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So There Was A Luncheon And Things Were Said

Encouraging things, for the most part. Everybody's healthy, including Erik Bedard, who's going to go to camp able to participate in all pitching and pitcher activities. Adrian Beltre is peaches. Carlos Silva also dropped about three Brandon Faheys from his waist by doing a lot of flexibility work, and, well, whatever, we'll see how long that keeps up, and whether or not it makes any difference. Considering that, performance-wise, he was pretty much the same in 2008 as he was in seasons prior, I'm inclined to say the only difference it might make is in terms of durability. Fat doesn't alter repertoire, and Silva's repertoire sucks.

Consistent with things we've heard and inferred all winter, Brandon Morrow's going to have to pitch his way out of being a starter, whereas Aaron Heilman will get a shot but is realistically on the outside looking in. The team and Josh Fields still aren't anywhere close to coming to an agreement. Jeff Clement's going to catch until he doesn't, but will probably still get a fair bit of time at DH, as the staff had a lot of good things to say about Kenji Johjima. While Endy Chavez is, as of this writing, the starter in LF, Zduriencik's still scouring the market, looking to add another everyday piece that may play the outfield (but would probably DH). It seems pretty clear to me that, after evaluating Wladimir Balentien, the new guys aren't really that high on his skillset or the probability of his becoming a significant part of the future. While I'm not necessarily wild about the prospect of giving that much playing time to Endy Chavez, I do agree that Wlad isn't a great bet to turn into a particularly valuable player, and that we need a better long-term LF.

And so on. We're trying to trade a starter, which basically means we're trying to trade Jarrod Washburn. Griffey's an absolute long shot. All kinds of stuff came up, and if you want more thorough coverage, you should check out the recaps by Larry Stone, Larry LaRue, and Ryan Divish. For now, I'll just leave you with this:

"The biggest key, we have to increase the talent level in this organization. I can't sit here today and look at this major-league ballclub and feel warm and fuzzy about it. I see potential, I see things I like about this club. But I also see things that need to be improved. From the ground level to the top, we need to improve the talent level.''

-Jack Zduriencik

A front office that's smart, and a front office that's honest. I love us.