With rumors flying fast and furious, I’ll do my best to be brief here, lest my reports be out of date by the time you read them. By the way, if you want to be kept up to date with minute by minute reports of everything going on at the Winter Meetings, make sure you follow my work on the Baseball Guys’ Twitter page where I try to mention everything that comes across the rumor mill.
Carlos Beltran – There is an absurd rumor out there that the Red Sox have had internal talks about making a run at adding the Mets’ outfielder. Who is on crack in the Red Sox front office? It remains to be seen if Beltran will ever be able to return to his former glory days because of that knee, and unless the Mets are willing to eat more than half of the $18.5 million dollars he is owed for 2011 to move him, there is no way in hell Beltran is going anywhere.
Zack Greinke – He wants out so badly he told the team they could trade him to anyone. I understand, I wouldn’t want to pitch for the Royals either, but really, isn’t this just another example of why the Royals suck? I mean, how do you justify to your fans moving your best player? Maybe the Royals can share notes with the Padres who just pulled off the same trick with Adrian Gonzalez. Speaking of Gonzalez (shoulder surgery), reports that he wouldn’t swing a bat until March appear to be accurate. Doesn’t that make you a wee bit nervous Red Sox fans?
Paul Konerko – He wants $15 million a year, the White Sox only want to pay him something like $12-13 a year. The Sox r need money to strengthen their pen since they lost J.J Putz and Bobby Jenks, but I can’t see how there wont be some meeting of the minds here since Konerko has spent the last 12 seasons with the club.
Cliff Lee – It still seems like the Rangers and Yankees are in the lead for his services. I gotta tell ya though, rumors persist that the Nationals are in the mix even after lavishing a massive contract on Jayson Werth (you can view my thoughts on that deal at Around the Horn: Hot Stove, December 6). I don’t see how the Nats could bring Lee into the fold given their cash outlay to Werth, but here’s to hoping they can find the dough to make it interesting.
Brandon Webb – I know everyone wanta to look like a genius if they can sign him on the cheap with an incentive laden deal and then watch him return to All-Star form, but the guy has thrown only four innings in two seasons because of a wonky shoulder. It must be music to the ears of other hurlers like Brandon McCarthy who is also drawing interest after throwing the ball well in the Venezuelan Winter League. The A’s seem to be at the top of the list for McCarthy, while virtually every NL team appears to be chasing Webb.
Ty Wigginton – Signed a 2-year deal for $7.5 million to join the Rockies. Clearly the club isn’t sold on Todd Helton ever being able to play a full slate of games again because of his back woes. They may have overpaid slightly, but Wigginton is a versatile player whose power swing will play well in Coors.
Why is No One Paying Attention?
Finally, why in the world aren’t more people getting excited about the deal that sent Shaun Marcum to the Brewers? The AL East was about the worst division in baseball to pitch in, and the past two years Marcum has been on the hill he has gone 22-15 with a 3.53 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 3.10 K/BB ratio. Last time I checked, and it was about 13 seconds ago, there were only eight pitchers in baseball in 2011 who had an ERA below 3.50, a WHIP under 1.15 and a K/BB ratio of at least 3.10. Marcum should continue to be damn effective as the number two starter behind Yovani Gallardo in Milwaukee.
By Ray Flowers