Major League Baseball: Random Thoughts on the Offseason

Ed DuffyContributor INovember 12, 2008

Ah, the Hot Stove League.  This is the great time of year when rumors run rampant and rosters are reshaped.


Starting Friday, all teams can discuss real money with free agents like CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, AJ Burnett, Jason Varitek, and Derek Lowe, among others.


I wonder if anyone will ante up for the five or six years Scott Boras wants for "Man-Child" Ramirez.


Manny was on his best behavior in La La Land and was a monster at the plate.  But will his history of behavioral problems keep the teams that can afford him at a distance?


The Dodgers seem like the best fit, but Scott Boras has already said the reported two-year deal that features a one-year team option that was offered to Ramirez is too short and probably too little in the cash area.


Can the Angels do anything but give Teixeira whatever it takes to keep him?  With Vlad Guerrero, Garrett Anderson, and others getting up in age, they need to keep that bat.


It looks as though the Angels will let Frankie Rodriguez go, maybe not even making an offer as either Scott Shields or Jose Arredondo could potentially close. Arredondo, who has nasty stuff, started his career as a shortstop.


He was brought up in mid-May and had very impressive numbers (only 42 hits allowed in 61 innings pitched alongside 55 K’s).


What will the Red Sox do about Jason Varitek? As much as the organization loves his game-calling, defense, and leadership, his bat looks real slow. And let’s not forget who his agent is.  Yes, it's Mr. Boras.


The Red Sox must answer this question before they move on to addressing other areas.  Boston needs bullpen help, at least one backup outfielder, and probably another home run bat, as David Ortiz recently suggested.


Big Papi may just have a future as a GM when his playing career is done.


The Yankees seem poised to make a big splash this offseason.


After entrusting the back end of their 2008 rotation to Phillip Hughes and Ian Kennedy, who combined for zero wins, the Yankees are looking at only two returning starting pitchers, Wang and Chamberlain.  Plus, long-time Yankee Andy Pettitte has expressed interest in coming back.


While bringing back the reliable Carl Pavano is still a possibility, it’s more likely the Yanks will back up the Brinks truck to Sabathia or Burnett's door.


Sabathia has said he wants to stay in the National League, which could mean he would like the Dodgers to get involved.  Still, Sabathia, a California native, might have a hard time turning down Hank Steinbrenner’s boatloads of cash.


I don’t see Matt Holliday surviving the trading deadline in Oakland next season. However, Billy Beane did a good job in obtaining Holliday for three expendable parts, two of which he received in the Dan Haren trade.


The Marlins have started their annual talent sweepstakes, sending Mike Jacobs to the Royals for setup man Leo Nunez, and then trading left fielder Josh Willingham and enigmatic starter Scott Olsen to the Nats for three minor league players and two buckets of practice balls.


On a not-so-related note: Maybe Patti LaBelle thought she was in a dome in Philly when she opened Game Four of the World Series with one of the absolute worst renditions of our national anthem since comedian Roseanne Barr botched it brutally in 1990 prior to a Reds-Padres game.


She substituted “skylights last gleaming” for “twilight's last gleaming," and gave an all around brutal performance. But, hey, it didn’t hurt the Phils' chances, did it?


In the rumor department, it looks like the Jake Peavy sweepstakes is down to the Braves, Cubs, and Astros, with the Braves in the lead. It will reportedly cost the Braves at least one major-leaguer and two or three top prospects.


It's going to be a lot of fun, and it has just begun.