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I'm not sure exactly when the Winter Baseball Solstice falls on the calendar, but we have to be getting pretty close. Hall of Fame voting is starting to monopolize headlines. Irrelevant signings are becoming a source of wonderment. Dreaming of the winter meetings 11 months from now feels perfectly reasonable. It's beginning to feel a lot like January...

News: The Astros deepened their bench by signing Darin Erstad to a one-year, $1-million deal. According to Baseball Prospectus' fielding stats, he was consistently an above-average center fielder until last year. He amassed 38 Fielding Runs Above Average in 2002. Unfortunately, his highest OPS+ this millennium is the 97 he posted in 2004. He has hit .283/.334/.382 against righties the past three years.

Editorial: The Jays were prepared to trade Alex Rios for Tim Lincecum. The Jays were uncharacteristically forthright about having made that offer, so they are clearly very enamored of Lincecum.

I wonder if the offer will be on the table again next year if Rios improves in 2008.

Rios is 27, and I think it's unreasonable not to forecast higher numbers than he's had the last two years. Suppose, for the sake of argument, Rios takes a significant step forward. He hits .303/.357/.542 with 32 homers, 106 RBI, 17 stolen bases and excellent defense, and Lincecum stays healthy with a 3.85 ERA and slightly fewer walks than he had last year.

Would the Giants be more likely to give up Lincecum next winter as a result? Rios' unsurprising "breakthrough" season "establishes" him as a star "entering" his "prime," and Lincecum isn't looking like an ace yet. The irony of it all is that the Giants would be worse off doing the deal after 2008 than they would be now, since they get two years of Rios for five of Lincecum instead of 3 for 6 and they missed out on Rios' age 27 year for a development year from Lincecum. And the Jays would probably be less likely to do it then than they were now, too. I dunno. Something to think about on December 29, I guess.

Comics: Roger Clemens sings sweetly.

Sports: The Mets are still interested in Johan, and they've offered Gomez, two of Pelfrey, Humber and Mulvey, and someone else. No thanks, say the Twins. As the Johan saga drags on longer, it becomes less likely that both Johan and Hughes will land in the AL East, which is a good thing.

Gosh, this is slow. Go Raptors! What else is going on?
Friday Afternoon Picayune Telegram | 9 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
TamRa - Friday, December 28 2007 @ 06:24 PM EST (#178311) #
I wish they would go ahead and seal with the Mets already!

Here's a thought for possible discussion: the word has been, for a decade now, that most players peak in their age 26-30 seasons.

A logical projection would have the Jays carrying 16 or more players in that age range every year for the next that unusually high and a potential reason for optomisim?

Chuck - Friday, December 28 2007 @ 09:18 PM EST (#178318) #
the word has been, for a decade now, that most players peak in their age 26-30 seasons.

A decade?
China fan - Saturday, December 29 2007 @ 07:10 AM EST (#178321) #

  I'm wondering if the Jays have a lower opinion of Rios than most fans (and Bauxites) do.   Do they have some inside information that persuades them that he has already peaked?   This is the second consecutive off-season in which Rios has been surrounded by trade rumors.  (Last year, of course, the rumors were never confirmed by the Jays, but their willingness to confirm the rumors this time -- their surprising frankness about their willingness to trade him -- suggests to me that the trade rumors of a year ago were perhaps less speculative than we thought at the time.)   Like most of us, I think Rios has a high upside and could make a breakthrough to greatness in the next year or two.  But suppose the Jays disagree?  Do they know something about his work ethic, his mental makeup, his physical fragility, or something else to make them doubt him?  Let me hasten to say that there's no real evidence of any such problem with Rios -- except for the odd fact that the Jays seem willing to trade him.  I don't recall any trade rumors surrounding Vernon Wells, for example, at a similar point in his career.  What's going on here?  I can't think of any other explanation for the fact that the Jays seem open to trading the guy. 

Craig B - Saturday, December 29 2007 @ 10:52 AM EST (#178323) #
The World Series ended October 28 and the first pitchers and catchers
begin reporting on February 13 (Royals and Phillies).  Baseball's
Winter Solstice is midway between those two dates... December 21. 
Which is also the actual winter solstice.  Neat, eh?
Dave501 - Saturday, December 29 2007 @ 10:53 AM EST (#178324) #
Jays aren't getting full value out of rios in RF.   He's too similar of a player as Wells, it makes sense they only need one Wells, they'll have Snider coming up (hope hope) by next year, and they have Lind, Johnson and Stairs all in the mix for OF playing time.  I think the key behind why the jays are willing to part with Rios is that OF is an easier position to replace/acquire then pitching.  If they can get a premeir pitcher, they are wise to.  However, if they dont, we're likely to keep Rios.  Repeatedly being in trade rumors does not always spell the end  - do you recall many years ago Halladay's name used to come up quite frequently (remember the astacio rumor, dodged a bullet there, eh?) but he's still here.
Greg - Saturday, December 29 2007 @ 12:18 PM EST (#178325) #
I think that nailed the Rios question.  I don't think the Jays dislike Rios, it's just that they made the decision last off-season to commit to Wells. 
So they have two CFs.  If the Jays could play Rios in CF I think they'd just keep him, but Rios has more value as a trading chip than a RF (at least that's what the Jays think)
92-93 - Monday, December 31 2007 @ 12:31 AM EST (#178341) #
Picayune has some Raptor connections - both Jonathan Bender (traded for ADavis) and MoPete's mom are from there (and Bender and Peterson are cousins).
ramone - Wednesday, January 02 2008 @ 12:29 PM EST (#178382) #
I was just reading on Rotoworld that the Rockies have some interest in Towers, that could be ugly.
Bailey - Wednesday, January 02 2008 @ 02:21 PM EST (#178385) #
Jays signed Reed Johnson to a 1 year contract worth 3.275 million.

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