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Hot Stove Warm Up

It has been awhile since I last blogged. Sorry for my absence. I know society has deeply missed me. I am occasionally a really busy guy. Several great things have happened since my leave started. My beloved Yankees won a world championship and college basketball has started. All is right in the world. I have been thinking about what to write about in my next blog and I have decided on a sort of hot stove preview. I will combine a few things. I will predict what will happen with some free agents or possible trades and give plan for each team in the off-season. This might be a two or three-part blog, we will see. I will start with free agents and trades today.

Top Free Agents

  • John Lackey- He doesnt end up with the Yankees. I don’t see Cashman throwing a bunch of money at an older pitcher with injury history anymore. He will drive up the price, but wont sign him. I think the Mets need to sign him. They need to do what the Yankees did and make a splash in this years market. Even though it is a weak market, behind Johan they do not have a great staff. The Mets need to overpay for him if they have too.
  • Matt Holliday- Due to tension between the Cardinals and Scott Boras, he doesn’t resign with the Cards. He goes to the Mets with Lackey. The Mets need another bat in their lineup. David Wright cannot do it alone.
  • Mark DeRosa- Is a really good fit for the Phillies. They did not pick up their option on Felize. DeRosa would provide them with a solid veteran player to add to an already deep team.
  • Bengie Molina- Another guy going to the Mets.
  • Erik Berdard- The Brewers are a good fit here. They need a solid experienced pitcher for their rotation.
  • Ben Sheets- I see the Yankees signing him to an incentive laden deal. The Yankees have done this a few times with pitchers coming of injuries and I see it happening again, especially with Cashman wanting to have 11-12 starters in camp.
  • Rich Harden- He is from Western Canada and I think he will be making a slight homecoming when he signs with the Mariners, who have a big ball park and solid defense that would be good for him.
  • Nick Johnson- A former Yankees, who I always liked. I have been reading a lot about the Giants and that makes sense for him, also Oakland, where he would be a good DH.
  • Jarrod Washborn- After a not very good few months with the Tigers, I know this cause he sucked on my fantasy team, I see him going back to where he came from in Seattle.
  • Justin Duchscherer– Another injured guy, I’m looking at Cubs here. They could use pitching.
  • Miguel Tejada-needs to go to an AL team so he can DH. The A’s seem pretty logical so I will go there for now. Possibly could go to Reds, but I see the next guy going there.
  • Orlando Cabrerra- Goes to the Reds. I have been reading that a lot lately. Don’t know where else to put him. Ill stick with the guys who get paid to cover this.
  • Rick Ankiel- I would love to see him with the Yankees, but they have a glut of outfielders. I don’t think the Cards will resign him either sadly. I am going with the Twins here. They have a solid outfield, but I dont love it.
  • Adrain Beltre- The O’s would be a good fit here. Mora won’t be back. They are starting to develop a good young team and he would add a nice veteran presences and has a good glove at third. He is only 30 too. He won’t get the contract he had with the Mariners either.

FA Staying put

  • Jason Bay- Stays with the Red Sox, the Yankees will drive up the market value for him too, but he is sticking with the Red Sox and they cannot really afford to lose his above average production.
  • Chone Figgins- He stays with the Angels. The Yankees having an outside shot possibly if Damon thinks he can get a multi-year dear somewhere else. He just makes more sense for the Angels
  • Randy Wolf- They need him, he pitches well for them. No reason to go elsewhere.
  • Johnny Damon- I think we take Boras out of the equation and Damon decides he has enough money and sticks with the Yankees for one more year at about the same money me made last year. Damon was big in the playoffs and the Yankees will reward him and allow him to keep left field open for next offseason where Jeter could take over or they could go after Crawford.
  • Andy Pettitte- Paraphrasing Buster Onley here: Yankees offer him arbitration, if he comes back he takes it and gets a raise if not he retires. I see him coming back though.
  • Joel Pineiro– Sticks with the Cards. Dave Duncan has done too much for his carer. Just a good fit here.

Two Players likely to be Traded

  • Roy Halliday will finally be traded this off-season and pretty soon too. With a new GM in the fold, the Yankees and Red Sox become options and I will put the Phillies, Rangers, and Brewers  in the mix as well. With not many great options in the open market for the Yankees, this is where I would like to see them get creative and offer a reasonable somewhat overwhelming trade without depleting the minor league system.  If the Yankees field an offer of Joba Chamberlin, Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, and another B level prospect. Please Cashman keep Austin Jackson out of any offer. I am excited for this kid to play. The Red Sox could come up with a very similar offer. I think the Phillies, with there win now mindset. They offer a solid deal built on Happ and the Blue Jays take a slightly lesser offer to trade him to another league. Plus the only wins the Phillies got in the World Series was thanks to Cliff Lee, they could use Halliday.
  • Adrian Gonzalez- The White Sox and Red Sox are the two teams at the forefront of trading for Gonzalez and like the White ones here. The Red Sox already have a glut of corner infielders/dh types with Lowell, Youkills, Ortiz, and Victor Martinez. If they could get rid of Lowell and move Youk to third permanently then I could see this. As of now I think the White Sox are the favorites. Look for a three way trade. The Angles is what I have been reading, where they send Konerko to the Angles and prospects to the Padres. I could see the A’s maybe working there way into this deal and taking the Angels spot as well if they Sox throw in money. If the Red Sox trade Youk and do not get Halliday then they will end up with Gonzalez.

Three trades I would like to see

  • Curtis Granderson to the Yankees for Joba Chamberlin and a quality prospect or two, maybe Ian Kennedy as well. Why do I want to see this trade? Well this would help make the Yankees get younger and more athletic in the outfield. If this trade went down then the offseason plan would shift to the following. Granderson would take over in center,and Damon & Matsui are both gone. The outfield becomes Melky, Granderson, Swisher, Gardner, and Jackson coming up midseason or start of season if Melky or Gardner was traded.
  • Ian Stewart to the Cardinals. He does not hit for a high average, but the Cardinals will need a 3B  after losing DeRosa and Stewart would be a good fit and would not cost the Cardinals too much in the trade.
  • Felix Hernandez, Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, and Josh Beckett to the Nationals. This will not happen I am not stupid, but it would be fun to see right take a bad team and give them great players and see what happens. What the hell right?

Coming up by Thanksgiving a team by team off-season preview, I hope.

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