It's been an entertaining week in the NL East this week, with every team making some sort of sign and/or trade. Obviously some are a little more major than others, but it's a sign that all of our divisional rivals are putting some wheels in motion in preparation for 2011, whether it's shoring up the rotations, improving bullpens, or simply trading eventual departures for controllable minor leaguers.
Hopefully everyone's staying warm and cozy during this arctic blast that's blown across the eastern seaboard, even causing Atlanta to go into a state of panic as inexperienced southerners abandon their cars on the side of I-75, and proceed to do everything you're not supposed to do when there's ice on the roads. Welcome to another week of Things Read in Other Moms' Basements.
Cliff Lee signs with the Phillies - MLB
So I hear this Cliff Lee guy is pretty good.
The financial breakdown, for you economic nerds - Philly.com
Spoiler - The Phillies will have $61.5M and $65M dedicated to just three players in 2012 and 2013. Even more if they pick up Halladay's option in 2014.
Roy Halladay was the only one who knew the deal was on the table - MLB
And Doc, being the classy guy he is, is obviously elated to have another ace-caliber pitcher in the rotation, giving him an even better chance to win a championship, as opposed to worrying about his ego getting dinged by an in-house rival.
Just so they're clear - Beerleaguer
What a terrible thing for Phillies fans to have to argue - who's the ace of the squad, Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee??
Naturally, there are comparisons, but no better voice than he who saw it himself - Philly.com
That would be Greg Maddux, who states that what the Phillies have is the potential to be something special. The key to a dominant rotation? Consistency, and staying healthy.
Abobo deal falling through - Beerleaguer
Despite the fact that the Phillies need a lefty, they can't come to agreement with the portly Dennys Reyes. So now, the deal is off the table, and the Phillies bullpen still has no reliable lefty.
Jimmy Rollins has minor surgery on wrist - MLB
A cyst was removed from his right wrist. He'll be back for Spring Training.
The unhappiest guy in Phillies Nation - Beerleaguer
That would be Joe Blanton, the guy that is now seen as this financial ballast to a team that just dumped a boatload of money to bring in this Cliff Lee fellow. Let the rosterbation continue, with this week being "Blanton to Boston?!?!"
Josh Willingham traded to Oakland A's for two minor leaguers - WaPo
This doesn't surprise me the least bit. Nationals deny request for a 3-4 year deal, naturally they can't expect to get a happy Josh Willingham for the 2011 season. And it's his final arbitration year, making him a likely candidate to run once the season is over, if he wasn't moved. So, he's shipped off to Oakland for two minor leaguers, RP Henry Rodriguez, who spent last year in AAA, and throws absolute gas (think Joel Zumaya), but that typically means control problems too. And OF Corey Brown, who has good on-base skills, and pretty decent power, but needs to cut back on the Ks before he makes it up. He'll likely start next year in AA, maybe AAA.
Chad Gaudin signs minor league deal with Nationals - MLB
The 27-year old journey man pitcher will get a shot to be a part of the Nationals next year, as he's invited to big league Spring Training. He's started and relieved, and could be a fairly competent arm for the squad for next season.
The newest National likes to have his ass hammered by guys - MLB
That's right, Matt Stairs, the 43-year old Canadian pinch-hitting specialist has signed a minor-league deal with an invitation to big league camp to try to become the designated pinch-hitter for the Nats going into 2011. Incase you missed it, and are morbidly curious to the clever headline, upon hitting a walk-off homer while on the Phillies, Stairs had this to say afterward:
"...but when you get that nice celebration coming in the dugout and you're getting your ass hammered by guys, there's no better feeling than to have that done."
And they're not done, either - MLB
The following guys are reclamations and low-risk high-reward namse that the Nationals are targeting, after falling short on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes: Brandon Webb, Zombie Carl Pavano, Derrek Lee, Adam LaRoche. Considering the four of them play two positions, the Nationals could feasibly land two of them, and improve a decent bit in the process.
Jayson Werth has a full no-trade clause - WaPo
Revealed during the introduction, which is a little strange, considering going into the fifth year of his deal will put him at 10-5 rights, to which he has to approve any trade, so I guess this is just more or less security for the first four seasons.
How does Jayson Werth affect the future of Bryce Harper? - MLB
Both are right-fielders, and Werth is actually a pretty good player. What happens when Harper is expected to be in the majors in at least two years? No definitive answers yet, although my guess is that Harper goes to left. But revealed is the plans the Nats have for 2011 to play Werth in center on days when LHPs take the mound because Nyjer Morgan is putrid against lefties.
How does Cliff Lee effect the Nationals? - WaPo
Well, Jayson Werth isn't happy, which I guess is good news for the Nationals, and bad news for the Phillies. The two are friends, and Lee promised to personally tell Werth of his choice; unfortunately, Lee choosing the Phillies who suddenly had money to spend leaves a slightly bitter flavor in Werth's pallet. Oh well, hopefully this is one of those situations where we Braves fans as neutrals, can just sit back and enjoy the show.
Jayson Werth wants to get rid of all the Phillies fans that invade DC - Deadspin
How much of this is obligatory PR speak, and how much of this is vindictive "How dare you give Cliff Lee money you could've given me" speak? Personally, I get the impression that Werth is a little unhinged in the head. Maybe it's because he looks like the wrestler, Edge, who often gives off that impression in his character.
Chien-Ming Wang resigns one-year deal with Natinoals - MLB
Well, that's good that he did, because he sure didn't give them a single pitch last year. This makes him marginally more generous than Tanyon Sturtze was for us back in 2007.
Ryan Zimmerman likes Slurpees - Nats NQ
I love Slurpees. They're a staple of my diet whenever I go back up to Virginia, or visit any state that actually has 7-Elevens. They're currency between my best friend and I. Ryan Zimmerman also loves Slurpees. And instead of purchasing one for himself, he's a little more generous with his resources, and purchases one for his former comrades and alma mater, over at the Unviersity of Virginia.
Marlins sign Randy Choate to two-year deal - Sun Sentinel
He's 35, played last year for the Rays, and is actually very good against LHB in his entire career. (.217 and .598OPS whole career) An interesting tidbit - this is the first time that the current crop of Marlins ownership has given a multi-year deal to a relief pitcher, let alone one that's more or less a LOOGY, as typically, the Marlins bullpens are callups, reclamations, and otherwise minor league deals. The way the the Marlins are shoring up on the bullpen reminds me of the 2008 Royals who signed pretty much every free agent reliever they could get their hands on . . . and the result - garbage.
Potential three-team trade involving Ricky Nolasco, Leo Nunez, the Rockies and Rangers falls through - Miami Herald
Other than the Marlin chips, no other names are revealed, but I would have guessed the Nolasco and Nunez would have gone to Colorado. Also mentioned in the link is the rumor that the Marlins have called the Royals in inquisition of none other than Zack Grienke.
Get ready for the 21-year old new clean-up hitter - Fish Bytes
That's right, Mike Stanton has already been slotted to be the clean-up hitter for the Fish going into 2011. Such an action is now drawing comparisons to Mel Ott and Eddie Matthews, who are the only 20-21 year olds to hit 40 dingerz in a season, as such production is wishfully being hoped for out of Stanton, who hit a cumulative 43 homers between Double-A and the majors in his year-20 season. Bill James predicts 38 homers . . . but 162 strikeouts to go along with that.
Marlins to send players and staff to visit troops again - MLB
Logan Morrison, Wes Helms, Andre Dawson, Jeff Conine, and Marlins president David Samson will be going to visit troops in Bahrain, and Germany.
How does Cliff Lee effect the Marlins? - Sun Sentinel
Surprise, only maybe four current Marlins actually have faced Cliff Lee. Hanley Ramirez, John Buck, Omar Infante and Wes Helms are the only Marlins going into 2011 who have seen him, and despite them all being small sample sizes, all of them have hit him well. Means nothing, in the long run, but it's a slow news time these days.
Jason Bay currently feeling well - MLB
Either he's used to having headaches, or the headaches are gone, but Jason Bay is pretty much resuming normal activity in the off-season, from the post-concussion syndrome that plagued the end of his season last year.
Mets sign P Boof Bonser to minor league deal - MLB
The link says that he is slated to compete for a spot in the bullpen. Bullpen? Who the heck are all their starters? Aside from Pelfrey, maybe Dickey, and the still-injured Santana, who else is going to start for them?
"It's going to be fun, man," outfielder Carlos Beltran said, rolling his eyes in exaggerated fashion. "Good luck."
I think that says it all.
What we have here is a failure to communicate - MLB
Speaking of Carlos Beltran, communication issues between he and the Mets seems to be a re-occuring issue. This time, while Beltran is off-seasoning back in Puerto Rico, he has zero idea that the Mets were throwing his name around in trade talks with the Red Sox until a family member told him. Wow, kinda would've been nice to know that I'm being dangled around!
Jose Canseco wants a chance! - MetsBlog
I wish this were from a fake Twitter account, but it really isn't. 46-years old, and Mr. Juice is very serious about wanting to get back into the Major Leagues. Even to go as far as to make a video of himself taking cuts. Try and count the foul pops!
[SATIRE] New York Salvation Army struggling to keep up with droves of Mets apparel donations - The Apple
Honestly, while reading through this, I'm biting my lip as not to laugh out loud at Starbucks, and without the disclaimer at the bottom of the page, I seriously was believing that this was the truth.
Sandy Alderson must need to wash his hair - MetsBlog
Because he doesn't really have any other excuse to check in on a $12M investment down in Mexico, but the new Mets GM is saying that he might not get a chance to check up on Oliver Perez who's playing winter ball. Considering he's given up 14 runs and 14 walks on 22 hits in 22 innings, with an ERA of 5.73 for the Tomato Farmers, I can't say I really blame him.
Well, at least he's a man of his word - NY Daily News
"Lots of information swirling around the Twitter, some of it questionable. For example, if the Phillies sign Cliff Lee, I'll cover spring training in a Speedo."
So yeah, there's going to be a guy running around Port St. Lucie in a speedo in March, you'll know that he writes for the Daily News.