Best free-agents (cont.)
11. Soriano, Rays RP. Superb season that includes 43 saves and a 1.82 ERA sets him up nicely.
Executive: $33 million, 3 years. Agent 1: $40 million, 4 years. Agent 2: $33 million, 3 years. Me: $36 million, 3 years.
12. Ted Lilly, Dodgers SP. Big heart, which eclipses stuff that is only average.
Executive: $30 million, 3 years. Agent: $18 million, 2 years. Agent 2: $21 million, 2 years. Me: $27 million, three years.
13. Pavano, Twins SP. Strong season in Minnesota puts him in decent position.
Executive: $30 million, 3 years. Agent 1: $18 million, 2 years. Agent 2: $18 million, 2 years. Me: $22 million, 2 years.
14. Derek Lee. Off year makes this a tough call.
Executive: $4 million, 1 year. Agent 1: $24 million, 2 years. Agent 2: $6 million, 1 year. Me: $18 million, 2 years.
15. Magglio Ordoņez. Excellent hitter was having comeback year, having already topped his 2009 totals for home runs and RBIs, when he went down for the year with a broken ankle in late July.
Executive: $5 million, 1 year. Agent 1: $24 million, 2 years. Agent 2: $7 million, 1 year. Me: $16 million, 2 years.
16. A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox C. Good catchers are in short supply, so he might surprise some.
Executive: $18 million, three years. Agent 1: $12 million, 2 years. Me: $18 million, three years.
17. Andy Pettitte, Yankees SP. Always a chance he could retire.
Executive: $12 million, 1 year. Agent 1: $10 million, 1 year. Agent 2: $12 million, 1 year. Me: $13 million, 1 year.
18. Orlando Hudson, Twins 2B. Solid player has had to take two straight one-year deals.
Executive $12 million, 2 years. Agent 1: $12 million, 2 years. Agent 2: $4 million, 1 year Me: $6 million, 1 year.
19. Juan Uribe, Giants INF. Another guy having the right year at the right time.
Executive: $10 million, 2 years. Agent 1: $24 million, 3 years. Agent 2: $4 million, 1 year. Me: $10 million, 2 years.
20. Manny Ramirez, White Sox DH. Weak finish may hurt his case. Power in question now that he has only nine home runs in 285 at-bats.
Executive: $6 million, 1 year. Agent 1: $7 million, 1 year, plus incentives Agent 2: Nothing (he will refuse to play for something he deems beneath him.) Me: $5 million, 1 year.
21. Johnny Damon, Tigers OF. Decent but not great year with the Tigers in which he's hit .267 with eight home runs and 10 stolen bases.
Executive: $4 million, 1 year. Agent 1: $6 million, 1 year. Agent 2: $18 million, 2 years. Me: $7 million, 1 year.
22. Hideki Matsui, Angels, DH/OF. Played the outfield in Los Angeles of Anaheim but with 20 home runs and 80 RBIs hasn't hit quite as much as in New York, where he hit 28 home runs and drove in 90 runs for the Yankees in 2009.
Executive: $4 million, 1 year. Agent 1: $6 million, 1 year. Agent 2: $6 million, 1 year. Agent: Me: $4 million, 1 year.
The Marlins people, who will meet in coming days to discuss their managerial situation, do like current White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. But while Guillen has been at odds with White Sox GM Ken Williams most of the year, Guillen's ties and loyalty to White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf are so strong that he isn't expected to leave Chicago. "The history with Ozzie and Jerry is just too deep,'' said one person familiar with their situation.'' Yankees coach Tony Pena is seen as another candidate. Bobby Valentine would make sense, but there's no indication he'll be a candidate.
Kevin Towers is a solid choice for the Diamondbacks GM job. Towers built his reputation with 14 years as Padres GM. Towers gets a two-year deal plus options. An announcement will be made today that the former Padres GM got the job. Jerry Di Poto, the interim GM who did terrific work in that role but was passed over, could be a candidate for the Mets job now if he doesn't stay with Arizona. The D-backs are asking Di Poto to stay.
It was good to see Joe Torre back at Yankee Stadium on Monday night. Torre and GM Brian Cashman had the obligatory hug but it's clear their relationship will take more time to heal. As Tyler Kepner pointed out in the New York Times, neither man had reached out to the other when there was ample opportunity, such as Torre reaching the NLCS and Cashman winning the World Series.
Torre mentioned how he'd take a Mets call while at Yankee Stadium, and his best hope there would be to get the public behind him, as the Mets don't appear to be leaning his way. It'll be hard for them not to interview him if he's interested, though.
The Mets will clarify front office moves before finding a new manager, and they will not stay status quo in the front office, meaning there will indeed be an outside hire to run things. However, it will not be Pat Gillick, as some have suggested. Gillick once said he wouldn't work for "that kid,'' meaning COO Jeff Wilpon, so the Mets have ruled out reaching out to him. Candidates are expected to include former D-backs GM Josh Byrnes, Rick Hahn and perhaps Dan Jennings plus Di Poto. Arizona also talked to Logan White and De Jon Watson of the Dodgers and Eddie Bane of the Angels, who could all wind up on the Mets' list. Rangers GM Jon Daniels would be high on the list but is expected more likely to remain with the Rangers despite an "out'' in his contract.
Former Dodger owner Peter O'Malley's public statement calling for the McCourts to sell the Dodgers was extraordinary in that O'Malley doesn't do things like that. But that sentiment seems to be what nearly everyone in Los Angeles is feeling as the McCourts' rather ugly divorce case plays out in public.
My list of pleasant surprises of 2010 had one at least notable omission: Jim Thome, who's done a remarkable job for the Twins (25 home runs in 271 at-bats) after signing for $1.5 million. Twins starting pitcher Brian Duensing (10-2, 2.19 ERA) also would have worked well on the list. "Best organization in the game,'' one competing executive said of the Twins.
On the list of Cy Young candidates, the Red Sox' Jon Lester (18-8, 3.06 ERA) should have been mentioned, as well.
Several emailers suggested I should have included Cito Gaston or Ozzie Guillen on my list of top 10 managers of the year. A strong case could certainly be made for either, especially Gaston, though perhaps less so for Guillen now that his team has faded.