All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Gather 'round the Hot Stove

It's that time of year, when trade rumors sprout like mushrooms in a cow pasture after a heavy rain. Probably the vast majority of them will never come to pass, but what the heck, they're fun. And what else is there to entertain a baseball fan during the off-season?

Andy Pettitte: The Dodgers are rumored to be interested in him. He might be interested, too, since Torre is there now. OTOH, he may stay with the Yanks (especially if Mo and Jorgie stay). Or he may just retire.

Johnny Damon: He may be traded to the White Sox for Joe Crede. The White Sox have too many third basemen and need a center fielder.

Kaz Matsui: The Yankees might trade for him, put him at 2B, and move Cano to 3B. (But two Matsuis on one team?)

Ian Kennedy: Reds blogs are talking about trading their third baseman, Edwin Encarnacion, for Kennedy. I don't know if the Yankees would do that deal. However, I do think they would trade Kennedy if the price was right. Other possibilities for 3B: Mike Lowell (if the Sox don't re-sign him), Hank Blalock (though the Yanks probably don't need another lefty) and Miguel Cabrera (which would mean not only two Cabreras, but two M. Cabreras on one team).

And speaking of the Reds, they seem to have something of a jam at 1B, with Votto, Hatteberg, and Cantu. One or more of them might be traded. Maybe Votto? There are rumors that the Reds are displeased with him. Perhaps because of his attitude, which fans often complain about. The Yanks might even be interested.

The Yankees might also be interested in Josh Hamilton. With Jay Bruce coming up, Dunn's option picked up, and Griffey apparently ensconced in right field, the Reds could spare Hamilton. The fact that they fired Johnny Narron, Hamilton's baby-sitter, suggests that at the very least, Dusty Baker is not inclined to coddle Hamilton. Hamilton has tremendous talent, but he's also tremendously risky. Not just the danger of falling off the wagon, but his history of injury. Still, a team like the Yankees can probably afford to take the risk. Hamilton's bat could go a long way to make up for the loss of A-Rod's production. The kid has a great glove, a cannon for an arm, and great wheels, too. He's possibly the worst baserunner I've ever seen, but that's because he hasn't played in years, not because he's lacking in speed.

In any case, I am expecting the Yankees to try to trade for a power-hitting center fielder. Damon is reaching the "move to corner OFer" time of his career. Melky is still a question mark. Perhaps most importantly, upgrading at CF is one obvious way to make up for A-Rod, since no matter who they get for 3B, he's not going to hit like Alex Rodriguez.

And speaking of A-Rod...boy, what a mess it's turning into. First the story about how he opted out because the Yankees wouldn't guarantee him at least $350 million. He wouldn't even meet with them to discuss it. Murray Chass thinks this was a bluff...and one that could cost A-Rod dearly, not least because everyone is so furious at the timing of the announcement. Tyler Kepner thinks A-Rod may end up back with the Yankees...but only if he takes a big pay cut as a mea culpa.

I don't know what to make of the whole A-Rod thing. One of his friends says he was angry with the Yankees for taking such a hard line, and that pushed him into free agency. Another says he was dismayed at how it unfolded, wants to come back, and is seriously thinking of making it up the Yankees by giving back the money they're losing from the Rangers. Which is true? Maybe both. I could see him agreeing to take a tough line, then being surprised and horrified when it results in him looking like a greedy egomaniac. That's just so...A-Rod.

Perhaps more interesting is what Boras was thinking. Either he had a blockbuster deal already secretly lined up, or he was trying to bluff the Yankees. We shall see.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:43 PM


Good article, Bubbafan... A-Rod can go to hell. Personally, I'd much rather have a whole team of Bubba's, Andy's, and the Tina Martinez-types. OK, throw in a few all-stars (Jeter, Rivera), but all all-star teams simply don't work. For example, remember how well the mighty Americans did in the WBC?
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, November 05, 2007 3:41 AM  
when will we find out where bubba's going to be next year???
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, November 05, 2007 6:39 PM  
It may be awhile. Last year, Bubba signed with the Reds Nov. 10. That was pretty early; he was the first Yankees free agent to be signed.

He might not draw that kind of interest this year, because he missed a whole year and had that shoulder surgery. And he might not want to sign that early, anyway. Would he have still chosen the Reds if he'd known about Josh Hamilton?

OTOH, he would have been called up by the Reds if he were healthy, so it wasn't a terrible choice. Even though the Reds have way too many lefty outfielders.
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, November 05, 2007 7:58 PM  

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