Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News recently did a Q&A, and there were some interesting hot stove-related tidbits to consider.
- Grant believes one of Nelson Cruz or Jason Botts will depart before Opening Day. Botts is out of options, so he may be more likely to go. While acknowledging that he is a 27 year-old DH, Botts’ recent Major League Equivalencies say he may be able to post an .800 OPS in the bigs.
- Grant answers a question about Akinori Otsuka and his "scary" elbow. He says Otsuka probably can’t pitch through the pain and if he did his ligament would be at risk of tearing anyway. That’s why Otsuka is a free agent (not because he recommended San Diego to Kosuke Fukudome). The Padres and Phillies have been linked to Otsuka, while the White Sox passed on him.
- Grant notes that the Mariners had mild interest in Vicente Padilla but that may be gone with their Carlos Silva signing. Since Padilla’s value is at a low point it may make sense to hope he has a solid first half and deal him then.