The 2013 season is officially over, folks. The Red Sox are champs again; considering what happened at the Boston Marathon back in April, I actually expected them to win. Good for them and good for David Ross. He got himself a championship and didn't have to suffer through another one of Fredi's brain farts.
I know this isn't the "Around the NL East" segment many of you were used to, but you got to have something to do on a Saturday, right?
Brian McCann, Tim Hudson, Luis Ayala, Scott Downs, Eric O'Flaherty, Freddy Garcia, Kameron Loe and Paul Maholm are officially free agents. Dave O'Brien suggests that Hudson and O'Flaherty will receive offers to stay. McCann is the only who will receive, and most likely decline, a qualifying offer. The full list of free agents can be found here.
Jon Heyman writes that the Giants are looking for a lefty power bat, of which the free agent market is pretty thin, and says McCann is an outside possibility. It may seem like a puzzling move since Buster Posey is already there and Brandon Belt has solidified himself at first base. An AL team is a more likely destination for McCann, if he indeed doesn't stay in Atlanta.
Jose Dariel Abreu and Alex Guerrero have already signed deals with the White Sox and Dodgers, respectively, but several teams are now interested in right-handed pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne. The 26-year-old held an exhibition in Barcelona, Spain for the Phillies and Mets in addition to the Giants, Yankees, Mariners and Twins, but will hold a more formal show in Mexico. Despaigne is an eight-year veteran with 51 career wins and a 3.65 ERA.
The article originally focuses on whether Ike Davis or Lucas Duda could be traded, but then the focus turns to those who are "solidified" for next year: David Wright, Dillon Gee, Jon Niese and Zack Wheeler. Daniel Murphy is omitted from that group, leading to speculation he could be dangled as trade bait; the team is also wanting to move Eric Young to second base. Murphy is 28 years old and a .290 career hitter; along with David Wright, he's one of the better hitters on the team, which leaves some Mets fans (if there are any left) scratching their heads as to why he would be traded. I wonder if they can be suckered into taking Dan Uggla.
In the event Ruiz isn't brought back, Zolecki surmises the Phillies would pursue Dioner Navarro, who had his best year average-wise in 2013: .300/.365/.492. Navarro has a .684 OPS in 715 career games.
If you remember, Strasburg had one start against the Braves where he left due to arm trouble; he went under the knife to remove bone chips in his right elbow. Adam LaRoche also had elbow surgery and Bryce Harper underwent a procedure on his left knee. All three are expected to be ready for Spring Training.
Color me shocked. The Braves are 16/1.
Adrian Cardenas was a first-round pick in 2006 by the Phillies and made his major-league debut May 7, 2012 with the Cubs against the Braves. He appeared in 45 games that year but didn't play anywhere at all in 2013. Why? Cardenas writes that playing baseball stopped being "sacred" once he started getting paid for it, and details his gradual disillusionment with the professional side of the game.
The team will pay him $5.5 million to avoid being responsible for a $25 million option next year. Adam Rubin also states the Mets could bring Santana back on a less expensive, incentive-laden deal. Santana, as we well know by now, has had frequent arm troubles the last couple of years.
This comes as no surprise, seeing as Williams was considered the heavy favorite for the position. Some Nats players such as Denard Span are excited for Williams while Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman publicly supported bench coach Randy Knorr for the position. Knorr would state that he plans to stay with the team despite the hiring of Williams.
Samson cites this year's Red Sox team that floundered throughout 2012 as what the Marlins could be potentially. They're going to have a full year of Christian Yelich and will hope Giancarlo Stanton can stay healthy enough to contribute; they have a young and talented starting rotation another year older. They could very well be in the playoff hunt in the near future.
Heyman also reports that some of the big-name outfielders available could find themselves in Philly next year. Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Curtis Granderson and Jacoby Ellsbury are all available and would fill a need for a run-producing outfielder. My money is on Cruz because he's a Ruben Amaro-type player: 30+ years old, doesn't draw walks, strikes out a lot and is a defensive liability. He'll get a multi-year deal.
The test will run from November 5 through November 9 and the games will be aired on MLB Network.