Let us first stipulate that, yeah, it’s probably way too early for free agent rumors. So much happens between now and when guys file that it’s kinda silly for anyone to put too much stock in the various whispers out there. But hey: if people can spend all day arguing that wins are what makes a pitcher great, I can engage in some irresponsible rumor mongering too, right?
This one is fun: Buster Olney says that the Orioles may go after Victor Martinez “in a combo 1B-C-DH/leader type of role.”
Who knows if it would happen, but I think it’s not a terrible idea. They have no first baseman to speak of for 2011. I’m assuming they’ll keep Luke Scott around to DH next year — he’s arbitration eligible and will get a raise — but he can play a corner if need be, and of course Matt Wieters could use an occasional rest. Martinez’s defensive flexibility could allow Buck Showalter to do a lot of things.
I know that the first thing most people say when they talk about fixing the Orioles is to work on pitching, but they’re 13th in the AL in both runs scored and runs allowed (and the pitching has been better in recent weeks). Improvement in any capacity would be a good thing.
Welp, it was probably worth the gamble given that the Angels were paying most of his salary. But the Rangers’ gamble on Josh Hamilton failed and now Josh Hamilton is a free agent. The club has given him unconditional release waivers.
Hamilton underwent surgery to repair lateral and meniscus cartilage in his left knee back in June. During surgery it was discovered that he had an ACL injury as well, which required reconstruction. This whole season was lost and, while Hamilton has one year remaining on his contract, the Rangers are clearly able to compete without him and could use the roster spot over the small chance that he could be an everyday player again.
Hamilton will earn $30 million next season, $26.41 million of which is being paid for by the Angels. Last year in 182 plate appearances with the Rangers, Hamilton hit .253/.291/.441 with eight home runs and 25 RBI. At age 35, it’s not hard to imagine that his major league career is effectively over.
With the continuing caveat that it is really weird and likely as uncomfortable as hell for all of those involved for this to be playing out so publicly, here is the latest news on the Doc Gooden/Daryl Strawberry/possible cocaine relapse story. From the Daily News:
Dwight (Doc) Gooden is insisting publicly that he doesn’t have a drug problem, yet more and more people want to help him — none more significant than the Yankees, who have reached out to say they’ll pay for any treatment he would consider getting.
That’s admirable of the Yankees, as is their refusal to comment on it further (the Daily News got this info from Strawberry). The Yankees, of course, gave both Strawberry and Gooden second chances in the 1990s when their addiction problems threatened their careers.