Believe it or not, there’s a ton of stuff going on today that doesn’t involve the words "Prior" or "Tejada."
A tentative Troy Glaus trade has been reached. The Diamondbacks dumped Glaus and his contract on the Blue Jays for Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista. Brandon Webb, far and away the most extreme groundball pitcher in baseball, benefits greatly from the addition of Hudson. Another effect is the breakup of a highly rated defensive infield, at least in the eyes of Dayn Perry. The Blue Jays now have a logjam of 1B/3B/DH guys, and Rosenthal speculates that Shea Hillenbrand is the most likely to go. Should Shea stay true to his word, he’ll be a nice pickup. It’s a homecoming for Miguel Batista; let’s hope the team correctly employs him as a starter. Even with Glaus gone, the Diamondbacks still haven’t cleared up a corner outfield spot for #1 prospect Carlos Quentin. The kid’s more than ready; let’s hope GM Josh Byrnes can unload Luis Gonzalez or Shawn Green as his next trick.
Jason Johnson makes a sweet pickup for the Indians’ rotation. Like Millwood last year, the Indians found a starting pitcher and only had to commit to one year. In Paul Byrd, Cliff Lee, C.C. Sabathia, Jake Westbrook, and Johnson, the Tribe has built a deep rotation. Combined, the five of them threw 1023 innings in 2005. Seems Mark Shapiro has taken a page from Kenny Williams’s book, especially considering that he also has an excellent bullpen in place.
The Cards snagged Juan Encarnacion and Junior Spivey. The reaction at Viva El Birdos to the revamped 2006 lineup:
"To be honest and blunt, i don’t see a single position where the Cardinals have meaningfully improved."
That sentiment includes the bullpen and starting rotation as well. Which reminds me – how can the Cardinals possibly justify blocking Anthony Reyes with Sidney Ponson? The Ponson signing means one of three things:
1. There are concerns about Reyes’s health that have not been revealed to the public.
2. Jason Marquis will be traded this winter.
3. Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan are so loathe put a rookie starter out there every fifth day that they’d prefer yet another fixer-upper. Even if said fixer-upper had a 5.64 ERA over his last 346 innings.
Cardinals fans have got to be hoping for option #2.