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.