News and Notes: “Stocking Signings”

The Big Unit moves home to San Fran (SD Dirk/flickr).

The Big Unit moves home to San Fran (SD Dirk/flickr).

After a short break to celebrate the holiday with my family, I figured we’d jump back into things covering some recent signings and other miscellaneous happenings around Major and Minor League Baseball. Look for the top 25 list to continue tomorrow.

• Future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson will attempt to gain his elusive 300th victory back near his home with the San Francisco Giants as he signs a one-year deal for $8 million the day after Christmas. This is a great signing for the Giants who I have been very critical about in the past for horrible signings. This adds a third former Cy Young winner to be added along with Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito (even though he hasn’t looked anything like one since winning it). Not only will Johnson bring the attention to his 300th victory, the Giants also get a mentor for Lincecum and growing star Matt Cain. While this will help solidify their rotation, it still doesn’t help their flimsy offense which still needs a lot of help if they hope to contend in the NL West.

• The Cincinnati Reds pulled a head scratcher today in signing Willy Taveras to a two-year deal. While Taveras did have a decent 2007 hitting .320 and stealing 68 bases in 2008, he isn’t the great lead off hitter GM Walt Jockety makes him out to be. Sure he has blazing speed and stole 68 bases, but his OBP was only .308 last season and that’s the last issue you want your lead off hitter to have. The financial info on this deal hasn’t been released yet but hopefully the Reds received some sort of discount to warrant signing him for two-years.

• Minnesota Twins beat writer La Velle E. Neal III discussed the Twins signing of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Just like La Velle, I too am a little confused as to the Twins thoughts behind this. The Twins have a slew of youngsters that they could use as a spot starter or middle reliever and need to address a set-up man before anything else in their bullpen. Also Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune mentions the DeRosa to the Twins talks saying it would take “outfielder Ben Rivere [sic] and pitchers Jose Mijares, Jeff Manship and Andy Swarzak” to get the deal done. I don’t know if Rogers over values DeRosa, has no idea how good those prospects really are or is just delusional, but there is no way that a deal would involve a combination of those players. I want DeRosa on the Twins as much as anyone, but not at that ridiculous price.

By Matthew Whipps
The Diamond Cutter
Major & Minor League Baseball Columnist
mlbdiamondcutter@gmail.com | Facebook

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6 Responses to News and Notes: “Stocking Signings”

  1. Mike says:

    One issue on the Johnson signing- I don’t agree that it doesn’t help the Giants’ flimsy offense- even at 45, Johnson’s a better hitter than at least three of the Giants’ position players…..

    Didn’t you guys have Dickey last year before shipping him off to Seattle??

    That’s MARK DeRosa, right?? He’s had a couple of good seasons, but why would you give up even ONE decent prospect for him when there’s a ton of free agents still waiting for a good home? Not that I consider many of the “name” guys as Twins type players (I define ‘Twins type’ as players who have been properly trained in the fundamentals of the game- hence Sammy Sosa was never a ‘Twins type’ player). Shoot, we’d probably give you Chris Denorfia or Travis Buck for some shiny new baseballs or a free season pass to ‘YES’.

  2. E K says:

    As a Cubs fan I have to say that I’d hate to see the Cubs trade DeRosa. And I would hope that if he is dealt that Hendry makes sure he gets top value for the guy and not just give him away. He has been the Cubs MVP the past two seasons and is easily one of the most underrated players on the team if not the league. His defense gets criticized but I haven’t seen anything wrong with his glove at any of the positions he plays.

    As far as the names mentioned in the Rogers article, I have never heard of any of them and I am pretty up on the minor leagues. I’m not saying they aren’t potential starters, but they clearly aren’t top 100 prospects.

    For whatever reason Hendry has given up on his once untouchable prospect Felix Pie. Why not work a deal around DeRosa and Pie and Span. No one is sure what to make of Span, but hopefully last season was not a fluke. The Cubs would need more in return, but a deal involving those names would make sense.

  3. Mike says:

    All I know about Span is that he seemed to show up in every game highlight.

    I agree that DeRosa is a good player and that the Cubs really have no reason to get rid of him, but I don’t really see his star rising any (What is he now, 32-33?), so unless a team thought he would put them over the top, I wouldn’t give up a legitimate prospect. Then again, Felix Pie and Homer Bailey were legitimate prospects……

    Oh, E K- You’re welcome for Rich Harden. Seriously- Matt Murton?????

  4. All those prospects mentioned of the Twins are very strong and a combination of any two would be way too much for DeRosa.

    Quick question for each of you:

    Mike, what do you think of the possibility of Giambi coming home? Also, what type of numbers do you see Holliday putting up in your giant stadium?

    EK, what would you be willing to give up to get Peavy on your team?

  5. E K says:

    “EK, what would you be willing to give up to get Peavy on your team?”

    Pretty much whatever it took to get him. You keep reading how strong the Cubs rotation is. But they really do lack a true ace and that is what Peavy would bring. Dempster had a career year and the Cubs are kidding themselves if they truely believe he will come remotely close to repeating those numbers. Harden can’t be trusted to remain healthy. Zambrano will always be a headcase. And Lilly is a nice #3.

    I’d give up Marshall, Vitters, Cedeno or Fontentot, and Fox. And I would offer up Samarjza as well ONLY if they took on Marquis’ contract for the next season.

    Peavy’s contract in baseball terms is pretty nice for any team who gets him. I know the Cubs main need is a leadoff hitter. But there don’t seem to be any available right now, so you may as well go get one of the top 3 pitchers in baseball if you can!

  6. E K says:

    “Oh, E K- You’re welcome for Rich Harden. Seriously- Matt Murton?????”

    Gallagher is going to be a fine pitcher. The A’s may get more use out of him over the next few seasons then the Cubs get out of Harden. I think it was a good trade for both teams. The Cubs got good use out of Harden the end of last season and the A’s get a nice pitcher in Gallagher and a potential starting catcher down the road. Patterson and Murton are utility guys.

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