Results tagged ‘ Josh Hamilton ’

Hot Stove Cooking Up Big Rumors

Maybe you are paying more attention to football.  Perhaps you are excited that the NBA is back.  Or maybe you were engrossed in another little event this week.  Something about a Presidential election.  Whatever you had going on, thanks for dropping by because the MLB General Managers’ meeting took place earlier this week.  There were lots of news and rumors over the past three days so let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

Josh Hamilton, the prize of the 2012-2013 free agent class. Image: http://www.zimbio.com

Josh Hamilton is the big prize of the free agent market.  I always though Hamilton was a lock to return to the Texas Rangers.  Then news came out that he was seeking a seven-year contract worth about $175 million dollars.  Late last night, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that Texas was only willing to give the 2010 American League MVP a three-year deal.  It would be hard for me to imagine Hamilton anywhere but the Lone Star State considering all of the demons that he carries each day.  The Rangers seem to be willing to move on without him and if there is an organization that could afford such a hit, it would be Texas.  So where would the All-Star outfielder go?  The Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies  are the two teams that have been mentioned the most.  The Seattle Mariners have emerged as a suitor and frankly the fact their offense has been shaky for years means they should make a big run at him.  That would show ace pitcher Felix Hernandez that the organization is willing to surround him with some offense instead of struggling to get two runs per start for the King.

Rumors were flying that two top-of the-rotation guys could be dealt soon.  The Tampa Bay Rays are supposedly listening to offers for James Shields.  Also, it seems the New York Mets and National League Cy Young favorite R.A. Dickey are far apart on a contract extension.   With the expected loss of B.J. Upton to free agency, the Rays will be in the market for a bat.  Tampa’s wealth of young pitching will help absorb the loss of “Big Game James” and the team has always struggled to score runs.  As far as the Mets trading Dickey, boy what a slap that would be to their fans.  Outside of Dickey, there isn’t much to cheer about in Flushing these days and a trade of arguably the team’s most popular player will further alienate a fan base that has had nothing but rotten luck for years.  Then again, it could make sense in the long run as the knuckleballer’s value has never been higher.  If I were New York, there is not a chance I trade him.  I would make a better offer (Dickey supposedly turned down a 3-year, $30 million dollar deal) but not go crazy ($15 million per year).  Those fans have suffered long enough.

Other big-name free agents looking for homes include Torii Hunter, Nick Swisher and Brian McCannCheck out the full list here courtesy of azcentral.com.  Speaking of Arizona, the Diamondbacks are supposedly looking to deal star right fielder Justin Upton again.  On the manager front, Walt Weiss was just named the manager of the Colorado Rockies and Davey Johnson has agreed to manage the Washington Nationals for another season.  Yes, it sure was a busy week in baseball.  Expect things to heat up some more later on as the weather starts getting colder.

Follow me on Twitter @ltj41 and covering the Arizona Diamondbacks at http://venomstrikes.com

Wash This: Rangers’ Ron Washington is an Elite Manager

Image: zimbio.com

I was watching Sunday night’s Angels-Rangers game when ESPN posted a brief timeline of how the Rangers transformed themselves into a top-tier Major League Baseball team.  It included the hiring of Jon Daniels as General Manager, the trades that netted Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison and Josh Hamilton and the ascension of Nolan Ryan as the team President.  What was not metioned was the choice of Ron Washington as the team’s manager, yet another oversight of the game’s most underappreciated field boss.

If you read this blog on a semi-regular basis, you might think I do nothing but drool over the Texas Rangers.  The truth is, I admire them greatly and feel they have the best franchise in the game right now.  I was going to stay away from them for a while until the game Sunday night and those graphics appeared.  No matter what he does, it seems Ron Washington will not get the credit he deserves.  When people think of top managers in baseball, his name is nowhere to be found.  All we hear are names like Valentine, LeylandScioscia, Guillen and about 10 others before anyone gets around to mentioing “Wash”.   Most of the credit for the Rangers’ success goes to Ryan and Daniels and they deserve a lot of it, for sure.  However, if the blueprint is laid out by the two of them, don’t they need a good Manager to carry out their plans?  What exactly has Washington NOT done to not be mentioned as one of the top skippers around?  

After they lost the 2010 World Series, people questioned if Texas was too deveasted in defeat.  That question was answered when the reached the Fall Classic in 2011.  Then, it was they lost their best pitcher, CJ Wilson to the Angels who also happened to sign Albert Pujols.  How exactly has Texas responded so far?  They are argueably the best team in the game.  A BOATLOAD of the credit deserves to go to Wash but again, about 100 stories overshadow him  including the insane idea of banning the fake third-to-first play.  All I know is this:  before he took over as Manager, the Rangers had won exactly 0 playoff series.  Since he has taken the helm, he has gone to back-to-back World Series,  one strike away from winning the organization’s first Championship.

Wash finished second in 2010 and third in 2011 for AL Manager of the Year.  This year, after the Rangers win the World Series title, maybe he can finally get the respect he deserves by winning the award this season.   However, if the Orioles finish with around 85 wins, count on Wash to be hosed when that distinction goes to Buck Showalter.  It would be yet another slap for perhaps the best Manager in baseball.

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