Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Dallas dealing

There's a lot of action at the winter meetings in Dallas.

The Blue Jays threw a fortune at A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan, making their staff and bullpen better. The Stinkins signed Kyle Farnsworth to replace setup man Tom Gordon, who signed with Philadelphia, where he will close in place of departed closer Billy Wagner, who went to the Mets along with former Marlins Carlos Delgado and Paul Lo Duca.

The Marlins also traded Juan Pierre to the Cubs. Pierre would have fit in nicely in center field and at the top of the Sox order, especially with uberasshole Scott Boras asking too much for Johnny Damon.

Meanwhile, the Braves might be interested in Edgar Renteria to replace Raphael Furcal, who joins former Sox manager Grady Little in Los Angeles. My advice: Trade him while you can and get an arm from the perennially pitching-rich Braves.

In addition, the Sox are shopping Manny Ramirez and David Wells. The only way Ramirez returns to Boston is if nothing close to fair value can be had for him or teams want the Sox to pick up too much of his enormous contract (he is owed $57 million over the next three seasons). The Sox are interested in Aubrey Huff as a possible replacement. Nice player, but a significant step down from Ramirez.

Wells wants to return to the West Coast, and don't be suprised if he's shipped back to San Diego in exchange for 2B Mark Loretta.

The Mets remain interested in Manny Ramirez. I guess his proximity to the Stinkins has led Mets GM Omar Minaya to adopt George Steinbrenner's "sign every player in the league" approach. Well, the Mets might get a lot of marquee players like the Stinkins, but they also probably will lose money like the Stinkins. The NY Daily News reported that the Stinkins lost between $50 million and $85 million last season. Still, that's the approach Minaya is taking. The Mets have spent like crazy and lost like crazy over the last couple of seasons, but they still think they can buy a title.

The Sox, now the only team with no GM, are looking for a first baseman, especially with John Olerud retiring, so Kevin Millar will not return. The Sox reportedly are interested in Sean Casey and Lyle Overbay. The Blue Jays also are interested in Overbay. Of the two, Casey is the better defensive player.

Casey, Overbay and Huff all are left-handed hitters. To prevent the lineup from being somewhat vulnerable to left-handed pitching, the Sox would need a big right-handed bat to replace Manny. There's no guarantee that Mike Lowell will return to form, and unfortunately, the other big bats who might be available, Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn, both are left-handed. Alfonso Soriano, however, bats right. But he's basically Edgar Renteria with a little more pop.

Also on the trading block for the Sox are Matt Clement and Doug Mirabelli. Kelly Shoppach also is generating interest, but a deal for Mirabelli would force the Sox to hang on to Shoppach.

Stay tuned.

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