Cafardo’s Latest: Stairs, Pierzynski, Inge, Berkman

Let's round up the highlights from Nick Cafardo's Sunday column for the Boston Globe….

  • One AL executive tells Cafardo that he's never seen so many candidates interviewed for managerial openings: "It’s amazing to me that you wouldn’t know within, say, two or three candidates who you want. But I guess in some cases the GM’s job is also on the line if he picks the wrong guy."
  • Matt Stairs would like to play for at least one more season. While he says he'd like to return to Boston, he concedes that he'd probably play "anywhere."
  • An NL scout was positive about A.J. Pierzynski, suggesting that he'll be one of the most attractive catching options on the free agent market, behind Victor Martinez and John Buck. "With A.J., you know he’s not going to throw people out," said the scout. "But there’s nothing wrong with his receiving and he can still hit. I know the fire he has can rub people the wrong way, but I think that’s great for a team."
  • Brandon Inge has a good chance of landing a starting role this winter, given the lack of free agent third base options after Adrian Beltre. However, Cafardo wonders if Inge could eventually become a Bill Hall-esque utility player, given his ability to play a few different positions.
  • Possible bullpen targets for the Red Sox include Joaquin Benoit, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, and Brian Fuentes.
  • A market appears to be developing for Lance Berkman. Teams like the Rockies, Orioles, Mets, Blue Jays, and Diamondbacks could have interest.
  • Carlos Delgado underwent another hip procedure two and a half weeks ago, but is rehabbing the hip and feels like he'll be able to play in 2011.

34 Responses to Cafardo’s Latest: Stairs, Pierzynski, Inge, Berkman Leave a Reply

  1. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Lance Berkman on the Orioles makes sense to me. My guess for Lance is he wants a starting job rather than picking just a contender or the most money…He wants a starting job, and with Lance, not only do you get a potential Comeback Player of the Year but you get a leader and a great veteran presence, something that could really help the Orioles.

    • BWOzar 5 years ago

      His ‘great veteran presence’ did wonders for the Astros the last few years when they finished under .500 3 out of 4 years. Do veterans have a positive effect on young players? Maybe. Is there any actual proof of it…? Not really.

      All that said, I do think Berkman would be a nice stopgap player in Baltimore. Wigginton’s .248/.312/.415 line is awful for a 1B (though his versatility makes him a great bench player) and guys like Jake Fox and Rhyne Hughes haven’t really done anything to show they deserve serious playing time.

      • Don’t rule out the Astros. That will be the nnumber one team contending for Lance’s services once he hits FA.

        In my opinion, Baltimore kind of makes sense, but then again, it doesn’t. Baltimore has a ton of talent, but where are the arms? If a guy is gonna play for a team that won’t be in contention, why not go back to where he loved and played his entire career? Houston.

        That being said, TB and Boston are the most logical fits in my opinion. TB is obvious since they are losing Pena. Berkman is GG caliber and as you said, potential comeback player of the year. Switch hitter.
        BOS: This makes sense because they most likely will not resign Beltre. Move Youk to fulltime 3b, Lance fulltime 1b, and have him take over as DH after Papi.

        An inexpensive gamble if Beltre is out of the question.

        • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

          Ick. Personally I’d rather see Lars Anderson tough it out at first than see Lance Berkman anywhere near it. Seems well over the hill to me..

          • Really, there BoSoxSam? You do realize that this was Lance’s first injured year…? Check his UZR at first. In fact, check his history defensively… In fact, you have the internet, research all comments from this point forward. Your team needs more dedication and this is your chance to prove your dedication by educating yourself.

          • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

            Yes, really, and I realize that its mostly a gut feeling by me, but still. I know Lance’s history, I know how good he’s been, I know he’s a Hall-of-Famer someday. But when I watched him play this year he just -looked- old. And he is older. And it may be just my own bad instincts, but I feel like this injury year is just a sign for the complete breakdown beginning in 2011. Just because its his first injury doesn’t mean he’ll be fine again next year, it may be the start of an injury prone last few years. Just because this was his first really poor year offensively doesn’t mean he’ll be better again next year; he has to come down sometime. And it may be premature of me to think so, but I think the descent has begun in full force. I don’t want to see a collapsing Berkman out there over a young kid with even minimal promise, honestly. With the options out there, I would be disappointed if Boston decided to go with the older, coming-off-a-bad-year, guy. For a one year deal, there have got to be better options.

          • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

            Oh, and also, you mention having him take over as DH when Papi is done. This is a prime example of why I think he makes little sense for boston: why would you replace the younger Ortiz, after a couple of years with bad starts (but still strong overall stats), with the older Berkman, coming off a much weaker season filled with injury? Not saying Ortiz is a good option either, but I’m saying he’s at least better than Berkman. Yes, if Berkman is healthy and still in prime form, he’ll be a productive hitter. But personally, I think this year is a sign that those days are near over.

        • Backup_Slider 5 years ago

          You’re right that Berkman’s immensely popular in Houston but there’s just no place to put him. Houston’s already got Carlos Lee at 1b (he’s just about done as a leftfielder, aside from perhaps being able to play a few games in Minute Maid Park where there is no leftfield territory to cover) and Brett Wallace waiting in the proverbial wings behind him (i.e., waiting for Lee’s bloated contract to go off the books). He’d be better off in an AL situation where he could at least occasionally DH to protect his knees, which are in just terrible shape and have everything to do with why has production has slipped in the last couple years. Berkman makes some sense for Texas, especially if they would decide not to pick up Vladimir Guerrero’s option (I think they’d be foolish to think that Guerrero could post anything close to his 2010 numbers in 2011, especially give his second half decline).

          • I agree that there isn’t room, but who knows? Do you seriously see TEX declining Vlad’s option? No way. Berkman makes sense for at 1b not DH after what Vlad just did this year.

            Trade Loney and put Lance at 1b for the Dodgers. Rockies don’t really make sense. Marlins? Full time 1b? Cubs if they don’t land Dunn? Angels DH?

  2. wickedkevin 5 years ago

    Might be time to retire Delgado.

  3. Mitch_Cole173 5 years ago

    Hey guys, completely off topic here but I’ve found some news on the Ryan Westmoreland front. He’s going to play in the Instructional League, but not in the games. He’ll be doing pre-game exercises and taking batting practice in addition to rehab in the training room. Here’s the link to the story. link to

  4. BWOzar 5 years ago

    I don’t understand the idea of Berkman going to the Mets. Why would anyone really think a team reportedly near financial disaster because of the Wilpons’ investments with Madoff is going to spend a good deal of money on a 1B (who can’t really play anywhere else) when they have a perfectly serviceable young cost-controlled 1B in Ike Davis (who can’t really play anywhere else)?I think Berkman might be a solid fit for the Nationals if they don’t resign Dunn.

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

      If I’m the Mets, I’m not going to worry too much about 1st base. Go ahead and keep Ike Davis there for now, maybe he consolidates what he learned in 2010 and improves some. If he doesn’t, 2011 is going to have a bumper crop of first basemen.

      • TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

        It seems obvious to me that Ike Davis is one of the pieces on the Mets for now and the future. He’s good right now and has potential to be better.

    • I heard the Wilpon’s MADE money in the Madoff ponzi scheme. Approximately 50 million dollars.

  5. Since when can AJ hit?

  6. I do not want to let AJ go, damnit!

  7. redsox4120 5 years ago

    I’d like to see the Sox wind up with Guerrier, Downs, and Jason Frasor in 2011. It seems that if they sign those three along with bringing back Atchison and Rich Hill, there pen should improve immensity. But the question is, is Theo going to sign these guys to multi year deals, which he hates to do with relievers.

    • Sawksfan 5 years ago

      Those 3 would certainly help, though I’d be surprised if Theo signed all 3. For starters, I believe all 3 are Type A FA, meaning Sox give up their 1st round pick. Secondly, Down’s is a lefty and will be pursued by several teams, including the Yankees.

      Two names who may be good adds: Joaquin Benoit as stated above and Jon Rauch, both are type B FA, meaning Sox don’t lose a pick (their team would receive a supplemental pick but not from the Sox). If the Sox sign Carl Crawford, they would give up the 1st rounder to Tampa, which would allow them to sign someone like Frasor or Guerrier. Of course, if Beltre or V-Mart sign elsewhere, Sox would get the picks from the signing team.

      Of course, Theo has stated he’d rather fix the team from within, meaning guys like Doubrant and Bowden may be relied on quite a bit in 2011. Don’t know if that’s good or bad HAHA

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      No way do they sign all 3. First of all, all 3 are Type A’s…So the Sox would be giving up some draft picks…Second of all, they’ll all be not very cheap and with the Sox who want to sign a catcher and either Crawford or Werth, it doesn’t make sense to spend money on 3 of the best relievers out there when they can just sign guy to minor league deals and see what they have. With that said, I say Downs ends up on the Red Sox, but not the other two.

      • Sniderlover 5 years ago

        Yeah pretty much this. I think Downs may end up on the Red Sox. Maybe they can sign Frasor if V-mart or Beltre are let go and fetch them 2 picks. They could go all out and sign Crawford, Frasor and Downs and re-sign Beltre/V-mart losing 1,2,3 picks but let go one of those guys and you gain 2 picks back.

        • redsox4120 5 years ago

          Those were, of course, the hopes of a fan speaking. I understand it would be extremely hard to sign all 3 of those guys to contracts that Theo would be willing to give and their type A status would mean losing draft picks which Theo wouldn’t be crazy about. However, I think Downs and possibly Frasor wind up in Boston. The fact of the matter is that they need pen help drastically because the only bright spot in the 2010 pen was Bard and Atchison. So Theo could wise up and give up some draft picks to sign some type A free agents and resign Atchison, Hill, and bring up Bowden to help fill the pen out.

      • BWOzar 5 years ago

        If they sign one higher rated Type A like Werth it would actually be better for them to sign any of those Jays relievers because they’ll no longer be surrendering first round picks for the signings. Tangentially, it also hurts the Jays because they’d receive a 1st round and sandwich pick from other teams, so the Sox would be preventing a division rival from getting top picks for their talent (a similar situation occurred with Burnett and the Yankees).

  8. slider32 5 years ago

    I think:
    Downs -Yankees
    Frazor – Sox
    Guerrier- Rays
    Soriano – Orioles
    Wood – Angels
    Benoit- W Sox

    • BWOzar 5 years ago

      I think the Yankees are going to pay near “closer money” to keep Wood around. I hate nebulous wishy-washy stuff like what I’m about to say, but it really feels like the Yankees ‘like’ having Kerry Wood around. Plus he’s a damn good fill in option at closer as Rivera is getting up there in years…

      Would be funny if the Orioles signed Soriano and re-united him with Gonzalez like in Atlanta.

      Another name I’d put on here (considering he was fantastic in a small sample closing) is Koji Uehara – I could see Los Angeles (Anaheim), Boston, Atlanta and Texas pushing for him, among others.

    • Lee should be/will be the Yanks top priority. They won’t go after relievers like Downs, they can just give Wood a year with a option.

  9. slider32 5 years ago

    Berkman would be a good fit on the Orioles as Buck rebuilds. They will be a much improved team next year. I could also see Lance playing for the Rangers.

  10. slider32 5 years ago

    Orioles sign Berkman, V-Mart, Soriano, and Crain. AL East is going to be a monster division

    • HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

      I would think The Orioles would be wary of signing Soriano after their last closer acquisition.

  11. HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

    I really can’t see Berkman in a Jays uniform.

  12. slider32 5 years ago

    Yanks need lefty relief and Downs is the best one out there. Woods will cost more money and he’s right handed.

  13. rbeezy 5 years ago

    Don’t count the tigers out on the relief options, they will go hard after 2 key bullpen guys. I’m guessing Putz and Downs, they’ll need another late inning Lefty if Coke is in the rotation.

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