Here is a look around baseball with some exceedingly witty commentary from yours truly.
Lance Berkman – The Athletics seem to have him in their sites. He met with the club earlier this week, and a 1-year deal, similar to the kind that Ben Sheets signed with the club last year, seems to be coming down the pipe (Lance wants something like $8 million a year). Don’t count out the Rockies though – there is mutual interest there, though there may not be enough dough.
Ian Desmond – Apparently the Nationals are considering moving Desmond to help add depth to their starting rotation. He led baseball with 34 errors at short, but his future is very bright as he was one run from being one of only 22 players to hit 10 homers, with 60 RBI, 60 runs and 15 steals in 2010 and that was in his first big league season. Why trade that?
Adam Dunn – He wanted 4-years and $60 million – he got 4-years, $56 million from the White Sox. I have no issue with those numbers, not in the least. Neither should anyone else. I know he can’t play defense, but since 2004 Dunn is second in baseball with 282 homers, ninth in RBI (709), 15th in runs (657), fourth in extra base hits (496) and he’s sporting a .914 OPS which is higher than Hanley Ramirez (.905), Chase Utley (.901) and David Wright (.899) in the same time frame.
Zack Greinke – If he ends up with the Yankees that will be the worst match since the Yankees brought in Javier Vazquez – twice. Greinke would crumble in New York and if I was a praying man I would speak to the man upstairs that this proposed deal doesn’t come to fruition.
Kevin Gregg – He declined the Blue Jays offer of arbitration which will lead to the Jays getting a supplemental draft pick. Gregg should earn a multi-year deal from someone. You may not be aware of it, but Gregg is one of only seven pitchers in baseball with at least 23 saves in each of the past four years, and his total of 121 saves in that time is 11th overall.
J.P. Howell – He’ll be unavailable to start the 2011 season after shoulder surgery in May (he says he could be back by mid-April), and he hasn’t thrown a big league pitch since 2009. While its premature to think his career might be in jeopardy, you have to be concerned for the lefties future. I wish him luck with is long road back to the bigs.
Jose Lopez – He’ll be non-tendered by the Mariners, hardly a shock given that he is coming off his worst season in five years (.239-10-58-49-3 in 593 at-bats). Given that he owns a career slash line of .266/.297/.400 one can’t think that, in this economic environment, that he will find anyone willing to back up the money truck.
Jamie Moyer – The 48 year old lefty had Tommy John surgery on Wednesday that will knock him out of the 2011 season. Still, he isn’t ready to give up on his dream of 300 career victories (he has 267 wins). Moyer says he will target a return to action in 2012. If you aren’t rooting for him you must be related to Ebenezer Scrooge.
Oliver Perez – Reports out of the Mexican Winter League are that Perez is consistently sitting at 88 mph, with his fastball, but that he has been able to get his heater up to 91-92. He’s also thrown 10-straight scoreless innings. Add that up and I’m 100 percent positive that he will more than justify the $12 million he is to be paid in 2011 (dripping sarcasm). Goodness gracious.
Mark Prior – The Rangers are said to have interest in the one time phenom. Reports are that Prior has gotten his fastball back into the 91-92 mph territory, and with that speed he could have success as an arm out of the pen. He will never reach the heights that were once predicted, but I’m certainly rooting for him. Amazingly, he is still just 30 years old.
Robinson Tejeda – This is just the type of guy that teams should take a shot on. Why are the Royals willing to deal the cannon armed Tejeda who had a 3.54 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 61 innings last season? Because they are the Royals of course. Dating back to July 25th of 2009 Tejeda has posted a 2.97 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP and 8.84 K/9 mark over 112 innings. Who couldn’t use that?
Brandon Webb – Every team in baseball seems to be in on the sinker balling righty. Someone will give him a heavily incentivized deal to pitch for them in 2011, but if you talk to scouts they will tell you that his performance late in 2010, as he continues his attempted comeback from a shoulder surgery, was poor at best. Don’t forget that he has tossed all of four innings the past two years.
By Ray Flowers