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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

MLB Hot Stove

The biggest news of late has been the Mets signing of Billy Wagner. The deal covers 4 years at $43 million with an option for a 5th year. Wagner, even at 34, is still one of the premier closers in the league. This is a great signing if you're of the belief that a team needs an established closer to win a World Series. If you don't subscribe to that theory, it just looks like a hell of alot money to spend on 70 innings. I guess if you're the Mets and you've got the cash to spend, then why not spend it Wagner. It's actually been over 24 hours since Omar Minaya has made a deal. Mets fans are starting to have withdrawls.

Esteban Loaiza signed with Oakland for $7 million a year. It seems a bit high for Loaiza at first, but I guess that's about the going rate for a 4th starter with his experience. Something about it just doesn't seem like a Billy Beane signing though. The real importance of this deal is probably that it increases the odds of Zito being traded this winter. I can't imagine Beane keeping him around after the deal he got for Mulder. Now with Loaiza, Blanton, Harden, Haren, and Starter X (Saarloos, Cruz, Meyer, free agent), the A's can afford to lose Zito.

Raffy Furcal is expected to make a decision within the next few days. He'll likely sign a 5 year, $50 million range with either the Cubs or the Braves. The Dodgers are said to be in the running, but I'm just don't see it happening. My guess is he signs with the Cubs, who add the 5th year that the Braves aren't willing to add.

The Braves need to spend some of that money on the bullpen, especially if the news that Farnsworth is close to signing a deal with the Yankees is true. He could be able to replace Flash Gordon as Rivera's set-up man if he should leave. My biggest concern with Farnsworth would be his mental problems. We've always known he had the stuff; it's been his head that's gotten to him. Let's see how he handles the NY media after his first bad outing.

Viva El Birdos, the top Cardinals blog, has some great stuff posted about a potentially HUGE deal that Walt Jocketty has up his sleeves. Nothing has been completely confirmed, but it's rumored to involve Bobby Abreu or Jim Edmonds. Whether it's legit or not remains to be seen, but it's definately worth a read.

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