Well, now that World Series has ended, and Cole Hamel and the rest of Phillies have been corroneted 2008 Champions, we not head into baseball’s “off-season.” However, the term “off-season” only really applies to some of the players, as this one of the busiest times of the hear for team management, agents, and a flurry of players who will file for free agency or arbitration, get traded or hear their names come up in trade talk, or get released and franticly search for an organization or team to try and cling to stay in the game.
Image: by: Otto Greule, Jr – Getty Images – 2 April 1998
The Hot Stove news is already coming out in Red Sox nation today, especially where it concerns the Red Sox two longest tenured and most respected players. It is being reported that Jason Varitek filed for free agency. Along with Alex Cora and David Ross, they were among 65 major league players who filed on the first day for eligible players. Players who are eligible have until Monday, November 3rd to file for Free Angency.
Meanwhile, it is being reported that the Red Sox plan to pick-up the option on Tim Wakefield’s contract. That means Wakefield will be back with the club at a reasonable $4 million dollar contract. The Sox and Wakefield came to a unique contract agreement back in 2005 in which Wakefield is basically owned by the Red Sox via infinate options on his contract until the Sox finally decide not to pick up an option. I, obviously, don’t know the full details, but that’s pretty much the layman’s explanation.
The first trade of the off-season was pulled off as the Kansas City Royals will get 30-HR guy Mike Jacobs from the Florida Marlins while sending reliever Leo Nunez back.
Rumor has it that Manny Ramirez and the New York Yankees are interested in each other. The Yankees would play Ramirez in RF, which would mean bye bye Bobby. I find it strange the Yankees would go after Ramirez instead of Texiera, unless they think they can get Manny to sign a 2 or 3 year deal, which I don’t think is possible. It will be interesting to keep an ear on this story.
Ken Macha has been hired as the Milwaukee Brewers manager, replacing interim manager Dale Sveum. Both have ties to the Red Sox. Macha was long time minor league manager in the Red Sox minor league system before being hired by the A’s a few years back. In between his two managing job, he has been serving as an analyst (and cure for insomnia) with the Sox pre and post game broadcasts on NESN. Sveum was a third base coach with the Sox back in 2004 when the Sox won their first World Series since 1918.
Finally, there has been a lot of talk, mostly on ESPN.com and ESPN radio, about how baseball should make the World Series into an 7 – 10 day long event. MLB could play the World Series on a neutral (warm weather / sunny) site (similar to the Super Bowl) and hold a litany of events (such as naming the HoF induction class, MVP / Cy Young awards, Town Meetings with GMs, etc, etc.) and hoopla. I don’t think I am in favor of this, but don’t think this is something that we would see any time soon. It is just being brought up because of the debacle of Game 3 and the Game 5 rain delay.
One last thing. If you are a fan of Cole Hamels, which I am becoming, then there is a pretty neat read about him. It is an interview with the current Red Sox scouting director, Jason McLeod, who was scouting Hamels back in high school. It is a good read which you can find here.