1.) Joe C. of the Strib has a good article up highlighting the Twins newfound willingness to discuss trading young starters. To this, I say only "hallelujah!". Look, I want to see Kevin Slowey, Matt Garza, and to a lesser extent Scott Baker (sorry, but it's hard to break the habit of being down on Baker) pitching for the Twins for years to come -- but not if they don't have hitters in the lineup to help them out. In any walk of life, you need to deal from a position of strength in order to shore up weaknesses, and there simply is no question that the Twins greatest strength is the young pitching they have coming up through the pipeline. I like the fact that Bill Smith seems to be very aggressive about targeting some prospects who could significantly improve the team (Chase Headley, a Padres 3B prospect who hit .330 with 20 homers in AA this season is particularly interesting, in my mind). In other words, I approve -- go Bill! Make something happen!
2.) Brad Lidge was finally traded by the Astros today, and will now be pitching out of the Phillies bullpen. Lidge had a rough 2006 season, posting a 5.28 ERA in 75 innings, but he bounced back nicely with a 3.36 ERA in 67 innings last year. Seems like a good pickup for the Phils, and better yet, it ends what had been about a year and a half of constant "will the Astros trade Lidge?" speculation.
3.) The Yankees have mentioned that they're going to offer A-Rod arbitration, and somehow various media sources have spun that into "the Yankees are backtracking on talking to A-Rod!" stories. To me, there's no evidence of that -- of course the Yankees are going to offer him arbitration! It means they get two free draft picks! They'd be stupid not to! How you take a routine decision like this to mean that the two sides are now ready to negotiate is beyond me; after the Yankees have been very plain about their interest in moving forward, it seems highly unlikely that they'd change their collective minds about this one. Incidentally, this isn't exactly a risky move -- first off, Scott Boras would never accept arbitration (unless the market completely collapsed, in which case he'd be admitting defeat), and second, even if he did decide to accept the offer, the Yankees could afford his services. It's a moot point, though -- A-Rod will be playing for someone other than the Yankees next year.
Labels: Nightly Notes