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Friday, February 03, 2006

Pickoff Moves

Angels Renew Interest In Jeff Weaver, Manny Talks

The Angels have expressed renewed interest in Jeff Weaver, but only if they can sign him to a one-year deal with an option for 2007, according to the Times. The Angels are concerned that he could block the progress of his brother, Jered, or lefty Joe Saunders in the organization if he is signed to a longer-term deal. Despite feelers from the Cardinals and Mets, Weaver is believed to be interested in working at home, giving the Angels an edge.

Also, the Angels have been approached again by Boston about trading for disgruntled slugger Manny Ramirez, but the Halos have "balked" at the asking price once more. The Red Sox were asking for two or three top prospects, including Howie Kendrick, Brandon Wood, as well as Chone Figgins and Ervin Santana without any relief on the $57 million remaining of his salary.

Don Newcombe, Maury Wills Honored

Former Dodgers Don Newcombe and Maury Wills were honored by the Los Amigos Country Club, where they play golf, by the dedication of a pair of bridges bearing their names. Both were drug and alcohol abusers, and both recovered to regain their lives.
"I'm glad to be anywhere when I think about my life back then," said Newcombe, who placed his hands on his young son's head 39 years ago and swore he would never have another drink after alcoholism derailed a brilliant pitching career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. "What I have done after my baseball career and being able to help people with their lives and getting their lives back on track and they become human beings again -- means more to me than all the things I did in baseball."

"Just being here with Don Newcombe makes me feel great," said Wills, the 1962 National League Most Valuable Player for the Dodgers, whose life slid into a deep hole of drug and alcohol abuse in the early 1980's and who will be clean and sober 17 years this August. "I'm standing here with the man who saved my life. He was a channel for God's love for me because he chased me all over Los Angeles trying to help me and I just couldn't understand that -- but he persevered -- he wouldn't give in and my life is wonderful today because of Don Newcombe."

Quinlan To Participate In Pro-Am Alumni Game

Robb Quinlan will participate in the University of Minnesota's pro/alumni game, similar to the one the Dirtbags just held. Yahoo Weather calls for snow showers today in Minneapolis, so the event will be held in the Metrodome. Brr!

OT: Brokeback To The Future


Nomar To Report With Pitchers And Catchers

Nomar Garciaparra will report early to spring training, along with the pitchers and catchers, on February 15, perhaps owing to his inexperience at first base. "It tells you who he is, what he is," General Manager Ned Colletti said. "This is a professional."

BTB Projects Kotchman's Future

Thanks to the Rev for forwarding this Beyond The Boxscore story projecting Casey Kotchman's 2006 season. Marc Normandin projects a .274/.348/.426 season with 16 homers. Interesting.

Why would the Angels take on Boston's problem -- namely, Manny's humungous salary -- and give up a boat-load of the team's best prospects to boot? Crazy.
Based upon nothing more than gut feeling, I think Kotchman will do better than a .274 average. Depending on playing time (and where he hits in the lineup), I would be surprised if he hits below about .285, and would not be surprised if he hits over .300.
If those reports are true, then Stoneman just had his intelligence insulted...
... the Manny report ... not the Weaver report ...
Kotchman's been hot and cold in his times in the big leagues. He's probably capable of hitting .300, but I think it's a stretch for his first full season.
Manny: It's Arte's $$$, so let him spend the piles of cash he got from changing the team name (sarcasm). I still contend if Boston could take OC to clear up the SS situation, maybe the declining GA, and 1 prospect in the the 6-10 range I'd do it in a heartbeat. But I wouldn't give away the farm to help them with their "problem".
After 15 anonymous posts I guess I should post under my name...
re: Manny

Maybe the Sox will continue to pursue a trade with the Angels until the price becomes so attractive Stoneman can't refuse.

After all, the Indians had no real desire to trade Coco Crisp, but the Sox continued to sweeten their offer until the Indians could no longer refuse.

Another reason a trade might be more likely than before was the re-hiring of Esptein. The biggest reason for his departure was a disagreement over "player evaluation" -- specifically, Epstein's desire to unload costly veterans (some of them all-stars) in order to get younger. Lucchino was opposed. But Epstein prevailed, or so it was reported. Perhaps Epstein now has the muscle to get a deal done.
Maybe the Sox will continue to pursue a trade with the Angels until the price becomes so attractive Stoneman can't refuse.

If that's true, no iteration of the trade I have heard of yet does not include top prospects from the Angels farm. The Red Sox won't unload Manny.
no iteration of the trade I have heard of yet does not include top prospects from the Angels farm. The Red Sox won't unload Manny.

The first sentence does not necessarily lead to the second. The newsworthy bit here is not the Sox offer, which is ridiculous to the point of not being believable, but that it was them who picked up the phone. Scott Boras had lots of pretty-sounding ideas about how much money the Angels should pay Jered Weaver, but in the end Stoneman named the price.

If the Sox decide to dump Manny, then dumped he'll be, for whatever price they can get. And luckily, we've got the most chits out there.

Given Stoneman's recent talking up of Napoli, and the return of Epstein, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see his name mentioned. We'd need to dump one big contract -- probably Erstad -- and then dangle the Grade B guys: Napoli, Callaspo, Saunders.
But this kind of smokescreen is what we expect to leak out of any competent organization. Not only are the Napoli smoke signals interesting, but if you read today's BA chat about the Angels' system, you'll notice one Jose Arredondo on the 40-man, a fellow who hasn't even played a single year of full-season minor league ball. Trade bait?
Just to be clear, the home newspaper always has the away trading team initiating the contact. In other words, don't read too much into it.
Some baseball journos have reported that the Boston people are continuing to make phone calls about Manny so they can demonstrate to him and his people that they at least tried to trade him, as they promised they would, even though the Boston people know that it will be nearly impossible to trade him and get anywhere close to equal value.

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