I hear you clamoring for Jose Dariel Abreu news, so here's The Star-Ledger of New Jersey's scoop on his workout from an anonymous official of the New York Mets:
"I heard that his power was impressive," the official told The Star-Ledger.
Yeah, that's pretty much it.
Basically, it's what Ben Badler at Baseball America wrote days before. He didn't have the Mets listed as a top suitor based on representation at Abreu's workout. The White Sox did make that list, along with the Giants, Red Sox, Rangers and Marlins.
We know the motives for the White Sox, and the other teams are established big-money, win-now types, but the Marlins stick out as a wild card, given their history of erratic spending. They have a new GM in Dan Jennings, who was on hand for that scouting panel in Cooperstown I attended a few months back. He's considered a tried-and-true baseball man who won a power struggle with recently fired GM Larry Beinfest, so maybe Jeffrey Loria will decide to support Jennings by putting money back into the team.
There's also the idea that Miami may hold a special appeal to a Cuban. There's also the idea that nobody seems to stay (or stay happy) in Miami for long, which might scare off big-ticket free agents. Factors abound.
The answer to "Who's the favorite to land Jose Abreu?" is "Who the hell knows?" and the Marlins are a Russian nesting doll of who-the-hell-knows in and of themselves.
As the headline suggests, James is conducting year-end reviews for the 40-man roster. Links to write-ups on John Danks, Dylan Axelrod, Simon Castro and Frank De Los Santos therein.
- Welcome to Baseball Scout School - Grantland
- Baseball Scout School, Part 2: Rating Beers, Falling in Love With a Cub, and Imagining Another A-Rod - Grantland
Baseball Prospectus editor-in-chief Ben Lindbergh is writing about his experience at the Scout Development Program, a 12-day course conducted by Major League Baseball that teaches the basics of scouting. If you have any interest in farm systems, it's highly engrossing and enlightening.
- Arizona Diamondbacks GM: 'It's going to be an eye for an eye' - ArizonaSports.com
- D-backs GM wants to see inside pitches, not hit batters - dbacks.com
Say what you will about Kenny Williams' rhetoric, but it's nothing compared to what Kevin Towers said this week. The Diamondbacks fired pitching coach Charles Nagy, who apparently took the fall for an overall lack of vigilante justice from the pitching staff:
"I was sitting behind home plate that game and when it showed up on the Diamondvision of stuffing bananas down their throats, I felt like we were a punching bag," Towers told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Tuesday. "Literally, if I would have had a carton of baseballs I would have fired them into the dugout from where I was sitting behind home plate. [...]
"You'd think the GM comes down and makes it a point to talk to the staff about it that at we need to start protecting our own and doing things differently," he said. "Probably a week later Goldy gets dinged, and no retaliation. It's like 'wait a minute.'
"Not that I don't take any of our guys from a lesser standpoint, but if Goldy's getting hit, it's an eye for an eye, somebody's going down or somebody's going to get jackknifed."
He tried to walk the words back in a clarification, but the only defense is temporary insanity, because relative to his position, that's frothing at the mouth.
This is one of many ways Shane Victorino annoys. But Alejandro De Aza also makes the list of HBPs on pitches closest to the strike zone.
- Angels retain manager Mike Scioscia, GM Jerry Dipoto - CBSSports.com
- Yankees sign Joe Girardi to a four-year, $16 million contract - Pinstriped Bible
- Reds GM: We didn't call Paul - NY Daily News
A rumor surfaced that the Reds talked to Paul O'Neill about the managerial vacancy opened by the firing of Dusty Baker. Reds GM Walt Jocketty said he didn't reach out to O'Neill, but it's possible he and owner Bob Castellini had a conversation.
O'Neill would be a fascinating hire, if only because it would take the recent trend of hiring ex-players with zero coaching experience to a different place. Guys like Robin Ventura, Mike Matheny and Walt Weiss are even-keeled types, whereas O'Neill was well known as ... well, intense if you liked him, or a whiny hothead if you didn't. He jokes about it now during his turns as the analyst on Yankees broadcasts, where his work suggests he's mellowed considerably, but it'd be fun to see if a competitive environment brought back the old instincts.