The Hot Corner- Tis the Season

By: Ryan McKenna

“Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the deals are so delightful, Jayson Werth is getting paid, and Cliff Lee‘s got it made!”

Yes, I just used the song, “Let it Snow” and made a remix into a baseball fans thoughts around this time of year. The 2010 off-season is by far one of the most active in the past little while, and while Cliff Lee is the biggest free agent on the market, a lot of this off-season talk has been based around trades and the speculation that has surrounded it.

The off-season started with a boom on Friday, when the Red Sox talks with the Padres on Adrian Gonzalez started heating up. The Red Sox were given a 40 hr time limit to work out an extension with Gonzalez, and the deadline passed with Gonzalez not signing with the team. This made many Red Sox fans, including Senior Baseball Analyst at SportsSuperStation Adam Connolly, very upset. Late Sunday night however, the talks picked up again and finally it was official, the first blockbuster of the winter was set, Adrian Gonzalez and a 7-year, $154 million dollar extension for P Casey Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo and OF Rey Fuentes as well as a player to be named later.

Before the Gonzalez trade was completed, Jayson Werth found out he will be quite poor over the next 7 years…tricked ya. The Washington Nationals signed Werth to a 7-year, $126 million dollar deal, which will average Werth $18 million dollars a season! Not bad for a guy that some predict will end up like Vernon Wells and not live up to his expectations. I particularly don’t see this as a good move for the Nationals particularly because the money situation they are in at the moment, although I suppose this move may put some butts in the seats with Strasburg out for the season. Long term however…I grade this a C- move. I can’t see Werth continuing his great hitting seen as…really…who does he have to drive in?

On now to Cliff Lee talks. His name has been thrown around by many different sources to many different teams. The New York Yankees (preliminary favourite), Texas Rangers and once again the Washington Nationals are all in the hunt for this lefty with so much talent and clutchness, if that is a word. Lee continues to chat with all three teams and it looks as though, if he is going to sign anywhere, it will not be short-term. Deals in the vicinity of 6-7 years is what it looks like Lee is being offered according to numerous sources.

And finally, it’s Blue Jays talk time! AA (Alex Anthopoulos), has been a busy man over the last few weeks. It all started with the Justin Upton rumours, followed by the weird turn of events with the acquisition of Miguel Olivo (who they then declined arbitration), and now its Zack Greinke! Let’s start with the Jays latest deal. The Jays traded their ‘ace’ on the 2010 pitching staff, Shaun Marcum, to the Milwaukee Brewers for prospect 2B Brett Lawrie. Some question a rise with this transaction, all of which I have heard, digested and now it’s time to respond. One baseball fan explained to me that the only reason Marcum got traded was because he wanted out of Toronto. I personally don’t believe this is the case, although you never know. I don’t understand why Marcum would want to mess with a good young staff with the likes of Romero, Cecil, Morrow, Drabek, but then again, we aren’t with Marcum everyday therefore we cannot fully grasp why this trade happened. Lawrie is a good “Canadian!” prospect who the Jays have been looking at for a while. The fact that if I was a couple years older and had made the provincial PEI Youth Selects, I would have played against Lawrie really suggests what a small world we live in! Is this a good trade for the Jays? Not really, unless they were disappointed with Marcum come the end of the season, but any trade involving prospects who have not proven themselves in the Majors yet always comes into question. Time will tell…

And now the Greinke rumours. The rumours swirling have Greinke willing to waive his no-trade clause to any team. If it were to the Jays, the Jays have been said to be willing to give up P Kyle Drabek and OF Travis Snider. I don’t see this as a good move for the Jays, as, like many others, Greinke’s numbers between 2009 and this past season show that he may be on a downward slump from here. 47 more earned runs, a 10-14 record and a ERA up by more than 2 runs, does not sound enticing from a fan’s perspective. Not only that, but the fact that the Jays traded Roy Halladay for Kyle Drabek also speaks for itself. Time will tell however. I personally believe that the Marcum deal was completed to set up another deal, what that deal is however, is still unknown.

There are many more deals rumoured lately. Paul Konerko and the White Sox, the Red Sox still looking to boost their bullpen (Kevin Gregg?) and not to mention Carl Crawford still on the market. I will try to get another blog post up before Christmas but if not, Merry Christmas from myself personally as well as the rest of our staff at SportsSuperStation. Enjoy the holidays, the baseball deals, but most importantly, the food!