In his latest blog post at ESPN, Peter Gammons writes that the NL West has quietly become very competitive thanks to three California pitcher's parks that make it such a pitching dominated division. Through the help of scouts and team executives, he points out all the great young talent in the division, highlighted by the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez, Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Pablo Sandoval, Troy Tulowitzki, and Mark Reynolds.
Here's a roundup of Gammons' rumors...
- Gammons jokes that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti "could be arrested for shoplifting," because in the last two seasons he's acquired Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake, George Sherrill, Jon Garland, Jim Thome, Doug Mientkiewicz, Ronnie Belliard, and Vicente Padilla while paying them approximately $2.7MM combined.
- The Red Sox will get their first look at Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias, who they signed for $8.5MM back in July, in the Arizona Fall League. Gammons spoke to an NL GM who said he would have given Iglesias $12MM if his team could afford it, because "Our scouts say he's the best defensive shortstop they've ever seen."
- If you're interested, you can see the full Arizona Fall League rosters here.
- Jim Leyland was never told anything about benching Magglio Ordonez so his $18MM option in 2010 wouldn't vest. "He's going to make it," Leyland says. "So anyone who said otherwise has egg on his face. Dave Dombrowski has never even mentioned the vesting option." Ordonez needs just 35 more plate appearances this season to lock in the option.
- Bobby Valentine's name was mentioned by Nationals' ownership during every interview they hosted while searching for a permanent GM, so he might be in the mix for their managerial job.