Sunday, December 26, 2004

I like Derek Lowe fact, I take partial credit for suggesting him as an option to Andy. The real key behind his signing would be the fact that we have a much-improved infield defense. In particular, if we sign Lowe, once Berkman comes back, perhaps we could always start Burke (over Biggio, if he switches back) at 2nd. It's kind of similar to what the Red Sox had planned to do last year - start Pokey Reese at 2nd rather than Bellhorn when Lowe pitches, because he is such an extreme ground ball pitcher.

Some other random thoughts: The Phillies currently have Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Placido Polanco for 2B and SS. Think we could take one of them of their hands? Bucholz for Utley?

The more I think about it, the more a Lamb-for-Cruz trade would rock. We'd be buying low and selling high; Lamb had by far his best year ever, and Cruz has a Gold Glove and a career 790 OPS or so. Maybe he'd benefit from playing by his dad. He's a local guy...I would really like this move. If we don't get Beltran, we'll need a CF, and I can't see how we can do much better than Jose Cruz. Sure, he'd probably bat .250, but he'd draw 75-100 walks, smack 30 HR's, steal 15 bases, play solid defense, a be a fine #2 hitter. We must do this trade.

I'll be watching Adam Everett closely this season. If he can't improve on a .320 OBP, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he should probably be a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch runner. I don't exactly know who we could get to replace him; Burke is our only really good middle infield prospect (although I like Brooks Conrad, too), so we might think about making a trade.

After Lowe, there's not much else out there in terms of free agent pitchers. I say we give Redding or Duckworth or Carlos Hernandez one last chance to prove themselves. They've all shown potential - Redding was very good in 2003, Duckworth was awesome his rookie year with the Phils, and I vividly remember Carlos Hernandez dominating in his few starts when he first came up. So pit them against each other, see who comes out on top, and cross your fingers.

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