Each playoff team's main concern (cont.)
Around the majors
The White Sox are not planning on picking up Jermaine Dye's $12 million mutual option, according to people familiar with their thinking, making Dye a free agent after the year.
The Diamondbacks want Brandon Webb back, but are interested in him sharing the risk. He has an $8.5 million option for 2009 (and $2.5 million buyout). But rather than just picking it up, the D-backs plan to suggest a slightly lower guarantee with incentive monies that could push him into nine figures. Webb publicly said he doesn't want to negotiate, that he just wants the option exercised. But the right compromise deal should be considered since he just had a shoulder surgery that wiped out the 2009 season.
The Mariners will try hard to lock up Felix Hernandez, and competing executives note that they have the money to get it done (this is the team that spend $114 million combined on Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson). However, it won't be easy. Execs expect the right deal to be $100 million-plus for the pitcher who'd probably be the first taken if there were a dispersal draft (though some might like Tim Lincecum or Zack Greinke).
The Mariners sent out info touting King Felix as Cy Young. But despite his spectacular season (he leads the AL with 28 quality starts and a .320 opponent slugging percentage), he is up against Zack Greinke and his 2.06 ERA. Greinke should be the winner at this point, followed by Hernandez. Then it should be between Roy Halladay and CC Sabathia to round out the ballot at No. 3. Justin Verlander, who came up big in the Tigers' needed 6-5 victory Tuesday, finishes just behind those four.
Nats president Stan Kasten said recently that Jim Riggleman will be considered for the full-time job, and with the Nats playing better baseball (the Nats are 27-42 under Riggleman, compared to 26-61 under Manny Acta), the idea of Riggleman staying doesn't seem so far-fetched. There isn't much evidence of the Nationals looking around. This could mean they are especially discreet. Or it could mean Riggleman does have a shot.
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio told Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that they might have to consider trading Prince Fielder, who just set the Brewers franchise record for RBIs. But before trading Fielder, execs believe the Brewers will give a long-term deal a shot. One competing exec pinpoints a fair deal at $80 million for five years. Fielder has turned himself into a superb all-around hitter, and he's only 25. Some might wonder whether the weight could be an issue on a long-term deal, but Fielder is the only player in the majors to start every game this year.
Omar Minaya is coming back as Mets GM, but he's now had to fire three close to him with Julio Franco joining Ramon Pena and Tony Bernazard on the sidelines. Franco was just canned as manager of the team's Gulf Coast League rookie team at Port St. Lucie. Minaya is said to be very concerned about his own standing, but associates are saying the $3.5 million and three years remaining on his contract will likely save him -- for now. Meanwhile, others have reason to be nervous. The coaching staff is unlikely to remain intact, and while organizational favorite Howard Johnson, the hitting coach, is said to be safe, third base coach Razor Shines and pitching coach Dan Warthen could be in jeopardy. Scouting director Rudy Terrasas has a year to go, but the Nats' Dana Brown (a Minaya favorite) could be a candidate to replace him. Meanwhile, well-respected Sandy Johnson may retire.
Nothing has been worked out yet, but people close to the situation believe Dodgers GM Ned Colletti is very likely to wind up with at least a three-year deal. Right now, he has a mutual option for 2010.
Joe Torre is extending his streak of playoff appearances to 14 years. Just as amazing, Rockies starter Jason Marquis, who's played for four different organizations, may make it 10 straight playoff teams for him.
Regardless of what happens in October, the Yankees don't plan to extend Joe Girardi this winter. Team policy is to let every contract run to the end. And that includes Girardi, and even Derek Jeter, whose contract also expires after 2010.
Congrats to Team USA for beating Cuba 10-5 in the World Cup finals Sunday. Justin Smoak, Texas Rangers hitting prospect extraordinaire, was MVP.
The tweets never stop at: http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman.
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