December 2008

Vegas baby

It’s certainly an interesting locale for the Winter Meetings, isn’t it? I mean, where else could be better for wheeling and dealing?

Already one deal made — and I’ll be back with some detailed info on Guillermo Moscoso and Carlos Melo, the two Minor Leaguers sent to the Rangers for Gerald Laird — and I’m sure more to come. I’ll be providing analysis on any and all prospects involved in deals while were here.

And it doesn’t even have to be direct involvment. Think about the Edgar Renteria signing in San Francisco, announced a while back. That was, on the surface, just a free agent signing. But it does directly impact some young players in that system. So much for Emmanuel Burriss being the shortstop of the immediate future, right? Maybe now he gets a shot to play second base. If that’s the case, then what happens to Kevin Frandsen? Could there be a competition at second, or will Frannie have to battle it out with Eugenio Velez for a utility spot? Frandsen does have the ability to fill in at three infield position and probably would sell hot dogs if it meant he could help the team and get his name in the lineup. Should be an interesting spring there…

The other big rumor involving a young player so far has been Homer Bailey to the White Sox for Jermaine Dye. I know GM Walt Jocketty has denied it publicly, but don’t be shocked if Homer does get dealt at some point. Some folks I’ve talked to have told me that there is some truth to the Dye-for-Bailey rumor and here’s why: The Reds need a right-handed No. 3 hitter to put between the young guys (Votto and Bruce). Dye and Reds manager Dusty Baker know each other well and get along. The Reds are not sure Bailey will ever throw strikes consistently because of too much length in his arm action. That also might keep him from finding consistency with his breaking ball. Add into the mix that there’s pressure from Reds ownership on Jocketty to make something happen and it’s possible this isn’t done yet.

Plenty more later…

All sorts of goodies

Greetings all —

Finally crawled out from under the avalanche that was the Top 50 prospects list. Hope everyone is enjoying it so far. If you haven’t seen it, by all means, go and check it out now. We’re revealing 10 per day and have gotten down to No. 21, so only the top 20 remain. I always enjoy doing it, but man, I’m always glad when I’m done with it.

There are two ways people can get involved. They can send in their own top 10 — and we’ll put together a fan top prospect list based on those. Email that to: You can also email me comments, complaints, smart remarks. Honestly, it’s why I do the list in the first place, to elicit response. So respond at will.

On to other things…

B3 friend and colleague Lisa Winston has been an interviewin’ fool over on Got MiLB? Her “Beyond the Box Score: Getting to Know…” series is taking off. Since last I mentioned, there are three more players who you can get to know with these in-depth, off-beat interviews:

Read ’em all, you’ll be better for it.

Whaddaya folks think about the Javy Vazquez trade? Gotmilby (that’s Lisa) and I were talking about it and both of us first thought the Braves gave up too much. We saw Tyler Flowers hit in the AFL and color us impressed. Even if he can’t catch — and the guess here is that the Braves think he can’t — that’s a big bat to give up for a mediocre starting pitcher and Boone Logan, isn’t it? Unless they felt he was incapable of handling any position at all, I was a bit surprised to see Flowers in the deal. Now, the AFL is indeed a small sample size, so we shouldn’t go too crazy over what he did there.

The other guys aren’t bad, either. Granted, Brent Lillibridge seemed to take a step back in 2008, but I think he still could be a utility guy in the future. Jon Gilmore is just getting started and has a ton of power potential as a third baseman. Santos Rodriguez isn’t known to most, having only played in the Gulf Coast League in the U.S., but he’s the kind of arm that years from now could end up being the key component in the deal. I don’t care what the level is, 45 K in 29 IP makes you take notice. So does the .155 batting average against, not to mention the 6-foot-5, 180-pound frame and age (20).

Thus ends the Jake Peavy drama in Atlanta, huh? Truth be told, I’d rather give a rotation spot to Tommy Hanson on Opening Day than have Javy Vazquez, but those decisions aren’t up to me. 

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