Monthly Archives: November 2007

November 28, 2007

MLB Site Round-Up

This week, it looks like each team’s MLB website was assigned to write a Winter Meeting Checklist and a story about the team’s biggest need. Of course, since they are the official sites, they have to sugar-coat the situation a little. I think these headlines merit a little translation.

Cardinals : “Cardinals Looking for More Pitching
Translation :  We’re looking for the next wash-up or second rate reliever for Dave Duncan to turn into a star.

Reds : “Reds go to Meetings looking for pitching
Translation : Anything we can do to be more like the Cardinals.

Brewers : “Melvin looking at many options for Brewers
Translation : Option 1: find enough decent relievers to restock bullpen. Option 2: drink more beer.

Astros : “Astros seeking closer, help at second
Translation :  If Clemens won’t come out of retirement as a starting pitcher, maybe he’d like to try second base.

Cubs : “Cubs hope to upgrade offense
Translation : We really think it’s enough to bring back Kerry Wood.

Pirates :  “Pirates to play it by ear at Winter Meetings
Translation : We have no idea what we’re doing.

November 28, 2007

Hey, I Resemble that Remark

It was just an off-handed comment on Deadspin, but I feel the need to quote a reference to Kyle Lohse:

The baseball winter meetings start next week, and that means countless unsubstantiated guesswork and fantasy trade scenarios. That’s the fun of it, really; it will distract you from the horror that comes when your team gives $12 million for four years to Kyle Lohse.

November 28, 2007

La Russa Pleads Guilty To DUI

Eight months after police in Jupiter, Florida found him asleep at the wheel of his running SUV at a red light, stinking of alcohol, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa pleaded guilty to driving under the influence on Wednesday.

According to the Associated Press,  La Russa will serve at least six months’ probation, pay a $678.50 fine, complete DUI school and any recommended treatment and complete 50 hours of community service. “I accept full responsibility for my conduct, and assure everyone that I have learned a very valuable lesson and that this will never occur again,” La Russa said in a statement released by his attorney, David Roth.

Good move by Tony, getting rid of Sammy Hagar. I hear he’s a lousy attorney.  :roll:

November 28, 2007

Wood To Remain A Cub

Kerry Wood agreed Monday to a $4.2 million, one-year deal to return to the Chicago Cubs. Wood can reportedly earn an additional $3.45 million in performance bonuses due to incentive clauses based on number of games finished. Wood had a $1.75 million salary for 2007, during which the right-hander went 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 22 relief appearances. He has a 72-57 career record with 3.67 ERA in part of nine seasons with the Cubs.

The signing of Wood leaves Cubs GM Jim Hendry to decide whether to bring back Mark Prior, who missed the entire 2007 season after April shoulder surgery and whose best-case scenario for returning to the mound is early in the 2008 season. Prior is in his final winter of arbitration eligibility and made $3.575 million last year. Since teams are not allowed to cut the salaries of controlled players by more than 20%, Prior cannot be paid less than $2.86 million by the Cubs, whether he reaches an arbitration hearing or not.

The Cubs have until Dec. 12 to agree to terms with Prior or decide between offering arbitration or cutting him. Speculation in the print media suggests the decision will come down to whether or not Prior will agree to include an option year on a one-year contract to prevent the Cubs from paying him to rehab in 2008 , only to get leveraged against his free agency in 2009.

However, a story on the ESPN web site reports that the Cubs are willing to trade the former All-Star, who has pitched in just 57 games the last four seasons since going 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA in 2003.

November 28, 2007

Astros To Bring Back Brocail

The Houston Astros and 40-year old righthanded relief pitcher Doug Brocail have agreed to a one year, $2.5 million deal with a club option for 2009, according to numerous media sources.

Brocail played for the Astros in 1995 and 1996, appearing in 59 games and making 11 starts. He went 7-9 with one save and a 4.35 ERA. He spent last season with the Padres, making 67 relief appearances and going 5-1 with a 3.05 ERA.

Brocail has also pitched for the Rangers and Tigers during his 13-year major league career, compiling a career 44-43 record, with 7 saves and a 3.99 ERA. With San Diego last year, Brocail held opposing hitters to a .228 average, with left-handed hitters batting just .182 off him, fifth among right-handed pitchers in the NL.His 67 games and 76-2/3 IP pitched were his highest totals in both categories since 1999 with Detroit. Over the last two seasons with the Padres, Brocail went 7-3 with a 3.51 ERA.

With the additions of Brocail, Geoff Geary, and Oscar Villarreal, the Astros have now picked up three relievers who pitched in a combined 175 games last season.