<span class="vcard">Craig Calcaterra</span>

lester getty

Report: The Sox are out! Jon Lester choosing between the Giants and Cubs

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This is pretty big:

Lester, of course, has always been able to choose where he wants to go. But I think everyone, on some level, thought the Red Sox would be in the game until the end and, possibly, win his services. The Dodgers were in on Lester too and, presumably, are now out as well.

All of this a function of the price tag, obviously. Lester is likely pushing for $150 million and that, it seems is too rich for the Sox’ and Dodgers’ blood.

UPDATE: Lester’s agent is denying Rosenthal’s report:

Worth noting, of course, that Lester’s agent has an interest in making it look as though as many teams are in on the bidding as possible.

The Pirates claim Josh Lindblom from the Athletics

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In a move that has shaken the foundations of the Winter Meetings and caused hundreds of writers to cancel their lunch plans, the Pirates have claimed righty Josh Lindblom from the Athletics.

Lindblom was DFA’d by the A’s at the end of November. He’s 27 and joined the A’s last December in the Craig Gentry deal. He made only one start at the big league level for the A’s, allowing two runs in 4 2/3 innings. In 84 innings over 16 starts and one relief appearance with Triple-A Sacramento, he posted a 5.79 ERA with a 60/26 K/BB ratio.

Take a moment to remember where you were when you heard that Lindblom was claimed by Pittsburgh. You’ll want to tell your grandkids about it someday.

One way to fix the Hall of Fame vote? The binary ballot

Hall of Fame ballot
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Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch is a first-time Hall of Fame voter this year. But he has certainly thought hard about Hall of Fame voting, and today he has a proposal that, if adopted, would address the biggest complaint a lot of voters have about the process. The complaint which has caused a couple of them to boycott the process: the ten-vote limit.

Goold’s solution: the binary ballot:

The Hall and the writers should embrace the bedrock question and its two simple answers on the ballot by doing away the 10-player limit and just putting two boxes beneath every name on the ballot. Yes. No. This forces the voter to weigh each player individually, not as a group, not when weighted as one of the 10 most-deserving on the ballot. It’s simpler. It’s streamlined. And it fits the theme every voter must confront, the ghost of PEDs past or not.

I like it. Give each guy his individual due and stop with the game theory baloney like, say, not voting for Randy Johnson because you know he’ll get in anyway. Well, dammit, what if you WANT to vote for Randy Johnson?

I like he binary ballot.

Jon Lester said to be holding out for $150 million

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The Jon Lester drama, which seems to be stretched out given that he has, reportedly, several offers in hand, is apparently about hitting a magic number. Indeed, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com was told that Lester’s are trying to get one of the teams involved to increase their offer to $150 million.

He is thought to have an offer in the $130 million range from Boston, but with the Giants and Cubs serious too, it’s possible that someone will go that extra mile and make him a $150 million man.

Worth remembering that, last spring, the Red Sox could’ve had him locked up for $110 million.

SHUTOUT! The Veterans Committee fails to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame

Cooperstown
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SAN DIEGO — The Veteran’s Committee has voted and the announcement is in: none of the ten candidates were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The candidates: Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills. Candidates needed 12 votes to make it in. The highest vote-getters were Dick Allen and Tony Oliva, who each received 11 votes. Here is a brief overview of the credentials of all of the candidates.

It’s probably worth noting that, at least for the players, being on the Veterans Committee ballot means that, at some point, the baseball writers considered their candidacies and found them lacking. So, on some level, no player oversight is so egregious that we should storm the castle or anything. Almost by definition they are borderline guys. It’s different for the executives and managers — Bob Howsam seems like a Hall of Fame executive to me — but for the players, I get that they’re all tough choices.

Still it is odd that a process that is designed to take a new fresh look at players — and, even if they won’t admit it, was historically designed to put some more people in the Hall of Fame — frequently doesn’t elect new players. Bu then again, the Hall of Fame voting process seems broken in every way these days, so it should not be too surprising that, on some level, it extends to the Veterans Committee as well.