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  1. #1

    Hot Stove Baseball

    Just thought I'd start a thread for the handful of baseball fanatics on this board to discuss offseason developments.

    Let me start it off by saying that as a Yankee fan, my No. 1 offseason priority is to sign Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, a 6-foot-4 lefty with a 100 mph fastball.

    Listening to his agent, it sounds like he wants to play in New York -- both the Yankees and Mets are interested, although the Red Sox and the Orioles have also made inquiries. The agent is talking about using the four-year, $32 million deal that Jose Contreras got after he defected as a starting point for negotiations.

    One interesting sidelight ... a couple of months ago, a NY Times reporter suggested that Chapman was, in fact, 26 years old and not 21. The followup investigations I've seen seem to confirm that he is, indeed, 21 years old (unlike Puerto Rico and the Dominican, Cuban bureacracy is fairly reliable). While he would still be valuable as a 26-year-old, that five-year difference is significant.

    I'm also a Braves fan and I'm curious to hear what any of you around Atlanta are hearing. I saw that Tim Hudson signed a three-year deal -- which means the Braves have six solid starters inked for next year. Is it possible to deal one for a corner outfielder or first baseman? Or is Heywood enough of an addition to the team's offensive potential?

  2. #2
    Listening to sports radio the other day... heard Mike Francesa (not my favorite sports radio person) talking about Roy Halladay. He made the statement that the Blue Jays would actually give away Roy Halladay (for nothing in return) to a team willing to take Vernon Wells with him. I'm not sure how reliable that statement is but it's pretty amazing if you ask me. That's how bad Vernon's contract is (something like $20M per year for the next 5). Would the Mets possibly be interested in that? Maybe not the full contract but some combination of taking on the contract and giving away prospects. They need another outfielder (admittedly not a centerfielder) and could certainly use another stud starter. An outfield of Wells/Beltran/Francoeur would cover a lot of ground in a spacious stadium. I'm not so sure the Mets are in a position to take on close to $40M in salary though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Let me start it off by saying that as a Yankee fan, my No. 1 offseason priority is to sign Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, a 6-foot-4 lefty with a 100 mph fastball.

    Listening to his agent, it sounds like he wants to play in New York -- both the Yankees and Mets are interested, although the Red Sox and the Orioles have also made inquiries. The agent is talking about using the four-year, $32 million deal that Jose Contreras got after he defected as a starting point for negotiations.

    One interesting sidelight ... a couple of months ago, a NY Times reporter suggested that Chapman was, in fact, 26 years old and not 21. The followup investigations I've seen seem to confirm that he is, indeed, 21 years old (unlike Puerto Rico and the Dominican, Cuban bureacracy is fairly reliable). While he would still be valuable as a 26-year-old, that five-year difference is significant.
    I heard a discussion on Chapman the other night on the radio heading home from the Duke game. A lefty with a 100 mph fastball, they said Chapman compared himself to The Big Unit (Randy Johnson). But the dearth of reliable scouting information coming out of Cuba makes him somewhat of an unknown commodity - scouts have seen very little of him, and just a few innings/games makes signing him to a big contract an iffy proposition. But no worse than signing Kei Igawa, who's turned into a career minor leaguer. What the heck, it's not my money. I hope the Yankees sign him.
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by OZZIE4DUKE View Post
    But the dearth of reliable scouting information coming out of Cuba makes him somewhat of an unknown commodity - scouts have seen very little of him, and just a few innings/games makes signing him to a big contract an iffy proposition.
    http://www.baseball-intellect.com/ar...-need-to-know/

  5. #5

    Chapman

    Wow, thanks for the link, Landlord -- very in depth and perceptive scouting report.

    I was talking to an ex-player recently about Chapman, but while he didn't get into the specifics of the linked article, he did assume the same general view of the Cuban lefty -- above-average velocity, but needs to get better command of his pitches to be a star.

    That's where his age might be an issue. A 21-year-old struggling to polish his command is no big deal. Some of the greatest lefties in history went through that -- Koufax and Randy Johnson as two examples. A 26-year-old STILL struggling for command is more worrisome.

    Again, the stuff I've read makes it sound like the 21-year report is correct, but there are a few skeptics. If I were a GM, that's something I would do my best to make sure of before offering a mega-deal to the kid.

    FWIW, I watched the Yankee Hot Stove show on Yes Thursday night, hoping to learn something about Chapman. Three Yankee beat reporters and a Yes exec were the panel and while they didn't mention Chapman, they did agree:

    (1) Matsui is probably not going to be resigned

    (2) The Yankees want to sign Damon for one year ... Scott Boros wants a four year deal for his client. The panel thought the Yankees might go to two, but no further.

    The Matsui/Damon issue basically is determined by the crowded situation at DH. The Yankees want Posada to take 80 games at DH and maybe another 80 as a catcher. If Damon re-signs, he'll get 40-plus games at DH to rest his aging legs and 100-plus in left. That leaves 40 or so DH games for A-Roid or Jeter to use to rest their aging bones. The problem with Matsui is that he is only a DH, so signing him robs the Yankees of their flexibility.

    (3) The Yankees will re-sign Pettite for a one-year deal, but only after a long winter of negotiations with his agents.

    (4) The Yankees won't get in the FA race for Jason Bay or Matt Holiday. And they won't try to trade for Roy Halladay. In fact, they predicted Hallada would start the year with Toronto and would probably be traded in June or July to a contented that either lost a starter or needs a boost to make a pennant run.

    (5) The Yankees won't bid for John Lackey

    (6) The most likely Yankee FA target is Mark Derosa, who is seen as sort of a super-utility man, able to play left, third, second or right. The big competition might be Philadelphia, which wants him to replace Ruiz at third.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    (4) The Yankees won't get in the FA race for Jason Bay or Matt Holiday. And they won't try to trade for Roy Halladay. In fact, they predicted Hallada would start the year with Toronto and would probably be traded in June or July to a contented that either lost a starter or needs a boost to make a pennant run.

    (5) The Yankees won't bid for John Lackey
    Just like they weren't going to get in on the race for Mark Teixeira.

    I'll believe it when I see it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Just thought I'd start a thread for the handful of baseball fanatics on this board to discuss offseason developments.

    Let me start it off by saying that as a Yankee fan, my No. 1 offseason priority is to sign Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, a 6-foot-4 lefty with a 100 mph fastball.

    Listening to his agent, it sounds like he wants to play in New York -- both the Yankees and Mets are interested, although the Red Sox and the Orioles have also made inquiries. The agent is talking about using the four-year, $32 million deal that Jose Contreras got after he defected as a starting point for negotiations.

    One interesting sidelight ... a couple of months ago, a NY Times reporter suggested that Chapman was, in fact, 26 years old and not 21. The followup investigations I've seen seem to confirm that he is, indeed, 21 years old (unlike Puerto Rico and the Dominican, Cuban bureacracy is fairly reliable). While he would still be valuable as a 26-year-old, that five-year difference is significant.

    I'm also a Braves fan and I'm curious to hear what any of you around Atlanta are hearing. I saw that Tim Hudson signed a three-year deal -- which means the Braves have six solid starters inked for next year. Is it possible to deal one for a corner outfielder or first baseman? Or is Heywood enough of an addition to the team's offensive potential?
    Braves fan here. First, I think Heyward is a year away from the bigs. He would provide decent power (16 HR last year in AA) but I don't think he is going to be a 40 HR type guy. He is big and looks like Ryan Howard, but he is a year away in my opinion and really isn't "all that." The kids got skills, but I would predict MAYBE 20 homers a year from him and he would probably hit around .250-270. I think the Braves need to re-sign Adam LaRoche to play first base. After coming to Atlanta last season, he almost matched his homer total that he had when he came to Atlanta from Pittsburgh. He would shore up their lineup, and if they could get a right fielder who has decent power, they would have a good lineup.

    I have heard the Braves are trying to deal Derek Lowe for a bat in the lineup. If they could get an outfielder, like I said, they would be a contender in the NL next season. They already have the pitching in Vasquez, Jurrjens, Hansen, Hudson, and Kawakami. They need to re-sign Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano and their bullpen would be legit again. If they could trade a pitcher for a good bat and sign a free agent outfielder (Jermaine Dye, Brian Giles, etc.), they would contend. McLouth in center, Diaz or Anderson in LF, Dye or Giles in RF with Church platooning, McCann at catcher, Chipper at 3rd, Escobar at SS, Prado at 2b, LaRoche at first, with their pitching staff, they would be good.

  8. #8

    lackey

    Quote Originally Posted by YourLandlord View Post
    Just like they weren't going to get in on the race for Mark Teixeira.

    I'll believe it when I see it.
    Your skepticism is certainly warrented, based on the past (although I don't know that Teixeira is a good example -- everything I heard and read last year was that he was going to be a major FA target, second only to Sabathia).

    But I believe the current wisdom that the Yankees won't pursue Lackey. One, even though he is a solid starter and a proven postseason winner, he's probably going to be overvalued in this market. But more importantly, he's the same kind of gamble they made (and lost) with Carl Pavano. Lackey has had arm problems in each of the last two years -- he hasn't pitched 200 innings since 2007 (heck, he hasn't pitched 180 innings).

    I know this is hard to believe, but with The Boss fading physically, I think the Yankees are a lot less likely to throw money around irresponsibly. For a Sabathia or a Teixiera ... yeah. For Carl Pavano or John Lackey? No. Remember, this year at the trading deadline, when the Yankees were locked in a tight battle with the Red Sox, they stood pat and refused to grab a big money contract (as the Red Sox did with Martinez).

    If the Yankees fail to resign Pettite, that might change their thinking. And their negotiations with Damon will impact any decision on a FA outfielder. But as it stands, I believe the "insiders" that say the Yankees won't be a major player for Lackey, Holiday or Bay (although I wouldn't be surprise if an agent or two leaks that they are -- just to drive up the market).

  9. #9
    Braves pick up Billy Wagner: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4705811

    Hopefully Wagner can regain his form (he was pretty effective with Boston down the stretch) and really be a solid anchor at the end of games for the braves this year.
    My Quick Smells Like French Toast.

  10. #10

    brave relievers

    Quote Originally Posted by steven52682 View Post
    Braves pick up Billy Wagner: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4705811

    Hopefully Wagner can regain his form (he was pretty effective with Boston down the stretch) and really be a solid anchor at the end of games for the braves this year.
    I wonder what this means in regard to the free agency of Soriano and Gonzales. My uniformed guess is that it means they won't be re-signing one of them ... almost certainly not both of them.

    As for the earlier mention about trading Lowe for a bat ... we talked about this earlier in the Atlanta Braves thread -- wasn't the thinking that because of his contract, he would be hard to move? The most tradeable guy would be Vasquez -- coming off a monster year with a very modest contract.

    As a Braves fan (second to my Yankee passion), I long for the days when Ted Turner was running the show and spending money to make the Braves a jewel in his TBS network. Atlanta would be the perfect place for Holliday or Bay.

    Maybe Jermaine Dye can come home for a year or two?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by steven52682 View Post
    Braves pick up Billy Wagner: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4705811

    Hopefully Wagner can regain his form (he was pretty effective with Boston down the stretch) and really be a solid anchor at the end of games for the braves this year.
    Wonder what else the Braves have up their sleeve. Their statement on Wagner seemed to indicate this was only the beginning and used the words "championship-caliber team."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    St. Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by feldspar View Post
    Wonder what else the Braves have up their sleeve. Their statement on Wagner seemed to indicate this was only the beginning and used the words "championship-caliber team."
    Cox can lead them to another playoff choke for old times' sake.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    "Maybe Jermaine Dye can come home for a year or two? "

    You think Dye has a whole year left in him?

    As a Yankees/Braves fan, do you think the Bombers have any interest in Gonzalez? Some of the fan sites seem to think so. But some of the fan sites think the Yankees should be able to trade Ian Kennedy for Roy Halladay, even-steven, so there.

    I think the rationale is that Gonzalez becomes the eighth-inning guy, freeing up Hughes and Joba to be starters. Personally, I think the Yanks need to start grooming a replacement for Rivera. Are any of these guys that guy?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by feldspar View Post
    Wonder what else the Braves have up their sleeve. Their statement on Wagner seemed to indicate this was only the beginning and used the words "championship-caliber team."
    Prolly going to go out and get a first baseman, since they don't actually have one.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    I wonder if Mike Hampton is available?

  16. #16

    braves

    I've been reading a lot of Braves sites and the conventional wisdom (FWIW) is that the Wagner signing almost certainly means that the Braves won't sign Mike Gonzales (especially since his agent is Scott Boras).

    They offered him arbitration for the same reason that Boston offered Wagner arbitration -- that means if he signs with another team, the Braves will get that team's No. 1 draft pick (they are essentially trading their own No. 1 -- which will go to Boston for the Wagner signing; for whoever signs Gonzales).

    And, yes, I have heard that the Yankees might be in the mix.

    A lot of the Braves insiders seem to think that Atlanta might step up to keep Soriano. If not, they offered arbitration and he's a type A free agent, so they would get another first round pick if he signs somewhere else.

    Signing Soriano and 1B LaRoche appear to be the Braves' top two off-season priorities. After that, much of the FA speculation centers on OF Mike Cameron, who supposedly has left it be known he'd like to play in Atlanta.

    Jim, I don't know about Dye -- he's a gamble. He'll be 36 years old next season and he's coming off a mediocre year (.793 OPS). However, he's one year removed from an excellent season in 2008 -- .886 OPS (.292 BA with 34 homers, 96 RBIs, 96 runs scored).

    Plus, he had a better year in a down 2009 season that Garrett Anderson, Jeff Francouer (with Atlanta), Jordan Shafer or Ryan Church, who combined to start more than 200 games in the OF for the Braves. Dye played almost every day in RF for the White Sox (he DH'ed just seven times).

    When you look at it as Dye replacing Anderson in left, that's a clear upgrade.

    As for the Braves being a contending type team, I think the starting rotation makes them a contender. It's probably the best six-deep rotation in baseball. Yeah, they need more offense -- a big key is Chipper. He was a great hitter in 2006, 2007 and 2008 (over 1.000 OPS all three years) ... he was only a good hitter in 2009 (.818 OPS). Does he bounce back or is he on a downhill slide?

    If Chipper bounces back, the Braves can re-sign LaRoche and add one more slugger (either a FA outfielder or Heywood, if he's ready), then I could see Atlanta contending in the NL East ... or at least for a wild card.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    St. Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I've been reading a lot of Braves sites and the conventional wisdom (FWIW) is that the Wagner signing almost certainly means that the Braves won't sign Mike Gonzales (especially since his agent is Scott Boras).

    They offered him arbitration for the same reason that Boston offered Wagner arbitration -- that means if he signs with another team, the Braves will get that team's No. 1 draft pick (they are essentially trading their own No. 1 -- which will go to Boston for the Wagner signing; for whoever signs Gonzales).

    And, yes, I have heard that the Yankees might be in the mix.

    A lot of the Braves insiders seem to think that Atlanta might step up to keep Soriano. If not, they offered arbitration and he's a type A free agent, so they would get another first round pick if he signs somewhere else.

    Signing Soriano and 1B LaRoche appear to be the Braves' top two off-season priorities. After that, much of the FA speculation centers on OF Mike Cameron, who supposedly has left it be known he'd like to play in Atlanta.

    Jim, I don't know about Dye -- he's a gamble. He'll be 36 years old next season and he's coming off a mediocre year (.793 OPS). However, he's one year removed from an excellent season in 2008 -- .886 OPS (.292 BA with 34 homers, 96 RBIs, 96 runs scored).

    Plus, he had a better year in a down 2009 season that Garrett Anderson, Jeff Francouer (with Atlanta), Jordan Shafer or Ryan Church, who combined to start more than 200 games in the OF for the Braves. Dye played almost every day in RF for the White Sox (he DH'ed just seven times).

    When you look at it as Dye replacing Anderson in left, that's a clear upgrade.

    As for the Braves being a contending type team, I think the starting rotation makes them a contender. It's probably the best six-deep rotation in baseball. Yeah, they need more offense -- a big key is Chipper. He was a great hitter in 2006, 2007 and 2008 (over 1.000 OPS all three years) ... he was only a good hitter in 2009 (.818 OPS). Does he bounce back or is he on a downhill slide?

    If Chipper bounces back, the Braves can re-sign LaRoche and add one more slugger (either a FA outfielder or Heywood, if he's ready), then I could see Atlanta contending in the NL East ... or at least for a wild card.
    Chipper also had a lot of owies, and that number only increases with age.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Wow, the Braves just picked up Saito for one year as well.

  19. #19

    saito

    Quote Originally Posted by feldspar View Post
    Wow, the Braves just picked up Saito for one year as well.
    I assume that means that the Braves won't resign Soriano.

    If Wagner can regain his old form -- and he looked strong late last season with the Red Sox -- that's a fair trade for the Braves, Wagner and Saito for Gonzales and Saito. Also, they come out ahead in the draft -- giving up their first round pick for Wagner, but getting first-round picks for Gonzales and Soriano (Saito does not require compensation).

    Now, re-sign Laroche and get a sluggling OFer.

    Good news for the Yankee fan in me -- the Phillies just signed Polanco to replace Ruiz at third base. Their other option was Mark Derosa, who is the Yankees' top free agent target (other that re-signing Pettite and Damon). Looks like it comes down to the Yankees and Mets (Derosa is a north Jersey guy who has said several times that he'd like to play in New York).

    Question for our Red Sox fans: What do you think of the proposed idea to move Pedroia from second to shortstop next season?

    That's not a move many players can make (I remember Gil McDougald doing it in the mid-1950s). According to Bill James, it's easy to make a rightward move down the defensive scale (SS-2B-CF-3B-RF-LF-1B), but hard to go left.

    Pedroia was a subpar defensive second baseman. You really think he can handle shortstop???

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Pedroia was a subpar defensive second baseman. You really think he can handle shortstop???
    The Sox didn't. They have signed Marco Scutaro for 2 years.

    --Jason
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

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