Friday, November 10, 2006

Y'know, I hadn't posted since Sunday and felt the need to write something. I was having difficulty coming up with topics, which led to last night's lame post. Then today Hot Stove League action busts loose, with these three stories:

Yanks trade Gary Sheffield to Detroit: Sheff goes to the A.L. champs for three minor league pitchers. The deal doesn't make a ton of sense for the Tigers unless you assume that Dave Dombrowski thinks he is so close based on the 2006 results that Sheffield's bat can put them over the top. According to what I have read, Detroit traded one very good prospect and two mid-level guys for a 39-year-old. You just don't do that unless you think you can win right now.

The scary thing for me about this is that it shows the Yankees building for the future and bulking up their farm system. Sheff essentially became a spare part after the Abreu trade. They Yankee outfield should be all set for a couple of years with Matsui, Damon and Abreu. They essentially took a spare part and traded it for young pitching with potential. If the Yankees aren't making moves like Carl Pavano and Kevin Brown any more, the Sox (and the rest of the league) could be in trouble.

Foulke turns down $3.75 million player option: I actually called this one on the Sons of Sam Horn board the other night. Keith Foulke leaves with a $1.5 million consolation prize and can become a free agent, leaving $3.75 million of guaranteed cash on the table.

I think Foulke decided that he couldn't stand the scrutiny from the fans and the media that he has to put up with in Boston. It's obvious he's never been comfortable with it. Given the thin market for free agent pitching this year, I think he was betting that he could recoup at least $2.5 million of that money in a guaranteed contract with plenty of incentives and go somewhere that would be better for his stress levels.

That said, he'll always have a special place in my pantheon of Red Sox heroes for his amazing work during the 2004 post-season. Foulkie, we may not miss your attitude, but we'll always be greatful.

Buster Olney reports that Sox were high bidders for Matsuzaka: ESPN baseball writer Buster Olney published a report saying the Sox won the bidding for Japanese ace pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. If this is true and the Sox sign him to a contract, they are going to have three pitchers going into the prime of their careers (Burkett, Papelbon, Matsuzaka) in the starting rotation. Add Schilling in his last year wanting to go out on a high note and a healthy Wakefield, and you have the makings of a very strong rotation. No word has come from Matsuzaka's Japanese team, the Seibu Lions, but this could be very exciting if it's true.


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