The Phillies signed J.C. Romero to a 3 year, $12 million deal, with a 4th year option for $4.75 million.
Romero is nice and all, but that's pretty hefty. And a good sign for former Ranger Ron Mahay, who looks like he'll get a big payday this offseason, as well...
There's a piece at BP that breaks down the luckiest and unluckiest hitters in the majors last year, in terms of actual average vs. expected average based on the types of balls (line drive, ground ball, fly ball) put into play by the hitter. The #1 unluckiest player was Frank Catalanotto, whose .260 average last year should have been, per the author's calculations, .314.
#3 on the list is Richie Sexson, a player whose bad luck in 2007 I've discussed previously...
The next time some anti-stat-type asks if anyone in baseball actually pays attention to new-fangled stats like VORP, point them here.
John Dewan love Alfonso Soriano's arm in left field.
The Transaction Oracle is underwhelmed by the Lidge/Bourn trade. I like Bourn, and thought the Rangers should have been trying to get him, but obviously, they had nothing to offer to compare to Lidge (although if Akinori Otsuka had been healthy all of 2007, that might have been comparable)...nevertheless, Szymborski doesn't think Bourn's more than a 5th outfielder (although Christina Kahrl is more sanguine about Bourn).
This is one of those situations where the commitment to Carlos Lee is sort of forcing the Astros' hand...with Lee, who can cover about as much space as I can, in left field for the next 5 years, the Astros really need a centerfielder who can cover a lot of ground (and, ideally, a right fielder who can do the same, to allow the CF to cheat towards left). This is exacerbated by the enormous amount of ground the Astro centerfielders have to cover.
I plan on having a post about center field defense and the Rangers up sometime tomorrow, btw...
This crop of players are the group I would consider Free Agent Landmines - players with enough value to appear to be an asset, but who are extremely unlikely to live up to the contracts they're going to get this winter. Previous landmines include Carlos Lee, Barry Zito, Richie Sexson, Mike Hampton, Jarrod Washburn, Carlos Delgado, Pedro Martinez, and Jason Varitek. All good players in their primes, but not good enough to justify the salaries they demand on the open market.
His top 3 this offseason? Torii Hunter, Carlos Silva, and Kyle Lohse, all very reasonable choices.
I am starting to get the feeling, by the way, that Hunter will end up somewhere besides Texas. If I had to guess, right now, I'd say Washington...
Ken Rosenthal has some interesting notes up, including some speculation that Billy Beane may go into full-scale rebuilding mode and deal Danny Haren and Joe Blanton, whose value will likely never be higher, given the scant market for starting pitching right now.
Rosenthal also has this on the ChiSox getting in a possible Miguel Cabrera deal:
In the admittedly unlikely event that all of that took place, the White Sox then would need the Marlins to accept a package of, say, left-hander Gio Gonzalez, third baseman Josh Fields and center fielder Jerry Owens.
Such an offer probably would be too light, but perhaps the Sox could acquire additional prospects for right-hander Jon Garland in another deal.
For those clamoring for the Rangers to get in on Cabrera, the equivalent would probably be the Rangers giving up Eric Hurley, Ian Kinsler, and Nelson Cruz. And that's a package Rosenthal thinks is too light, would probably have to be sweetened to get a deal done.
And remember, Cabrera is 2 years away from being a free agent, and I'm guessing he'd ask for ARod circa 2000 money (10 years, $250 million) to sign an extension without testing the waters.