Winter baseball Hot Stove
Bob Klapish of the NY Post reports that the Mets will continue to make a strong bid for the Red Sox to trade Manny Ramirez.
The Sox are interested in Carlos Beltran as a replacement centerfielder for the impending departure of Jonny Damon to the Yankees who is reportedly seeking a Scott Boras brokered 5 year deal.
"We know what Manny and David can do, but I make them look good. And they make me look good".
The Sox would be looking hard at Lance Berkman as a replacement for Manny in left field.
Interest has also lessened for the free agent services of Brad Lidge due to his Braden Looper like outings in the Fall classic.
The top 25 free Agents for 2006
1. Lance Berkman
With a career on-base percentage of .416, he's been an offensive machine the last four years in Houston. Averaging 32 home runs and 113 RBIs since 2001, Berkman is a better offensive version of Magglio Ordo?ez. Considering that Berkman signed a one-year $10.5-million deal to avoid arbitration, he should land a comparable contract with another solid season in 2005.
Hideki Matsui (松井 秀喜 Matsui Hideki
Godzilla stays put.
Quitely putting up numbers
Damon had stated publicly last year that he wants to finish up his career in Boston. At the same time, the Yankees will be looking for a center fielder younger than Bernie Williams
After resurection year with the White Sox. He probably stays put.
Will the real Bret Boone please stand up? now that his name has been publicly associated with steroids
Almost no interest at all.
Decent backstop with power when healthy.
Exceptional defensive catcher. Mets most interested.
Lukewarm interest. Speed
One of the top 5 in baseball
Of all the players on this list, Burnett has the best upside. He'll be 29 by Opening Day 2006 and could be one of the game's premiere power pitchers. However, he's never had an injury-free season and has started just 23 games over the last two years. If he's healthy and can maintain his strike out rate of nine per nine innings, expect the boys from Boston and New York to woo A.J. Burnett until he's sick of steak dinners, limo rides, and visits from Derek Jeter, Curt Schilling, and everyone in between.
Kevin Millwood's name has appeared on everyone's list of free agent pitchers for the past few seasons, and every year, he's been a disappointment. It's becoming more and more obvious that he's break-out season of 1999 may just have been a fluke. He struggled last year, giving up more hits than innings pitched for the first time since 2000. His 4.85 ERA was inflated due to the tight new park in Philadelphia, but even his park-adjusted ERA was a career high. If Millwood doesn't show some more consistency, he may just end up signing one-year, $7-million deals until he retires.
Future Star and Baltimores present closer
Teams will be very wary to approach him.
Still plenty of interest despite injury bug
Has the stuff to close
Everyones favorite under achiever
Twins cannot affords to lose him