So it’s mid-December and, aside from one mega-deal, not much has happened to change the landscape of Major League Baseball. A-Rod went back to the Yankees, Johan Santana is still with the Twins, Erik Bedard is still in Baltimore and Jake Peavy signed a big extension with San Diego. This offseason has been about as exciting as a night out in Salt Lake City. Never before can I remember there being so much talk and so little action. I found it easier to stay awake through The English Patient than any ESPN story about the Winter Meetings. (Note: it was either the picture of the dog or one of a really “big boned” girl at a softball game. I went with the dog because I don’t want to be blamed for your erectile problems.)
But hey things heated up got less boring Wednesday as a few teams made moves.
Here’s your roundup of the thoroughly underwhelming moves that have gone down over the past two days:
The Giants paid way too much for Aaron Rowand who will have serious issues duplicating his success this season.
After passing out around $300 million last offseason – and getting a first round exit from the playoffs for their trouble – the Cubs gave $48 million to a guy who’s never played a game in the majors.
The Astros sent five players, including Luke Scott and solid prospects Matt Albers and Michael Costanzo for a rapidly decomposing Miguel Tejada. Hey what could possibly be wrong with that deal? I mean the Astros sent five guys for a 31-year-old shortstop with no range and who hit just .296 with 18 HR and 81 RBI. Yeah, I’m sure Astros fans are all fired up right now, I know I would be.
The Padres signed Tadahito Iguchi … yeah.
Aw, hell this all sucks, I’m just gonna give you what you all want. Let’s get to the crazy rumors flying around out there!
Pirates, Padres talk about Bay
Yeah, McD nearly soiled himself when he read about this one. We all know of his deep love for Jason Bay and lament that he actually caused Bay’s trade to the Pirates for Brian Giles. But according to ESPN.com the Pirates and Pads are in “deep” discussions concerning the left fielder. GM Kevin Towers says the Padres are talking to a lot of people, including free agent center fielder Mike Cameron. But he and CEO Sandy Alderson have both also said they will not part with top prospects – like Double-A player of the year Chase Headley or the top second base prospect in the minors, Matt Antonelli – simply to get a deal done. Other possibilities in the discussions between the two teams are left fielder (and also former Padre) Xavier Nady or Nate McLouth. Frankly I see the Padres bringing Cameron back and going with Scott Hairston in left to start the season. This deal just sounds too good to be true.
Diamondbacks trying to get Haren
The D-backs made a pitch to the A’s in an attempt to pry Dan Haren away. The package supposedly includes prospects Brett Anderson, Emilio Bonifacio and Carlos Gonzalez. The East Valley Tribune says Arizona is now just waiting to hear back from Oakland. Other team believed to be interested are (of course) the Red Sox and Yankees. For some reason I get the feeling Haren will stay put until the season starts. The offers for him aren’t as hefty as I’m sure the A’s would like and they have no need to move him right now. If he pitches well to start the season, his price will increase, especially after a few teams lose starters to injury.
Red Sox, Twins continue Santana discussions
The two teams continue to talk, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and everyone in baseball has the sense that they will eventually come to an agreement. The Twins want a package including center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and not one centered on Jon Lester. The Yankees left an offer of Phil Hughes, Kei Igawa and Melky Cabrera on the table but haven’t pursued it very much lately. Mets GM Omar Minaya claimed his team was still in the race, but no one really believes him. And the Angels would likely have to give up Jered Weaver to even get inside the door on the talks.
Frankly, I think the Red Sox would be moronic to add Santana while giving up Ellsbury and other young studs. They’d basically be doing what the Yankees did for years, inflating the payroll dramatically while selling off young talent. It’s a dumb move, especially considering they spent around $100 million to get Dice-K last year. But yeah, I mean their rotation needs serious work, I mean they only won the freaking World Series.
Bedard a hot commodity
Though it’s taken some time for him to move, it’s almost certain that Erik Bedard will not be with the Orioles in 2008. The Reds are pushing very hard for him and know they would have to part with a lot to get him, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. They say they will not part with consensus No. 1 prospect Jay Bruce, but Homer Bailey would almost certainly have to be included. Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto and a prospect would likely have to be added as well.
The Dodgers are also going hard after Bedard and Jayson Stark claims they are even more interested in him than Santana. They’d even be willing to make a 4-for-1 swap that includes top-pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw and either Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier. The Orioles claim they are still looking to keep Bedard and extend his contract but after the Tejada deal, it’s obvious they are in full rebuilding mode. The Blue Jays, Mets and Mariners have also expressed interest.