Finally, we’ve got some baseball news that doesn’t pertain to the World Series. With organizations analyzing where there team stand and what needs to be done to improve their outlook for 2010, here are some of the stories that are currently making the rounds.
The Royals made the odd decision to bring in Josh Fields in a trade with the White Sox despite the fact that they already have a third basemen in Alex Gordon. Does this move signify that the Royals have given up on their former first round draft pick? Apparently not. The team appears set to open the year with Gordon at third base and Fields possibly in the outfield. For more information on the deal that brought Fields to town, given Kyle Elfrink’s blog Royals with Cheese a read.
Curtis Granderson might be available in a trade according to reports. Curtis struggled to his worst performance in the batting average category at .249 in 2009, largely because of an extreme inability to his left-handed pitching (.183 in 180 ABs). Still, the dude has produced an average of 25 homers, 70 RBI, 108 runs and 19 steals the past three years. If you ask me he is totally miscast as a leadoff man but he would profile as a terrific #5 option. Owed “only” $26 million the next three years, one would think he would bring a lot in a deal if the Tigers do indeed decide to move him.
Ken Griffey Jr. will return for one more year with the Mariners after signing an incentive laden one year deal. Griffey, who turns 40 later this month, is coming off an abysmal season of a .214 average, but he did sock 19 homers in 387 ABs. In addition, after striking out 40 times in 230 ABs in the first half he slumped to 40 in 157 ABs after the All-Star break. I hope that the guy has one final season of productivity in that bat of his, but the data seems to suggest otherwise.
Joe Mauer and the Twins have begun the difficult task of working out a contract extension. Mauer has one year left on a deal that will pay him $12.5 million in 2010. The question with Mauer has nothing to do with his skills but whether or not a small market club like the Twins can afford to pay their catcher more than $15 million a year. In fact, it wouldn’t be shocking if Mauer’s representatives started with something like a 5-year, $100 million deal as a jumping off point. Is a catcher worth that amount of loot?
While the Giants would like to bring back Juan Uribe after he hit .289 with 16 homers for the club in under 400-ABs, he could price himself out of the Giants comfort zone with a desire for a big ticket, multi-year deal. As a result, the Giants are in the market for an infielder with some pop. According to Fox Sports they have been in contact with the Marlins about second baseman Dan Uggla who the Marlins appear desperate to move considering that he is on his way to a big pay day in arbitration (possibly upwards of $8-9 million). The Giants already have Freddy Sanchez at second so if they do acquire Uggla it would appear that the team would potentially move Dan to third base resulting in Pablo Sandoval moving across the diamond to first base (the team could also go with Uggla at first and leave Pablo at third). Uggla is a whiff machine, 150 or more the past three years, but he also has gone deep at least 30-times in each of the past three seasons. Do you know how many second baseman in history have hit at least 30-homers 3-straight years? Uggla is the only one. Moreover, Uggla has hit 27 homers with a least 88 RBI and 84 runs in each of his four big league seasons, and no other second baseman in history has accomplished that feat either. In truth, there were only three third basemen in 2009 that went 27-88-84 and they were Evan Longoria, Mark Reynolds and Ryan Zimmerman.
By Ray Flowers