Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Baseball Digest | The Power Is Back; Time To Crank Up The Hot Stove

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The Power Is Back; Time To Crank Up The Hot Stove

The World Series concluded last week with the St. Louis Cardinals capturing their 11th World Series championship. Many of us in the northeast were then pounded by an October-ending storm that was as rotten as any January has to throw at us. For the many of us who lost power, heat, etc…what better time than now, the beginning of November, to crank up the HOT STOVE.
Oh yes, just because baseball is over, it doesn’t mean that baseball is over.

There’s a lot going on already…

Theo Epstein escaped from Boston to try to help another team, the Chicago Cubs, end their long running misery. He also had to get out from under the bus that Boston owner John Henry threw him under. The Cubs still owe the Red Sox compensation for Epstein after the latest deadline to do so passed with no resolution. Epstein is the Cubs’ new president and has named Jed Hoyer as the team’s new GM. Hoyer had been the ass’t GM in San Diego and had worked with Epstein in Boston during the team’s two titles in 2004 and 2007.
Epstein fired manager Mike Quade on Wednesday after just a little over one season in Chicago. The Sun-Times has the story.
The Red Sox quickly replaced Epstein with insider Ben Cherington, a long-time Boston employee. One of Cherington’s first moves was to exercise the $6MM option on Marco Scutaro for 2012. Cherington also said that Scutaro will be the starting shortstop entering spring training. He should face competition from veteran Jed Lowrie and highly touted prospect Jose Iglesias.

The Los Angeles Angels also changed GM’s, bringing in former Arizona Diamondbacks front office employee Jerry DiPoto to fill the role. DiPoto pitched for eight seasons in the bigs and compiled a 27-24 record with the Indians, Mets, and Rockies. He retired as a player after the 2000 season.

The Baltimore Orioles search for a GM continued after Toronto assistant GM Tony LaCava said, “no thanks”.

Winning manager Tony LaRussa retired after 33 years, three world championships, and six pennants. Commissioner Bud Selig said he would still like to see LaRussa manage the 2012 NL All-Star team.

Davey Johnson will be back as manager of the Washington Nationals after the club and he reached an agreement for 2012. The 68-yr old Johnson, who took over the team on June 27, will be the oldest manager in baseball. At least until Jack McKeon comes out of retirement again.

New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman inked a new three-year deal and ownership re-worked ace CC Sabathia’s contract so that the team’s #1 starter wouldn’t opt out of his current contract. The new deal guarantees Sabathia $122MM over five years. In this new technological era, Sabathia was the first to announce the new deal via Twitter. "Yankee fans, I’ll be here fighting for number 28 next year! "

One pitcher who may not be re-joining Sabathia in Pinstripes next season is the inconsistent A.J. Burnett. During the news conference to announce his new deal, Cashman said that Burnett will be in the rotation, “…if he’s with us.” Two Yankees who will be back are outfielder Nick Swisher (though he could be dealt) and Robinson Cano, who both had their options picked up.

The Phillies turned down the option on veteran starter Roy Oswalt, which made the right-hander a free agent.

The Tampa Bay Rays picked up options on closer Kyle Farnsworth and starter James Shields, but have parted ways with catcher Kelly Shoppach.

Embatted LA Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has agreed to sell the team at auction. The Dodgers were building a promising future until McCourt and his wife Jamie engaged in bitter divorce proceedings. A settlement allowed the team to finally be put up for sale.
Dodgers fans are ecstatic that the McCourts are selling. The LA Times has the full story.
The Indians have a new starting pitcher in veteran Derek Lowe. The right-hander was acquired from Atlanta on Monday for a minor leaguer. Cleveland will only have to pony up 1/3 of the $15MM that Lowe is still owed. The 38-yr old is coming off of one of his worst seasons when he went 9-17, 5.05 in 34 starts.

Courtesy of, here is the complete list of 2012 free agents and potential free agents:

Atlanta Braves
Gonzalez, Alex
Linebrink, Scott
McLouth, Nate
Sherrill, George
Wilson, Jack

Arizona Diamondbacks
Duke, Zach
Hill, Aaron
Marquis, Jason
McDonald, John
Nady, Xavier
Overbay, Lyle

Baltimore Orioles
Guerrero, Vladimir
Izturis, Cesar

Boston Red Sox
Atchison, Scott
Bedard, Erik
Drew, J.D.
Jackson, Conor
Miller, Trever
Ortiz, David
Papelbon, Jonathan
Varitek, Jason
Wakefield, Tim
Wheeler, Dan

Chicago Cubs
Grabow, John
Johnson, Reed
Lopez, Rodrigo
Ortiz, Ramon
Pena, Carlos
Ramirez, Aramis
Wood, Kerry

Chicago White Sox
Buehrle, Mark
Castro, Ramon
Pierre, Juan
Vizquel, Omar

Cincinnati Reds
Cordero, Francisco
Hernandez, Ramon
Renteria, Edgar
Willis, Dontrelle

Cleveland Indians
Durbin, Chad
Fukudome, Kosuke*
Sizemore, Grady
Thome, Jim

Colorado Rockies
Cook, Aaron
Ellis, Mark
Millwood, Kevin
Romero, J.C.

Detroit Tigers
Betemit, Wilson
Guillen, Carlos
Ordonez, Magglio
Penny, Brad
Santiago, Ramon
Zumaya, Joel

Florida Marlins
Dobbs, Greg
Lopez, Jose
Vazquez, Javier C.

Houston Astros
Barmes, Clint
Michaels, Jason

Kansas City Royals
Chen, Bruce
Francis, Jeff
Kendall, Jason

Los Angeles Angels
Branyan, Russell
Pineiro, Joel
Ramirez, Horacio
Rodney, Fernando

Los Angeles Dodgers
Barajas, Rod
Blake, Casey
Broxton, Jonathan
Carroll, Jamey
Garland, Jon
Kuroda, Hiroki*
MacDougal, Mike
Miles, Aaron
Padilla, Vicente
Rivera, Juan

Milwaukee Brewers
Betancourt, Yuniesky
Counsell, Craig
Fielder, Prince
Hairston Jr, Jerry
Hawkins, LaTroy
Kotsay, Mark S.
Rodriguez, Francisco
Saito, Takashi

Minnesota Twins
Capps, Matt
Cuddyer, Michael
Kubel, Jason
Nathan, Joe

New York Mets
Batista, Miguel
Capuano, Chris
Hairston, Scott
Harris, Willie
Isringhausen, Jason
Reyes, Jose
Young, Chris

New York Yankees
Ayala, Luis
Chavez, Eric
Colon, Bartolo
Garcia, Freddy
Jones, Andruw
Marte, Damaso
Mitre, Sergio
Posada, Jorge

Oakland Athletics
Crisp, Coco
DeJesus, David
Harden, Rich
Matsui, Hideki
Willingham, Josh

Philadelphia Phillies
Gload, Ross
Ibanez, Raul
Lidge, Brad
Madson, Ryan
Oswalt, Roy
Rollins, Jimmy
Schneider, Brian

Pittsburgh Pirates
Cedeno, Ronny
Doumit, Ryan
Lee, Derrek
Ludwick, Ryan
Maholm, Paul
Snyder, Chris

San Diego Padres
Bell, Heath
Harang, Aaron
Hawpe, Brad
Qualls, Chad

Seattle Mariners
Aardsma, David
Bard, Josh
Kennedy, Adam
Pena, Wily Mo
Rodriguez, Luis
Wright, Jamey

San Francisco Giants
Beltran, Carlos
Burrell, Pat
Cabrera, Orlando
DeRosa, Mark
Mota, Guillermo
Ross, Cody

St. Louis Cardinals
Dotel, Octavio
Furcal, Rafael
Jackson, Edwin
Laird, Gerald
Patterson, Corey Pujols, Albert
Punto, Nick
Rhodes, Arthur

Tampa Bay Rays
Cruz, Juan
Damon, Johnny
Kotchman, Casey
Shoppach, Kelly

Texas Rangers
Chavez, Endy
Gonzalez, Mike
Oliver, Darren
Treanor, Matt
Webb, Brandon
Wilson, C.J.

Toronto Blue Jays
Camp, Shawn
Francisco, Frank
Johnson, Kelly
Molina, Jose
Rauch, Jon

Washington Nationals
Ankiel, Rick
Coffey, Todd
Cora, Alex
Gomes, Jonny
Hernandez, Livan
Nix, Laynce
Rodriguez, Ivan
Wang, Chien-Ming

* Eligible per contract terms.

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