Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tazawa to sign with the Red Sox

According to Japanese newspapers, Junichi Tazawa, the amateur right handed pitcher from the corporate team Eneos (Nippon Oil), will sign with the Boston Red Sox. Apparently the Texas Rangers made a longer term deal for more money, but Tazawa chose to join the BoSox due to their "development program", and due to the fact that Diasuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima have been there before to help transition.
This signing apparently is causing some in Japan to stir, in that Japanese and American teams had previously not actively sought amateur players from the others' countries. Tazawa chose to forego the Japanese draft to sign with the Red Sox, which may provide more impetus for a international draft in baseball (particularly if relations with Cuba become less hostile).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Varitek re-signing with BoSox?

According to, citing sources familiar with the negotiations, the Red Sox have submitted an initial contract offer to free agent catcher Jason Varitek this offseason for one year. It was not reported what the monetary size of the offer would be, although indications were that it didn't approach the annual average (roughly $13.1 million) commanded by Yankees catcher Jorge Posada in a four-year contract last offseason.

CC Sweepstakes...Citibank Bailout to Make CC a Yankee?

I'm wondering if the new Citi bailout by the feds will affect the Mets ability to pay what the Yankees will pay for CC Sabathia. According to sources, the Mets may have a problem with their $400 million deal with Citibank for naming rights on the stadium, although to this point Citi is publicly stating they are honoring the agreement. One wonders how Milwaukee Brewers fans/taxpayers will enjoy helping the Mets sign Sabathia with the continued payment on the naming rights deal after the federal government bailout, and how it will look to use that money from Citibank, while Citi lays off 52,000 workers, to hire one 28 year old free agent pitcher. And we thought an AIG retreat was bad...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Crasnick says BoSox looking at AJ Burnett

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN says that Boston Red Socks general manager Theo Epstein spoke with A.J. Burnett's agent by phone last Tuesday to express the team's interest in the free-agent right-hander. He says decision to reach out and call agent Darek Braunecker was a clear sign that the Red Sox are ready to try and compete with the Blue Jays and the Yankees and several other clubs for Burnett, an 18-game winner for the Blue Jays in 2008. See article here. I wonder if this is just Boston trying to drive up the price on the Yankees.

Free Agent Starting Pitchers for 2009 (Age in parentheses)

Here's the grouping that will be in demand...

Kris Benson (33); A.J. Burnett (32); Paul Byrd (38); Roger Clemens (46) Matt Clement (33); Bartolo Colon (36); Shawn Estes (36); Josh Fogg (32); Freddy Garcia (33); Jon Garland (29); Tom Glavine (43); Mike Hampton (36); Mark Hendrickson (35); Livan Hernandez (34); Orlando Hernandez (43); Jason Jennings (30); Randy Johnson (45); Kenshin Kawakami (34); Jon Lieber (39); Braden Looper (34); Rodrigo Lopez (33); Derek Lowe (36); Greg Maddux (43); Pedro Martinez (37); Jamie Moyer (46); Mark Mulder (31); John Parrish (31); Carl Pavano (33); Brad Penny (31); Odalis Perez (32); Oliver Perez (27); Andy Pettitte (37); Sidney Ponson (32); Mark Prior (27); Kenny Rogers (44); Glendon Rusch (34); C.C. Sabathia (28); Curt Schilling (42); Ben Sheets (30); John Smoltz (42); Koji Uehara (34); Kip Wells (32); Randy Wolf (32).

Interesting that Mike Hampton is only 36, seems like he's older than that.

Indians to look at Astros' Valverde and Wiggington?

Although I thought that Wiggington would be an Astro next year, looks like the Tribe may be interested in a deal for Valverde and Wiggington, at least according to this article. Valverde is likely going to be trade bait for the Astros, since a team that is likely rebuilding is not going to be looking for a closer, but I see Wiggington staying with the Astros as he has a Drayton McLane temperment. I guess we'll see.

Chicago Tribune on the Jake Peavy Rumors

Phil Rogers seems to indicate that maybe the Astros aren't out of the Jake Peavy sweepstakes. Maybe Jake will wear Brick Red and Sand soon?