>SweetSpot Roundup 12/17

>Hey, a huge congratulations to the SweetSpot Network’s newest blog, Baseballin’ on a Budget, which is representing the Oakland A’s in our little family.  My first question is whether Dan Hennessey and Chris Martinez thinks Billy Beane’s lost it (or if he never had it to begin with).  But Chris has a nice retrospective up of the best 5 second basemen in A’s team history.  TCM’s taking notes for his 40 Greatest A’s and 2B columns.  Congrats, Dan and Chris, and welcome! 
Ghostrunner on First (Blue Jays): Compare and Contrast
Part 2 of Drew’s look at how Blue Jays fare under both WAR measurements focuses on the pitchers.

Pro Ball NW (Mariners): On Felix and breakups
“I don’t even want to think about this.  But, as Larry [Stone] points out, the Yankees are desperate.”  Is it time to think about letting go?
Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): The Void
Positive thinking in Texas: “Lee and Harden combined to give the Rangers exactly 200 innings last year. Their combined ERA over those 200 innings was 4.73. How in the hell will the Rangers replace that?”
The Ray Area: Oh.  Right.  The 9th Inning
Marc wonders if the Rays should solve their questions about who’s going to close by moving one of their extra starters to the back end.  Or, you know Mark, you could probably trade one of those starters for someone who’s had success in the role.  How about you send us Wade Davis, and the Twins send you Matt Capps?
Fire Brand of the American League (Red Sox): Sox Add Jenks to Bullpen
“The bottom line is that this is a great pick-up by the Sox. While other relievers were awarded similar deals for three-years, the Sox snagged a great bounce-back candidate on a two-year deal that will pay him roughly the same amount of money (~$2M more per year) as the Jesse Crain’s and Matt Guerrier’s of the baseball world.” [note: that’s only the same amount of money to the Red Sox and Yankees, but whatever]
Royals Authority: Spinning Wheels
The Royals are in a holding pattern, waiting to see whether someone will offer enough to pry away Zack Greinke.
The Daily Fungo (Tigers): No Brainer, Ordonez Returns
Apparently a $10 million salary for one season of a completely immobile outfielder with a plus bat but signifcant injury concerns is a hometown discount now.  Who knew?
Nick’s Twins Blog: No Relief
It’s a pun, see, because both Guerrier and Crain signed elsewhere and now the Twins ‘pen consists of the hope that Joe Nathan is ok, Matt Capps, a left-handed Rich Garces, and something called Jim Hoey.  I’m actually drinking prety heavily as I think about this.
Sox Machine (White Sox): A plea for keeping Sale in the bullpen
Jim and company want to keep Sale in the bullpen because he’ll be able to get out Mauer, Morneau and Sale in the late innings.  Which will be great for the Twins, since their sluggers won’t have to face him three times in the first six frames and can jump out to a lead, rendering him moot.
It’s About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): Some thoughts on Andy Pettitte
Having gained some perspective over the years, Jason’s willing to be patient with Andy Pettitte and his agents’ negotiating strategy.
Capitol Avenue Club (Braves): Dan Uggla and aging
CAC looks at some of Uggla’s comps and finds some bad news.

Fungoes (Cardinals): Ryan trade: Tony LaRussa uber alles
“So let’s get this straight: The groundball-pitching Cardinals, who in re-signing Jake Westbrook became even more defense-dependent, proceeded to trade their starting shortstop, who averaged 1.85 WAR over the last two years and whose specialty is defense, for a sketchy defender who averaged 1.15 and is three years older.”

Dodger Thoughts: Dodgers roll the dice with long-term bet on Matt Guerrier
“There have been 66 pitchers for the Dodgers in the Ned Colletti era, from Jonathan Broxton to Mark Loretta. The highlights in the bullpen have been the low-risk investments, coming up through the farm system or coming in as cheap free agents, who have paid dividends.”

Bay City Ball (Giants): Cliff Lee and Delusions
“There’s pride, there’s fun and then there’s straight delusion.  And it is delusional to insist that the Phillies aren’t going into next year with the best rotation in baseball. Here’s a quick list of things that I think contribute to this delusion.”

Mets Today: Would You Extend Jose Reyes?
“If you don’t want a player of his caliber playing shortstop for you in 2012, 2013, and 2014, then is this “long-term plan” much longer than we think? More concerning, is there a real financial problem related to the Madoff Affair that has yet to rear its ugly head?”

Ducksnorts (Padres): Gwynn and the Dodgers
Was it a good decision for the Padres to let Tony Gwynn Jr. walk?  “Bringing him here was a savvy business move. And although it is true that such fans will mourn the loss of that connection [to the progeny of Tony Sr.], it is also true that a statue of Gwynn’s father remains. We are free to enjoy the statue whenever we like. It is beautiful and it doesn’t ground out to second base four times a night.”

Crashburn Alley (Phillies): Phillies Worst Individual Seasons
A position by position look at the worst seasons over the last 20 years.  Yes, it’s as awesome as you think it will be.

Redleg Nation: Reds Defensive Analytics
The Hardball Times’ Annual book is bully on the Reds defense.  Particularly in the outfield.