This afternoon as I pondered which pizza joint would be on the receiving end of my phone call tonight -- it was Lou Malnati's for those of you who care about my eating habits -- I was just itching for the Sox to make a move. At the time, the only rumors coming out of Orlando were either stale (Mets) or painful (Aaron Rowand? Yankees for relief?). I had gotten to the point where I wanted to see the Sox make a move just to quiet all the bogus rumors that don't make any sense.
A couple of slices of sausage on buttercrust helped that feeling go away. It also could have been an interview I heard with Steve Phillips early this morning. He was talking about Barry Zito and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Phillips felt that Zito would wait until the market for pitching was set by the free agent with the hard deadline (December 14th), Matsuzaka. As I stated yesterday, I think it's in the Sox best interest to wait until Zito goes off the market to make their move. In other words, we've got another week and half of the waiting game and the bogus rumors that go along with it.
- One of the featured events at the winter meetings is the manager interviews. All 30 managers -- well, 29. Joe Torre doesn't do winter meetings -- sit down with the media for a barrage of questions. Ozzie, who usually provides the best quotes, was rather sedate. He did find some time to call out some out of shape players though, and take another shot across the bow of Brandon McCarthy (no link). Here's an interview he did with MLB.tv.
- The Sox made some tangible news when they announced the signing of Pablo Ozuna to a 1-year deal worth $800K, avoiding arbitration in the process. -- It seems like a bit of an overpay for a player with Ozuna's skillset, (no defense, no power, only speed) but the Sox would be even worse off against left-handed pitching if they didn't bring him back.
- The day started with news that KW had met with Brian Cashman early this monrning until 2AM. By mid-day we learned that the meeting was not to discuss A-Rod, but a starter-for-reliever swap. Late tonight, we found out the name KW was asking for was that of Humberto Sanchez. On the proposed deal, Merkin again writes the clearest subtext.
Two baseball sources confirmed to MLB.com that both the Yankees and the Mets have interest in White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle, although a source close to the White Sox advised not to read too much into that particular interest.Combine that quote with the one from last night, and I'm even more confident that KW and Co. are working on locking up Buehrle. (See how I can read into a passage advising me not to read too much into a different rumor. That takes skill, my friends, mad skillz.)
- Actually, I kinda like the idea of adding a guy like Humberto Sanchez, assuming he's healthy. And so long as the move's not for Buehrle. I have a hard time giving up on Buehrle, who the Sox drafted and developed, even if he was the worst starter in baseball in the second half. His first 6 years can stack up against almost anyone in baseball. While he doesn't feature "ace" stuff, he's been the Sox ace for nearly his entire career.
Sanchez would slot right into the back end of the Sox pen this season, with the possibility of moving into the rotation in another year or two. He'd give the Sox 5 guys in the pen that can light up the gun with 97MPH heat. With a possible high strikeout LOOGY in Boone Logan or bafflingly slow knuckler in Charlie Haeger filling out the final spot, that (fictional) bullpen has the possibility of being one of the best bullpens in baseball.
This has no chance of happening, of course, as the Sox would demand more than a minor leaguer for Buehrle and Yankees sources say the Yanks wouldn't part with Sanchez for Buehrle. Seems like a dead end.
- Kenny shot down yesterday's Vernon Wells rumor, and any deal involving a "top hitter" for that matter.
- SI's Tom Verducci says the Yankees and Andy Pettitte are nearing a deal. If that deal goes down, expect the Astros to toss their hat into the ring for the Sox' starters. KW commented that the Astros were one of the few teams in baseball with any pitching talent in the minor leagues.
- Apparently, the Aaron Rowand rumors are not entirely bogus, and the Sox have entered the Baldelli Derby.
- Finally, remember when I half-jokingly urged you to vote for Hawk in the Ford C. Frick online voting? Well, you did it. He made the top 3 in internet voting, automatically putting him on the final ballot. Hawk now has a 1-in-10 (probably better if we can do it again) chance of being in the hall before Frank.