A Sunday without football, for the first time in months. How weird. What am I supposed to do today?
The big news in the baseball world is the possibility of a Todd Helton trade. Buster Olney says that the deal would have Helton going to the Red Sox for Mike Lowell, Julian Tavarez, and "prospects," with the Rockies picking up a little less than half of the $90 million Helton is owed over the next 6 years. Olney says that while the money has been agreed to and Helton is willing to waive his no-trade clause, the prospect part of the deal is the sticking point, with the Rockies wanting Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarman, and the BoSox don't want to part with either.
Helton is 33 -- which seems weird to me, since I remember watching him play quarterback at Tennessee...it seems like he should be younger -- and his deal takes him through his age 38 season. His power numbers have declined precipitously the past two seasons, and he's no longer the dominant offensive player he was five years ago.
He is, though, an OBP machine and a great defensive first baseman. Really, offensively, he seems to project similarly to J.D. Drew...a guy who'll get on base a lot, but isn't going to have the power production to match his reputation.
It is a lot for the BoSox to give up for Helton, and it is a lot of money to commit over the next six years. I'm not sure if I'd do that deal, if I were them.
Jan Hubbard writes on the Fan Fest event yesterday, and how Eric Hurley hopes to win the 5th starter spot in spring training.
I can't see Hurley making the jump out of spring training -- there are just too many other options ahead of him, and he's not on the 40 man roster, so if the Rangers started the season with him in the majors and then decided they needed to send him to the minors, they'd end up burning an option -- but I wouldn't be shocked if he were pushing for a spot by July or August.
Richard Durrett has a blog entry with a few more notes from Friday night's banquet.
Here's your latest Derek Lee update...I'm beginning to think that the writer who is doing the winter league updates for the Ranger website is Lee's cousin or something, since Lee continues to be the focus of them, although he's no longer in the Ranger organization.
Marc Normandin at BTB looks at what the projection systems expect from a few catchers, including our own Gerald Laird.
Mike Lupica has a piece on Joe Torre and Alex Rodriguez, and on the possibility of ARod opting out of his contract after the 2007 season. Let's keep our fingers crossed...