All-star center-fielder Aaron Rowand signed a 5 year, $60 million deal with the San Francisco Giants last night. Sources close to the event say that Bruce Bochy and Ron Schueler, Rowand’s former manager while he was with the White Sox, visited Aaron in his Las Vegas home last weekend to discuss his future. Apparently that conversation weighed heavy on his decision to join forces with San Francisco.
This move for the Giants bolsters the middle of the lineup. Bochy has said that he plans on batting Rowand 5th in the lineup behind Winn and Molina. Rowand will play center-field moving Dave Roberts over to left and keeping Randy Winn in right. Bochy also emphasized the fact that Rajai Davis, Fred Lewis and Nate Schierholtz will all be contending for starting jobs in the spring. They will be a great help out there to provide some competition, if they’re still around come spring training. Brian Sabean has opened up the possibility of trading any of those players if the Giants could get something positive in return.
The biggest part of this free agent signing, is the fact that it closes the door on the Alex Rios for Tim Lincecum trade. We don’t have to give up either of our two young aces in Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum. I am very happy that we get to see those two again next season in a Giants uniform. I think I would have cried myself to sleep if we had done that deal.
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed an agreement with free agent Andruw Jones late this evening on a two year contract worth $36.2 million. The arrangement allows Jones the freedom of giving it a go for two years hoping to get his swing back, and then test the free agent market again while still in his prime.
Sources close to Andruw have said that he has been anxious to get a deal signed. The Kansas City Royals have been known to be interested in signing the 10 time gold glove center fielder, but it seems that Andruw had plans to stay in the National League. The Dodgers tried to initiate talks to get him last season, but he wouldn’t opt out of his strict no trade clause while in his last year with the Braves organization.
This takes another big bat off the free agent market. Although somewhat of a risk, I would have liked to see him in a San Francisco Giants uniform…not for the price that Colletti got him, but I would have liked to see it. I think it’s a good move for the Dodgers. It’s a gamble, that I hope DOES NOT pan out for them. I hate those guys!
In a blockbuster deal at the winter meetings in Nashville, Tennessee today, the Detroit Tigers sent six prospects to the Florida Marlins in exchange for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. Sources close to the agreement were stunned to see them both go in the same trade, let alone in the same off season. In exchange, the Marlins received stud prospects Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, and four others not worth mentioning. Maybin and Miller are awesome prospects and most scouts expect them to be all-stars in a few years.
To sum it up, the Marlins basically dumped the last remaining members of the 2003 world series team and the bulk of their payroll all in one trade. The highest paid player on their team next season will probably be Kevin Gregg, their closer, who made $575,000 this year. In fact, their projected payroll for this coming season now sits around $7-$8 million. Yeah, crazy I know.
However strange the trade may have been for the Marlins, they have been known to make amazing trades that really end up working out for them in the long run. They have a great evaluation staff that knows what they are after and usually get it. I’m not sure they’ll be able to put a lot of butts in the seats next year though with their only real pull now going to be Hanley Ramirez. But, you never know what they might be able to pull off.
As for the Tigers, they look more like the Yankees and Red Sox than ever now with their acquisitions of Edgar Renteria, Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis this off season. With a solid lineup top to bottom and five great starters that can all go 200+ innings they sure look like a team to be reckoned with next season. Their payroll will sit at about $120 million for next year too, placing them among the top tier now.