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Hot Stove is Cooking: Is There Fire Behind All That Smoke?

Watching my Twitter feed today is amusing if inconclusive.  I thought I would share my thoughts about the hoopla surrounding the Winter Meetings for whatever they are worth.  So here goes:

Cincinnati Reds

Reds rumors are few and far between.  I have heard fleeting rumors today.  The latest suggests a trade with Colorado sending Edinson Volquez and receiving  closer Huston Street.  My thought is this seems foolish at face value.  Street is good but once I complete my QAR evaluation of him I suspect he will only have around 40 Quality Relief Outings and at least 18 Failed Relief Outings.  That would be a substantial drop off from Francisco Cordero in 2011 and at $8 million the price seems too high.  I see no place for Volquez on this team but this does not seem the best deal from the Reds standpoint.

Walt Jocketty has indicated the Reds were shopping for a starter first and a closer second.  I still feel strongly that Paul Maholm would be a good fit for the Reds if he can pass a physical and his shoulder is in working order.

St. Louis Cardinals

I actually get the impression they may not mind losing Albert Pujols given the cost in terms of salary and years.  10 years $200 million plus seems to be a franchise breaking offer.  I can see 3 or 4 more good years but after that the future becomes quite murky for any team saddled with this monstrosity of a contract.  As Jeffrey Luria seems hell bent on bankrupting the freshly named Miami Marlins I am guessing the Cardinals are secretly happy.  Cardinal fans love Albert for good reason but even the most loyal fan has to understand a 10 year contract for a 31 (or whatever) year old player is begging for trouble.  Ask the late Carl Lindner, who made a splash signing Ken Griffey Jr. to a 9 year contract in his first year of ownership, how that deal worked out in the end…

Chicago Cubs

I have heard a lot of names thrown about as potential new Cubs, but I am not certain what might transpire.  I don’t see Pujols or Prince Fielder coming here, and Aramis Ramirez looks to be exiting stage left.  I am sure Theo Epstein has a little latitude here, otherwise why would he leave the Red Sox, but I am just not sure which direction they are looking to move in.

Milwaukee Brewers

I have a nagging suspicion Prince Fielder is moving to the junior circuit.  Seattle or Baltimore seem to be good fits.  Without Fielder though the Brewers will need something to stay competitive.  They seem to have decided not to keep Yuniesky Betancourt so maybe Jimmy Rollins might be a possibility?

Pittsburgh Pirates

Read three articles today saying the Pirates are looking at free agent lefty Jeff Francis.  If that is the case they are not a legitimate contender simply due to pocketbook considerations.  The Pirates score just 610 runs or less than 4 runs per game.  So signing a pitcher consistently around a 5.00 ERA because the price is right, means you don’t expect to win.  They couldn’t win with Maholm and his 2011 ERA of 3.66 so adding a run a game more to overcome just won’t cut it.

Houston Astros

Not having a GM in place tells me this team is still selling what few assets they still have.  Wandy Rodriguez is a good pitcher but the cost is prohibitive.  I would love to see the Reds package a couple of mid-range prospects for Brett Myers.  A bit cheaper and yet a solid pitcher coming off a down year.  I do not think he would be as good a fit for the Reds as Maholm, but who knows.

The stove is still on, and deals are cooking…let’s all pray any deals the Reds make work out for the Redlegs!

Follow me on Twitter @JohnHeitz

Tags: Albert Pujols Aramis Ramirez Brett Myers Chicago Cubs Cincinnati Reds Edinson Volquez Francisco Cordero Houston Astros Huston Street Jeff Francis Jimmy Rollins Ken Griffey Milwaukee Brewers Paul Maholm Pittsburgh Pirates Prince Fielder St Louis Cardinals Wandy Rodriguez Yuniesky Betancourt

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