With the annual Major League Baseball winter meetings only two short weeks away, what better time to start talking about the hot rumours that circulate around baseball? Forget Barry Bonds and the controversy surrounding his indictment. We’re interested in stories about those big-time free agents, potential trades, and re-signings, and how they will affect what happens on the field.
New York Yankees
Any discussion about spending money during the baseball off-season begins with the evil empire, the New York Yankees. Right now the biggest name in Yankeeland is Alex Rodriguez. It did not sit well with fans, reporters, and owners when A-Rod and agent Scott Boras tried to make themselves bigger than the World Series by announcing during game four, a series-clinching game, that A-Rod is opting out of his contract. General managers have called Boras’ marketing of A-Rod at $30 million a season a ridiculous bluff, as talks between Boras and any team interested in A-Rod’s services have ceased. That’s why A-Rod sat down with the Yankees about signing a deal to stay in the Bronx. The result ended in another record-breaking deal for the recently announced MVP, now signed with the Yankees for $275 million over 10 years. New York has retained the services of arguably the best player in baseball, a man that, in the long term, will be box office gold, a likely home run king.
Boston Red Sox
The other big spender during the off season, the Boston Red Sox, was able to lock up its big-time third baseman, World Series MVP Mike Lowell, for $37.5 million over three years. This may not be good news for fans. Lowell, while very talented, tends to perform only in a contract year. This same trend has followed him on his way to Boston. Lowell’s numbers last year were pretty good, but they’re nothing like the astronomical figures he was putting up this year—while in a contract. Red Sox fans, be wary. Mike Lowell may not be as great as you think he is.
Centre of attention
There is an even more intriguing race going on between multiple teams for three big centre fielders up for grabs this off-season: Andrew Jones, Torii Hunter, and Aaron Rowand. The Dodgers are rumoured to be looking at all three since the team is looking to upgrade Juan Pierre in centre. In all likelihood the Dodgers won’t be able to go after Hunter, since it seems he has his mind set on Texas. Hunter has gone and met with Rangers owner Tom Hicks, now both sides must come to an agreement.
Blue Jays flying below the radar
How does all this bode for the Toronto Blue Jays? Well, given how we just picked up utility infielder Marco Scutaro from the A’s for two pitching prospects, it seems like the Jays won’t be making much noise at the winter meetings.
Orlando heads to Chicago
In an extremely puzzling move, the LA Angels have traded star shortstop Orlando Cabrera to the Chicago White Sox for starter Jon Garland. It’s a questionable move on the Angels’ part because Orlando Cabrera is a top tier shortstop in the league, and Jon Garland is considered only a solid starter at best. So it would seem that the White Sox got away with a steal.
Big fish being dangled
In trade rumours there is one name that keeps popping up, Miguel Cabrera. The 24-year-old third baseman seems to be priced out of the Marlins’ reach. Thus, the Marlins are doing what they always do, putting their best guys up for sale for young prospects. As Alex Rodriguez and Mike Lowell are now locked up with their respective teams, Cabrera is far and away the best option available at third. A reported eight teams are hunting Cabrera, with the Angels and Dodgers as front runners.