Tagged: Hot Stove

Royals splurge … on lettering on uniforms

It rolls right off your tongue, and dies on the floor

"A simple second-to-first ground ball out could be a real challenge for broadcasters in Kansas City next year.

The Royals agreed Friday to one-year contracts with second baseman Mark Grudzielanek and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz."

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Supposedly the Royals had $22 million in revenue-sharing funds to spend this offseason.  I guess they’ve chosen to spend it on a raise for their Equipment Manager, for having to endure the labeling of the uniforms with these names.

On a more serious note, why didn’t Grudz want to sign with the Mets?

With these and their other moves, the Royals move from a 63-win team to ….  a 65-win team!

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Benson for Julio deal just half the story?

I assume the rumored Benson ($7.5M in ’06) – Julio ($2.5M in ’06) deal is strictly to free up money for the acquisition of Vazquez from  Arizona.  I mean, Julio is a decent reliever, and could do well in the 6th/7th innings for the Mets, but given the lack of real #1 quality pitching after Pedro, the loss of Benson could only mean there is another deal to be made.

One possibility (2006 salaries estimates):
Arizona gets Kaz Matsui ($7.0M) and $2M of that $5 million saved in the Benson deal in cash from Mets for Vazquez ($11M) … Could the Mets also extract Alex Cintron ($360,000 in ’05) in that deal?  He would be a great infield utility man, certainly an upgrade over the Joe McEwing-types of the last few years.

There is also talk of the Mets going after Barry Zito.  I don’t know what the Mets could offer the A’s, there doesn’t seem to be a good match of wants/needs.  Oakland is VERY close to being the #1 team in the AL West next year as it stands now, so I doubt they’d want a prospect-laden deal.  But then again, the prospects they acquired or had on their AAA team (Haren, Street, Blanton, etc.) ALLOWED them to deal away Mulder and Hudson last year, and the club did just fine.

How much is a Farnsworth these days?

$Up to 6 million a year …. for a SET-UP man????

"While there was no announcement from New York, the representative for free agent relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth informed Atlanta Braves officials Wednesday night that his client will sign with the Yankees, two sources told ESPN.com.

Relief Pitcher
Atlanta Braves

Profile

2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA
72 1 1 27 87 2.19

In making the move to the Yankees, Farnsworth, who played at Milton High School in Atlanta, rejected the Braves’ offer to remain as their closer, the role in which he finished the 2005 season. Instead, he will serve as setup man to Yankees’ closer Mariano Rivera, and replace Tom Gordon in that role."

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His ERA each of the last 6 years:

2000 6.43
2001 2.74
2002 7.33
2003 3.30
2004 4.73
2005 2.19

So, he’s the Bret Saberhagen of relief pitchers …
http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/saberbr01.shtml

Here are his lifetime stats:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/f/farnsky01.shtml

Notice the "salaries"
1999 Chicago Cubs $200,000
2000 Chicago Cubs $235,000
2001 Chicago Cubs $245,000
2002 Chicago Cubs $410,000
2003 Chicago Cubs $600,000
2004 Chicago Cubs $1,400,000
2005 Detroit Tigers $1,975,000
Career: $5,065,000

…. which means that in the first year of his Yankee deal, he might be making more than in his entire career to date!

This sounds like a salary hedge move against Rivera’s arm suddenly acting its age.

Wagnerian operas to be performed at Shea

Billy … please be a hero ….

"Billy Wagner is following Carlos Delgado to Shea Stadium, reaching a preliminary agreement on a $43 million, four-year contract with the New York Mets. Just hours after Delgado’s introductory news conference at the ballpark on Monday, Wagner agreed to a deal with the highest average salary for a reliever."

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Wagner’s arm won’t be as valuable if they can’t get a lead to him in the 9th …

The starting pitching is good, but no aces behind 34-y.o. Pedro.
Kris Benson is still a career .500 pitcher. Glavine is 39. Jae Seo was the surprise of the rotation last year. Now he needs to prove it wasn’t a fluke. Trachsel is 35 and coming back from an injury-marred 2004. Zambrano hasn’t had his issues fixed by Rick Petersen yet.

As for the pen, Ring and Yates weren’t that special in their time with the big club. Heilman may inherit the set-up role for Wagner, but I wouldn’t have minded trying him out as the closer, with his electric stuff. Roberto Hernandez isn’t on the 40-man roster as of now, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Mets try to coax one more year out of him.

Its sure gonna be an interesting year at Shea in ’06.

J.P. Ricciardi replaced by Bob and Doug McKenzie?

Take off (your thinking cap) to the Great White North!

"And now Ricciardi is looking for another high-ranking officer/free-agent, making a five-year, $55-million offer to outfielder Brian Giles. The 34-year-old left-handed hitter batted .301 this season with 15 homers and 83 RBIs in 158 games for the San Diego Padres."

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$11 million per year for 5 years to a 34-year-old outfielder with no speed, to play in spacious SkyDome?  If they wanted to spend THOSE kind of bucks, make the Twins an offer for Torii Hunter.

This on top of the already-consumated signing of B.J. Ryan to a 5-year, $47 million deal.

Ryan has had *1* year as a closer. And although his stats as a closer are in line with his stats as the setup man the prior years, I find that hardly a track record to bestow a 5-year contract upon.

Heck, I shudder at giving ANY pitcher a 5-year deal.

Yes, he may have been the BEST closer on the market (or 2nd best after Wagner), but I highly doubt any other team would have given him 5 years.

And who said the Jays HAD to spend their extra $$$ THIS way. They could have taken on some other team’s salary headache for a player.

If the Jays see a "window of opportunity" with aging NY and Boston clubs … fine. But throwing $102 million at these two players borders on insane.