Thursday, December 11, 2003

Excuse the Fan a moment while he mourns the passing of a great Yankee.

Okay. I can go on now. Andy Pettitte agreed to a three year deal with the Houston Astros today. The 31 year old, 21 game winner took less money to go to Houston. Less money means $7 million less. Knowing how much the Yankees meant to Pettitte and how much he wanted to go home, it sounds like Pettitte did what was right for him and his family.

For Yankee fans, it hurts to lose such a valuable pitcher who was a part of the great teams from 1996 on. Pettitte is a great competitor, is still in his prime and should do very well for a number of years to come. The only worry for him is that he is a fly ball pitcher in Houston's little band box. Unless Pettitte can keep hitters up the middle in the air, he could have trouble.

The Yankees are trying to answer their need with Pettitte's loss by trading for Kevin Brown. Again, the Yankees go for a star over 35. Brown had a great year and finally appeared over two years of injury. But the man is 39 years old. The only good thing for the Yankees is that it would give them a chance to end the torture that was Jeff Weaver. The man has talent, but man oh man did he stink in New York.

The worst part of the stories about Pettitte was him mentioning that he is working on his good friend, Roger Clemens to pitch one more year in Houston. I hope that doesn't happen. Clemens went out in style and on top of his game. He should leave it there. Pettitte should leave it there.

In other news, the White Sox didn't lose all their good pitchers. They signed left-hander, Mark Buehrle. Buerhrle is only 24 and already has 53 major league wins. He had an off year, but there is no reason he won't bounce back and get back to his 19 win season in 2002.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Last night was one of those nights. I was excited to report on my take of the deadline that passed Sunday and the consequences the deadline had for three great Atlanta Braves players, the Phillies and the Florida Marlins. After writing a long post, I went to post it and Blogger burped. I lost the whole thing. Disgustedly, I shut the thing down and went to bed. I'll try to keep my composure tonight.

Sunday marked the deadline for teams to offer their free agents arbitration. If the teams failed to do so, those teams cannot sign the free agents until May 1. Failing to offer arbitration usually means the teams have no intention of signing the player. The Braves made such a statement to Greg Maddux, Gary Sheffield and Javey Lopez.

Greg Maddux pitched for the Braves for eleven years. During that time, his average seasonal record was 18-8 with a 2.60 ERA. That's a pretty good run. The Braves gave up a chance to have their long time fans see Maddux reach the magical 300 win milestone in a Braves uniform. The Braves have to cut $20 million in payroll which just doesn't sound right considering their nationwide audience and long run atop the National League East.

The Braves also said goodbye to Javey Lopez and Gary Sheffield. That's 82 homers and 241 RBI of production gone from their lineup. I'm sure the Braves will remain competitive, but their reign on the NL East could come to an end. Especially with what's going on with the Phillies.

The Phillies did offer arbitration to Kevin Millwood. That means they have until December to sign him or let him go through the arbitration process. They would like to keep him at least one more year but do not want to commit to him long term. That makes sense these days where markets change. It doesn't make sense to sign a player for three years knowing that salaries have come down for two years and that player could be over priced by the end of the contract. Millwood hasn't exactly been the rock of health over his career either.

The Phillies did sign Tim Worrell who did a great job for the Giants last year closing games for their injured Robb Nen. Worrell had never been a closer and saved 38 games for the Giants. He should be a great tandem with Billy Wagner.

Bartolo Colon immediately improved the Angels' pitching staff by signing with that club. Who knows, if Colon ever gets in shape over the off season, he could become the lights out superstar that he's had the potential for his entire career. It's a risk for the Angels as there has to be a reason why Colon has bounced from team to team.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays continue their history of pursuing players nobody else wants. They offered a deal to Carl Everett today.

Everyday Eddie Guardado will no longer pitch every day for the Minnesota Twins. Guardado signed with the Mariners and should improve an already good bullpen there.

The Red Sox relationship with Nomar Garciaparra continues to get uglier. Nomar phoned in from his honeymoon with Mia Hamm to say how the trade talks rumored between the Rangers and Red Sox to swap A-Rod for Manny Ramirez. Garciaparra wants to play his whole career with the Red Sox.

It would be a big mistake for the Sox to lose Nomar and I don't know why one of the two shortstop can't play third base. Yesterday, Nomar's agent said that the trade talks are a slap in his client's face. Red Sox owner John Henry lashed back and called the agent's comments hypocritical. The agent has already turned down one high priced three year deal for Garciaparra.

This is stupid folks. Get a deal done. Too few teams have players left who started in their systems and became superstars. Nomar is one of the rare ones and should be kept at all a reasonable cost anyway.