TPI took last weekend off and you have my sincerest apologies. On a rather humorous note, the Red Sox have tried to trade the Lance Armstrong of the Baseball World (Mike Lowell) to the Texas Rangers and would look to replace him with….drumroll….Adrian Beltre. I am not a general manager, though I do manage several fantasy baseball teams, but do you think it would be wise to bring in a guy who underperforms and is overpaid, into a fishbowl like Boston???? Do you really think Boston’s fans will have the patience for .250, 20 HR, and decent range/arm???? Not a wise move IMHO (In My Humble Opinion). Yes, I speak in acronyms sometimes.
The NL East has been busy this off season. First let me address the Granderson trade. Love this move. Absolutely love it. But not for the Yankees. I love it for the Diamondbacks. Dont get me wrong, Granderson will make a fine addition to the already potent/imposing Yankee lineup. But you have to love what the Diamondbacks did. They imported Edwin Jackson, and Ian Kennedy. They have now added two starters to their rotation. Scherzer was good, and Schlereth might end up being a good reliever, but any time you can get a #2 guy to be your #3, it is a good move. Kennedy is definetly a #4 guy and he will thrive in that roll. Great move all around for everyone involved although I think the Tigers got the worst of the deal, which is not a knock on them. It was a fair and balanced trade all around.
Pudge Rodriguez. 2 years from the Nationals. I like what they are doing here. Sure, it is not 2001, but you have to like the fact that the Nationals are trying.Â Â Getting Bruney from the Yankees is a good move.Â Strengthens the bullpen.Â If they could get another starting pitcher, they might be decent to watch.
Welcome Back, Enrico Palazzo!
Placido “Enrico Palazzo” Polanco has rejoined the Phightin Phils. I like Polanco as a player. I have a soft spot for guys who take pitches, work the count, and make contact. Very valuable. Like a Shane Battier of Major League Baseball. Does the fundamental things right, but isnt a superstar. My question is, where does he hit in that lineup? Are the Phils going to move him down in the order, which kind of negates his value.Â Are they looking to move Victorino down?Â That is the only downside of this move.Â Polanco would not be a good #6 or #7 hitter.Â Mark DeRosa/Adam Kennedy I think would have been a better fit.Â
Apparently, not thankful enough to be playing professional baseball!
The Mets and Phillies each got a new backup catcher.Â The Phillies picked up Brian Schneider while the Mets got Chris Coste.Â Calling this move minor would still overplay its signifigance, but what makes it interesting is Chris Coste’s statements about his remaining “a lifelong Phillie”.Â Â Further, Mr. Coste found it “difficult” to sign with the Mets.Â Â Frankly, I am glad players have a little more invested in their employers than simply their loyalty to the all mighty dollar.Â However, Mr. Coste, the Phillies just cut you.Â They deemed you worthless, so worthless in fact, that they signed Brian Schneider to replace you.Â Mr. SchneiderÂ hit .218 last year.Â .218!!!!Â I think it would be wise for Mr. Coste to close his mouth, cash his paycheck, and thank the heavens above that someone wants to pay him to play baseball.
Moving on, the Braves signed Billy Wagner and Takashi SaitoÂ and traded away Rafael Soriano, who had accepted arbitration.Â Really, the Braves moved laterally here, unless you count what was received from the Tampa Bay Rays, right handed reliever Jesse Chavez, as an improvement.Â It seems a right of passage for baseball teams to turnover their bullpens.Â Usually, guys who one team didnt like move to a team that likes them slightly more.Â Is Billy Wagner better than Rafael Soriano?Â Not really.Â Maybe cheaper, but otherwise, pretty much the same pitcher with similar injury concerns.Â Saito is interesting but I think he has fallen from his spot as a stable bullpen presence.Â
The Marlins yardsale continues as they have traded away Matt Lindstrom and Jeremy Hermida this offseason.Â From Boston, the Marlins received, what else, young talent, in two left handed pitching prospects.Â I dont even know what the Marlins got from Houston for Lindstrom.Â Let’s just say, for arguments sake, it was a bag of magic beans.Â
I cannot comment on rumors because they are just that, rumors.Â I am sure there were other moves I missed, such as the Mets setting the world on fire by signing Henry Blanco who should not be confused with Gregor Blanco, because they are not related.Â
Wait a second, you are not Cliff Lee....
Oh yeah, another thing, the Phillies just traded for Roy Halladay and three prospects.Â If you read NLEastChatter, you knew I said that the Phillies needed pitching.Â Well, they got it.Â Just not in the way I imagined.Â It is a shrewd business move, trading one star for another, especially since it looked unlikely that the Phillies could retain Cliff Lee past 2010.Â However, do the Phillies actually get better?Â They trade away 2 prospects in Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor and get three players back.Â So essentially, for Roy Halladay, several months of Cliff Lee, and three prospects the Phillies traded 5 prospects, which really isnt a bad deal.Â However, at the end of the day, entering next season, the Phillies still have one true ace, a solid number two/maybe ace/maybe bust and J.A. Happ.Â This is exactly what they had when the season ended.Â While Halladay is a great, great pitcher, the rest of the National League East cannot be any more afraid of the Phillies than when they had Cliff Lee.Â
The rest of the offseason will be filled with what the hell the Mets will do.Â The Mets, surrounded by Boston, the Yankees, and the Phillies, have watched all three teams pull off great moves and great signings.Â They will be pressed into action.Â The Nationals are essentially waiting for the dust to settle to see who will accept signing with the Nationals as opposed to playing in Japan, the Braves are quietly trying to put together a team in a city that cares slightly more about the Braves than the Hawks, but well below the Falcons and college football.Â Lastly the Marlins appear to be determining who will show up for Spring Training to decide who they should sign.Â With that said, feel free to show up to Marlins spring training.Â If you manage to look official you might just join the 40 man roster.