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Tuesday, November 04, 2003
Astros trade Wagner to Phillies.
It's the first move in what could be another interesting offseason for the suddenly free-spending Phillies. Philadelphia hopes to land a top starter and setup reliever. Wagner should make the Phillies an attractive spot for free agents.

"If you're a free agent pitcher thinking about the Phillies, you know if you're walking off the mound in the seventh inning, the ninth inning is pretty well covered," Phillies general manager Ed Wade said.

John Lauck analyzes the trade from the Astros' perspective. (Astros Daily)

Guillen back with White Sox as manager. (Yahoo!)

Ortiz back for another year with Braves. The team exercised a one-year, $5.7 million option. (Yahoo!)

Lining up who will be here in 2004. Gordon Edes tries to project the Red Sox' roster. (Boston Globe)

The Meat Market (Part One: Outfielders). Aaron Gleeman looks at this year's free agents. "Vladimir Guerrero is one of the best free agents in baseball history and the team that signs him will be adding an extraordinarily valuable piece to their team. I'd bust the bank and give him just about whatever he wants if he expressed interest in signing with my team. According to everything I've been reading, I'd say about a dozen teams think they have a shot at him, which means that price-tag is going to rise pretty high. He's worth it." (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

The Meat Market (Part Two: Catchers and Infielders). "I would have no hesitation signing [Pudge Rodriguez] to a two-year deal, but I suspect he is going to be looking for a lot more than that, and I bet he'll get it too. I figure Rodriguez probably made himself an extra $20 million or so by signing that one-year deal with the Marlins. Oh, and he got $10 million and a World Series ring out of the deal too." (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

Organizational Meeting: Oakland A's. A Q&A with the guys from Elephants in Oakland. "If the A’s could get a lot for Lilly in trade, they should go for it. Lilly is an enigma wrapped inside a riddle, inside a fortune cookie crushed inside a spoiled brat’s clenched fist. Lilly could be had for 3 years at a $2-3 million a year. That’s rather pricey for a fourth starter considering Justin Duchscherer and Joe Blanton are on the verge of making the jump." (Wait 'Til Next Year)

Organizational Meetings: Giants. A Q&A with The Southpaw, Matthew T. Durham. "[E]veryone's going to talk about Vlad and Sheffield, and while I think that the Giants have an outside chance to land one, I don't expect it at all. Vlad played for Felipe, and Sheff almost went to Oakland with Bonds a while back, but the reality is that neither will likely be in Orange and Black next season (unless they're in Baltimore)." (Wait 'Til Next Year)

Organizational Meetings: Atlanta Braves. A Q&A with Brad Dowdy of No Pepper. "I'm of the opinion that John Smoltz should continue to serve as the Braves closer. With his past and present arm problems, I don't see how he could stay healthy for the 180-200 innings that would be required of him. In the closers role, he is an elite player, and I would rather see him throw 75-85 high leverage innings than risk losing him for the season - and possibly career - if he goes back to starting." (Wait 'Til Next Year)

Prospectus Triple Play: Angels, Cubs, Tigers. "If Disney's team is going to return to contention in the tightly packed AL West, they need a center fielder and a DH who can hit. It's going to be tough to compete in a free agent market thin in center fielders, though the Angels may be able to steal one once Vladimir Guerrero and Gary Sheffield empty the big wallets. Still, the Halos' best bet may come in the form of a trade. Ideally, Stoneman will find some spare cash and Allard Baird's phone number (1-800-BEL-TRAN?). If not, it's time to look for a real DH. Well, Albert Belle's contract is finally up." (Baseball Prospectus)

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