There’s a lot of interesting news floating around these days, with the winter meetings finally getting into swing, and all our GMs and journalists (and some bloggers!) moving and shaking down in delightful sunny Orlando, Florida. Holding “winter meetings” in Florida is like holding Christmas in Australia.
Player names and teams are being thrown about like crazy, so I’m going to just focus on the ones I care about. Your mileage may vary, and at the moment, I’m not paying much attention to the minors players. Sorry, guys…
Everyone seems to be recovering nicely from the Adrian Gonzalez on-again, off-again panic of a few days ago. I haven’t gotten the whole story, because I figured it would get straightened out eventually (and it did), but from what I could put together, there was something about an injury, an offer, and a deadline…I’m sure it’s easily verifiable, but I never thought it wouldn’t get done for Boston, and what do I care anyway, so I never bothered. Plus, when you have a bunch of journalists and bloggers all giving contradictory information, it’s best to simply wait and see what happens. Deal done, all is once again well in the universe.
Yesterday brought me some news about my perennial favorite, JJ Putz! JJ received a two year contract with none other than the Arizona Diamondbacks!!! Exclamation points! If anything could get me to pay more attention to the DBacks, this would definitely be it. The frosting on this slice of Awesome Cake is that this contract is for the closer position! Plus, I believe Putz has a home in Arizona, or did, so it all works out well. Two years and $10MM. Not too shabby, JJ. If nothing else, this just gives me reason to finally buy some sort of DBacks paraphernalia, something I was putting on hold until they got a little better. For the NL, I’m a little fickle and conditional I guess.
Cliff Lee talks are still moving at a snail’s pace, something that is likely frustrating a lot of Rangers fans. Lee wants 7 years somewhere, and the Yankees – reportedly his biggest public suitor – are rumored not to be interested in giving any more than 6. At 32, I’d think 6 years would be a fine offer (sorry, Cliffy). I talked to Micah from Baseball is My Boyfriend a little on Twitter last night, and she told me that she trusts the Rangers GM to take care of business, so we’ll see. I’m far more comfortable with Lee staying in Texas than I would be if he went to New York; they have their Rivera and Jeter already wrapped up for more time, let the rest of us have a chance at winning. I’m quite aware baseball doesn’t work like that, but damn…
The Mariners, meanwhile, have been reputed to be interested in Gregg Zaun. All any Mariners fan needs to know about Gregg Zaun, in my humble opinion, is this. Also, his fan club is called “Zaunbie Nation”. How do you not automatically love that?! The Ms seemed more than passively interested in Zaun last year, but lost him to the Orioles. Maybe they’ll get the deal done this time. Zaun is as old as I am, which is ancient in baseball years, but he’s managed to stay in the game, and the fact that his name is still being placed on the table in talks is a good sign. Also, his at-bat music is “Limelight” by Rush. If he becomes a Mariner, I will love him hard, on coolness factor alone (I know, I’m a terrible baseball fan).
The Mariners also look to be checking out Mark Hendrickson, a lefty reliever coming off a stint with Baltimore. I’m starting to wonder if some of our problems don’t stem from trading players with Baltimore (insert “el oh el” here), but Hendrickson’s dealings with left-handed batters are a little encouraging. He, too, is a bit on the baseball-elderly side, but a decent lefty reliever is a decent lefty reliever. We have also apparently been linked to Hideki Matsui, which could be both terrifying and delightful. And weird. My friend Craig has told me a few stories about Matsui from his days with the Yankees. The Mariners have not shown any public interest in Vladimir Guerrero, but the Athletics have. If Vlad remains on the west coast, I’d just as soon have a Matsui on our side. Any little thing that might give us a fighting chance. At this rate, I’d just like a winning season like 2009. That’s really all I’m asking for. We’ve also been linked to Rich Harden again, but I don’t know if I’m interested in going down that road…I think we’d also been linked to Jeremy Bonderman at one point, too, but I haven’t heard anything further than that.
Hopefully today brings more concrete news from the meetings. Until then, I’ll be surfing the Diamondbacks’ website to see what I should get myself for Christmas. Cheery Tuesday, everyone!