First and foremost, news was passed down by the man with his ear to the street, the inside source on all things White Sox--team beat writer Scott Merkin! Surely his article responding to reader emails has a scoop buried in it!
"...don't think Williams will move players just to move them. However, after looking at the young haul the Padres received for a valuable piece such as Mat Latos, nothing is out of the question in regard to White Sox moves."
Won't move players just to move them?? Oh man, sounds like Kenny Williams is writing off all trades completely removed of leverage! Wow! I guess there's always next year.
Next, it appears the Rangers' plan for replacing C.J. Wilson at the top of their rotation revolved around "sending a trash barge full of cash to Japan and hopes it comes back with Yu Darvish on it". Bold.
Scouts are optimistic that Darvish's 6' 5" frame, and his combination of a 90-95 mph heater, along with a 2-seam version, a highly revered cutter and a good slider will be enough for him to sustain the grind of working at the top of a major league rotation. If that's the case, well, man, Darvish is still super expensive. The Rangers won the right to negotiate with Darvish by bidding a record $51.7 million on his posting fee, and will now have 30 days to agree to a deal with him. Darvish is said to want pretty much the same contract C.J. Wilson just signed with Anaheim (5 years, $75 million).
This continues to mark a new age for the Rangers, who are now well-budgeted and more aggressive than ever. Perhaps we need to transition to resenting the powerful Rangers with the same fury that most direct toward the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. I know some of you are not ready to direct negative feelings toward the state of Texas, but we can do this together.
Much has been made at how curious it was for the Arizona Diamondbacks to sign former Twin Jason Kubel to unseat a cheap, elite fielding Gerardo Parra as their left fielder next season. And yeah, that was pretty curious, 'Zona. However, with 2 years, $15 million being Kubel's final total, it certainly doesn't seem like the Twins put a huge push on to bring him back, despite their reported interest.
Rightly so, as there simply is no place on even the Twins roster that Kubel deserves to have for his own. Newly acquired Josh Willingham is a clearly superior hitter, Denard Span brings plus defense (as opposed to none) and better on-base skills, and despite hitting like an aging Juan Pierre, Ben Revere's glove in centerfield is just too furiously excellent to deny. At 1st base and DH, Mauer, Morneau, and Ryan Doumit should split time, and even youngster Chris Parmalee is a more interesting left-handed bat than Kubel.
I should admit, I am not enamored of Kubel.
The Cleveland Indians were apparently not only caught in a tug-of-war for 38 year-old CF Mike Cameron, but lost it to the Nationals. Perhaps the collapse of Cameron's bat last season was just due to a .228 BABIP, or perhaps he's 38 years old, not good anymore, and the Indians' off-season plan of buying tremendously low on dirt-old veterans to supplement their otherwise promising young core scared the bejeesus out of him. Whatever the case, Cameron fled to Washington and took them up on their promise of a minor league deal, and all the leftover French Onion soup in Mike Rizzo's refrigerator.
The Nationals are also in hot pursuit of SP Gio Gonzalez, who remains one of the most coveted trade targets due to his four more years under team control and consecutive 200 IP years with an ERA under 3.25. And don't forget that Cubs SP Matt Garza continues to have his named bandied about after posting the best K-rate of his career last season, while still possessing two more years of team control.
Good gravy! Who do these teams think they are with all this "We want a long-term rotation piece" and "We don't want to overpay for a one-year rental" talk. John Danks is ready to play in 2012, and who even knows that there will be a 2013 season? Sure, there's pretty much no conceivable reason for there not to be, but just walking around like it's a done deal is pretty arrogant, guys!
Part of me was hoping the White Sox would be named the surprise winner of the Darvish bidding. Not because it would make a lick of sense, or had a remote chance of happening, but because it would give a fun answer to the Mark Buehrle question. "Why didn't the Sox make any effort to extend their greatest pitcher of the last few decades?" "BECAUSE THEY NEEDED MONEY FOR A SUPER-PITCHER FROM JAPAN!!! DUH!!" "Did it work?" "DOES SITTING ON YOUR HANDS WHILE OTHER TEAMS STOCKPILE SUPER-PITCHERS WORK??!!", and so it would go on.
More than anything, it'd be a return to the freewheeling Kenny days, where we'd spend our time waiting on the next crazy move to transform the team into World Series contenders on the fly. Instead all there's left to do is watch as Williams bides his time in handcuffs, and rationalize that we're probably better off with him keeping them on.
Tags: arizona diamondbacks, baseball, ben revere, c.j. wilson, Chicago Cubs, denard span, geraldo parra, jason kubel, Joe Mauer, John Danks, josh willingham, justin morneau, Kenny Williams, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Mark Buehrle, mike rizzo, Minnesota Twins, Oakland A's, ryan doumit, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, White Sox, yu darvish