The November 11 deadline has passed and the time during which teams can negotiate exclusively with their free agents is over. Free agents can now talk with any team. Wake up da noise and da funk and bring them in. The stories and opinions are everywhere and many of them say that the missing piece for the Phillies is Alfonso Soriano.
I still don't get it. I'm not saying they're wrong, I just don't see it. I don't understand how or even if a lot of people think the Phillies are going to replace Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu with Soriano and a Victorino/Conine platoon and improve their team. Those moves would make them worse. Even if they were to lose Burrell and pick up Soriano, which seems unlikely to me, you would still think they had a lot of work to do. Would the Phils really consider playing the non-outfielder Soriano in right? It may not be long before we see where he fits among the Phillies' priorities.
In the Arizona Fall League, the Saguaros fell to the Phoenix Desert Dogs 3-2 in ten innings. Gavin Floyd got the start for the Saguaros and allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over four innings. His ERA is 5.79. Kyle Kendrick lowered his ERA to 7.71 with a scoreless inning but allowed a hit and two walks.
Remember all those times we watched Floyd and Madson get shelled last season? Gillick points out that the Phillies got some young players some valuable experience in the persons of Hamels and Victorino. Is Hamels hurt yet? Not that I know of, but check back often.
Kevin Towers says the talk of the Padres interest in Soriano is overblown.
Free agent catcher Rod Barajas is looking for a home and the Rockies may be interested. Barajas hit 21 home runs for the Rangers in 2005 but just 256/298/410 in 344 at-bats with Texas last year.
Here's an idea that has no chance of happening: How about signing free agent Ray Durham to play third? Durham hit 293/360/538 in 498 at-bats as the Giants' second baseman last season. Among NL third baseman, Aramis Ramirez (38) and Garrett Atkins (29) hit more home runs, but Durham's 26 were as many as David Wright and Miguel Carbera. Durham has not appeared at third base during his 12-year career. He's also never hit 26 home runs before -- he had just 37 over his last three years coming into 2006. Even if he did have the bat to play third he may not have the arm.
Durham's agent says talks with the Giants are expected to continue next week.
Third baseman and free agent Jeff Cirillo has decided to play another year. Cirillo has absolutely killed left-handed pitching the last two years. In 2006 he hit 413/451/493 against lefties after hitting 400/484/636 against them in 2005.
Aramis Ramirez and the Cubs did not reach an agreement before last night's deadline. Ramirez can now talk to other teams.