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

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

More Baseball Moves

The Stove remains hot in Baseball, with several big moves made over the last day or two. It's nice to see a lot of teams making moves. A lot of silly money has already been thrown around, but some sensible moves are being made all the time as well.

Like the Chicago White Sox picking up another pitcher in Javier Vazquez from the Arizona Diamondbacks. It cost the South Siders #5 starter Orlando Hernandez, reliever Luis Vizcaino and hot prospect OF Chris Young. Great deal for the ChiSox and a salary dump by the D-Backs (plus a roll of the dice in Young). It does add quite a bit to the White Sox payroll, with Vazquez due $11.5 mil in 2006 and $12.5 mil in 2007, but it makes them immediate contenders to repeat as World Champions. Adding Vazquez to the Four Horseman of Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Jose Contreras and Freddy Garcia is Unreal. With the addition of Thome to help add some runs, the White Sox look to be playoff bound once again. They're going to be good (better get a CF, though). But it's a long season. The Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins will have something to say about that. That being said, it looks like GM Kenny Williams and the boys at The Cell aren't playing around.

The Oakland A's made what, on the surface, looks like an odd deal. They picked up OF Milton Bradley (and IF Antonio Perez) from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Andre Ethier (touted as the A's best prospect in the OF). Hey Ned (Colletti, the Dodgers new GM), welcome to the game! Oakland GM Billy Beane was reportedly frustrated at the lack of communication with Colletti during the Winter Meetings in Dallas last week and had turned his focus from acquiring Bradley to perhaps adding DH "Big" Frank Thomas. But, Colletti obviously came around, and the deal was done. Why would the A's want a potential hothead in Milton Bradley? I asked myself the same question, but figured the stats would tell the story (Beane knows what he's doing, after all). And, low and behold, here they are: MB registered a .290/.350/.484 last season (in only 283 AB). His lifetime OBP is also .350, putting him high on the Moneyball list of production (along with his last two seasons SLG of .501 and .484). The big question is going to be "Can Ken Macha keep Bradley properly focused?". Basically, will Bradley stay out of trouble? Spin the Wheel, baby, and let's find out.

Well, Matt Morris is off the available list, going to the San Francisco Giants, who signed the 31 year old RHP to a contract of $27 mil over three years. Cheaper than A.J. Burnett, and I'd take Morris over A.J. any day. I don't like the Giants, but hey, I do like Felipe Alou. Best of luck to y'all out there. Hey, isn't Morris a little on the young side for the SF Geezers?

The Dodgers aren't done either, though. They added Free Agent 3B Bill Mueller to the fold today. It's reportedly a two year deal. He won a AL Batting Title in 2003 for the Boston Red Sox. Yes, that's when new Dodger Manager Grady Little was at the helm of the Beantowners. Nice glove and great stick to go with the new SS (Rafael Furcal). Looks like there might be a few more wins in Chavez Ravine this year. I'd rather see them take the NL West than the Giants. But that's probably just because I don't like Barry Bonds.

Alright, that's about all for now. Will the Chicago Bears take the Atlanta Falcons out Sunday night? I hope so. Hope the Steelers remain hot as well (ya know, to take out the Love Boat).


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