3MM guy like that.  Probably not Livan and definitely not Kyle Lohse.

Now that the Johan Santana business is pretty much done with, what are you going to do now? -04Forever

The rumors never stop. They just keep coming and coming and coming. There’s never a letup, It’s relentless. Every day they pile up more and more, but the more you get out, the more they keep coming. And then the bar code reader breaks. And then it’s Publisher’s Clearinghouse day.

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