There are rumors that the Red Sox are the front runners to possibly land Johan Santana in a deal involving Coco Crisp, possibly Jon Lester, and other prospects. I never like to prognosticate this early and have always been a believer that anything can happen in a long season, but if Boston finds a way to nab Santana while keeping Beckett, Papelbon, Ortiz, Ramirez, Lowell, etc., I would have to hand them the 2008 World Series trophy at Fort Myers when they report to spring training. Stay tuned, because unlike the Zito deal, anyone who lands Santana will immediately be a contender. He's that good.
With Thanksgiving behind us, The Commish is reminded of what makes that Thursday his favorite holiday. Like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is free of gifts and full of food, family, and friends. The latest Foul Territory explains how we can get Christmas back on track too. If you can keep your wallet in your pocket or purse long enough, it's a worthy read.
The World Series bonus pool was announced today and I always find it fascinating because to many of the players that affect the game (Ortiz, Beckett, etc), the bonus isn't a big deal. $300,000+ means a great deal to the fringe player making the minimum, however! The article in ESPN.com explains how the amount is calculated, and you may find it interesting that while it is structured so there is no incentive for a player to desire a longer series (thereby avoiding any Black Sox type scandals), the owners and other officials with a financial interest suffer greatly in the short series way beyond just missing the extra income from another game. Why? Because so much of the ticket sales from the early games (all non "if necessary" games) goes directly to the players' pool.
In what was supposed to be a holiday where Torii Hunter was going to mull over a couple offers from the White Sox and Rangers, the Angels announced on Thanksgiving that Hunter signed with them for a deal reportedly worth $90 million over 5 years. Los Angeles now has four solid outfielders and an extra arm in Garland to make a serious playoff run next year. Teams like the White Sox will have to look elsewhere to fill the void at center field.
The Hot Stove League has been quite busy this past week. Some updates along with my comments:
-Glavine signs a 1-year deal with the Braves for $8 million (good low-risk move by Atlanta)
-Lowell signs a 3-year deal with the Red Sox for $37 million (Boston got what they wanted in avoiding the 4th year and not having to drop hundreds of millions on A-Rod)
-The White Sox trade Jon Garland to the Angels for Orlando Cabrera (questionable move for Chicago who already resigned Juan Uribe at SS and are now faced with Buerhle, Vazquez, an expensive and broken down Contreras, and not much else in the rotation)
-Jimmy Rollins wins the NL MVP (my vote goes to Holliday)
-Alex Rodriguez wins the AL MVP (no-brainer)
-Jake Peavy wins the NL Cy Young (despite his lackluster performance in Game 163, there was no real competition)
-A-Rod is close to signing a huge deal with the Yankees after opting out of his current contract in October (sounds like he was pressured by Boras then realized no one can match what New York can offer)
-The Indians signed some Japanese guy named Kobayashi as their closer (he will constantly be confused with the competitive eating dude for at least a year)
-Torii Hunter is mulling over a reported 6-year deal with the Rangers and a 5-year deal with the White Sox (my bet is he hooks on with Texas for more money and to be close to his family)
-No one is commenting on Andruw Jones (at 30, I would take a chance on the 10-time Gold Glove winner and give him a 5-year fat contract despite the lackluster year)
-The Mets acquired Johnny Estrada from Milwaukee for Guillermo Mota (a good deal from both ends matching needs)
Now that you are caught up on baseball news, feel free to sit back tomorrow and watch a little football. I'll get you caught up on any baseball news you may have missed. Happy Thanksgiving!!
C.C. Sabathia takes home the AL Cy Young Award, a small condolence while Josh Beckett sits at home with the World Series trophy. Despite the lack of a ring, MLB.com's story about Sabathia paints him as a solid character in the game and is worth a read.
Dustin Pedroia and Ryan Braun earn some hardware for their mantles, although it's unlikely either of them has bought a house with a fireplace yet. Nevertheless, the Rookies of the Year have been announced and, like in the World Series, Troy Tulowitzki will have to settle for second place.
Since developing talent and spending smart money on free agents hasn't worked for the Tampa Bay franchise since its inception, ownership did the next best thing to become competitive - a name change complete with new uniforms and new colors! Yes, I'm serious.
Aside from free agent signing rumors, not much has happened this past week. The MLB general managers voted for some form of instant replay, but it still needs Selig's approval and a lot of discussion on when a replay may be used. As a general rule, I am against instant replay in baseball, but like my initial uneasiness about the Wild Card, it doesn't mean my mind can't be changed. I will have a lot more to say about this topic as the details are worked out. In the meantime, read up about the Phillies acquiring Brad Lidge in a 5-player deal.