MLB Trade Rumors: Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez, Chat Update and Other Offseason Thoughts

I would like to thank everyone who participated in Tuesday night's chat. We went 2 ½ hours and I enjoyed answering your questions. Like I said, we hope to host these chat every two weeks, but am not sure if we will host one the last week of the year during the holidays. I am off that week, so maybe I will host the chat during the day. We will keep you posted.

Everyone has addressed the Cliff Lee signing with the Phillies, but you have to hand it to Lee for signing with a team where he WANTED to play, rather than grabbing the biggest contract offered. The Phils will be favored to make the World Series in 2011, but they were favored last year as well, and the Giants won the whole thing, so anything can happen. With that said, a rotation of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels will be pretty tough to beat. Which pitcher does not get a start in a 5 game series in the playoffs? Hamels or Oswalt? I guess it would depend on matchups.

Now the Rangers and Yankees are left to figure out what their plan B is and who they should target via trade. A couple pitchers who could be available are Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Chris Carpenter, Chad Billingsley, Mark Beurhle, and Wandy Rodriguez as all are free agents at the end of the 2011 season. Can the Cardinals keep Carpenter and give Albert Pujols close to $30 million per year? I don't think so. I could see the Dodgers dealing Chad Billingsley now that they have 6 starting pitchers on their roster, as they are looking for a power hitting left fielder. The Cubs should deal one or both of Dempster and Zambrano. I think Dempster would be easier to deal as he is a workhorse and puts up solid stats, and he is not a headcase.

More offseason thoughts after the jump:

 

And, I don't see the Mariners dealing Felix Hernandez, but it certainly makes for good reading on a slow news day in baseball. I would imagine any deal for Felix would have to start with Robinson Cano or Phil Hughes.

The Yankees signed Russell Martin to a one year deal. So much for Jesus Montero catching in New York in 2011, huh? Could you imagine Montero catching for A.J. Burnett when Burnett gets wild? Would be a circus back there.  I wonder if Cliff Lee considered that when deciding to sign with Philly.

Martin is not the same player he was back in 2007-2008, and I don't see a rebound in 2011. His BA has dropped from .293 in 2007 to .248 in 2010, and his SLG dropped from .469 to .332 over the same period. I would stay away come draft day.

I am curious where Adrian Beltre signs this offseason. As a Dodgers fan, I would love him playing 3B for the next 4-5 years. I can't get that 2004 season out of my head, although I know he will never do that again. But he is good for 25-85-.275 most years, which is pretty solid. It appears the Rangers will make a play for him, but what to do with Michael Young? The Rockies, for some reason, had interest. I wonder if they have had enough with Ian Stewart with all of their moves this offseason.

I think Washington makes sense for Joe Blanton. He's an innings eater, and probably won't give up so many HRs in their ballpark.

The Dodgers signed Twins reliever Matt Guerrier yesterday to a 3 year, $15 million deal. The guys over at TrueBlueLA think this signing will lead to a trade involving Jonathon Broxton. Their bullpen now includes Broxton, Guerrier, Hong-Chih Kuo and Kenley Jansen. Who closes if Broxton is dealt? My money is on Jansen. OK, I own him in an NL-only keeper league.

The Diamondbacks have signed Xavier Nady to a one year deal, and he will platoon in left field and first base. Does this mean Brandon Allen has the first base job?

The Cubs, at this writing, are close to a deal for former closer Kerry Wood. I assume he will set up closer Carlos Marmol, and could get a few save chances should Marmol get hurt or blow some saves.

Padres GM Jed Hoyer is optimistic that the recent deal for SS Jason Bartlett will be finalized in the next few days. He went on to say that SS Everth Cabrera will probably start the season in AAA so he can get plenty of at bats. 

Hoyer is also optimistic he can sign a free agent first baseman to a one year deal. Names linked to the Padres include Adam LaRoche, Derrek Lee and Jorge Cantu. I can see Cantu as the favorite to land in San Diego, keeping the spot warm for prospect Anthony Rizzo.

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