Saturday, January 27, 2007

RedSox Interested In Helton. ChiSox & Buehrle Not So Much

The Rockies have begun their annual get-out-from-under Todd Helton contract sweepstakes a little earlier this year. But this time, the player is a bit more intriguing. The Denver Post is reporting that the Boston Red Sox are discussing a trade for the lefthanded first-baseman:

The Rockies are in discussions with the Boston Red Sox involving a trade of Todd Helton, according to multiple baseball sources.

Nothing is imminent, but negotiations are expected to resume Monday or Tuesday when Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd returns to work after tending to a family matter. Helton, 33, has a complete no-trade clause, but has said he would consider Boston.

Helton has six years and $90.1 million remaining on his contract, and the Red Sox could face luxury-tax penalties if they acquire the first baseman, issues that would have to be resolved.

Helton has been bothered periodically by a back injury the past five years, and last season he landed on the disabled list because of a serious stomach ailment. Helton's age, back and contract caused the Angels to cool on a deal.

Helton has not hit over 20 homeruns since the 2004 season, but he is a career .333 hitter and may experience a rebirth in Fenway. Check out the numbers, Helton may have regressed slugging-wise but he is still a professional, dangerous hitter to insert into an already formidable lineup. Whether the deal progresses or not, the RedSox have again displayed a Yankee bankroll - which is to say, nothing is unattainable.

Mark Buehrle is getting kicked out the door before the 2007 Spring training commences. GM Kenny Williams and Buehrle have had an old-school showdown of sorts during the offseason and it would not take a Mensa certification to predict the southpaw would be pitching elsewhere come 2008.

"I want to be back, but I've seen direct quotes from Kenny saying that Mark Buehrle won't be in a White Sox uniform in 2008," Buehrle said. "I'm just kind of going off what he said."

Williams, speaking loudly and slowly, trying extra hard to get his message across, claims that's not what he said at all.

"I don't remember saying that in those words ... " Williams explained. "In assessing what our focus is and what our direction is, is there something there that's a realistic opportunity in retaining Buehrle? Only he knows the answer to that. Have we explored the possibility? Yes.

"Am I optimistic? Not at all. Not at all. If somebody is going to try to paint a picture of some Draconian stance or remarks, they're painting the wrong picture and they've got a little bit of a twisted view ...

"All we need to be focused on, whether it's Mark Buehrle or any other player who has a contractual issue for 2008 -- I say again, for 2008 -- is take care of 2007. Take care of 2007, because you win, and we win.

"Play him the tape."

"I just said 'Hi' to (Williams on Thursday)," Buehrle said. "I haven't had the chance to sit down and talk to him.

"I probably won't, either."

I would love to be a ChiSox beat guy right about now. The flames have been officially fanned and more verbal battles may be lingering around the bend. I'll give Williams credit for one thing, he sure as hell does not beat around the bush (think the Frank Thomas exit).

Jake Peavy has been exonerated for a recent misconduct charge at Mobile Regional Airport.
Peavy was arrested in his hometown after he parked in front of the airport entrance Jan. 4.

When the airport officer ordered the vehicle moved or be ticketed, Peavy indicated he would take the ticket. Peavy then made a comment about "a real cop" as opposed to airport security and was subsequently arrested and booked into Mobile Country Metro Jail on the misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, District Attorney John Tyson Jr. said.

Tyson told the judge at a court hearing Thursday the decision to dismiss came "on the recommendation of the individual officer involved and the chief of airport police."

There ya go Jake. The 350k bond kept him from spending more than a few minutes behind bars and the airport policeman has lost whatever authority he had once held.

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