Let's get this one moving...
Two moves could happen by tomorrow...
At his daily press conference, Jeff Luhnow seemed downright loquacious, saying that he could make two moves by tomorrow. Of course, he qualifies this by also saying that sometimes, you have five deals lined up and get none of them done, while other times, you get three or four.
Start speculating all you want, but my money is on Jed Lowrie to the A's. Luhnow wouldn't comment on it, which makes me think something is up there. May not happen, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Sean prove correct on that one.
Rockies in on Lopez
Troy Renck, Rockies beat writer extraordinairre, tweeted out confirmation that the Rockies and Astros are close to a deal for Wilton Lopez. Renck throws out the name of Parker Frazier as someone the Astros have been eyeing.
Frazier is a non-hard throwing right-hander who was drafted out of high school in 2007. He gets ground balls, but not at a spectacular rate and has pretty good control. Seems cut out of the Cloyd mold to me.
Scratch that. As quickly as Frazier's name surfaced, it disappeared. Apparently, two non-Frazier pitchers will head to Houston. I'd be thrilled if one of them is Rex Brothers.
Bogar and Hampton team up
Only tangentially Astro-related, but both Tim Bogar and Mike Hampton have joined the staff of the Arkansas Travelers, the Double-A team for the Angels. Bogar reportedly turned down a deal to join the Astros as a bench coach because he didn't like the contract language about not trying for MLB jobs during the course of said contract.
Nice to see Hampy, who just turned 40, land on his feet too. I wouldn't be surprised to see him show up as a ML pitching coach one day.
Whoo, boy. That was a big deal Haren ended up signing, balky shoulder and all. The pitching rich Nationals signed him to a one year, $13 million deal on Tuesday. The right-hander posted a 4.33 ERA last season to go with a SIERA of 3.87 and 142 strikeouts in 176 innings.
If we're putting pitcher salaries on a scale, the one year deals start here and drop down to Jason Marquis' $3 million deal yesterday. So, if Houston wants a guy like Jair Jurjjens, I'm guessing he'll be closer to Haren than the bottom.
Why? This makes no sense, but apparently the Diamondbacks had to lock up a first baseman who couldn't hit .200 last season. Maybe we're just glad he wasn't out there for the Astros to pick up?
Third baseman David Wright has agreed to a monster contract extension with the Mets, which should be announced on Wednesday, assuming he passes his physical. Wright will be another in a long line of players now to pass the $120 million range, with his salary clocking in at eight years and $138 million.
The Flyin' Hawaiian is helping thin the center field market, signing with Boston for three years and $39 million, or exactly what the Red Sox gave Mike Napoli yesterday. Of course, this opens up all sorts of scenarios now. What do the Red Sox do with Jacoby Ellsbury? Where does Cody Ross end up? Could he become the Astros outfield/DH option? It also helps confirm that Michael Bourn should probably end up with north of $10 million per year, since he's the superior player to both Victorino and Angel Pagan, who earned $13 million and $10 million respectively. Will Bourn end up at $14 or $15 million?
Yep, they've been linked to everyone. There is a strong rumor that the Mariners are going to agree to a deal with Jason Bay, though his agents backed off on that one later in the day. There are persistent rumors saying they're in on Josh Hamilton, too. They've also checked in on Michael Bourn and other outfielders. It appears the M's are looking to upgrade their offense any way they can.
It appears all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about Josh Hamilton leaving Texas will be for naught, since the two sides are close to a deal that will bring him back to Arlington. I haven't seen any figures, but I'd be more interested in how long the deal will run for. I'm wondering if Nolan leveraged that situation into just giving him a four-year deal. There's conflicting reports here, but with how soft the market for Hamilton has been, I wouldn't be surprised by this outcome.
In another trade that may be consummated soon, the Tampa Bay Rays will send Derek Dietrich (who was drafted and not signed by the Astros once upon a time) to the Marlins for Escobar. It'd be the second time this offseason the controversial Escobar has been traded. Nice bit of buying low by the Rays.