The Hot Stove season is about to get into full gear and one of the big names available is Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. Hamilton is coming off his best power season at the plate, hitting .285-.354-.577 with 43 HRs, 103 runs, 128 RBI, and 7 stolen bases. While he saw his ISO improve from .238 to a career high .292, his strikeout rate jumped from 17.3% to 25.5%. There have been plenty of articles written about his risk due to his checkered past, and that he is injury prone. What surprises me is that the baseball beat writers and national media seem to think that he will only get a 4-5 year deal this offseason. Sure, a 4-5 year deal makes sense, but if a 275 pound first baseman can get a 9 year, $214 million deal, Hamilton should get at least a 6 year, $140-150 million deal.
So where could Hamilton end up? Some think Milwaukee is the favorite, and they might be. But, I have a feeling that the Yankees will get involved. We learned yesterday that the Yankees are pondering moving Curtis Granderson to an outfield corner, with Brett Gardner moving to center field. Could the Yankees be announcing this move to bluff their interest in Josh Hamilton? I wouldn't put it past GM Brian Cashman.
The Fake Teams Dynasty League will be holding our 2013 minor league draft beginning on Monday, and I have the first pick in the draft. Prospects who have major league experience are not available, so I am leaning toward one of Carlos Correa or Mike Zunino with the first pick. Who would you pick?
The Mets and David Wright's agent apparently are holding talks on a long term extension for the former All Star third baseman. The popular stance on Wright is that the team will sign him long term, with Jim Bowden thinking he will get a 7 year deal in the $125 million range. But, GM Sandy Alderson is no stranger to trading all stars, as he traded Trevor Hoffman when he was in San Diego, and he traded Jose Canseco a year after he hit 44 home runs in Oakland. Could he deal David Wright this offseason, if Wright's contract demands prove to be too expensive? It would not surprise me, but the chances are slim. To extend that thought, ESPN's Jim Bowden wrote a piece yesterday with five possible trade partners for the Mets, including the Red Sox, Angels, Diamondbacks, Royals and Rangers. The Royals and Rangers make no sense to me, since they already have Mike Moustakas and Adrian Beltre, respectively, at the hot corner. The same goes for the Red Sox with Will Middlebrooks manning third base for them. The Angels and Diamondbacks are possible trade partners, as both teams need a third baseman, but the DBacks have the young pitching prospects that could get a deal done.
A few days after dealing Ervin Santana to the Royals, it appears the Angels will be dealing starter Dan Haren today. Haren was quoted saying indications he is receiving make him think he will be wearing a different uniform in 2013. The Red Sox were rumored as a team that could have interest in him, but Buster Olney's had his own thoughts on Haren's possible destination in this tweet from last night:
Angels-Indians have a lot of common ground on possible dealings. LAA needs closer(like Perez),CLE needs OF (like Bourjos, bought-down Wells)— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 1, 2012
Why do the Angels need a closer with Ernesto Frieri is in the fold? Should Chris Perez get dealt, this could open up the closer job for Vinnie Pestano in 2013 in Cleveland. Pestano went 3-3 with 2 saves, a 2.57 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and a 76-24 strikeout to walk ratio in 70 innings in 2012.
A Haren deal to the Indians would give the Indians a number one starter, who could have a decent bounce back season if his back holds up. But, the two deals scream that the Angels are going to do their best to sign Zack Greinke this offseason. They almost have to with C.J. Wilson out for the 2013 season after Tommy John surgery. If they are outbid, I see them going after Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse.