Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Real Tavarez

When Julian Tavarez joined the Red Sox I was sceptical. He had a reputation as being a hothead and he did not do much in his first spring training to dispute that. (Remember the Devil Ray fight?) Ever since that moment Julian proved to be a quiet and fun-loving member of the Red Sox. He handled the booing by fans in the middle of the '06 season when his setup role did not work out well. He became a solid starter at the end of that season and then filled in when a stater was needed this year. Tavarez did whatever the team needed him to do. He was not on the post-season roster but you could always see him on the top step of the dugout with a smile on his face cheering on his teammates. The Providence Journal had a great article today that shows the real Tavarez; the one the fans will miss if he gets traded. Here is a quote that shows you what kind of a guy he is: “I gave my best energy to the team,” he said. “I was keeping the team awake and cheering for the guys. I was really happy how things ended because that’s something you’re always working for in your career — to be a champion. A lot of guys play 17 years and never get a ring, so it’s my first one in 14 years and I’m just happy how things went in 2007.”


Gagne Going To Brew Crew

Eric Gagne will pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers next year according to the Journal Sentinel. Too bad he won't remain in the American League so the Red Sox could have a chance to hit against him. Gagne decline arbitration with Boston yesterday so the Red Sox get a supplemental draft pick because he was a Class B free agent. If he would have pitched well he could have been a Class A free agent but we all know how he pitched last season.


Anybody But Klesko

The Providence Journal listed a few players the Red Sox might be interested in to replace backup corner infielder Eric Hinske. One of the player on the list was Ryan Klesko. I lived in Atlanta during Klesko's tenure with the Braves and watched him out here on the Giants last year so I know how bad a player he can be. He strikes out way too often; last season for 21.7% of his at bats. He no longer has any power; 6 HR's in 362 at bats and his defense is not good. He is Jason Giambi Lite and I would not be surprised if his name ended up on the Michell Report. Klesko is 36 years old and will not be getting any better. If Boston wants someone with a solid bat to replace Eric Hinske they are not going to find him in Klesko. They are much better off re-signing Hinske or looking for a young player to fill in where needed.


Friday, December 7, 2007

Rangers Say No To Gagne

Midnight has come and gone on the East Coast with no word about Gagne's arbitration decision. However, there is word from the Rangers that they are no longer interested in Gagne for next year. It appears that Scott Boras overplayed his hand on this one.

UPDATE: Gagne declines arbitration...Good Riddance!



The walk down the driveway took gruesome turn when I glanced down at the new copy of ESPN the Magazine I had just picked up from the mailbox. Joba Chamberlain was on the cover. This was ESPN's annual Next edition where they showcase the upcoming athletes in various sports. The article was not bad, although it did not mention Joba's bug induced choke in Cleveland, but the next few pages were what bothered me. Not one of the Red Sox young players was listed. Where's Jacoby? If any player showed he belongs in the bigs more than Ellsbury I 'd like to know who it is. I was getting ready to cancel my subscription to the magazine until a few pages latter I read a tidbit on how someone came up with a formula on balls infielders should have reached. According to the new stat Jeter is the second worst fielding shortstop in the league. At least they got 1 thing right.


Could Matsui To Giants Spell Trouble For Sox?

The San Francisco Giants have been interested in trading for Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui. This does not seem like something that would concern the Red Sox because Matsui is declining but still plays well against Boston. However, if recent reports are true that the Yankees did not make another offer for Santana due to financial reasons, dealing Matsui would free up a lot of cash. Matsui will make $13 million next year. The Giants have some money to spend and no longer have a left fielder now that Barry* is gone. The Giants also have some young starters like Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum they could trade for Matsui. It would be a terrible move for San Francisco but they don't usually make good choices in the off-season. Boston can not let the Yankees get Santana and Hank can't be trusted to not get back in the race. If the Giants get Matsui look for the Santana race to heat up again.


Barry Bonds* Pleads Not Guilty

Barry* was in federal court to answer perjury charges today and pled not guilty. This means its going to be "All Bonds All The Time" on the local news out here for the next few months. The only thing that may give us a Bonds* break is when the Mitchell Report comes out this month and adds some new juicers to talk about. The A's are rumored to be interested in Bonds* to DH for them in '08 so Sox fans may get the first chance to boo him next year in Japan assuming he is not in the stir or suspended by MLB like Gibbons and Guillen.


Sox Add A Catcher But He's Not Ready

The Red Sox aquired cather Juan Apodaca from the Dodgers for cash. He has only played 2 games in AAA and 3 games in AA. Apodaca hit .259 with 8 HR in 58 games in Single A ball last season. He was hitless in his 3 game is Double A ball. Boston is in need of a backup catcher for this season and the future but Apodaca is not ready to fill in yet. His signing makes it more likely that the Red Sox will re-sign Doug Mirabelli for one year. Mirabelli is 37 and will help with Wakefield in what most likely is his last year.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Uncertainty Begins

One of the hardest things about being a baseball fan in the off-season is the lack of a schedule. From April-October you know there will be at least 5 Red Sox games a week (except for the All-Star break when you watch Manny and Big Papi.) You know who's pitching each game, you can get live updates on your fantasy team stats, and Baseball Tonight will wrap up the day for you. Now that the Winter Meetings are over we enter a time of uncertainty. We don't know when the next Sox deal will come, when all single game tickets will go on sale, nor when Manny will be Manny again. Everything fell into place at the beginning of the off-season so there is no need for a frenzy of activity but we Sox fans want more. Boston played as far into the post-season as you can go and they begin next season in first game for all of MLB but it is still a long time before pitchers and catchers report. That's why the potential for the Santana deal was so cool. Sox vs. Yankees again...deadlines...a new Steinbrenner to hate. The off-season will still have plenty of excitement; we just don't know when its going to come.


Where Will Coco End Up?

Now that the Santana negotiations have stalled, the Red Sox need to find a deal for Coco Crisp. Here are the teams that need a center fielder:

Twins: without getting Santana it is unlikely the Sox will deal Coco to the Twins unless he is part of a deal for Nathan.

Braves: Now that Jones is gone they need someone at CF but they don't have much to trade for.

Rangers: Missed out on Torii Hunter but still might go after Rowand or Fukudome. They have depth at catcher: a need for the the Sox .

White Sox: They have MacDougal or even Joe Crede as trade bait. Crede could be the corner infielder the Sox are looking for but could he handle a backup role? He may be too expensive (another Boras client)

It will be interesting to see how long Theo holds onto Coco and what they can get for him.


Gagne Might Accept Arbitration

The role of the dice on Gagne by Theo and the boys might not work out so well. Boston offered Gagne arbitration so they could get a supplemental draft pick next year when he signs with another team. It has looked like Texas is interested in having him come back to close for them in '08 but that is not a given. Gagne should be able to get more $ on the Free Agent market and could get a chance at closing but the Winter Meetings have come and gone without a team picking him up. The Herald is now reporting that sources say he may want to accept arbitration and return to the Sox. He was awful last year in the setup role for Boston but it is possible he could regain his form and be a solid arm in the bullpen. Gagne has until tomorrow to decide. I can hear the boos already.


Theo Has Left The Building

Theo has left Nashville, he did not need the gorilla suit to escape the media because there was no big news to be had. Nashville was filled with rumors about's close...the Yankees are in front...Angels want him..etc. But in the end it was fairly quiet. The Tigers and Marlins made the big news of the week and by today the only real news that came out of Nashville was Andruw Jones to LA for $18 million/year...kinda makes J.D. Drew look like a bargain. Theo went to Nashville not having to make a deal but with the wish to get Johan if he could. The Santana story does not end with the Winter Meetings; it will continue until he is traded or the trade deadline passes next season. The rumor mill will slow down but the Yankee/Red Sox pursuit of Santana will continue to make headlines. Theo will soon be forced to make a decision about Coco Crisp. How long can he wait on the Twins before Coco's value goes down? Also, time is ticking for Eric Gagne to accept arbitration, tomorrow is the deadline.


Another Night And No Santana

Boston seems to have given their best offer to Minnesota and the Twins are not going to accept it right now. Twins GM Bill Smith may feel he will not get better offers and may still accept it at a later date. Other reports have Santana staying with the Twinkies but I don't think that is Smith's plan. For the time being everything is fine for the Red Sox but almost every reporter in Nashville believes the Yankees are still after Johan. The only potential snag with the Santana deal taking so long is Coco stays on hold. The Red Sox might miss some potential trades with teams like Chicago or Texas by waiting too long. The Sox still need a backup catcher, another reliever, and a corner infielder. Boston has a solid team for '08 with 6 quality starters, Ellsbury in center and Big Papi with a fixed knee. Even without a blockbuster trade the Red Sox are still the best team in baseball. The Yankees are still in the rear view mirror but the Tigers look like they are coming up fast.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Just When I Thought I Was Out......

It appears the Sox are going to go for another ride on the Santana roller coaster this evening as negotiations appear to be back on. Some of the buzz is that the Red Sox were very close to a deal and could not pull the trigger, this was followed by several teams getting back in the race but the latest says the Mets have no chance and the Yankees appear to be out. Can Theo stick to his guns and still get the deal done? Get back on the ride for the last evening and day of the Winter Meetings.


Back Where We Started With Santana

All of the news coming out of Nashville is that no deal is likely any time soon and that several teams are interested including the Yankees, Mets, Sox, Dodgers, Mariners and possibly the Angels.
The Santana roller coaster ride has come full circle.

Billy Beane has said the 3 team trade rumor is totally false.


Haren and Santana In The Same Deal?

If the rumor is true that the Mets, Twins, and A's are involved in negotiations for a mega deal that would explain why its been so quiet in Nashville on the Santana and Haren front. This deal would be good for Boston: it would take Santana out of the American League and keep Haren away from the Yankees. Boston would keep their young players and win the East again. Short of Santana coming to the Sox for cheap this is the best case senario.


Winter Meetings Update

Fox Sports is reporting that the Mariners are interested in Santana and that the Sox and Twins are still talking but "not matching up right now."

Met's manager Willie Randoph said his team "not out of the picture" on Santana.

The Rockies are not interested in Tavarez as was reported earlier.

Boston Herald thinks Santana is not going anwhere. Same with Gammons.

The Twins have not announced they are done shopping Santana so this could keep going even after the Winter Meetings. The wait continues.....

UPDATE: Baseball Prospectus is saying there will be no deal. ESPN says they are still talking.

UPDATE 2: Twins may be involved in a 3 team deal for Santana.


Are the Sox Interested In Fukudome?

SI has reported that Boston may be interested in Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome. Why might they want another outfielder? The only possible reason is they might include both Ellsbury and Crisp in a deal to the Twins. JD and Manny are not going anywhere and if the Sox keep Ellsbury he is going to stay in center. Boston does not need to go after a high price outfielder unless they have an opening at that spot. If they get Santana will they have any cash left?


Cold Feet?

New buzz has the Twins balking on a deal with Boston and looking for new offers from the Mets, Dodgers, and Angels. Not real solid rumors but at least its something new. It seems to me they are trying to see if they can get any last big offer before they pull the trigger on the deal with the Sox. The Angels are the only team I think that may make an offer now that Cabrera is gone.

UPDATE: More buzz that Boston may just be in this to raise the price for the Yanks and that both the Sox and Twins are sticking to their goals.

UPDATE 2: Twins and Red Sox are still negotiating. This deal is going to get done. SI confirms that the 2 teams are negotiating but that the Mets are getting back in the race.

Schilling thinks Sox offer is better than Yankees and a deal is going to happen in the next 24-48 hours.

Ellsbury wants to stay in Boston but does not know what is going to happen.


Tavarez Is On The Trading Block

The Red Sox are taking offers for Julian Tavarez at the Winter Meetings. He could be a good fit as a 5th starter for many clubs that need pitching. So far the Rockies have expressed interest in landing him. The Rockies have Fuentes who was rumored to be included in a trade deal for Lowrie earlier in the week so they could get together with the Red Sox on a deal. Boston is still in need of a right handed relief pitcher, a backup catcher and a backup corner infielder to replace Hinske. If they are shopping Tavarez that could me that Coco will not be available to trade for those needs. No news on Santana yet.


Latest On Santana

The only thing new this morning is coming from the Boston Herald saying the Red Sox told Kalish's agent his name never came up in negotiations with the Twins. However, they told him that before the late negotiations started. The Herald is also reporting that the Twins may take their time on the Santana issue. As I posted earlier, no news is good news for the Sox. I would not put too much in the Herald if you look at the morning of Lowell's signing when they said no deal is coming soon. 2 hours later the news broke that he had returned to Boston. I am still in the camp that Santana is coming to Boston and soon.

Its beginning to look like that Simpson's episode with Kamp Krusty where everyone waits around for Krusty the Clown and then they all go home. Don't forget, Krusty does show up in the end as will Santana. Here's a clip to keep you entertained as you wait for more news on Santana.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Other Happenings In Nashville

As we wait for more info on the Twins/Red Sox negotiations here is some other news coming from the Winter Meetings:

The Diamondbacks and A's did not get far in the negotiations for Haren so the Yankees and Sox still could come calling.

Several sources have reported the Rangers spoke with the Twins about Santana but I would not take it very seriously, they have tried to play with the big dogs before (A-Rod) and we all know how that turned out.

The Tigers became a big market team today with the addition of Cabrera and Willis; their payroll could jump to $110 million. Tito's reaction to the trade:"Wow, there's a lot of American League pitchers (and teams) that just got real nervous. And we're one of them. That's quite a lineup."

Theo and the group will resume trade talks with Twins after midnight. Get out your Ipod for some Eric Clapton.


No News Is Good News

The Santana deal is a very complicated for Boston and includes negotiating a long term contract for what could be the highest pitcher salary in baseball. In addition to this, information has to be exchanged on at least 4 players coming from the Red Sox. This outline of this deal should be worked out tonight but it will go into the later hours. The beauty of living on the West Coast is I won't miss a thing...stay tuned. Don't worry Sox is coming.

Theo just met briefly with reporters and said negotiations would go well into the night.


Twins Clear Roster Space....Trade Coming?

The Twins sent Chris Bassak to Rochester clearing another spot on their 40 man roster. That would leave them with 2 open spots. This is usually something that happens before a trade is announced.

Baseball Prospectus is saying "the deal (between the Twins and Sox) is all but done"

UPDATE: The Globe is reporting the Angels are not in the Santana sweepstakes...this has become a one horse race...its just a matter of time before the deal is announced. Get the milk and cookies ready; Santa is about to bring the Red Sox a big present.


Big Papi Wins Martinez Award

David Ortiz won his 5th Edgar Martinez Award today. The award that was started in 1973 goes to the best DH in the game each season. In 2004 the award was named after Mariners DH Edgar Martinez who won the award 5 times. Big Papi is the first player to win it 5 years in a row. He should be able to keep the streak going with a repaired knee in '08.


Sox and Twins Are Meeting Now

Representatives from the Twins and Red Sox are meeting now in Nashville to discuss the details of a trade for Santana. The latest reports have the Twins possibly throwing in another player to get the Red Sox to give a little more. Also the Angels are reportedly getting back into the mix with a Jered Weaver offer. Things are moving fast and the Red Sox executives are not talking which usually means a deal is close. The bad news for Sox fans is Jacoby may be gone but Buchholz will stay. Ellsbury agreed to have Scott Boras represent him yesterday making him more expensive in the long run; this may make Jacoby's departure a little easier if the deal gets done. If Boston gets Santana they will have the best rotation in baseball with Beckett, Santana, Schilling, Dice-K, and Buchholz. The good times could keep coming in Boston. By the way, the Pats are still undefeated.

UPDATE: Peter Gammons is reporting that a 5th player has been added to the Sox offer: Ryan Kalish. That would put the offer at Lester, Coco, Masterson, Lowrie and Kalish for Santana.

UPDATE 2: The Boston Herald is reporting the Twins want the Santana deal done by the end of today.


Its Starting To Look Like Santana Is Coming To Boston

All of the buzz right now from Nashville seems to be around a deal of Johan Santana coming to the Sox for 4 players: Lester, Coco, Lowrie, and Masterson. However, once the Twins accept a deal the Red Sox will have 72 hours to negotiate a long term contract with Santana. The contract could be close to $20 million a year for 5-6 years. Theo has not backed down from his plan to not deal Ellsbury and Lester together. This transaction is the best case senario for the Sox and will be a major victory over the Yankees if Theo can pull it off.

Update: The Red Sox might be adding Brandon Moss to the offer this afternoon to seal the deal for Santana. In addition the Herald is reporting that Haren may be going to the D-Backs leaving the Yanks without an ace.

Update 2: The Boston Globe and Providence Journal are both reporting that the Twins are deciding between a 3 player deal including Ellsbury or a 5 player deal without him. Neither deal will include pitcher Clay Buchholz.


Tito and the New Uniform Rule

Terry Francona can't wear his signature top anymore thanks to a new rule by MLB for the '08 season.


The Latest From Nashville

The Hank deadline ended without any action and the Yanks negotiations with the Twins are "probably off." The Red Sox are now the solid front runner in getting Santana and may be able to do so for a cheaper price. The latest report says Jacoby Ellsbury is not in the current offer to the Twin which includes Coco, Lester, Masterson, and Lowrie. Theo has sent no deadline for acceptance of the offer and can afford to sit back and wait. The Twins have to make a choice to deal Santana now or keep him for the entire '08 season and watch him walk. They still need a center fielder so the Red Sox may have an offer they can't afford to refuse. Everything else in Nashville seems to be on hold until the Santana deal is worked out.

UPDATE: The Boston Herald is reporting that serious negotiations are taking place right now and a deal is in the works. The Globe says teams are exchanging medical info on Lester and Santana indicating that a deal may be close.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Brian Fuentes to Sox?

The Rockies reliever is being discussed in Nashville as part of a trade for Red Sox SS prospect Jed Lowrie. Boston is still looking for bullpen relief but they really need a righty. You may remember Fuentes as the guy who gave up the gopher ball to Kielty in the 8th inning of game 4 of the World Series. Fuentes had a 3.08 ERA this season with 20 saves.


Time Is Running Out For New York, Theo Is In No Hurry

With just a few hours left in the Hank imposed deadline for the Yanks it is very quiet in Nashville. Theo said he has no ongoing discussions with the Twins and no deals are being held up by waiting for Santana. If the Yankees are truly out of the picture (doubtful when you look at Hank Steinbrenner's short track record) the Red Sox chances of signing Santana are pretty high. Meanwhile things are getting a little uncomfortable in Baltimore as the Ravens just took the lead in the third quarter.

UPDATE: As the clock continues to tick ESPN is reporting that neither the Twins nor the Yankees budged on their offers and New York may drop the idea of getting Santana altogether. On the football front Tom Brady just marched the Pats down the field to take the lead with under a minute to play and stay undefeated.

UPDATE 2: Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports is reporting that a Red Sox official said the Yankees and Twins are "very close" to a trade deal for Santana.


Looks Like Its Gonna Be A Late One

Brian Cashman did not arrive in Nashville until this afternoon. The Twins have scheduled talks with the Red Sox and the Yankees this evening so it may not be until halftime of the Pats game(they should have a solid lead by then) before we know what's going on with Santana.


Ben Sheets Might Be The Fallback

With both the Twins and A's asking a high price for their #1's the Sox might look elsewhere for a starter. The Red Sox do not need a starting pitcher for the '08 season but when top tier players become available they have to take a good look. Ben Sheets has been a solid pitcher in the past for the Brew Crew but he has had his share of injuries. Papers have been reporting that Sheet will be up for negotiation in Nashville this week and Boston has already contacted Brewers GM Doug Melvin. Sheets is in the final year of his contract so the Red Sox would only take him if they can negotiate a long term deal because they will need starters next year when Schilling and Wakefield are gone. The Brewers don't need a left fielder but Coco could play left for them so he could be included in a trade. However, this could all be Theo's way of bringing down the price for Santana or Haren.


Today Is The Day For Santana

Since Andy Pettitte announced that he will pitch for the Yankees next season it is doubtful that the Yankees will change their offer for Santana. Yesterday they said that today is the deadline for the Twins to accept their offer. The Yankees are not as desperate for a starter as they were before so if the Twins don't take the offer today it is very likely that Santana will end up on the Red Sox. Since Santana is not going to allow a trade during the season and has said he will only accept a trade to the Red Sox or Yankees, a deal will happen soon. Although no one likes when the Yankees improve their pitching, the Pettitte news is good for Boston on the Santana front. The Winter Meetings have started and the countdown for the Yankees deadline has begun. If Santana's agent is not negotiating a long term deal with the Yankees by midnight he will most likely be on the Red Sox by the end of the week.

The A's reportedly want the same high price for Haren as the Twins are looking for Santana: Lester and Ellsbury or Buchholz and Ellsbury. If Boston is going to go after a starter for that price it would likely be Santana who is the better pitcher.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Winter Meetings Begin

Nashville is the center of the baseball universe for the next week and there is sure to be some big news. By the end of the week we should know about Santana, Haren, Miguel Cabrera, and Tejada with a possible other big surprise deal. The Red Sox do not need to make any deals this week but it should still be a busy time for Theo who is always looking to improve the team. has a special section on the Winter Meetings here. After the Santana news clears look for Boston to try to sign a backup catcher and a corner infielder.


Johan Puts In His 2 Cents

Johan Santana told the Twins he will not waive his no trade clause during the season. If the Twins want to trade him they have to do it soon. If they don't trade him now they risk having him leave as a free agent at the end of the season. This puts more pressure on Bill Smith to accept one of the offers on the table and makes the price a little cheaper for the Red Sox or Yankees. I would be he will be a member of an East Coast team by Friday. Maybe Santa will bring Boston an early Christmas present.

UPDATE: Hank Steinbrenner's 2 Cents: "I'm not going to be played against the Red Sox. That's not something I'll do. That's not something the Yankees should ever do, and that's I think what they're trying to do now," "So if they want the best offer that has been offered to them, then they need to make up their minds." -What a tool. Bill Simmons is right, he is Spalding Smails.


Santana Update

Most sources have Boston staying firm in their Lester, Coco, and Lowrie offer while the Yankees have added Hughes to their package. The Twins still want more from each club. The Yankees may have put a deadline on the Twins to accept their offer while Red Sox do not need to rush into a deal. It looks like the Twins have their best offer from both teams and have to make a choice which could include waiting until July to trade him. Since the A's are willing to trade Haren both teams may turn their attention away from Santana leaving teams like the Mets and Mariners in the mix. The Yankees have money and young talent to trade for Santana but they know that going after All-Star veterans does not guarantee anything. Randy Johnson, Jeff Weaver, and Javier Vasquez did not live up to the hype in New York. Maybe Hank or as Bill Simmons calls him "the Spalding Smails of his generation," knows more than George but it is doubtful after watching the A-Rod events. The winter meetings will tell if Twins rookie GM Bill Smith has overplayed his hand and at the same time brought about the wrath of Twins fans.

UPDATE: According to Buster Olney the Sox have changed their offer by substituting Ellsbury for Lester and adding pitcher Justin Masterson.


Its A Win-Win Situation For Boston

If you wake up tomorrow and read the Globe and the headlines tell you the best pitcher in baseball is coming to the Sox you are going to be thrilled. Even if they had to give up Buchholz or Ellsbury they will be a better team than last year. To be honest, how much value did you give to Buchholz or Ellsbury last May compared to Santana. But lets say this doesn't happen and the Yankees get Santana. They will have given up a great deal of young talent for a pitcher who's numbers were down last season and their payroll will continue to be far above every other team. When they lose to Boston next year it will be that much better, especially when Ellsbury wins Rookie of the Year. It is easy to spin the Santana deal any way but no matter how it turns out the Red Sox will be ok. And the Haren sweepstakes will be just starting.



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