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Some links for Monday morning…
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer believes the Reds should be quiet on the free agent market after the season because they have many needs and very little money. And why don't they have enough money? They've spent too much on big contracts already.
- But Scott Miller of CBS Sports says small-market teams can still contend. He points to recent winners such as the Twins, Indians, Rays and Rockies to show that low-budget teams can succeed.
- A year ago this time, Pedro Alvarez was the center of attention as he signed with the Pirates. Now, he's heating up in the minors, but he won't make his MLB debut this year, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Erik Manning of FanGraphs says he was wrong to assume the Cards gave up too much to acquire Matt Holliday, who's been on an extended tear since joining his new club.
Some links for your Friday afternoon…
- Baseball America lists the hottest prospects in the country. Chris Carter, Pedro Alvarez and Martin Perez are some of the more recognizable players heating up.
- A's prospect Brett Wallace tops Marc Hulet's list of top prospects traded this summer over at FanGraphs.
- Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail hears that the Jays have no interest in Jason Giambi.
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia tells ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian the keys to his club's suddenly unstoppable offense: effective baserunning and contributions from all 13 position players. Kendry Morales has performed well at first in place of Mark Teixeira and the rest of the Angels are all hitting.
- Torii Hunter, who was having a big year before hitting the DL, experienced a setback this week, according to his blog.
- The Angels signed 40th overall pick Tyler Skaggs for an undisclosed amount, according to Ben Bolch of the LA Times.
Updates on some of baseball's best prospects;
- It's fair to expect intense negotiations between Stephen Strasburg, Scott Boras and the Washington Nationals this summer. In this Philadephia Inquirer article by Don McKee, Jered Weaver says his negotiations were too "frantic" back when he was a top college pitcher like Strasburg.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says the D'Backs are creating so many new ways to lose that they could end up with a worse record than the Nationals and the chance to take Bryce Harper first overall next June.
- Dave Mackall of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Pirates first rounder Tony Sanchez is "not oblivious" to the critics who say the Pirates drafted him too early.
- Pedro Alvarez has been promoted to AA, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Steve Melewski of MASN.com reports that Mychal Givens was surprised when the Orioles drafted him. O's scouting director Joe Jordan says he'd be surprised if Givens signs soon.
John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus catalogues a decade and a half of poor decisions by the Pirates in his latest column, up at ESPN.com. Some of the team's more memorable gaffes:
- Releasing Tim Wakefield.
- Signing Pat Meares to a four year $15MM deal that surprised even Meares.
- Commiting nearly $10MM to Derek Bell, then claiming the deal sent "shock waves through baseball" during the same offseason that Alex Rodriguez signed for $252MM.
- Giving Bronson Arroyo up on waivers only to have him return to Pittsburgh as an All-Star for the Reds and call the Pirates the "most inept organization in baseball."
But the Pirates have shed some contracts in recent years and appear poised to get younger and better under current GM Neal Huntington. After next year they have commitments to Paul Maholm, Nate McLouth, Ian Snell, Ryan Doumit and Pedro Alvarez, but no one else. They reportedly have a good chance of signing 16-year-old shortstop prospect Miguel Angel Sano and are considering top talent with the fourth overall pick that they hold in this year's draft.
So what's the verdict on the Pirates? They don't appear likely to end their streak of 16 straight losing seasons this year, but are they on the right track? Or do they need new direction? What moves have to take place for the Pirates to join the best teams in the NL Central?
Links for Saturday…
- The Astros claimed 25-year-old pitcher Wilton Lopez off waivers from the Padres and assigned him to Double-A, according to this AP article.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic relays some recent Orlando Hudson comments. O-Dog said the D'Backs made him an offer this offseason, it just didn't appeal to him.
- Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog suggests that we could see the Mets release Marlon Anderson today to make room for Livan Hernandez.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle sounds confident about the Astros' chances this year.
- John Perrotto of Pirates Report anticipates a 2009 MLB debut for Pedro Alvarez.
- Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald discusses Scott Boras in light of the Nick Adenhart tragedy.
- MLB.com's Scott Merkin reports that the White Sox still haven't found a fit for their leadoff spot.
A few links for Saturday…
- Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette heard from a talent evaluator who says Pedro Alvarez is the most talented Pirates prospect since Barry Bonds.
- Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe looks at some of Chris Carter's quirks.
- Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press believes the Tigers need a top-notch closer.
- According to Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune Padres executive Paul DePodesta now reports to GM Kevin Towers, not CEO Sandy Alderson.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney expects Gary Sheffield to help the Mets.
- MLB.com's Lisa Winston notes that only eight of the 21 Rule 5 draftees are still with their new teams.
- MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch has some minor Pirates transactions.
- And Stephen Strasburg improved to 6-0 last night with six strikeouts in as many innings. The prospect is averaging almost two punchouts per inning, so this is nothing for him.
- Kevin Baxter of the LA Times reports that Torii Hunter thought Strasburg looked sharp.
A few links for Thusrday night…
- Pedro Alvarez, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2005, remembers thinking about signing with Boston in an article by Alex Speier on WEEI.com.
- Joe McDonald of the Providence Journal heard from Theo Epstein and Terry Francona about building a winning team. Epstein said the Sox have a history of making room for young talent, but Francona added that there’s never room for all the youngsters.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Mike Cameron was preparing himself to be traded this offseason and considers it "a blessing" to be in Milwaukee.
- Ironically, Mark DeRosa, who was actually traded, didn’t see it coming at all according to this article by Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney spoke with a number of baseball people who say "baseball’s internal code of conduct is strengthening." Players who act out aren’t getting away with it as often.
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post reports that Nationals president Stan Kasten didn’t comment directly on whether we should expect any more dismissals within the organization soon.
- Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News heard from Giants president Larry Baer that the team doesn’t consider the Edgar Renteria and Jeremy Affeldt signings mistakes.
- And bad news out of Colorado: The Rocky Mountain News will publish its final edition Friday.
The latest on the Pirates, from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Extension talks with Nate McLouth are dormant, but talks with Paul Maholm are not. Maholm is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so he’s under team control through 2011.
- Doug Mientkiewicz was overwhelmed by the support he’s getting from Pirates fans.
- Scott Boras apparently told the Pirates Pedro Alvarez was working very hard to stay in shape while their negotiations dragged, but team president Frank Coonelly says Alvarez "was not in good condition" when he showed up for the Florida Instructional League in September.
A few notes from the MLBiverse…
- Ken Williams says the White Sox are in a position where they could either add more young players to develop or add some veteran pieces to the group. Williams says whichever road they choose, the team is "in a pretty good position."
- Joe Posnanski, on his blog, takes a look at some recent rumors surrounding the Royals. He feels that is the rumors have any truth to them, they are scary, noting that it would lead to an OBP-deprived lineup. Posnanski feels Dayton Moore is a "smart baseball man" and won’t make the moves being rumored.
- Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star looks at the Jays roster and dreams about the free agents that could fill in the holes.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says Joe Crede will not return to the White Sox.
- DraftInfo talked to Eric Hosmer about his first year as a pro. Hosmer discussed the Pedro Alvarez situation, noting that he was never worried with Scott Boras as his agent.
Links for Wednesday…
- I did a Q&A with the Roselle Press. The article includes a sweet picture of me hacking the Internet.
- Greg Cote of the Miami Herald speculates on the new-look 2009 Marlins. If defense is a goal, they could look to acquire Adrian Beltre and try Jorge Cantu at first base. Randy Winn could improve the defense in right.
- John Fay runs through the Reds’ nine free agents. He believes Jerry Hairston Jr. wants to return.
- Brian Cashman wants to acquire a real first baseman, rather than have Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui spend time there.
- The Mariners received permission to interview Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava, according to Geoff Baker.
- It’s still not known whether the Dodgers will bring GM Ned Colletti back for the final year of his contract. Interesting note from ESPN’s Buster Olney – the Andruw Jones signing was engineered by owner Frank McCourt rather than Colletti.
- Olney feels Brian Cashman is more likely to pursue Derek Lowe than Mark Teixeira.
- Will Joe Girardi’s presence discourage free agents from signing with the Yankees?
- McCovey Chronicles sees the Giants trading for a second or third baseman this winter. I tossed out a bunch of names in my Offseason Outlook.
- Pedro Alvarez clammed up when asked precisely what time he accepted the original deal from the Pirates.
- MetsBlog tries to figure out whether Ryan Church loves or hates New York.
- Oliver Perez predicts a tough offseason following the Mets’ final-day elimination. On the bright side, he stands to earn a ridiculous amount of money as a free agent.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Andruw Jones | Cincinnati Reds | Derek Lowe | Jerry Hairston Jr. | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mark Teixeira | Miami Marlins | Ned Colletti | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Oliver Perez | Pedro Alvarez | Pittsburgh Pirates | Ryan Church | San Francisco Giants | Seattle Mariners | Toronto Blue Jays