Ensberg finished fourth in the NL MVP voting. He didn't get any first, second or third place votes, but finished ahead of Marlins Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Delgado. Pujols won for the first time, Andruw finished second and Lee finished third. Lee had the best year statistically -- even better than Pujols, so he probably should have gotten at least second. And what the heck? Burrell, Carpenter, Giles and Jimmy Rollins finished ahead of Bay, Griffey, Berkman, Dunn, A-Ram, Utley, Abreu and Edmonds. That ain't right.
In other news, Hideki Matsui signed the first big deal of the offseason. The Yankees re-signed him to a four-year, $52 million deal. Matsui is a very good hitter, but at 31 he's only going to get worse. The Yankees definitely overpaid, and this will set the standard for other big free agents like Furcal and Giles.
I've done some more thinking on the Ausmus situation. It really wouldn't be all that bad to re-sign him for '06. Yes, he won't be a help to our offense, but how many NL teams have a productive catcher? Barrett, LaRue, LoDuca, Hernandez, Estrada, Lieberthal. That's about it. And only LaRue had a better OBP than Ausmus last year.
If we can get him for under $2 million for one year, it wouldn't break my heart. So long as Quintero gets some playing time... maybe twice a week. Plus, Clemens would be more inclined to return, and this time maybe at a discounted price (it'll have to be).
If we do re-sign Ausmus, I really hope Purpura looks long and hard at Nomar. Since the Cubs told him to get lost, his options are limited. Teams looking to acquire a shortstop are: Seattle, Minnesota, Atlanta and Arizona, and maybe Toronto, Washington and the Mets and Dodgers. Of those teams, only Toronto and the Mets have the flexibility to sign a guy of Nomar's caliber. If we get after him early, I'm sure we could work out a deal. Maybe even offer him a two- or three-year extremely incentive-laden deal. He is 32, but can still mash if he's healthy. I think he's said he'd be willing to play left field for a team if need be. (Plus, we'd still have Everett if Nomar did get hurt).
Things are getting boring... let's make some moves.