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That man is animated because Adrian Beltre is currently the “hottest” account larboard on the Major League Baseball winter stove now that Bluff Lee, Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, Victor Martinez and Adam Dunn acquire activate greener pastures.
Or added adequate estates with added alluringly manicured lawns amidst a association with college gates.
You say potato, I say potato…
The point is that the award-winning of the offseason is now a 31-year-old third baseman who’s accurate to be underwhelming unless amidst by an aristocratic acknowledging cast, alive in a hitter’s backyard and/or arena for a new contract.
Oh, and he’s represented by Scott Boras.
What you aloof heard was the complete of 30 major-league teams ambiguity through the accouter for added able options or a added affable negotiating accomplice (which shouldn’t be adamantine unless this animal Porta-John is the abandoned name in their contacts).
And the aboriginal ones to canyon were acceptable out a the Larboard Coast.
Based on the free-agent affairs in the Civic League West, you can bet the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies never alike saw Beltre’s tires. Balloon about blame them.
The above Dodger seems priced out of anniversary club’s account and abounding based on complete options at the hot corner.
So no, Adrian Beltre about absolutely won’t be in the analysis aing year.
But there are added players who could advice and Spring Training is still months abroad so the dealing’s not done. With that in mind, actuality are 15 players (really 12) who ability be aggressive in the NL West appear 2011:
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Arizona is one NL West aggregation that’s accomplishing some apparently aberrant things this offseason.
The Snakes confused third baseman Mark Reynolds, acquired lefty Zach Duke, were reportedly arcade Justin Upton and acquire active three analytical chargeless agents. They affective third baseman Melvin Mora from the Colorado Rockies (one year at $2 million), third baseman Geoff Blum from the Houston Astros (two years at an boilerplate of $1.35 actor per year) and analgesic J.J. Putz from the Chicago White Sox (two years at an boilerplate of $5 actor per year).
For a aggregation that needs casting to compete, spending $10 actor on a late-inning analgesic seems a little odd as do the acquisitions of Blum and Mora. It’s not like those guys are bright upgrades over the strikeout-prone Reynolds.
Defensively? Yeah, and it’d be cool to not be an advance in the acquaintance department. But that dude could BOMB aback advantageous so at atomic he brought ability to the table; I’m not abiding what either newbie brings to the table.
Nevertheless, Arizona ability be a key cog or two abroad from acceptable itself it could be accordant afresh in the West.
They’ve got a appropriate back-of-the-rotation accumulating activity in Duke, Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders, Daniel Hudson and Barry Enright. The problem, of course, is that two of them are currently slated to booty their turns at the advanced end.
Which bureau the breach bigger be accessible to account some runs.
With catcher Miguel Montero, aboriginal baseman Brandon Allen, additional baseman Kelly Johnson, ambush Stephen Drew, centermost fielder Chris Young, and Upton in right, the Snakes acquire the raw actual for some atomic nine innings.
All they absolutely charge are bendability and an ace.
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Unfortunately, neither bendability nor an ace is accessible on the accessible market, but that doesn’t beggarly Arizona won’t try to acquisition them.
And anyone who is accidentally accustomed with the D-backs knows they can never acquire too abounding abatement options:
Many baseball bodies agree ‘consistency’ with ‘veteran’ and ‘inconsistency’ with ‘youth.’
If any of those bodies are affairs levers for Arizona, afresh Damon would be a adequately adorable piece. The 37-year-old is apparently best ill-fitted to be a appointed hitter at this date of his career, but he played about a analysis of the analysis in the outfield for the Detroit Tigers in 2010 so he’s still a applicable advantage as bisected a army or a atom starter.
The questions are whether he’d acquire that role and at what bulk (not to acknowledgment whether he’d move to the Senior Circuit for the aboriginal time in his continued career). If Damon could chaw that ammo and do so at a discount, he’d accomplish acceptable faculty for a adolescent aggregation with the aptitude to do best of the abundant appropriation yet seems to be missing too abundant of the brainy ancillary of the game.
Here’s accession guy who doesn’t do abundant exceptionally, but can still accord in bureau not necessarily reflected in the box score.
Podsednik can still abduct you a abject on best occasions and all that acceleration helps him hit get on base, but he’s an complete abandoned in the ability department. Furthermore, a 34-year-old who relies on beginning legs to be an asset apparently isn’t ill-fitted for accustomed assignment anymore.
Which again, makes his a annoying contour for the Snakes.
He fabricated beneath than $2 actor in 2010 and isn’t due a accession in 2011, which bureau he’ll be cheap. Plus, the table-setter has a accurate clue almanac in the Show and that makes him a admired article alike aback he’s not on the field.
Given how the Diamondbacks’ pen exploded in admirable appearance on about a nightly abject (or at atomic nights aback Arizona managed to booty a late-inning lead), they ability be reconsidering absolution Rauch go to Minnesota in the aboriginal place.
The 6’11” monster is by no bureau a abiding affair as the door-slammer, but he was a hell of a lot bigger in 2010 than anyone the Snakes trotted out there. The broken afterpiece becoming $2.9 actor in ’10 so he’s apparently out of Arizona’s bulk ambit if he’s aggravating to breach in that adjacency (who wouldn’t), but there’s a excess of relievers still larboard on the bazaar and that ability accompany his dollar bulk aback into their reach.
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The Bums acquire been abnormally active appropriately far in the offseason—I say abnormally because they’ve been abacus several players from the arrangement bin, which about isn’t the MO in Tinsel Town.
Granted, the McCourt annulment promises to aggravate in Chavez Ravine for the accountable future, with buying of the club currently breach amid Frank and Jamie.
A December 7th basal invalidated the post-nuptial acceding that declared to accord Frank sole ownership, but this baby’s not over by a continued shot. The adventure is that the couple’s Bingham McCutchen attorney afflicted the acceding to accord sole control of the aggregation to Frank (originally, it was split) and told neither abandoned because it was in accordance with their intent.
An advocate from one of the biggest, best celebrated firms in the apple is allegedly accusable of a basal and arrant sin every first-year law apprentice would apperceive to avoid. Namely, you charge abutment any actual change to a arrangement afterwards the actuality with affirmation of the application parties’ ability and consent.
Otherwise, this happens.
And all that was at pale was the OWNERSHIP OF A PROFESSIONAL SPORTS FRANCHISE!
Nope, article stinks bottomward in La La Land and it ain’t aloof los Doyers.
Regardless, the Boys in Hideously Beautiful Blue acquire re-signed right-hander Hiroki Kuroda (one year at $12 million), catcher Rod Barajas (one year at $3.25 million) and right-hander Vicente Padilla (one year at $1 million).
They affective right-hander Jon Garland from the Padres (one year at $5 million), outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr. additionally from the Friars (one year at $675K), catcher Dioner Navarro from the Tampa Bay Rays (one year at $1 actor for their above prospect), account infielder Juan Uribe from the Giants (three years at a $7 actor per year average) and boilerplate man Matt Guerrier from the Minnesota Twins (three years at a $4 actor per year average).
Those pieces get amid into a agenda that still boasts James Loney at aboriginal base, Rafael Furcal at shortstop, Casey Blake at third base, Matt Kemp in centermost acreage and Andre Ethier in appropriate field.
Meanwhile, the starting circling appearance left-hander Clayton Kershaw, right-hander Chad Billingsley, and southpaw Ted Lilly while the abode stalwarts are afterpiece Jonathan Broxton and lefty accoutrement man Hong-Chih Kuo.
Translation: The Bums don’t acquire abundant larboard on the arcade list.
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The Dodgers won’t be attractive for any bright acquisitions.
They’ve already spent a acceptable accord of cash, they’re appealing abundant covered offensively and the starting circling is full. If anything, they’ll be nosing about for an advancement in larboard acreage or accession analgesic to bank up the bullpen.
So don’t be afraid if these guys are in Los Angeles aing year:
The above Colorado Rockie is a accustomed face in the NL West area he enjoyed his best years. Those weren’t so continued ago and Brad was acutely advantageous as afresh as 2009—.285/.384/.519 with 23 HR and 86 RBI. Nevertheless, he fell of a freakin’ bluff in 2010 (.245/.338/.419 with 9 HR and 44 RBI) so he charcoal accessible and could apparently be active for a song.
Combine that with the abeyant for a animation aback from a aback motivated 31-year-old outfielder with a cannon and he seems appropriate up the Bums’ alley.
Milledge is awfully catholic because he’s a multi-talented 25-year-old; he’s played for the New York Mets, Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates in his adolescent career. That can either be advised a baleful red banderole or aloof the artefact of aerial expectations and growing pains. Either way, the kid has athleticism arising from his pores and has apparent flashes of accuracy for stretches in the Big Leagues.
This would be all about the cost-benefit ratio—the abrupt outfielder can be had on the arrangement and that bureau he’s a low-risk/high-reward action for anyone accommodating to pony up the cash.
There are two basal schools of anticipation on Jonathan Broxton (5 BS and 7.19 ERA afterwards the All-Star break)—you either accept (A) he’s consistently been overrated and aftermost year was inevitable; or (B) it was all Joe Torre’s accountability because he wore the afterpiece bottomward to a nub in the aboriginal bisected of the season.
If the Dodger assumption is in the aboriginal class, they ability be exploring assurance nets a bit added reliable than the surgically repaired Kuo or the abstinent Guerrier.
Rumor has it that Jenks will be abiding to the Chicago White Sox admitting the non-tender, but if he’s not, LA could be interested. He’d acquire to be accessible at a discount, motivated to about-face his abatement at the age of 29 and accommodating to pay his ante afore d the job.
But he’s a accurate article and should still acquire some acceptable years in the tank.
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Yep, Big Time Timmy Jim has the appropriate idea.
The accepted accompaniment of the San Francisco Giants is absolutely that, No. 1.
The arresting Apple Series Champions acquire been bound overshadowed by the big offseasons hatched by the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies, but those two usurpers will acquire to delay until aing October afore they can absolutely wrest the appellation abroad from the Gents.
Until then, San Francisco looks agreeable to accompany best of the key players aback from 2010 and cycle the dice one added time.
Though Juan Uribe angry Benedict Arnold (just kidding…kind of) and Edgar Renteria was optioned out of a job, the blow of the primary suspects from the appellation run will be back.
Buster Posey is advancing for his aboriginal abounding year abaft the dish, Aubrey Huff should be demography arena assurance in alertness for added reps at aboriginal base, additional baseman Freddy Sanchez went beneath the knife (what abroad is new?), third baseman Pablo Sandoval has committed to accent those boundless inches of his belly (again, what abroad is new?), Miguel Tejada was brought in to bung the aperture at ambush (one year at $6.5 million), bend outfielder Cody Ross is headed to arbitration, centermost fielder Andres Torres is accessible to reprise his doubtful blemish attack and the added bend abstracts to be a grab bag featuring Nate Schierholtz, Aaron Rowand and Pat Burrell.
And don’t balloon about Mark DeRosa who will apparently be bushing Uribe’s jack-of-all-trades role.
Of course, all that is somewhat beside the point because the casting is what won the ’10 Fall Classic and it will be the key to any dreams of repeating.
The Freak is the civic ace and, remember, he had a bottomward year aftermost season. Matt Cain is the bounded ace and he’s gotten stronger every year to date in his career. Madison Bumgarner accustomed with batty expectations in ’10 and exceeded them, as cool as that sounds. Meanwhile, Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito both had their moments afore crumbling in the postseason (or not alike authoritative the agenda in Baked Zito’s case).
Last but not least, there are the firemen.
No baby additive in The City’s aboriginal Apple Series title, the boys will be aback in 2011 with afterpiece Brian Wilson thoroughly adequate his new-found celebrity and the accoutrement men accessible to chase their leader. Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo and Ramon Ramirez are all in the bend for ’11 while southpaw Dan Runzler begins the alteration to the starting rotation.
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More so than any aggregation in the division, los Gigantes acquire acumen to feel comfortable.
With the Sawks and Phils blame up so abundant clay over the winter, some of the absorption will be off the champs as they activate their appellation defense. That should allay some of the burden while accompanying confined as a motivational blast to the pants—much like the altercation acquired by the Dwyane Wade Bunch did for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA.
If you accept closely, you can already apprehend those aforementioned whispers about the Orange and Black starting—they won’t acquire abundant breach to compete, they charge a big bat, etc.
In reality, the abandoned additions San Francisco is acceptable to accomplish afore Spring Training starts are aback pieces:
Believe it or not, Encarnacion is one of the youngest third basemen accessible via chargeless agency. That threw me for a bend because it seems like the 27-year-old has been amphibian about the all-or-nothing ranks of MLB always now. He’s not a admiration with the glove, but he did adore his best abhorrent attack aftermost year aback his abominable 2008 analysis assertive anybody he was the aing abundant superstar at the hot corner.
Of course, that ability be what keeps him from aing San Francisco—after animadversion 23 home runs and a .787 OPS, Encarnacion ability be angling for a accord account about what he fabricated aftermost year (over $5 million).
Since he’d abandoned be an emergency plan in the accident Sandoval can’t acquisition his rookie-year form, that array of bulk tag would be amusing to SF.
You can never acquire too abundant awkward abatement and Fuentes is still a scattering aback acclimated accurately in baby doses (.128/.222/.149 adjoin lefties in 2010). His canicule of actuality a arch afterpiece are covered in about three inches of dust, but that bureau he should’ve appear to agreement with the absoluteness by now.
A prerequisite to the Giants alike flirting with him, because he took bottomward $9 actor aftermost season. San Fran is already advantageous Affeldt accomplished money to be a accoutrement man so it’s absurd the assumption would carapace out too abundant bread for a additional option.
San Francisco developed an affection for ex-Boston relievers as the aggregation came bottomward the amplitude in 2010—both Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez got some astronomic outs (though Ramirez gave a few aback as well). They formed out so well, why not grab accession ex-Sock who happens to be a begrimed southpaw to boot?
The Japanese lefty will be 35 afore Opening Day, but that’s not a prohibitive age for a one-inning specialist. True, he got agape about aftermost season, but the NL West is not the AL East and Okajima had been airless the three above-mentioned years.
He abandoned fabricated $2.5 actor in 2010 so he abstracts to be a arrangement and that makes him low-risk/high-reward.
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If you’re allurement yourself, “who is that?” you’re apparently not alone.
Sadly, now that Adrian Gonzalez has been alien off to Boston, third baseman Chase Headley is the abhorrent face of this brawl club. Nothing adjoin Headley, but that’s tough.
It’s about too black to allocution about, but San Diego will try to alter their admired and now-former aboriginal baseman with the accession of Cameron Maybin and a abounding year of Ryan Ludwick (of course, I wouldn’t calculation on that). Granted, the Fathers angle to get a big accession from centralized advance fabricated by the brand of Headley, catcher Nick Hundley and possibly outfielder Max Venable.
But none of that will affluence the bite of accident arguably the best all-around aboriginal baseman in the d (yeah, I’m counting Albert Pujols).
What ability be able to do the ambush is the rotation—Mat Latos will be aback and a year wiser, akin Clayton Richard and akin Wade LeBlanc. The accession of Aaron Harang doesn’t affect abundant confidence, but the abode does.
Topped off by afterpiece extraordinaire Heath Bell, the Friars are one of the few clubs that doesn’t charge to decay its time messing about with the capricious abatement market. They’re all boxlike abroad in at atomic one regard.
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The Padres acquire one contour larboard on their arcade account and it reads the aforementioned behindhand of position—dirt arrangement players who can be alone afterwards repercussion, but who ability accord a tenfold acknowledgment on the advance if the accepted lightning is bent in a bottle.
What splurge allowance SD might’ve had in the account had to acquire been acclimated up by the $4 actor affirmed to Harang. Given the Cincinnati Reds comedy in a active and the Friars comedy in the exact opposite, that arrangement ability not be as asinine as it looks.
Nevertheless, it about absolutely forecloses the adventitious of the Pads authoritative any added absorbing moves this offseason. But let’s pretend:
Nobody will accomplish San Diego admirers balloon about Adrian, but Lee would at atomic accord the consequence that the advanced appointment is aggravating to alter him. Lee doesn’t hit or acreage as able-bodied (and he’s 35), but he does both bigger than a lot of guys plying the aforementioned trade. Additionally, his horrible—by his standards—2010 analysis ability be partially explained abroad by acrimonious injuries, a abortive ambiance (hello Chicago Cubs) and the alteration to a new one (when he got traded to the Atlanta Braves).
Obviously, the $13.25 actor Lee banked in 2010 and the actuality that the Washington Nationals are targeting him brazier the abstraction afore it charge be discussed by applied absent people.
Here’s accession non-starter because of the San Diego budget, but an contrarily alluring possibility.
LaRoche can’t avowal the aforementioned coriaceous accreditation as either Gonzalez or Lee and he can’t adhere with Gonzo offensively, but that is hardly a damaging indictment. Abnormally because the 31-year-old can blast bigger than Lee these days.
Further aspartame the pot is the actuality that the ancient LaRoche did abundant of his accident in 2010 (25 HR and 100 RBI) adjoin the asperous accoutrements boasted by the NL West. True, he alleged Chase Acreage home and that’s one of the abandoned alive yards in the division, but he still had to face the San Francisco, San Diego and Colorado casting staffs—that’s no picnic.
OK, balloon aggravating to bung the aperture at aboriginal base; let’s allocution the keystone.
With Everth Cabrera now active at abbreviate consistent to the abandonment of Miguel Tejada, San Diego’s abyss blueprint on ESPN offends able-bodied sensibilities by advertisement David Eckstein—who will be 36 afore pitchers and catchers report, and is additionally a chargeless abettor aftermost time I checked—as the starting additional baseman.
That won’t do.
Neither will O-Dawg aback he doesn’t amount to be clay cheap, but would you rather be account about Kevin Frandsen or Argenis Diaz?
Besides, Hudson fits altogether with the Padre modus operandi—pesky hitter, abundant cuff and a acceptable in the clubhouse. He’s on the abatement and never was a ability threat, but San Diego makes its active on the backs of such players adherent with super-green youth.
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This is the aggregation that scares me as a die-hard San Francisco Giant fan.
Yeah, yeah, the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies attending alarming on paper—those teams abide every year and they rarely are the ones larboard continuing aback the dust and armament settle. Carpeting aptitude creates backbreaking expectations and there’s article about that burden that doesn’t cobweb able-bodied with the cerebral demands of able baseball.
Shoot, the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Red Sox were basic All-Star teams aftermost year and none of the leash alike fabricated it to the Apple Series.
On the added hand, carpeting aptitude larboard to itself, chargeless to gel far from the acrid blaze of the spotlight? Uh oh.
Now booty a attending at the Rox, who will apparently access the 2011 analysis afterwards the abounding advertising that’s abounding them recently, acknowledgment to the fuss on the East Coast.
They acquire one abiding MVP applicant in ambush Troy Tulowitzki, they acquire a additional such amateur arising in center/left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, they acquire two accessible blemish candidates in third baseman Ian Stewart (25) and center/left fielder Dexter Fowler (24), catcher Chris Iannetta could accomplish acceptable on all that advertising at any moment and they afresh added additional baseman Jose Lopez (as able-bodied as Ty Wigginton).
He had a barbarous 2010 campaign, but we’re talking about a guy who already hit 25 taters while calling Safeco Park home.
And Lopez now gets to assignment in the dainty air of Coors Field. That could be trouble.
Then there’s the amount of the casting staff.
If ace Ubaldo Jimenez continues to advance at this rate, he and Tim Lincecum ability aloof accord the NL Cy Adolescent a abiding home in the NL West for the accountable future. Their No. 2, Jorge De La Rosa, is clearly aback in the Colorado barn, accepting been re-signed for two years at $21.5 million. Meanwhile, the aback of the circling isn’t too shabby—Jason Hammel accepted admired at times, Jhoulys Chacin will baffle a lot of bodies aing year and Aaron Cook is the No. 5 afterwards captivation bottomward the No. 1 atom for years.
The abode is the abandoned absolute catechism mark.
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But abode advice is in abounding accumulation via chargeless agency.
If Colorado is so inclined, they can pay for affluence of assistance:
Buchholz won’t get abounding pulses racing, but he’s carefully accustomed with Coors Acreage and his numbers announce he’s one of the few hurlers who thrives there. In 2008, he boasted a 0.95 WHIP and a 2.17 ERA in 66.1 IP afore an abrasion amount him all of 2009 and best of 2010. There’s no agreement he’ll anytime be the aforementioned abode again, but he’d be able-bodied account the action if he anytime fabricated a abounding recovery.
Here’s added accurate advice for the firemen. Wheeler is accession name that doesn’t acquire abundant appeal, but he’s been sneakily able for the Tampa Bay Rays during the aftermost several years. He’s maintained a WHIP a 1.00 and an ERA about 3.30 for the aftermost three years, which is no baby ability while seeing the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox about 40 times a year.
Granted, he’s added of a fly-ball abode than a ground-ball guy and that doesn’t augur able-bodied for the mile-high air.
But any abode who can advance in the avant-garde AL East is account at atomic a look.
The Rockies acquire accomplished hitting, accomplished speed, accomplished defense, accomplished allure and accomplished starting pitching. Their abode is the one audacious weakness and that includes the closer, Huston Street.
Though his numbers weren’t abominable in 2010, bristles absolute saves are too abounding if you appetite to accomplish the postseason and survive abysmal into it. Additionally, the 27-year-old has never been the best abiding advantage at the end of amateur and artlessly isn’t that alarming of a attendance looming over the ninth inning.
Soriano solves all of these problems except the backbone issue.
In his aboriginal year as the absolute admiration from Opening Day through Bold 162, Rafael didn’t disappoint. He adored 45 amateur with abandoned three absolute saves and acquaint a 0.80/1.73 WHIP/ERA combo.
The affairs of Soriano dethroning Street as the aftermost band of aegis in a win are remote, abnormally aback the move would advance the Rox appropriate aback into the limelight.
But it would aing the aftermost broad chink in Colorado’s armor.
And that ability accomplish it worthwhile.
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