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GreatsavebyGerber

MLB Thread: Opening Day 2014

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Not a fan of the contract, but Teixeira will be a major upgrade over Giambi defensively, and hitting wise. Power, I dunno... My plan, if we didn't sign Tex would have probably shifted the infield a bit. Possibly have Jeter or Cano playing 1st, the other 2nd, and Arod playing SS and bringing up Eric Duncan. Or, keep Arod at 3rd and find another SS (my personal favorite right now is still Troy Tulowitzki).

Even on a bad day, Tex should be better than Giambi. Was never a fan of Giambi.

Sox could possibly be looking at Joe Mauer from the Twins. Oh boy, they get him, they'll have an anchor in the lineup for years I'm sure. 26, a top hitting catcher, and with pretty good defensive skills? Wow. His contract expires soon, and the Twins aren't looking to renew it. Possibly trading him this mid season or Sox just scooping him up next season.

I'm torn between this offseason. We've gotten better by adding 2 "proven" pitchers, even if 1 is riskier than Ben Sheets and the other is larger than Joba, and now added a great 1st baseman, but I hate the long term contracts. And the ginormous amounts of money in the contracts. ..... Yanks dont make PO or WS, ooooooooohhhhhhhhh boy. I can see Bostonians and anyone else in the sports world.... Geez. I hope for the Yanks sake the win it all at least this year.

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'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when throughout Red Sox Nation,

Finger pointing and frustration with the whole Teixeira situation

Our Red Stockings were hung by Scott Boras, it

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According to ESPN.com, the Mets are talking to the Dodgers about Andruw Jones:

Andruw Jones, coming off a disastrous first season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, has been the subject of trade talks between L.A. and the New York Mets, according to sources.

Jones, who turns 32 next spring, hit .158 with 76 strikeouts in 209 at-bats for the Dodgers in 2008 -- just two years after he mashed 41 homers and drove in 129 runs for the Braves. There is a perception within the industry that Jones, who played the first 12 years of his career in Atlanta, was just never comfortable with the Dodgers.

As part of the two-year, $36.2 million deal with L.A. signed before the 2008 season, Jones was paid $9 million last season, and he is due to make $15 million in 2009. He also received a $12.2 million signing bonus, $2.1 million of which is due in 2009 and $5 million in 2010. But presumably, the Dodgers will be willing to eat a lot of what remains on the contract to facilitate a move out of L.A. for Jones, who has 371 career homers and five seasons of 100 or more RBI.

The Mets' intention, if they were to conclude a deal for Jones, would be to play the 10-time Gold Glove center fielder in right field, flanking Carlos Beltran. Ryan Church played most of the season in right field for the Mets last season.

New York also has been trying to move a player who has fallen out of favor -- second baseman Luis Castillo, who is coming off a poor season and is owed $18 million over the next three seasons. But it's unlikely that the Dodgers would have interest in Castillo, because they have a young second baseman in Blake DeWitt, and Castillo does not play a lot of different positions. If the Mets were to move Castillo, they would be in a position to then pursue the top free agent second baseman, Orlando Hudson.

Earlier on Monday, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported that the Dodgers had reached out to the representatives for Adam Dunn. If L.A. were to move Jones -- and the Dodgers are highly motivated to do so, according to sources -- then a spot would open in the outfield for Dunn, if the Dodgers did not bring back Manny Ramirez.

This so needs to happen... just for the unintentional comedy of Andruw playing in New York.

JEOPARDY TIME!!

Answer: .171

Question:

A. What was Andruw Jones' 2008 Batting Average?

B. What was my blood-alcohol level three Friday nights ago?

C. What is the probability of the Braves winning the NL East in 2009?

The answer is B.

A & C are both lesser than .171.

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I still can't believe LA gave him a multiyear deal. I wouldn't have touched that guy with a 10 foot pole. That'd be hilarious if they dealt him to the Mets though.

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Andruw Jones :o I would only take him if the Dodgers agree to put him in a time machine and take him back to his form in the early part of the decade. Pat Burrell would fit perfectly on the Mets, we need a good right handed hitter.

I still think the Sox are the team to beat in the AL even after all the Yankee pickups. All they need is a catcher, and the Yanks will always be behind the Rays and Sox until they start utilizing their farm system.

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Looks like the Rays are close to signing Pat Burrel and this just in from Manny-gate:

Manny Ramirez's agent contacts the Dodgers

Los Angeles Times

Negotiations for slugger appear to be underway again as Scott Boras gets in touch with team after General Manager Ned Colletti says Ramirez remains the club's 'first choice.'

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dodger...0,7208810.story

If you believe the media reports, the market for Manny is non-existent and Boras had to pull another Arod deal and crawl back to the only legit offer out there. I'll be waiting for the signing announcement of Many to the Dodgers right at...say.....halftime of the Superbowl?

Buster Olney calls it...: "Thanks to his [Manny] ugly finish in Boston, he has placed himself in a less-than-ideal situation. He generated a historic performance in his last two months of the regular season and followed that up by hitting .520 in the postseason. But he's telling friends that he's concerned about the lack of big-money interest. It is evident that during a winter when many teams have clamped down and watched their dollars more carefully, executives with many teams have decided they cannot trust Ramirez on a multiyear deal."

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Looks like the Rays are close to signing Pat Burrel and this just in from Manny-gate:

Manny Ramirez's agent contacts the Dodgers

Los Angeles Times

Negotiations for slugger appear to be underway again as Scott Boras gets in touch with team after General Manager Ned Colletti says Ramirez remains the club's 'first choice.'

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dodgers31-2008dec31,0,7208810.story' target="_blank">http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dodger...0,7208810.story[/post]

If you believe the media reports, the market for Manny is non-existent and Boras had to pull another Arod deal and crawl back to the only legit offer out there. I'll be waiting for the signing announcement of Many to the Dodgers right at...say.....halftime of the Superbowl?

Buster Olney calls it...: "Thanks to his [Manny] ugly finish in Boston, he has placed himself in a less-than-ideal situation. He generated a historic performance in his last two months of the regular season and followed that up by hitting .520 in the postseason. But he's telling friends that he's concerned about the lack of big-money interest. It is evident that during a winter when many teams have clamped down and watched their dollars more carefully, executives with many teams have decided they cannot trust Ramirez on a multiyear deal."

He is a jerk but did help my team to the playoffs. I hope it is for no more than 2 years though.

I still hate him but will tolerate him if LA can win a World Series in the process

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BOSTON -- Never shy about pitching on a big stage, John Smoltz, a potential Hall of Famer, is on the verge of signing with the Boston Red Sox, where every game feels big.

According to a source close to Smoltz, the 41-year-old right-hander plans on calling the Braves -- the only team he's ever pitched for -- on Thursday morning and telling them that he has decided to play for the Red Sox.

Smoltz is coming off extensive shoulder surgery, which limited him to just six appearances in 2008.

The Red Sox, who have a deep rotation, are expected to take a conservative approach to Smoltz's rehab, one in which the righty could debut for them around June 1. Boston took a similar path with Bartolo Colon in 2008, but the big righty never could stay healthy for a prolonged period.

The deal Smoltz appears set to sign with the Red Sox is for $5.5 million over one season, with attainable incentives that could bring it as high as $10 million.

Once Smoltz is ready to pitch, he will join a talented rotation that includes Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield and perhaps Brad Penny, who is expected to officially sign with the Boston in the coming days.

All along, there was some skepticism of whether Smoltz would leave Atlanta, the team he broke in with way back in 1988. But negotiations apparently never progressed to the point with the Braves this winter where Smoltz felt compelled to return.

He has a career record of 210-147 with a 3.26 ERA and 3,011 strikeouts.

Smoltz was converted to the closer's role from 2001-04, where he was also dominant, posting 154 saves.

Though Smoltz has had his share of arm injuries through the years, this past season was the first time since 2000 that he made fewer than 30 appearances. As recently as 2007, Smoltz was still pitching at a high level, going 14-8 with a 3.11 ERA and 197 strikeouts. The Red Sox's main wish for Smoltz is that he will be healthy and thriving during crunch time.

Smoltz has a postseason track record (15-4, 2.65 ERA) similar to former Sox veteran Curt Schilling. He pitched in five World Series, including Atlanta's championship edition of 1995.

Smoltz was the National League's Cy Young Award winner in 1996, when he went 24-8. He is an eight-time All-Star.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20...8&fext=.jsp

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Also I read that the Sox are close with Baldelli.

Nice sigining IMHO http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/basebal...&position=1

The Red Sox [team stats] were closing in on a one-year deal with free agent outfielder Rocco Baldelli last night, according to a baseball source familiar with the talks.

An announcement could come as soon as tonight when the Rhode Island native is scheduled to attend the 70th annual Boston Baseball Writers Dinner.

Baldelli, 27, will receive the Tony Conigliaro Award for his comeback from an energy-depleting health disorder. After missing Tampa Bay

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Nice to see some good signings but we still need a catcher. I think Tek will re-sign but Im not sure if he's the long term answer.

Edit: Smoltz and Baldelli deals get done. Baldelli will become an instant fan favorite being a hometown boy and if Smoltz can be at least half of the Cy Young Smoltz, things are looking up.

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Both are good signings for Boston. I see Smoltz as the Schilling of 04, and Baldelli as the Dave Roberts as well. He'll do something that will help the Sox somehow :rolleyes:

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An older pitcher who use to be pretty flippin' good, and a CF who has some power and speed. Schilling and Roberts of 04. Smoltz is pretty good. Now, it's different going to the AL from the NL when pitching, but still... the intensity for the BOS-NY games??? You know that brings the best (and worst for some of us Yanks fan, Igawa anyone??) when it comes to pitching in Yankee or Fenway in a jam packed full capacity house, screaming and yelling for their team to win and for the other team to go swallow a knife. He's 41, but I'm not counting him out until he's demolished by Yanks this year. Otherwise, he's still a good pitcher in my book.

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Red Sox sign Takashi Saito

BOSTON -- General manager Theo Epstein continued his post-holiday shopping spree with yet another possible gem from the clearance rack. Takashi Saito, a highly successful reliever during his three years with the Dodgers, was signed on Saturday to a one-year contract that includes an option for 2010.

If not for the right elbow injury that limited Saito for much of the second half last season, it's doubtful the Dodgers would have non-tendered him in December.

"He's done an amazing job since coming over from Japan three years ago," said Epstein of the former Dodgers closer. "If you look at his performance and how he's gone about it the last three years, he's been just about as good as anyone in baseball. We were pleased to see him available in free agency, and we engaged and wanted to see if we could work out a contract that made sense for all the sides, and we did."

By doing so, the Red Sox added a pitcher who has 88 career saves and a 1.95 ERA in 180 games. In 2008, Saito posted a 2.49 ERA in 45 appearances.

"We think he's going to be a big addition to our bullpen, so we can't wait for Spring Training to get started and see him in a Red Sox uniform," Epstein said.

Of course, the right-hander won't get all that many opportunities to close as long as Jonathan Papelbon is healthy. But Saito, who will turn 39 in February, gives the Red Sox yet another quality setup arm alongside Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson, Manny Delcarmen, Ramon Martinez and Javier Lopez.

How, exactly, Saito fits in will be determined by the end of Spring Training.

"Part of becoming a player on a new team, there's always going to be competition from within camp," Saito said. "You're always competing for a certain role on the team. At the end of the day, when your teammates understand that you're going into the competition together, that, in the end, leads to good team chemistry. That being said, I'm just going to go out there and do the best I can and contribute to this team the best way I can. However I can help this team win, that's what I'm going to do."

With so many quality arms in the bullpen, Epstein might have a chance to use that depth to his advantage in a trade this winter, particularly if he can reel in that catching prospect he has been seeking. Or he can just go in to Spring Training with an overload of bullpen depth, something that could pay big dividends in July when other contending teams are desperate for quality relievers.

"We have some pretty significant depth in the bullpen, and I think you need that depth," Epstein said. "There's not a team in baseball that at some point during the season isn't out there looking to add more pitching. We think by being aggressive this winter, and by taking educated gambles on some pitchers, we have a chance to build that depth now at the right price rather than during the season, when it's very difficult to do and you have to give up prospects."

During the first half of last season, bullpen instability was a big problem for Boston. In 2009 the 'pen, at least on paper, is a major strength of the club.

"There's a real upside here," Epstein said. "That's significant. Takashi has been a dominant pitcher in the Major Leagues. We already have Papelbon at the end of our bullpen, so we think we have a chance, provided the health is where we need it to be, to roll a number of guys out there who have a chance to dominate. With the hitters that we'll face in the American League East, I think that's important."

In 2008, Saito was part of a Los Angeles team that went deep into October, losing to the Phillies in the National League Championship Series. But Saito pitched just once in the postseason after being on the disabled list from July 13 to Sept. 15.

"I feel great," Saito said. "When I came back toward the end of last season, I was still throwing 93, 94 miles per hour. I just needed some more time to get my control and my command, but the velocity was there, and my elbow was feeling great. I didn't have any problem with my shoulder or elbow or my arm or any part of my body. As of now, the elbow is still fine. I feel great. I'm confident it will hold up the rest of the season."

According to FOXSports.com, Saito's deal includes a guarantee between $1.5 million and $2.5 million. He could also earn more than $7 million if he reaches all of his incentives.

Saito fits into the same profile as the other players Epstein has added in the last couple of weeks, all of whom are coming off injury-marred 2008 seasons after being successful in the past. The list includes Josh Bard, Brad Penny, Rocco Baldelli and John Smoltz.

"I think the uncertainty surrounding the economy was a factor in our strategy to a certain extent," said Epstein. "If there's uncertainty and the possibility for a real downturn, it makes sense to keep your commitments as short as possible, and as small as possible. If you look at our commitments going forward, relative to some of the other big-market clubs, I think we have tremendous flexibility. But at the same time, we have a lot of talent under our control for a long time, a lot of young talent. You never know in baseball, but we hope that's a sound approach to dealing with the uncertainty ahead, but only time will tell."

During Spring Training, as he gets acclimated to his new team, Saito should be comforted by the presence of three other Japanese pitchers in Daisuke Matsuzaka, Okajima and Junichi Tazawa.

"I'm very excited, obviously there is excitement playing for a new team," Saito said. "I know that obviously Daisuke and Okajima are there right now, and I've met them several times in the past. I also understand that there is a lot of Japanese staff working with the team. Atmosphere-wise, it's going to be a very nice fit for myself. I'm just very, very excited to be a Red Sox right now."

And why did he pick the Red Sox?

"The biggest thing is that flat out, they are a contender," he said. "I think every professional athlete playing in sports is always going to want to win. We're always playing for that championship ring, and I think the Red Sox have a very high possibility to achieve that goal. That's the biggest part of me winding up with the Red Sox."

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20...8&fext=.jsp

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Very interesting this offseason. Yanks spend 432 million dollars on 3 players, trade for Nick Swisher (who he, or Nady will either be traded) and the Sox sign Smoltz, Baldelli, Saito, Penny, and Bard.

I can't wait for the showdowns.

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As someone not old enough to remember Rice in his prime, I've always been torn on his HOF candidacy. I don't think his overall career numbers are quite there since his decline was so quick. But he was awesome at his peak and I've heard plenty of people talk about how he was one of the best hitters of his time.

So good for him for getting in. Although I've always thought this process was kind of stupid (its not like he or the other guys have been out there getting more hits over the last 15 years), but that's for another day.

Interesting side note, Mark McGwire's support went down from last year, going from 23.6% of the vote last year to 21.9% this year, when I think many thought the opposite might occur.

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Rays sign Gabe Kapler for their utility outfielder. I always liked that guy when he was with the Red Sox.

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As someone not old enough to remember Rice in his prime, I've always been torn on his HOF candidacy. I don't think his overall career numbers are quite there since his decline was so quick. But he was awesome at his peak and I've heard plenty of people talk about how he was one of the best hitters of his time.

So good for him for getting in. Although I've always thought this process was kind of stupid (its not like he or the other guys have been out there getting more hits over the last 15 years), but that's for another day.

Interesting side note, Mark McGwire's support went down from last year, going from 23.6% of the vote last year to 21.9% this year, when I think many thought the opposite might occur.

warbird the main difference between McGwire and Rice is Rice was a pure hitter and was never even

suspected to be on anything.

McGwire is guily by association unfortunatley

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Braves Agree to Deal With Lowe

ATLANTA -- The Braves impressed Derek Lowe during a meeting at Turner Field last week and then lured him to Atlanta with the four-year deal that he and his agent Scott Boras were seeking.

A Major League source confirmed on Tuesday that Lowe and the Braves have agreed on a four-year, $60 million offer. The deal is expected to be finalized when the 35-year-old right-hander travels to Atlanta for a physical that will likely be performed on Friday or Saturday.

Braves general manager Frank Wren's previous attempts to land an ace proved unsuccessful with his pursuits of Jake Peavy and A.J. Burnett. But with Lowe, he has gained a legitimate front-line starter who will anchor a starting rotation that suddenly seems capable of helping the Braves compete for a division title.

While serving as a starter for the past seven seasons, Lowe has averaged 15 wins and 208 innings. The 35-year-old right-hander went 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA for the Dodgers last season. He also increased his stock by going 6-1 with a 1.27 ERA in his final 10 starts.

Lowe's acquisition, combined with the one that brought Javier Vazquez to Atlanta in December, provides the Braves with a pair of durable right-handers who have consistently completed 200-inning seasons throughout their careers.

Adding depth to this reconstructed rotation is Kenshin Kawakami, a 33-year-old Japanese right-hander who will be officially introduced during a Tuesday afternoon press conference at Turner Field.

While their interest in Lowe was initially slight, the Braves became even more interested in the veteran sinkerballer after meeting with him.

"He's a great kid," Braves manager Bobby Cox said when he emerged from that meeting. "This guy is first class all the way around."

While Lowe might not have the power arm of a prototypical ace, his power sinker has allowed him to distinguish himself as one of the game's top pitchers. The 3.79 ERA he's compiled since the start of the 2002 season is just .08 higher than the mark posted by A.J. Burnett, who declined a five-year, $80 million offer by the Braves before he signed with the Yankees.

In addition, the 1,456 innings that Lowe has completed since the start of the 2002 season rank as the ninth-highest total among all Major League hurlers. Making this more important is the fact that Vazquez ranks third during this span with 1,502 1/3 innings.

With Lowe and Vazquez, the Braves' rotation projects to have the durability that was lacking last season, when each of the top four starters missed at least two months because of injuries. This should only strengthen a bullpen that was burdened by the rotation's inconsistencies this past season.

The Braves rotation will include Lowe, Vazquez, Jair Jurrjens and Kawakami. Jo-Jo Reyes, Charlie Morton, James Parr, Tommy Hanson and Tom Glavine could potentially compete for the fifth spot in the rotation.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20...8&fext=.jsp

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