Archive: November 12th, 2008

Miller: Peavy Going to Braves

Jake Peavy is going to the Atlanta Braves, if he waives his no-trade clause, Scott Miller of CBS Sportsline reports.

Miller claims that the Braves are ready to send Yunel Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez, one of either Jo-Jo Reyes or Charlie Morton, and one of either Scott Locke or Blaine Boyer.

I’m still not seeing the Braves parting with Escobar … unless Khalil Greene is also part of the deal or they’re looking to bring either Edgar Renteria or Rafael Furcal back to Atlanta. I do realize that Peavy is an ace, but their package seems a bit too heavy and against their philosophy of rebuilding from within. Then again, they have been unable to develop ace-level pitchers in recent years, and have an abundance of young position players, and oftentimes a team must deal from surplus. Escobar is a pretty special talent, though.

With or without Escobar, I’m not liking the idea that the Braves may have Jake Peavy next year — nor does it please me that they are supposedly looking to add a frontline free-agent starter such as A.J. Burnett or Ryan Dempster, as Miller also claims.

*** UPDATE ***

Ken Rosenthal is debunking this rumor, sort of.

If the Braves are getting Jake Peavy, it’s news to them.

The Braves are on the verge of a trade agreement with the Padres for Peavy, according to, but the Padres have yet to communicate their acceptance of a Braves’ offer to Atlanta officials, major-league sources say.

Hmm …. he goes on to state this:
It is possible that the Padres have decided internally to proceed with the Braves, then finalize the details later Thursday. The teams spoke again on Wednesday, continuing discussions that have lasted for over a month.

So, Rosenthal is debunking the deal in one paragraph, then covering his butt just in case the deal is realized. Is he upset he didn’t get the scoop? Or was Miller too quick to the trigger?

We’ll know before Thanksgiving. Perhaps before the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau.


Damaso Marte Signed by Yankees

A day before hitting the market, Damaso Marte re-signed with the New York Yankees.

The Yanks signed the lefthander to a three-year deal for $12M.

Interesting decision on both sides, as the Yankees initially declined a $6M option on the 33-year-old reliever for ’09. Considering his advancing age and ineffectiveness down the stretch, one would think the Yanks would have exercised the one-year deal, in the hopes that he’d be motivated to pitch for another contract, and still be protected if he continued to regress. Now, they’re on the hook for twice as much money, paying through 2011.

From Marte’s perspective, he might have commanded a better deal on the open market, which has plenty of quantity but very little quality. It seems this was a situation of the player really wanting to be on the team, and the team wanting to keep the player, and both sides making concessions toward that end — as opposed to a purely financial decision.

Of course, the Yankees can afford to make million-dollar mistakes on pitchers (Pavano, *cough cough*, Jaret Wright, *cough*, LaTroy Hawkins, *cough*).

On the one hand, this sort of sets a bar for a reliever with previously mixed success and in his 30s. On the other hand, it removes a decent middle man / potential setup reliever from the market, thereby increasing the value of the few quality arms available.


Chicago Shopping Swisher

As MetsToday reader isuzudude pointed out earlier today, rumors persist that the Chicago White Sox are eager to ship out Nick Swisher.

The latest from Mark Gonzalez of The Chicago Tribune also confirms that the Palehose are committed to moving young star Alexei Ramirez to his more natural position of shortstop, and allowing free agent Orlando Cabrera to depart.

From the story:

A scouting source added the Sox have strengthened efforts to deal first baseman-outfielder Nick Swisher, who is signed through 2011 but doesn’t have the no-trade rights Konerko, pitcher Javier Vazquez and right fielder Jermaine Dye possess.

nick_swisher.jpgHmm … an opening at second base, a contract to dump … would Kenny Williams consider taking on Luis Castillo’s $18M in return for shedding Swisher’s $21M ? We discussed the possibility of Castillo going to Chicago in return for Paul Konerko last week, but that seems less realistic. Personally I’d do Castillo-for-Swisher in a heartbeat, install Swisher as the starting left fielder, and consider him as the heir to first base after Carlos Delgado exits. Swisher had a very difficult 2008, but at age 28 is entering his prime years and has shown both power and the ability to get on base in the past. He strikes out quite a bit, but makes up for it with his power, strong defensive skills and patience at the plate. Think of him as an Adam Dunn with a better glove and less swinging and missing. Oh, and the fact he’s a switch-hitter is nice, too. I also like his hard-nosed play.

Maybe the Mets can pull off a good old-fashioned blockbuster, and come away with Bobby Jenks and Javier Vazquez as well.

Let’s keep an eye on the developments in Chicago …


Another Japanese Import on the Table

ken_takahashi.jpgAccording to sources in Japan, the New York Mets are considering making an offer to Japanese lefthander Ken Takahashi (link target is in Japanese).

The always-excellent resource NBPTracker has more to the story and a profile of Takahashi.

From NBPT:

“It has been a wish of mine to play in America after qualifying for free agency,” said Takahashi, who went 8-5 with Hiroshima this season.

“American baseball is a different world. I’d like to start off by getting one win over there. I’ll need energy to challenge at my age but it is just a case of believing in myself,” the 39-year-old
said. “There aren’t that many left-handers over there either and that would be a plus for me.”

Awe-inspiring, I know.

Before you get too excited, understand that Takahashi turns 40 in April. I’ll be 39 by then, so perhaps I can be his personal catcher.

Not sure how much truth there is to the rumor that the Mets are interested, but hey, more paint for the wall. According to Takahashi, it is his dream to


Mets May Have to Bid for Manny

When he was available as a free rental, the Mets passed on Manny Ramirez at the trade deadline. If they can avoid it, they will not get into the bidding war for Manny. However, there is one situation where the Mets absolutely, positively, MUST not only make a bid for Manny, but be sure that they sign him. No matter what the cost.

That situation would be if (when?) the Philadelphia Phillies get into bidding.

The scary thing is, it’s not a far-fetched possibility that the Phils will make a play for Manny. They have a hole in left field and $14M off the books by letting Pat Burrell walk. There were rumors that they were in trade talks with the Rockies to obtain Matt Holliday, so their aim is high. And then there is the fact that manager Charlie Manuel would absolutely love to reunite with Ramirez.

Think about it: no matter what team Manny winds up with, that team almost certainly improves themselves, possibly by ten or fifteen wins. He’s that valuable — just ask Joe Torre. (Actually, I’m sure a sabermetrician can give us the exact numbers.) The Phillies already have one of the top offenses in the NL — they finished tied the Mets for second in the league in runs per game with 4.93 — but now imagine that Philadelphia offense with Manny Ramirez standing in the middle.

Oh boy.

Suddenly, the Phillies have not the best offense in the NL, but perhaps in all of MLB. Some might argue that their top four would be the strongest in history:

1. Jimmy Rollins
2. Chase Utley
3. Manny Ramirez
4. Ryan Howard
— fill in the rest —

Also, the fact they can split up Utley and Howard by sandwiching Ramirez, rather than the streaky, .250-hitting Burrell, means a LOOGY is less valuable. Jerry Manuel might fill his bullpen with eight lefties as a best defense.

Considering the impact that Manny Ramirez would have on the Phillies’ offense, it would behoove the Mets to do whatever possible to keep him out of Philadelphia — even if it means signing him themselves (which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world). Not unlike the Yankees signing players to keep them from the Red Sox, and vice-versa, if the Mets want to keep it a fair fight in the NL East in 2009, they might have to sign Manny Ramirez.

Hopefully, Manny will stay on the West Coast, or move back to the American League, so this scenario becomes moot. But it will be interesting to see Omar Minaya’s reaction should the Phillies become serious bidders in the Manny Ramirez sweepstakes.