Off Season headlines 12/4

Extension talks between the Orioles and Nick Markakis have_been_shelved.

I saw the headline and thought the worst. Once you read the article, its not nearly as bad as it sounds. The talks have been suspended for the next six weeks and after that talks will resume. The reason for the break is for Markakis and his agent to see what outfielders are getting in this season’s free agent market. I understand it, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. Not with the current economy. The money will be there for the few big names on the market (Tex, CC, Manny…the usual suspects) but the middle tier guys probably won’t get as much as they would have in years past.

Its hard to use the names on this season’s free agent market as a gauge because well…let’s look as this season’s premier free agent outfielders.

Manny Ramirez

Adam Dunn

Pat Burrell

Garrett Anderson

Milton Bradley

Ken Griffey Jr.

Of course, all of these players except for Dunn (29) are in their 30’s. Anderson and Griffey are in the twlight of their careers, so it wouldn’t be wise for Markakis to base a contract of them. Manny is 37, but revived the Dodgers into a playoff run last season. He’ll get big money from some team, something like 25 million a year or some such, so Markakis and him is a bad comparsion. There’s not a comparsion with any outfielder in the free agent market. But whatever.

How about the_Pedoria_extension?¬†He’s an AL ROY, AL MVP and he’s making¬† 40 million over 6 years. That has to have MacPhail grinning like a cat. That’s a horrible line, but I’m leaving it there anyways. But if the MVP is making around 7 million a season, that strengths the O’s spot. Pedoria plays 2nd base and Markakis plays RF, go ahead and give the him a little more. I’m betting an extension gets reached in January or February.

Not hearing to much about a Brian Roberts extension. Big surprise there.

Jorge Julio re-emerges…as a closer?

The Brewers signed former Oriole batting practice pitcher Jorge_Julioto a contract. The Brewers lost Salomon Torres to retirement and Eric Gagne to free agency, though I doubt they shed any tears over the later. With the market full of closers, I find it laughable that the Brewers would sign him with visions of him closing. Taking a cheaper flier on him for bullpen depth is a gamble that about 20 teams have done already, but when Trevor Hoffman, Franciso Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, Kerry Wood, and whoever else I’m missing is available, signing Julio to close would be insane.

All the crummy shortstops are getting snapped up!

The O’s need a shortstop and the options out there an underwhelmingly plentiful.

Edgar Renteria has progessively gotten worse and the Tigers were more than happy to part ways with him, so it only makes sense that the San Francisco Giants would give_him_a_2_year_18_million_dollar_contract.Good job, San Fran, next up is for Sabean and company to sign Jay Payton for 3 years and 27 million. Andy MacPhail may move at a turtle’s pace, but I’m thankful that he’s smart enough to not even consider signing Renteria.

This signing is even stupider because:

With the acquisition of Renteria, Sabean now might look to trade talented prospect Emmanuel Burriss— or give Burriss more time to develop and perhaps even use him at second base. The 23-year-old Burriss, selected by San Francisco in the first round of the 2006 draft, played 95 games last season as a rookie.

Just looking at his Baseball_Reference_page,I’d be more than happy if the O’s traded for Burriss. I’m sure the O’s have a few over the hill veterans that the Giants would love. Melvin Mora? Ramon Hernandez?

The Padres trade Khalil_Greene_to_the_St.Louis_Cardinals

I’m relieved. I didn’t want Greene. He’d probably be an upgrade over Juan Castro and company but I still didn’t want to trade anything of value for him. I suspect Garrett Olson was the asking price and while I’m willing to trade Olson, I’m not willing to trade him for Greene. Greene’s a free agent next season and giving up too much for him would be foolish.

This guy batted .213 and had an OBP of .260. Give me Caesar Izturis! (I think we’ll sign him)