Thursday, January 18, 2007

Melky Appears Safe

With last night's deal between the Braves and Pirates seemingly complete, it would appear that Melky Cabrera can continue selling his "Got Melky" t-shirts. The Braves sent first baseman Adam LaRoche along with outfield prospect Jamie Romac to Pittsburgh. The Bucs sent their young closer Mike Gonzalez and SS prospect Brent Lillibridge to Atlanta.

The 27 year-old LaRoche fills Pittsburgh's need for a lefty powerbat at first base - he hit .285 with 32 homers, 90 RBI and an OPS of .915. Meanwhile, the scarcity that is a lock-down lefthander out of the pen, Gonzalez converted all 24 save opportunities last year and posted a 2.17 ERA.

The LA Times explains that the Marlins are not going to trade Miguel Cabrera because he is still very young and very affordable. This is not too shocking, but it is surprising that so many teams are rumored to have been inquiring about him. If they know he's not available, why the continued attempts?

The Chicago Tribune has an interesting article on Mark Prior's financial requests for 2007. Following his terrible 2006, Prior's arbitration request called for a whopping 6% raise (from $3.65 to $3.875 million). Cubs GM, Jim Hendry offered Prior $3.4 million for 2007 - which is a 7% paycut.

All you need to know about Chicago's dwindling patience with Prior can be seen in this cat-and-mouse arbitration game. In the meantime, Carlos Zambrano's arbitration case presents the exact opposite financial debaucle. Zambrano filed for a club-record $15.5 million for the 2007 season.

Finally, Sammy Sosa's flirtation with the Texas Rangers continues. In a move that makes most baseball fans voluntarilly stub a toe, Texas manager Ron Washington has said that Sosa could potentially hit as high as fifth in the lineup. Such decisions await how impressive/unimpressive Sosa appears during training camp. Don't forget that Sosa has already been denied by a Japanese franchise:

According to an interview in Chunichi Sports, an unnamed player personnel official with the Yokohama Bay Stars called a recent attempt by Sosa's agent to get him a roster spot with the team for a $500,000 salary as endeavoring "to perpetrate fraud on us." In addition, the bigwig expressed strong doubts about the former Cub's character. Alluding to the still unproven rumor that Sosa took steroids as well as the corked bat incident, he smirked, "guys who use performance enhancing drugs and break the rules aren't real sportsmen."

He then elaborated, "besides, he's fat now. Where would we play him? He would probably go home in two months."
That's right. The owner of a small Japanese baseball team called Sosa a fatass. How far we fall. Hopefully, Sosa has himself another summer cold and sneezes his way out of the lineup - and baseball - for good.

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