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A weblog of baseball news and analysis

Monday, November 15, 2004
Santana's success: Twins lefty is Venezuela's first Cy Young winner. (Yahoo!)

Unanimously Johan. "The run he made during the final four months of the season is one of the greatest in the history of the sport. Since the start of June, Santana went 18-3 with a 1.50 ERA, including 13-0 with a 1.18 ERA after the All-Star break and a nearly unbelievable 5-0 with a 0.26 ERA in September. And all the while I couldn't stop smiling. I am not an expert on baseball talent and I would be utterly useless as a scout, but for some reason I saw something in Santana that I hadn't seen in other players. Whether it was the pitches he threw or the style he threw them or his supreme confidence on the mound, I saw a player who wasn't very well known and I knew instantly that he'd become a star. He just needed the chance." (The Hardball Times)

A Santana retrospective based on all the times Tom Renbarger has written about Santana on his blog. (TDA Bullpen)

The 2004/2005 Free Agent Prediction Contest. Deadine: November 18. (Baseball Think Factory)

Vizquel agrees to $12.25 million, three-year deal with Giants. (Yahoo!)

...Age versus beauty. "So the Giants have finally made a free agent splash, just not the kind that makes any sense. By signing the 37-year old Omar Vizquel to an amazingly generous, three-year, $12.25 million dollar deal, Brian Sabean has again demonstrated that he is the only person in the game who recognizes that baseball players don't grow old, they only grow better. After the disastrous Neifi Perez deal, Sabean decided that two years for a washed up shortstop wasn't enough. No, he wanted to make sure that the team was hamstrung for an extra year with this next deal." (Only Baseball Matters)

Transaction Oracle discussion of the Vizquel signing. (Baseball Think Factory)

The Meat Market: Outfielders. "Just like at the midseason trading deadline, teams in need of a centerfielder this offseason are going hot and heavy after Carlos Beltran, with Steve Finley as their fallback plan. The problem, obviously, is that there are only two of those guys to go around, and once they're both off the market teams are going to go to the third spot on their list of free agent centerfielders are find themselves staring straight at Doug Glanville. As a wise man once said, 'That's not going to be good for anybody.'" (The Hardball Times)

The Meat Market: Starting Pitchers. "As usual, there are a ton of available starting pitchers this offseason, although there aren't as many big name free agents as there have been in past years. However, at the very top of the list is Pedro Martinez, a name as big as any around. The problem with Pedro is that teams can't possibly be sure what they'll be getting if they sign him. He is one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history and was as dominant as a starting pitcher could possibly be for quite a long time, but what Pedro accomplished in the past won't help the team that signs him as a free agent." (The Hardball Times)

Center field should take center stage. "The question has been raised how fiscally smart it would be to give Beltran and his agent the contract they presently seek. It’s a good question, and would be an even better one if it was my money instead of Drayton’s that I so freely toss around at times. But whether Beltran is back or not, the one thing he proved this past season with the Astros was the value of true centerfielder who can roam the big pasture and hill out in the middle of the Houston outfield." (Astros Daily)

Point by Point With Scott Boras.
"Being a Red Sox all his life, [Varitek] obviously thinks he's deserving of what every other team in the division does for their organizational players..."

Like the Yankees? Ask Andy Pettitte how that worked out for him. Like the Orioles or D-Rays? Now there are a couple of exemplary franchises. And isn't Toronto about to let the greatest Blue Jay of all time walk? What the hell is an "organizational player" anyway?

"And with the evidence of his leadership, we obviously expect him to be compensated with the premium catchers in the game."

Look. I am sure Jason is a super guy and all, but there is only so much monetary value a prudent ballclub ought to place on being a good guy. Still, Boras' larger point here, that Varitek should be paid with the best catchers in the game, is not off-base. He should. Just not for the next five years.

"We looked at what John Henry did for Charles Johnson with five years and a no-trade clause..."

Um, yeah Scott, and how did that one work out?
(The House That Dewey Built)

Tek-nichalities. "It's that kind of intensity and leadership that makes me want to keep Jason Varitek around even if he hits .250 the rest of his career. I'm just not sure that intensity is worth fifty million over five years, guaranteed. I don't mind him thinking he's worth ten million a year. I'm not convinced he's worth that, but I understand how people, even people other than Varitek and Scott Boras, could come up with that figure. I don't mind him wanting to be here for five more years. It's the combination of the per/year and the length that I find daunting." (Doc Baseball)

Abstracts from the Abstracts. Richard Lederer combs through Bill James's 1985 Baseball Abstract. (Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT)

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