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Post-Winter Meetings Hot Stove Thoughts

The much anticipated RavensSteelers post/thread goes up tomorrow morning, so I wanted to sneak in a fresh Hot Stove post tonight in order to stay current.

The two big pieces of news, as already discussed in the comments: AJ Burnett to the Yankees and the DC Cab to the free agency pool. Where to begin?

I’ll admit that the Yankees now look quite strong. But, I’m not that worried about it. The odds are that this spending spree will bite them in the ass. Maybe not before they win another World Series, but it will hurt them. I don’t have time right now to make a fully researched case (maybe I’ll try that soon), so what I’m really going on is the evidence of history. Teams that overspend to win rarely come out ahead in the long term. I’m fairly confident these Yanks will be no different.

As far as Cabrera, I’m cool with it. I like the guy and I actually hope he goes somewhere (not another AL East team of course) and does OK for himself. It was clear, though, that it wasn’t going to happen here. Best of luck, big fella.

As for the elephant in the room Mark Teixeira, I still think we have a good chance of seeing him in orange-and-black next year. I read somewhere (the Washington Post I think) that our offer was “low ball.” Total nonsense. We came in at one less year than the other teams, but the average annual value is right in line at $20-21 million. That’s highly competitive by any measure, and this idea that he’s a “long shot” is just lazy. It’s a process, and it’s still playing out.

Finally, here’s a funny nugget about the Ryan Freel trade, from this article about the Reds:

One fan got on Jocketty for trading popular outfielder Ryan Freel to the Orioles this week for catcher Ramon Hernandez.

“No. 1, we needed a catcher,” Jocketty replied. “Ryan has pretty much been hurt the last two years. I know it was not a popular trade but I think people will be happy with Ramon Hernandez.”

Keep telling yourself that, Walt.

10 comments to Post-Winter Meetings Hot Stove Thoughts

  • Andrew in Rochester

    We had, all in all, a pretty good Winter Meetings. We moved 2 pieces of dead wood off the roster in Ramon Hernandez and Daniel Cabrera, saving 7 million dollars in the process, and picked up a good bench player, a solid defensive shortstop stopgap, and added a little infield depth at Bowie. And we got the ball rolling on Uehara/Kawakami and Mark Teixeria. And that’s what we heard about. I assume some other pitcher (Braden Looper?) is also on the forecast.

    What it comes down to is, in your opinion, is the team better or worse after those 3 moves (non-tender DC, sign Izturis, trade Hernandez)? For me, yes – we probably picked up a couple wins with Wieters over Hernandez, and who knows what effect getting Ramon away from our pitching staff has (if any?)…not to mention getting Daniel Cabrera away from our pitching staff.

    Anyway, yes, our rotation looks a little barren, and there’s lots left to do before the offseason is a success, but I can feel the improvement in the team already…if we add Teixeria and some respectable pitchers, who knows how far we’ll go in 2009 (well…probably about as far as 77 wins, but hey…improvement is improvement)

  • dan the man

    As self-designated TLC Rumor Guy, I feel the obligation to tell you gentlemen that Word On The Street is that, get this, Tex may join Peter Angelos at the Ravens game tomorrow. You heard it here first! Maybe!

  • dan the man

    Although, I admit, this rumor comes from Roy Firestone, who I recently labeled as “ridiculous”… so…

    But if he is right, I take back everything.

  • neal s

    Buster Olney passionately disagrees with our pursuit of Teixeira. Interesting take on it, but I don’t think he fully understands.

  • dan the man

    Buster is only right if signing Tex means for some reason is a chance in hell with Andy running the show. Plus Buster does not mention our young pitching. Oversight. Poor research. Poor understanding of the situation. I should have been a journalist, it’s apparently not that difficult.

  • dan the man

    Woah, something got cut off there. Let me try again.

    “Buster is only right if signing Tex means for some reason that we do not continue to rebuild the farm system, which, I don’t believe is a chance in hell with Andy running the show.”

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I think Buster makes some good points, but he’s long since become a cheerleader for the Yankees anyway. Seriously. The guy wrote a book about “The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty” because he loves them so much. Dude cried when Joe Torre got canned.

    Which is not to say his opinion isn’t valid. He points out A-Rod in Texas not helping. Well, for one, small sample size there pal. “This one time this didn’t work out, so it can NEVER work out!” Also, there’s kind of a big logic jump from ARod’s 230 million to Tex’s hypothetical 150 million. And the Texas attendance boost he quotes, from 2.5 million to 2.8 million, is in fact a 12 percent jump. Trust me, I know. I’m Scott Boras. I know exactly how important these kinds of players are to franchises.

    And yeah, he also states his argument as if to say that signing a big ticket guy to be a cornerstone for a franchise precludes them from doing anything else ever. One assumes that Andy MacPhail, who knows a little bit about running mid-market teams in Minnesota and Chicago, wouldn’t be offering a back-breaking deal to one player. Not to mention that Buster Olney, you, me, and Charlatan Fisk all have one thing in common: we don’t know what the Orioles budget looks like.

    Anyway, yeah, that’s my counterargument. And I don’t entirely disagree with Buster here: signing Tex to a big long deal has its obvious risks. But we play in the fucking AL East where you can either take risks with money or lose for 10 years (with competent management) and then compete.

  • sci

    Yeah, I think that’s a suprisingly poor article. It’s basically saying certain teams may as well not even try to compete, in hopes of some uncertain future where their prospects in the minors may or may not pan out. I understand his point to a certain extent, but to say it’s “lunacy” (or whatever word he uses) for the O’s or Nats to sign someone like Tex is just completely missing the point. You can both rebuild the farm system and develop prospects AND sign big free agents. It’s when you ONLY sign big free agents and they end up blocking any prospects you may have that you get into trouble (see Yankees, New York). And it’s certainly not like Tex would be blocking some amazing 1B prospect in the minors…

  • dan the man

    The days of sportswriters writing something and having it be The Word are over. Fans know their teams better than guys who are paid to know everybody’s team.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Pretty much. I also like to say we should be trying to emulate the Tigers, to a certain extent. They lost an almost record number of games in ’03, then went and bought Rodriguez and Ordonez. Was that lunacy? It, in conjunction with their prospects coming up, got them into the World Series. Of course, that’s just one other example. The point is that this signing could backfire, or it could succeed perfectly, or somewhere in between. Saying it absolutely will backfire is lunacy.