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Saturday, November 27, 2004

Pickoff Moves

What's A Birthday If You're Immortal?

Everyone, say Happy Birthday to Vinny, whose birthday is November 29th. Thanks to Ben Platt for the heads-up on the date.

BP PTP Notes

Baseball Prospectus has a PTP article on the Angels, Cubs, and Brewers. Vlad, natch, is the main thrust of the Angels part of the article, and they call out his season-long work as "one of the best free-agent investments ever." I'll second that one. They also note that because of Chone Figgins' versatility with the glove, it amounts to "[w]rapping a backup outfielder and infielder into one package... [and] opens two more slots and adds bench strength." A good deal so long as he's cheap. Could Figgy be the second coming of Mark McLemore? Yes, only more talented...

On the Cubs side, Sammy Sosa isn't a lock to come back, but BP labels a trade for Cliff Floyd and his gimpy back plus cash as "a push, unless rumors that Mike Piazza could be included prove true." Considering talks have supposedly all but collapsed between the Mets and the Cubs, this is unlikely... BP likes Nomar to come back, declaring him the best shortstop of a not-particularly-inspiring bunch (the other two are Renteria and Cabrera). Even though minor deity Mark Prior is reportedly healthy, "Dusty Baker again must get a long look" at the insane pitch counts to which he repeatedly subjects his young staff... The Northsiders must find themselves a closer, having let Percival get signed to an admittedly ridiculous contract in Detroit. None of the alternatives look especially compelling, though Hendry supposedly has a man-crush on Danny Kolb, he of the 5.57 K/9, 1.33 K/BB, but 3.49 G/F... better hope Nomar resigns and comes back healthy, Jim, you'll need all the infield help you can get.

The Few... The Proud... The Dodgers

Want a low paying job that requires you to travel alla time, and get paid to see all... friggin'... 162 games? The Dodgers have a gig for you. (Ditto, actually, theoretically, for the Angels.)

Finley, Dodgers Not Talking

Jayson Stark says that Steve Finley and the Dodgers aren't talking at all:
Finley's agent, Tommy Tanzer, confirms a report by the Sporting News' Ken Rosenthal that the Tigers have been "extremely aggressive" in their efforts to entice Finley.

What's puzzling is that the Dodgers -- who traded for Finley in July and assured him at the time they didn't view him as a "rental" -- are the team that has "been the least aggressive," Tanzer said.

"Maybe the Dodgers are waiting to see where this goes," Tanzer said. "Maybe they think we'll come back to them. But if they're waiting, I doubt Steve will be around that long."

Tanzer said five teams have been actively pursuing Finley. They're believed to be the Tigers, Giants, Phillies, Orioles and Rangers. The Diamondbacks also remain interested. But with Randy Johnson about to head back to the trading auction, it's a stretch to envision Finley returning to Arizona.

Andy Sisco Exposed To Rule 5 Draft

Some time ago, I espoused a trade of David Eckstein for Andy Sisco, but the Cubs have exposed him to the Rule 5 draft. Question before the house: should the Angels risk spending the money to pick him up? 1060west opines "Sisco's stock looks to be falling in the organization." The big difference: he's stopped throwing strikes, for whatever reason (134/65 K/BB, 1.45 WHIP, 4.21 ERA, 126 IP). But given that this is the most innings he's ever pitched, it's possible he's encountered some problems. I don't know if I'd pick him up at this point; the Cubs were probably wise to move him off the 40-man. Any team picking him up would have to be fairly desperate for starting pitching, but that describes a number of them.

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