>SweetSpot Roundup 12/21

>Austin’s Astros 290 Blog: Astros add strikeouts…I mean power…to middle infield
Austin gets a little more apopleptic over a $3.25, one-year deal and the loss of the immortal Jeff Keppinger than is probably warranted.

Capitol Avenue Club (Braves): Baseball America’s Top 10 Braves Prospects
New contributor Kevin Orris reviews the Braves farm system as seen by BA.com.

Disciples of Uecker (Brewers): Brewers Acquire Zack Greinke
Jack is rightly excited about the big trade from this weekend, and can’t wait for 2011.

The View From the Bleachers (Cubs): In the News, We Got Wood
A bunch of quick Cubs related links.

Dodger Thoughts: I can’t believe I’m saying it, Tony Gwynn Jr. should start
“By placing him in center and moving Matt Kemp to right field and Andre Ethier to left, Gwynn would turn the Dodger outfield defense from a weakness to a strength.” I can’t argue with that.

Bay City Ball (Giants): Quick Daydream About Zack Greinke
Otis wants a Zack Greinke of his very own.  Don’t we all.

Mets Today: Inside Look, JJ Ricciardi
Joe asks fellow SweetSpotter Drew Fairservice some pointed questions about new Asst. GM JP Ricciardi.

Nationals Baseball: Less confused. Not “unconfused,” but less confused
Confused?  So is Harper, who’s generally not quite sure what the Nats think they’ve accomplished by trading Josh Willingham to the A’s.  He’s not very enthused.

Ducksnorts (Padres): Padres Reacquire Jason Bartlett
Geoff thinks the Pads overpaid for their new shortstop.

Crashburn Alley (Phillies): Why the Phillies Should Keep Big Joe
“if as expected, the Phillies are forced to eat half the contract to move him, they should hold onto Blanton until at least the All-Star break. The belief here is that if Blanton’s performance improves as expected, a team would be much more likely to take on the full contract.”

Redleg Nation: This Day in Reds History, Ardolis Chapman hits 102
I love watching Ardolis Chapman pitch.  Cannot wait to tune in to the end of Reds games this year.  That is all.

Baseballin’ on a Budget (A’s): Harden and Willingham
Dan’s pretty excited about a pair of strong moves by the aggressive A’s.

Ghostrunner on First (Blue Jays): Rocco Baldelli, Future Executive, Blue Jays Fan, Rennaissance Man
@roccobaldelli: “assembling a roster- like assembling an art collection. tycoons go to christie’s with blank checks. all else go to quaint little art shops.”

Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): Why the Rangers Can Afford to Deal From Depth
“‘Tomorrow Never Knows.’  A rather profound malapropism from the mind of Ringo Starr, but this is how you have to look at prospects. They are merely abstract dreams that very rarely manifest into reality. They are wonderful things to cultivate, but falling in love with the dream of a player can often limit the range of possibilities at the major league squad.”

The Ray Area: The First Hall of Famer in the club
Marc points out that the venerable Tracy Rigolsby may not actually know what he’s talking about when it comes to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Fire Brand of the American League (Red Sox): Wheeler, Jenks Added to the Pen
Mike Silver reviews a couple of bullpen acquisitions for the Sox.

Royals Authority: Not Sure If You Heard, Zack Greinke Traded
“For now…let’s give these guys a chance before we decide this deal was horrible.”

Nick’s Twins Blog: Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Hope vs. Expectations
Nick’s skeptical of the Twins’ new middle infielder in light of the relative weakness of the Japanese Leagues.

Sox Machine (White Sox): Eulogizing Bobby Jenks
Jim’s got a nice retrospective of the Bobby Jenks era in Chicago, and an important reminder that a young man with serious makeup concerns was able to remake himself into a good teammate and a strong pitcher.

It’s About the Money Stupid (Yankees): Montero and Nunez for Greinke, Would You Have Done It?
Good question in light of Jon Heyman’s Tweet this morning.  Another one: If the Yankees’ reluctance to deal with Greinke’s mental health costs them a postseason berth, who takes the fall?