After quite an array of articles over the past week here on “The Diamond Cutter” which have generated a lot of great discussion, I figured we had better address some of the items that have happened since our last “News and Notes” segment. Today’s will be a very signings intensive News and Notes as that is where all the MLB action has been taking place…
• In an unfortunate turn of events, the Atlanta Braves let the face of their franchise and future Hall of Famer John Smoltz leave town for the Boston Red Sox who now have a 17 man rotation. At this rate each starter will have a solid two week break in between starts in order to better rest them for the post season.
But in all seriousness, someone in Atlanta had better nudge Braves’ GM Frank Wren to see if he’s awake or even has a pulse at this rate. He has had two goals this winter: get an outfielder with a big bat and an ace/front line starter. Thus far he has acquired Javier Vasquez who is at best a number three starter. Not only has Wren already lost out on AJ Burnett (who the Yankees out bid him for), Rafael Furcal (who along with his agents screwed the Braves over even though as we go I’m thinking more and more that Wren was just as much to blame as he shows his lack of effort) and Jake Peavy (who San Diego was asking a lot for). Plus he’s pretty much out of options for impact pitchers and is losing the big outfield bats by the day.
Braves fans everywhere are in an uproar over this and calling for Wren’s head saying he is “singlehandedly destroying the organization.” While I’m not ready to go that far, I am ready to say that he needs to move with a little more sense of urgency. Now to compound the situation he has lost Smoltz, a front line starter and your franchise player, over only $3 million.
I just don’t get it and it makes me mad that they essentially disrespected Smoltz and his legacy (I’m ready for them to do the same thing with Tom Glavine and Chipper Jones next).
• Speaking of disrespecting a future Hall of Famer and the face of an organization, Trevor Hoffman has officially signed a one-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers for a reported $6 million. He will now close out games for the Brewers after the self-destructing Padres basically told him to get out. Free agency is good for the sport, but many of these teams have to understand what they are telling their fan base when they kick their favorite players to the curb over small amounts of money (small in terms of baseball salaries).
• The Mets are on the verge of signing free agent pitcher Tim Redding to a one-year contract for a reported $2 million. This would be a fantastic signing by the Mets as Redding is about as solid of a number five starter as you’ll find in baseball. He is durable as a starter and will give them around 10 wins with an ERA around 4.50-5.00. I’m actually very surprised more teams weren’t in the running for him.
• The other signings that have happened recently: Rocco Baldelli joins Smoltz in Boston (great signing for Boston), Milton Bradley is introduced in Chicago which we discussed in comments this week (stupid signing by the Cubs as Bradley’s fragile body needs protection in the AL with the DH) and of course Jason Giambi comes home where he belongs back to Oakland (fantastic signing as he’s still got pop and the fans love him there).
• The ESPN Prediction Questions article I put up the other day received a lot of great discussions in the comments section and via email. It was good seeing what everyone else thought was going to happen with players this upcoming season. I’m planning on doing more interactive posts like this in the future and will definitely see more before the season starts. Thanks again to everyone who participated and if you haven’t yet, go write yours in or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.