lotta talk about 2b options today. mark loretta's name came up over at bernie's; apparently the padres are trying to dump him for cheap to clear some payroll. if he can be had for a middling prospect (and that's the intimation), do it. loretta has a .365 career on-base pct; last year's.360 was his lowest since 2001 and prob'y represents the bottom of his range. his power dropped sharply last season, but he was battling injuries; and with his on-base abilities, who cares if he slugs .380? bat him 2d and let him set the table for the big boys. his 2006 option vested automatically, and the pads owe him $3m but apparently need the payroll space to sign trevor hoffman. . . . . i have definitely seen reports that loretta's available (ken rosenthal brought him up) but didn't see how jock could swing a trade without opening up other holes. but if he's available for cheap -- as the thread at bernie's claims -- the cards would be silly not to pursue it. they already missed out on a bargain in luis castillo (as brian gunn bemoaned in this morning's comments, and the cards are supposed to live by the bargain. . . .
this is all speculative -- not a rumor. i haven't heard anybody say the cards are actually working on this. but i'll see if any of my spies in dallas have heard sumpin'.
Update [2005-12-7 15:25:16 by lboros]: . . . . . and never mind. the red sox are getting loretta for backup catcher doug mirabelli. gotta think the cardinals could've offered better than that . . . .
the other 2b-related issue is grudzielanek, whom the cards have to sign today if they still want him -- otherwise they can't negotiate with him until may 1. he wants 2 years, $6 million, and the cards are trying to get the price down. in this particular case, i'm with the cards -- he's not worth what he's asking. had a good year afield in '05, but he's average with the bat for his position, and at age 35 his numbers can only go south.
Update [2005-12-7 17:3:13 by lboros]: per bernie, it doesn't look like they'll get grud'k either. . . . . here comes bret boone.
rather talk outfielders? head over to cardnilly, whose alphabetical catalog of fa flychasers goes through "h" today. only one player in the bunch he's even remotely int'sted in -- dick hidalgo. and no, nilly hasn't gone nutty -- he realizes hidalgo has hit skid row but believes there's a couple more productive seasons in that bat. accordingly nilly could see signing him to a one-year "make-good" deal. i'd rather get jeff conine for a year (me `n nilly agree on that one).
finally, head over to the diaspora and place your entry in the hot stove haiku contest. here's my straight-off-the-cuff composition:
a.j., oh a.j.
oh a.j., a.j, a.j
god f**king dammit
i figure that's a contendah . . . .
Update [2005-12-7 15:27:18 by lboros]: and here's a new haiku:
oh crap the cards let
loretta and castillo
slip thru their fingers