I only got about 5 or so hours of sleep last night, so this may reflect that…
Well into day 3 of the winter meetings, and some news has actually occurred for the Mariners in the form of a pending Jack Cust signing. The deal is reportedly for $2.5M and one year with possible incentives, though all of that is still up in the air, and no formal announcement is expected until the end of the week. Cust seems to be a divisive figure for Mariners fans, and it is an event like this that makes me glad for my short-timer fandom; I have no preconceived notion of Cust, I just know that he’s been a fairly successful DH for the Athletics. I know nothing of his disposition, nor do I care. Until he pulls a Milton Bradley, he’s just another guy, a name I recognize, and – this is the best part – a designated hitter who might actually be able to hit. In my way of looking at things, he and Bradley may actually cancel each other out, in a tornado of Crazy and Anger Management. So from this corner of the internet, yay Jack Cust. I also heard (though I cannot immediately find the information to link to) that he is taking a bit of a pay cut to be here, so good for him.
Earlier today, it was rumored that George Sherrill was being closely inspected by the Philadelphia Phillies. I had a warm fuzzy feeling for about an hour or so, before I started seeing information that the Atlanta Braves were swooping for the kill. The Braves also still have Eric O’Flaherty in their bullpen, so it will be like a little 2007-ish Mariners reliever reunion. If the Mariners played baseball in a muggy swamp. Sorry, Georgia – you’re fascinating to visit, but I could never live in you. Seems like an appropriate fit for a guy nicknamed the Brim Reaper, though.
The Cust signing puts us out of the running for Vladimir Guerrero or Hideki Matsui (we were never really mentioned as being linked to Vlad – except in my mental universe – but Matsui came up in rumor circles at least once or twice over the past 48 hours). The Athletics now need a DH, however, so they’re being mentioned at MLBTR as a possible fit for one or the other. I’ll live. Of course, there is always the possibility that Cust fails his physical or something else occurs between now and Friday, but for now I’ll take it on faith that the deal is done.
In Birdland, after successfully gunning for Mark Reynolds, they’re now setting their sights on JJ Hardy, a player who was once (last year, if I remember correctly) linked to our fair city. I hope they can make this work – I’d love to see them not come in last in 2011.
Cliff Lee still doesn’t have a home, and there are reports today saying that his agent bailed on the meetings. As Conor specifies in a recent Tweet, it really does seem like mystifying behavior. Someone also pointed out (I think it may have been Chris Crawford from Prospect Insider, though I cannot find the exact Tweet) that the whole 7-years deal thing might be some sort of smoke screen to drive up Lee’s value. So did Lee’s agent leave the meetings because his plan didn’t work? Or is there something else behind the scenes that he has going on? According to this guy from a Fort Worth paper, the Rangers may have been the last team that Lee’s agent met with, so there is that to consider, as an outside observer. Drama! Adventure! Intrigue! Baseball is so shifty sometimes.
And what will become of poor Adrian Beltre? Agent Scott Boras has some smoke screens of his own, but so far I’ve heard the Athletics and Angels are giving up some Beltre love. The A’s I’d be OK with, but if Beltre goes to the Halos, I may actually pitch a fit the likes of which I haven’t since I was 4 and got lost in the grocery store from my mother. I do not think I’d be alone in that, either.
And lastly, some stuff floating around regarding our possible re-acquisition of both Miguel Olivo and Luis Valbuena. I really have nothing against either player, but moves like this always remind me of this old dress I used to have. It was a 1960’s swing-style dress with white and black polka dots on it, a style I just wasn’t into at the time, but it belonged to a great-aunt, so I held onto it. After years of it sitting in my closet, I finally decided to part with it, and sent it and a bunch of other things to the Value Village on Capitol Hill. A few months later, I was browsing for clothing, and discovered it there, hanging on the rack for around $15. I stood there for a second, looking at it, debating buying it back – but then it occurred to me how ridiculous that idea was. Really, I could take or leave these guys; neither signing would thrill or upset me.
And that’s about it. The Ms are still being low key outside of the Cust thing, and I’m still tired, and there’s your Wednesday. Have a good one.