Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 26, 2007
BASEBALL: Hot Stove Roundup, Vol 1

*The Daily News has a long profile of Duaner Sanchez's comeback trail (from the pictures, Sanchez looks skinnier) and an interview with Randy Niemann about Sanchez's rehab, both of which are necessarily inconclusive about how much the Mets could count on Sanchez this season; he would be a big help.

*The Mets appear to be pondering cutting newly acquired Johnny Estrada, who is coming off elbow bone spur surgery and - like nearly every catcher the Mets have had lately - is coming off a terrible year throwing out baserunners. I'm not wedded to Estrada, but he's an adequate enough alternative that I'd be skeptical of making a deal for Ramon Hernandez unless it can be done cheaply; Hernandez would be an upgrade, but hardly a huge one, as he's 32, coming off a season in which he slugged .382, and has caught 110 games just once in the past four seasons.

*The Reds' signing of Francisco Cordero seems like the classic move that hurts the Brewers more than it helps the Reds; Cordero is a solid but hardly a great closer, despite a gangbusters start to 2007 (he had a 4.66 ERA from June 9 through the end of the season, although his 51/10 K/BB ratio and 4 HR in 38.2 IP in that stretch suggests that he wasn't really throwing that badly), and his absence probably leaves the Brew Crew to trust to the erratic Derrick Turnbow again, but the Reds are far from being in a position to really take advantage of an upgrade at closer, and you'd think they would focus their efforts on other positions. Then again, given the bandbox they play in, Cordero's career 0.64 HR/9, even after spending much of his career in Texas, may have been irresistable.

*I'm still convinced that Tom Glavine is going to completely hit the wall next season. If he gives the Braves 95% of what he gave the Mets this season, they'll be happy, since they are desperate for someone to come in and eat innings, and Glavine can always do that. But I'm fairly certain that his bag of tricks has run dry, and it was only his tremendous savvy and experience that let him paper over that for much of 2007.

*Cerrone quotes Dayn Perry on Bartolo Colon:

Colon has some near-term upside. He’s coming off injury and his conditioning habits leave much to be desired, but he's still got excellent stuff, and his performance down the stretch last season proved he’s still got something in the tank. He makes sense provided he's willing to sign a low-base, incentive-laden contract. If the market is such that he commands a multi-year deal, then consider him no longer worthy of this list.

I agree with that in the abstract - Colon was horrendous last season, but if you look at the numbers his 76/29 K/BB ratio in 99.1 IP indicates a guy who may not be entirely finished, though I don't trust him further than I could throw him (which is not far). But "down the stretch"? He threw just 13.2 innings after July 23, and his 3.95 ERA in three starts is way too little to draw any conclusions from. If anything, the season trend indicates a guy who came back solid but ran out of gas, as his ERA was in the threes into mid-May. Anyway, I agree with a number of the guys on Perry's list as being potentially low-profile signings who could help a team.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:28 PM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

If Estrada never catches an inning, it was worth it just to get rid of Mota. I'm hearing rumotrs about being able to ship Estrada and a minor leaguer (hopefully B-level) for Benjie Molina, which sounds like a decent idea. But I can live with a season of platooning between Castro and Molina.

Posted by: paul zummo at November 26, 2007 1:54 PM

Caveat: I am a Reds fan.

I think the deal helps the Reds more than you might think. I either watched or listened to about 125 games last year and the bullpen was an absolute disaster for the Reds. Cordero is a bona fide(although not superb) closer and will allow Weathers and Bray to assume their more natural roles in the bullpen. With Arroyo, Harang, and Bailey as cornerstones of the rotation, I think the Reds are one legitimate starter away from being a contender in the NL Central, which let's face it, is there for the taking. Now finding that starter this off-season will probably be tough...

Posted by: Alex at November 27, 2007 12:18 PM

How about a little HOF stuff? Raines and Gossage? Will you break out the annual "Blyleven Should Be In the HOF" column?

Posted by: jim at November 27, 2007 5:04 PM

I've had time constraints but there's a lengthy column in the works focusing on Raines, after the style of the last two Hardball Times pieces.

Posted by: The Crank at November 27, 2007 5:51 PM

I think this is finally the year for Gossage, and probably Jim Rice as well. I'm hoping Raines will do well, and eventually get elected, but I doubt he'll make it on the first shot.

Posted by: Jerry at November 27, 2007 6:14 PM

You figure they're gonna put someone in. I think Raines deserves to be in. His only knock (OK, other than the drugs) was playing in the Ricky Era. I'll bet Gossage gets in finally. No way Rice is getting in.

Posted by: jim at November 27, 2007 7:27 PM

Colon strikes me as a pretty good candidate for a second life in the bullpen. He throws hard and throws strikes, and his adherance to the Sid Fernandez diet might be less of an issue there.

Posted by: Jerry at November 27, 2007 10:26 PM
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