Not much out there today, but we'll work with what we've got:
Larry Larue talks about how pitchers aren't the only guys in demand this winter. A bunch of hitters are drawing interest as well, and Larue rattles off the names of more than a few of them. Speaking of which, let's play Who Doesn't Belong?
Gary Sheffield, Manny Ramirez, Richie Sexson, Adrian Beltre, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Lee, Frank Thomas, Sean Casey
Darin Erstad and Juan Pierre also warrant mentions a little later in the article (in a paragraph that begins "You want a designated hitter?", no less), and while you'd like to feel bad for the poor sap who lands one of those two, it's no different than being sympathetic towards that guy who tells people to take a picture of him sticking his head into the mouth of a lion. Sometimes you just need to understand the risks and move on.
In almost-interesting news, the Mariners have gotten several calls regarding the availability of Adrian Beltre and (to a lesser extent) Richie Sexson, but what keeps this from being a story is that, at least according to Bavasi, the players offered in exchange have been underwhelming. Lesson being, if you might want to try and move a player down the road, do your best not to pay him more than he's worth, because it'll drive down his trade value. The front office doesn't want to give either hitter away for free, so barring some sort of desperation move on the part of the Orioles when they miss out on Carlos Lee, Gary Matthews Jr., Doug Mientkiewicz, and Fred McGriff, I'd expect to see both Beltre and Sexson in the lineup come Opening Day.
Both the Red Sox and Cubs have offered JD Drew equally large contracts. Meaning you might as well cross him off your list, if he was ever on it to begin with.
Player A re-upped with the Cardinals on a deal that comically guarantees him two years of substantial funding for bad tattoos and reprehensible goatee cultivation. Quipped Player A at the end of the article:
No mention is made of the fact that Player A himself was a big reason why those seasons sucked. Walt Jocketty goes on about how the guy is a clutch hitter brimming with leadership and a winning attitude, but we sure as hell didn't see either of those qualities here, so I'm inclined to be pretty skeptical going forward. Player A, I wish you poor fortune and ill vigor. May your comeuppance be swift.
Also notable, the Mets signed Damion Easley and Alex Gonzalez has a $15m/3yr deal waiting for his signature. Because, you know, you have to act quick with these guys, since there aren't a million of them available at every level of professional baseball or anything.
Finally, after Ken Macha grew tired of being Billy Beane's little bitch and lost his job, the A's appear set to promote bench coach Bob Geren as his replacement. It should be a seamless transition; bench coaches are typically the little bitches of the manager, and in Oakland managers are the little bitches of Beane, so by the transitive property of equality, Oakland should be all set. Frequency with which people misspell his name "Bob Green": 15%. Frequency with which people misspell his name "Bob Geern": 2%. Frequency with which people misspell his name "Art Howe": 0%.