Posted: Sunday November 12, 2006 11:01PM; Updated: Monday November 13, 2006 3:21PM
Dodgers quickly Drew the line
J.D. Drew is clearly willing to trade his job security for the chance at a bigger payday.
Got a question or comment for Jon?
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti's immediate reaction to hearing from Boras that J.D. Drew was going to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract and forego $33 million and three years on his contract to test the free-agent market was to become upset and pull away. Colletti told people, "I'm not going to chase the guy.''
And he meant it.
Colletti may have felt blindsided by Drew's decision since the player has said he liked playing in Los Angeles. But like all these calls, it's a business decision. Just like it was a business decision -- and a good one -- when Colletti set free another Boras client, Eric Gagne, rather than pay him $12 million.
Drew's opt-out clause was negotiated by Colletti's predecessor Paul DePodesta, but it's merely part of the price of doing business. It's good to see Colletti isn't letting it affect his other dealings, though. One day after making his decision on Drew, Colletti was talking to Boras about Greg Maddux and Gagne.
Cubs GM Jim Hendry made the opposite decision when Aramis Ramirez exercised his opt-out clause, giving Ramirez a five-year, $73 million contract. Drew won't hit that sort of bonanza. But the market is hot for star players, particularly ones who can play center field. Boston, Baltimore, Texas and the Cubs may be in need of a center fielder and could figure in the new Drew derby.
Around the majors
A Cubs person insisted they still have money to spend, even after Ramirez doubled his contract. Maybe they're trying to gussy things up around Wrigley before the Tribune sells them.
Mets coach Manny Acta has potential to manage, and baseball has to be happy that three minority managers have been hired after three were fired. But Acta's imminent hiring by Washington looks a little bit like a reach from here, especially given his very limited experience.
Just wondering ... how secure does Eric Wedge feel knowing that Buck Showalter is about to be hired in Cleveland as a consultant?
For what amounts to $3 million for the Orioles, Jaret Wright isn't too bad a deal in today's market. Leo Mazzone didn't save anyone his first year in Baltimore, but he must think he can get Wright back to where he was in Atlanta three years ago.
Mets people have begun negotiating a long-term extension with Willie Randolph's longtime agent Ron Shapiro.
Big week for the Shapiro family. Son-in-law Eric Mangini's Jets beat the Patriots. And Ron's son Mark Shapiro pulled off the heist of the trading season so far, getting up-and-coming second baseman Josh Barfield for two prospects. As one competitor observed, "Indians people had to fall out of their chairs when that deal came along.''
San Diego, which is morphing into a Moneyball team, must have liked third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff's stats. One of two players acquired for Barfield, Kouzmanoff hit .379 in the minors this season and became the first player ever to hit a grand slam on the first major-league pitch he saw.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman did well to get Bronx native Humberto Sanchez for Gary Sheffield. Though the other two pitchers may fit the "throw in'' category, Sanchez has very good stuff. The one question would be why the Tigers, who know pitching, were down on him.
The Sheffield deal made sense for the Tigers, who probably have an outfielder to deal now (Craig Monroe?) and are still looking to add a left-handed hitter, since Jim Leyland knows how to deal with Sheffield. But justice wasn't exactly served when Sheffield's public whining and poor sportsmanship -- as one Yankee person put it, "How dare he say something about Bobby Abreu, who's a sweetheart of a guy?'' -- resulted in $28 million more for him, or what some are calling Sheffield's "happy money.''