November 20, 2007

Tuesday Tidbits

Update: According to the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago White Sox and Torii Hunter are said to be working on a contract and the deal could be done "within the week." Well there ya have it folks. I have to say that I'm relieved that it looks like the "Hunter saga" looks to be coming to an end, but at the same time I do wish that we could find a way to keep him. Although I'm now sure that the Twins will find a way to keep Johan Santana and Joe Nathan since they won't have to worry about re-signing Hunter.

Over the weekend, Sid Hartman announced that "word in baseball circles" that the Twins have offered a five-year $93 Million extension to Johan Santana. La Velle E. Neal III said that it's not known if this is true or not, but if the Twins did infact offer him that, I would be surprised if he accepted it. He could get twice that amount (obviously over more years) if he just waits and lets teams bid on him next winter.

Former Twin Luis Castillo just going to stay with the Mets after netting a four-year $25 million deal to stay in Queens. Remember the Twins traded him in July because of him likely wanting a deal like this, although it is evident that he has definitely lost a couple steps in his game. At an average of $6.25 million per season, I'm pretty happy with the teams choice of trading him, even though we didn't get a significant prospect in return, although Dustin Martin does look to have a little promise.

Head over to Seth Speaks to see what Seth had to say about the Vikings win, and also his thoughts on Mariano Rivera's new three-year $45 million deal with the Yankees, and what that means for the Twins chances of re-signing Joe Nathan.

Torii Hunter reportedly had dinner with Rangers owner, Tom Hicks at his house last night. Also to join them were manager Ron Washington, pitcher Kevin Millwood, and Hunter's agent Larry Reynolds. I've thought for a while that Hunter would likely land with the Rangers, and now it looks like their ready to throw out everything they have to land him. Hunter has also named the Los Angeles Dodgers as "near the top" for a possible destination. Who else would you like to add to that list Torii? You've already listed the Nationals, Braves, White Sox, Royals, Rangers, and now the Dodgers. What about the Rays? What about the Giants? You're forgetting a few. Update: This doesn't look like it will have a large effect on anything now that he's likely to play for the White Sox.

Matthew Pouliot wrote an article at Rotoworld about who he thinks are this off-season's trade candidates and what he sees as being the likeliest of offers for the player and where he sees them ending up. Of course, Johan Santana's name was on the list and he predicts that Santana will end up staying, for now, but may be gone come July. Make sure to check out his offers. I think they're a little on the low side, but that's probably because of my bias that I think Santana's worth more.

Aaron Gleeman has another entry to his "Top 40 Minnesota Twins". Check out who #17 is and make sure to go back and find out who he ranked between #18-40.

The New York Daily News speculated that the Yankees (as I'm sure many teams are) hoping that the Twins will make Johan Santana available via trade during the Winter Meetings. There have also been reports that the Yankees would likely offer either Joba Chamberlian or Phil Hughes as well as either Robinson Cano or Melky Cabrera. Ummm... if I were Bill Smith, I would also demand that Jose Tabata was involved as well, and I'd probably still want more. Hughes and Cabrera is a ridiculous offer. Hughes aka "Mark Prior-Lite" is a big risk. He has the numbers to make him look like a potential stud, and although he's young, he needs to really gain strength and he needs to have better conditioning to help him not become injured like he has during his career. I personally think that a good deal would be Chamberlain, Cano, and Tabata. And if we got Cabrera instead of Cano, I would also demand Ian Kennedy as well.

Over the weekend, the Twins finally let go of Chris Heintz. Heintz has been on the Twins 40-man roster for the last three seasons and the emergence of Jose Morales made Heintz the odd-man out.

The Twins also announced the plans for TwinsFest 2008. It will take place January 25-27 at the Metrodome. Over 50 Twins players (future, current and former) will be on hand to sign autographs. There will also be a 5-foot by 5-foot model of the new Twins stadium.

Who says there's no such thing as a hometown discount? Tom Glavine turned down a $13 million option to remain with the Mets, to go back to the Braves where he spent 15 of his 20 seasons in Atlanta. His new deal is reportedly worth $8 million. Glavine won two NL Cy Young's with the Braves. If only Torii Hunter could take a look at Tom Glavine and learn a thing or two.

Yesterday afternoon, the Chicago White Sox traded pitcher Jon Garland to the Los Angeles Angels for short stop Orlando Cabrera. I can understand the deal for both sides, but I am also critical of the deal for both sides. The Sox need a short stop who can get on base a lot, Cabrera does that. The Angels want to sure-up the bottom of their rotation, Garland does that. But the Sox are now in a pickle with a pretty weak rotation and the Angels will need to decide who they want to play short stop. Brandon Wood has atrocious defense and would be a liability. Chone Figgins could, Maicer Izturis could, Erick Aybar could, and Sean Rodriguez could as well. But none of them (with exception to Figgins and Wood) are as good of hitters as Cabrera and none of them will come close to him as a defender. The Angels also have Figgins "penciled" in at third to start next season, but Wood may be at the hot corner with Figgins moving to short, which wouldn't be a horrible deal. The Angels are also rumored to be in the running for Miguel Cabrera, which could change things a little bit.

Buster Olney redeemed himself yesterday morning. He reported on his blog that the Red Sox and third baseman Mike Lowell were close to signing a contract extension, and it later turned out to be true. I was a little hesitant of the report after Olney gave us his best Peter Gammons impression and said that the Twins and Cardinals were talking about a Scott Rolen trade. Which Joe Christensen quickly shot down. I like him as a reporter so I'm happy he washed away any questions I had of him. He, Jayson Stark, and Tim Kurkjian are probably my favorite baseball guys on ESPN. I also think that Carl Ravich does a good job of hosting Baseball Tonight.

On Sunday, Jimmy Johnson won his second consecutive Nextel Cup championship. He did so in a nice fasion, winning 4 of the last 5 races. Although that is a great feat, I am not going to say that I think of him as the champion. This season was clearly won by Jeff Gordon, and if it wasn't for the ridiculous "chase for the cup" then Gordon would've been named the champ a few weeks ago (and probably would've won by 300 points, regardless if Johnson won these races). I like Johnson (he's probably my favorite driver), but I can't say that see this as being fair.