I intended to do a video today but for some reason, likely the incessant partying I’ve been doing at bars of late, my voice decided to rebel leaving me sounding like Peter Brady of the Brady Bunch.
Jose Reyes and the Marlins have agreed to a 6-year, $106 million deal. He’ll likely bat leadoff for the Mets, an it appears almost certain that he will play shortstop for the Marlins moving Hanley Ramirez to third base. Obviously adding third base eligibility for Hanley would substantially increase his value, especially in those leagues that use middle and corner infielders. Reports are good that Hanley’s rehab with his shoulder are going well. The real issue here is will he allow his feelings to be hurt and mope because he’s being asked to switch positions, or, will he come into camp healthy and with his head on straight, ready to team with Reyes as the most dynamic top of the order duo in the game?
Albert Pujols/Prince Fielder: Everyone is waiting for these two big fish to choose a home. I find it impossible to believe that the Marlins are still in on Pujols despite what reports say (are they really going to dish out more than $275 million in contracts this offseason? Don’t forget, they have already added Heath Bell). The Cubs might offer to make Pujols the highest paid player on a yearly basis, even if they aren’t willing to give him 8-10 years like he would like. Fielder, seems like he’s just laying in the weeds waiting for his $150 million.
C.J. Wilson wants $100 million. It’s looking like he could get it too. Reports suggest that the Marlins and Angels, and two other mystery clubs, already have offers on the table for Wilson. The best hurler on the market, I broke down his prospects for 2012 in his Player Profile.
Aramis Ramirez is the best third baseman in the market, and after the two first baseman I mentioned above, he’s the best bat available on the infield. The Angels, Brewers and Phillies are all believed to have serious interest in Aramis after the 33 year old hit 26 homers with 93 RBI last season for the Cubs.
Jimmy Rollins hit 16 homers, knocked in 63 runs, scored 87 times and stole 30 bases for the Phillies proving that he is far from washed up. At 33 years of age he realizes this will be his last big contract, and he’s looking at someone to give him five years on a deal. The Phils have repeatedly stated that they will not go five years to keep him.
Rafael Furcal had an appendectomy last week. He will be fine for the start of the season, now he just needs to find a place to play. He’s seeking at least a two year deal, not an unreasonable request for the 34 year old.
Josh Willingham has nine teams interested in his services if you believe the report by Jerry Crasnick (I have no reason whatsoever to doubt the veracity of the report). Why all the interest in a guy who hit .246 with just a .332 OBP in 2011? Because the guy can power the ball. Josh hit 29 homers with 98 RBI last season and figures to have a few more years of production near that level if he can stay healthy enough to remain on the field (he’s averaged just 121 games a season the past four years).
Hiroki Kuroda wanted to remain with the Dodgers, but with the Dodgers signing Chris Capuano to a 2-year deal the belief is that the Dodgers no longer have an interest in bringing back the righty. Rumors have long circulated that is was L.A. of bust for Kuroda – meaning he was would return to Japan if the Dodgers didn’t bring him back – but teams like the Angels, Cubs and Rockies are known to have an interest.
Nate McLouth might end up back where it all started. After failing miserably in his time in Atlanta, the oft injured outfielder apparently is drawing some interest from his former team in Pittsburgh. Just 31 years old an only two seasons removed from 20 homers, 19 steals, 70 RBI and 86 runs scored, McLouth is the ideal cheap signing that could yield an excellent return on investment.
By Ray Flowers