No team is successful without good coaching and guidance, so SI.com's Jon Heyman pays homage to those who got the job done behind the scenes by naming his ten most unsung heroes of the 2009 season. Rangers' pitching coach Mike Maddux tops the list, and several other familiar names make an appearance.
Here's the rest of Heyman's rumors...
- Heyman guesses that the Yankees will resign Derek Jeter for at least $60MM over three years once his contract expires after next season. That's a lot of scratch for a guy who would be entering his age-37 season.
- The Red Sox have "every intention" of offering Billy Wagner arbitration, and barring something unexpected, Wagner has every intention of turning it down. He's projected to be a Type-A free agent, so Boston would walk away with two high draft picks in that scenario.
- Out since early May with a hip injury, Carlos Delgado hasn't given up on the idea of playing again this year. The Mets would be happy to accomodate him, because according to Heyman's sources the team has thought about bringing him back on an incentive laden contract. A late season cameo would at least give them a look at what kind of shape he's in.
- Stop me if you've heard this before: the Mets might consider Orlando Hudson this offseason if they can find a taker for Luis Castillo. That's what, three times in the last 24 hours?
- The Angels tried to sign John Lackey for four years and $60MM last offseason. Given the lack of impact starting pitching available this year, Lackey's price has gone up.
- In regards to Ken Griffey Jr. and his .214 AVG, Heyman says "this has to be the end, no?" Griffey hasn't said anything about his future yet, though.
- Kansas City ownership has "often prevented its baseball people from making deadline trades in order to avoid the dreaded 100-loss season." This strategy probably works against them in the long run, but Heyman suggests it may "make them a tougher team than some also-rans who hit the wall."
- There's no evidence that Lou Piniella is a candidate to be fired (his $4MM option for 2010 has already been picked up), but the question about whether he wants to return or not has to be asked. Sweet Lou's body language did not look good last weekend.