Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Rating the upcoming desperation move
Kenny Williams is to patience like oil is to water. The man just cannot stand pat with his team until he thinks he's made some "big splash" before the season. Previous "big splashes" have been names like Cabrera, Nick Swisher, Carl Everett, Uribe, and Carl Everett (again). So, with the offseason slowly (and painfully) winding down, here are our top contenders for Kenny's attention:
#1. Brian Roberts. The default #1 option here. Recent rumors have the Sox doing Gavin Floyd for Roberts, but I think that the odds of that happening are slim to nil. The Orioles are known to try and extort as much as possible, the Sox already have a bunch of young infielders to bring up instead of blowing cash on a one-year Roberts rental, and trading Floyd gives the Sox 2 and 1/2 starters (Clayton Richard the #3 starter? Uh oh). This one just shouldn't happen under any circumstances, and yet, here it is at number one.
#2. Freddy Garcia. Literally has nothing left in the tank, but is definately in the hearts of KW and crew. Aside from being related to Ozzie, Garcia put in a good showing against the Sox at the end of the season, throwing nothing but fumes. Even though his fastball is slower than Mark Buerhle's, Garcia is a "pitcher" instead of a "hurler." With the rotation as ravaged as it is, I wouldn't be surprised if Kenny took a flier on him.
#3. Kenny Lofton. Somehow keeps on trucking, even after all these years. If there were ever a contender for the Julio Franco award for being old and effective, Lofton is it. In the past three years, Lofton has stolen 20 bases a year and hit about .300 - something that the Sox could definately sink their teeth into. He plays Center Field, would probably make a nice name in a headline, and would definately help tutor young up-and-coming players like Jerry Owens. Big upside pick here, and he's already been on the Sox once...
#4. Carl Pavano. And it would be a long-term contract, too. Here you've got a talented (albeit injury-prone!) pitcher coming off of a disappointing...everything. He's looking to get his value back up without the big city pressure, and might take a friendly paycut to get some quality time with Don Cooper, too. Kenny loves these high risk/reward guys. If it works out, you're looking at the #3 starter for the next couple of years. If it doesn't, at least he can't be worse than Todd Ritchie...right?
#5. Bobby Abreu. Fits the hole Jermaine Dye would leave - but Dye would need to be traded first. If Dye were already off the team, I would bump this up to #2, but until he gets traded for Homer Bailey (or anyone else), Dye is still on the squad - and Abreu is still available.
#6. Jon Garland. Why not? Garland had his best season under Guillen and crew, and is definately looking to get back into the magic of his 2005 season. There's a bit of a rumor that Gullen had Garland in his doghouse, but has recently been quoted as saying "Jon [expletive] would be [expletive] welcomed back onto the team - we'd [expletive] love to [expletive] have him." Garland probably won't come especially cheap, but a three-year contract with lots of future controlling options sounds about right.
#7. Pedro Martinez. This is one of those "KW has had his eye on this guy" moves like getting Griffey last year. Pedro is past his prime, and is probably going to want at least a 3-4 year contract. The Sox will probably want to do something incentive-laden for the guy who just came back from rehab, but it's not really a great fit. Still, it's a marquee name and another risk/reward scenario.
#8. Julio Franco. I wish I were kidding. Julio wants to play even after he's cremated - who are we to try and stop him? One quick final tour of duty for the league minimum could help boost ticket sales with the 80's fans, and might even give a little morale boost to the young'ns.