Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Meetings

OK, there are some rumors asizzle, and they've been printed all over the place. So to save you a rat's nest of links, GW is just gonna generally attribute Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette (scroll down his PBC Blog) and Jen Langosch of MLB.com, who you can check out at By Gosh, It's Langosch. They have all the angles and smoking guns covered.

First, RHP Jeff Sues was DFA'ed. He cleared waivers and has been assigned to Indy; Sues is a potential Rule 5 pick. IF Luis Cruz was DFA'ed, too, and the Brewers claimed him as their AAA insurance policy. The 40-man is now at 38, so the suits can fish in the Rule 5 pond Thursday and sign a free agent or two.

The Bucs are hot on SS Bobby Crosby's trail now that Adam Everett, their presumed Plan A, signed with the Tigers. Thank God; we can't believe that they'd give Ronny Cedeno a free ride. (Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review says it's a done deal, awaiting a physical) They've also touched base again with RHP Justin Duchsherer, who isn't expected to sign during the meetings.

C Ryan Doumit and RHP Matt Capps are drawing some interest. We're still not sure why they let Robby Diaz go if they were going to dangle Doumit.

Both are coming off seasons that would low-ball their value, so it'll be interesting to see if there's more smoke than fire. But Doumit's injury history and Capp's upcoming contract are reason enough to shop them around, just to see what the market will bear.

LHPs Zach Duke and Paul Maholm have been mentioned (Maholm is a Dodger target, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports). We think, and Neal Huntington alluded to it in his press conference, that they'll be worth more after the current crop of free agent pitchers have been taken off the board, so there's no rush in moving them.

The Bucs do have a couple of guys to plug in if they go - Dan McCutchen, Kevin Hart, Brad Lincoln, maybe Tim Alderson - and pitchers that eat a couple hundred innings competently should have some value. And it seems they're not destined to be part of the 2012 club, which is beginning to look like the Pirates' window, so...

So far, not a peep regarding OF Rick Ankiel or 1B Hank Blalock. Maybe the suits are playing it close to the vest, or maybe Scott Boras is being, well, Scott Boras.

The suits signed another non-roster reliever, RHP Vinnie Chulk. He's 7-15-2 with a 4.33 ERA over seven big-league seasons, and so has a record of being a potentially capable middle inning guy. We're sure there are more of these signings in the pipeline.

And after some hemming and hawing, the Bucs said they plan to tender their arbitration-eligible trio of Zach Duke, Matt Capps and Ronny Cedeno by the Friday deadline.

Hey, not a lot going on yet that wasn't already bubbling on the burner, but it sure beats last year's meeting and the Jack Wilson death vigil.


WilliamJPellas said...

Here's what I would do: either sign Ankiel as a straight up free agent, or package Doumit and Duke to an AL team (where Doumit can DH and so, presumably, actually stay on the field) in exchange for: a B+ prospect, a decent veteran platoon catcher---think: David Ross---and a starting outfielder.

The outfielder would allow us to keep Tabata in Triple-A until August or September while also strengthening our starting outfield and our lineup; the veteran catcher could team with Jaramillo for the next two seasons, so once again we wouldn't be blocking an elite prospect in our own system, ie, Sanchez. The prospect might give us a starter in the future, and meanwhile would continue the trend of building up our farm system with better talent. Best of all, the veterans would be gone by the time the 2012 window rolls around, and none of them would prevent our younger guys from graduating to the big leagues. (Once Tabata in particular comes up, we could either hang onto the veteran OF to replace Milledge as he becomes arbitration eligible, or trade him, or have him compete with Milledge and the "loser" becomes our fourt outfielder.)

That's what I'd do, gentlemen. We would simultaneously make our team more competitive in the short term while doing zero harm to the longer term.

Ron Ieraci said...

Will - I agree with Ankiel; he gives us a left/center field player with a little pop, and allows Milledge to move to right, and Jones to first with Moss as the fourth OF'er.

I dunno what's up with Doumit; they give away the depth and then start dealing. Seems odd.