Thursday, December 22, 2005

We tendered contracts to all our arbitration-eligible players, including Raul Chavez. Everyone else (Ensberg, Lidge, Everett, Wheeler) was a no-brainer. Chavez could have been released, but instead we gave him $400,000. Hey, it's not my money. Humberto Quintero underwent wrist surgery a few days ago, which will keep him out about six weeks. I guess we want Q to spend another year in AAA.

Jack and I said right after the World Series that this team must upgrade offensively at shortop or catcher. With Ausmus sticking around the next two years, we're left with the shortstop question. I wonder if the Orioles would consider trading Tejada for Lane, Lidge and Nieve. They'd get an everyday outfielder with 30-homer potential, a proven closer and a top prospect. We'd get Tejada for $48 million over the next four years, a bargain.

Tejada is definitely one of the most valuable players in the game. He plays terrific defense and is a tremendous middle-of-the-lineup hitter. It would suck to give up Lane and Lidge, but I think it would be worth it. Besides, trading Lane would open up more playing time for Burke and Scott in left field. Lidge is a damn good closer, but with his health risks, we'd be smart to trade him while his value is high. Qualls and Wheeler would have first dibs at the closing vacancy, or we could pursue a free agent, say, Ugueth Urbina to help us out.

1 comment:

Scott Barzilla said...

You're a lot more ambivalent to the Chavez deal than I am. This is incredibly stupid. You have someone that can't even match the OPS of an NFL lineman's weight and you give him 400K? There are at least 20 catchers at the AAA level that can do that.

So far this off-season, we have Purpura giving raises to Palmeiro, Lamb, and a contract to Chavez. Wow, the free agency pickings can't be THAT slim. Then, he talks about wanting a lefty reliever but lets the best lefty reliever on the market the last three years (Chris Hammond) slip away to Cincy for 800K.

All Hammonds has done the last four seasons is sport an ERA under 3 (collectively) with a 2/1 SO/BB ratio in EACH season. Collectively, here are his numbers since 2002:

W-L: 19-6
INN: 251.1
ERA: 2.47
SO/BB: 176/69
Ratio: 2.55
HR/9: 0.68

Yet, we can't scrape up 800K for this guy? He signed for less than that in San Diego last season. Oh well.........