Despite the fact that it is the offseason, this is the time in which baseball is at its busiest. All over the country, general mangers are figuring out their game plan. They are trying to find answers to questions such as; what are our strengths and weaknesses? How much can we spend on free agents and contract extensions? Are their any reasonable trades worth exploring. Some GMs have already started putting these plans into action.
The Phillies are showing they are not taking the 2011 first-round exit lightly. They have already inked veteran slugger Jim Thome to a deal and are said to be in serious talks with veteran outfielder/infielder Michael Cuddyer. As far as pitching goes, Philadelphia is one team that is set. However, that has not stopped them from making a couple of major moves in that department. The team decided to buy-out Roy Oswalt making him a free agent and thus opening a spot in the rotation for a pitcher that impressed a great deal of people late last season; Vance Worley. Philly also looked to bolster their bullpen by upgrading closers. They have parted ways with Ryan Madson and signed Jonathan Papelbon to a deal worth $50 million guaranteed over four years. So far, the Phillies have been the early off season winners.
The Marlins are looking to make an early splash as well.
Yes, the pun was intended. Having recently moved stadiums and become the Miami Marlins, the team is looking to give fans a reason to come to the new ballpark. They quickly traded for a new manager at the conclusion of last season. Ozzie Guillen has taken the helm and the team currently has serious offers on the table to LHP Mark Buehrle as well Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes. Details about Pujols’ offer are slowly coming out and it seems to be a very light offer. Dollars are not known but it is a nine-year offer for nowhere near $200 million. Details about the Reyes offer are said to be a six-year deal for $90 million. Reyes is said to be the teams main focus. There is also talk of gauging Prince Fielder’s interest as well.
C.J. Wilson is said to have at least six suitors despite a dismal postseason. The Yankees are one of the teams that have been in touch with Wilson’s agent, Bob Garber.
Garber has requested permission from the Yankees for Wilson to come visit New York. Although this is an unorthodox approach, it could have something to do with Wilson’s excessively high asking price. Wilson is looking for six- years at $120 million. New York feels that the price is way to high and plans on waiting the situation out.
Mark Buehrle may be a cheaper alternative to teams looking at Wilson. You know what you can get out of Buehrle. He is the type of guy that can solidify a rotation and won’t demand too lengthy of a contract or too much money.
There is an abundance of closers available on the market for those interested. Jon Heyman ranks them in order of interest. Ryan Madson, Heath Bell, Francisco Rodriguez, Francisco Cordero and Joe Nathan are all available and most seem to be peaking the interest of more than a couple of teams.
Things are likely to heat up come the start of the winter meetings on Dec. 5. Not to say something big can’t happen before then. Right now, the GM meetings are taking place in Milwaukee and there is always a chance of some “wheelin’ and dealin’” when 30 GMs come together.
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