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Cafardo On Dodgers, Ethier, Red Sox, Cubs, Orioles

As demonstrated by the Red Sox last year, "winning" December and January doesn’t necessarily translate into winning when it counts, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  With that said, Cafardo takes a look at where all 30 teams rank after making their moves thus far.  Unsurprisingly, the Angels top Cafardo's list, followed by the Yankees and Rangers.  The Tigers, after signing Prince Fielder, occupy the fifth spot in the rankings.  Cafardo writes that a Fielder-Miguel Cabrera middle of the order could be monstrous, but the club could use more bullpen help.  Here's more from today's column..

  • The Dodgers will soon decide whether to lock up Andre Ethier with a long-term deal as they did with Matt Kemp.  Earlier this month, it was reported that the club had yet to discuss extensions with Ethier and Clayton Kershaw.  The right fielder, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, avoided arbitration with the team by agreeing to a one-year, $10.7MM deal.
  • Three West Coast teams are kicking the tires on reliever Hong-Chih Kuo and the veteran seems like a good gamble.  The Dodgers, who non-tendered him earlier this month, are one of those three clubs.  Kuo once had great stuff but has undergone five elbow surgeries, including two Tommy Johns, and has also experienced anxiety issues.  
  • An AL GM who is not associated with the Red Sox or Cubs believes that Commissioner Bud Selig will give Boston a significant player in the compensation agreement:  "I don’t think MLB wants executives leaving their teams before their contracts are up and therefore he will try to deter teams from doing that again."
  • Cafardo credited Orioles VP of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette with doing a solid job of building the club thus far.  The next step for the club might be to add a DH such as Johnny Damon while hoping for the best when it comes to pitching.  By this time next year, Duquette will add a significant piece to the rotation.
  • Teams are now looking for "tack-on" guys, the ones who “can really make you look good," according to one AL assistant GM.  Raul Ibanez and Hideki Matsui could both be reasonably-priced  quality additions and the Yankees could be a fit for either one.  Serviceable relievers Mike Gonzalez, Chad Qualls, and Juan Cruz also remain on the open market.








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