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Dodgers still look like best fit for Manny


Dodgers still look like best fit for Manny
Last week I tried to explain why signing Manny Ramirez would make sense for the Giants.

MLB Hot Stove

Meanwhile, many of the biggest remaining names — Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu, Orlando Hudson, Jon Garland — could settle for one-year deals.

At this point, some free agents might even prefer such contracts, depending upon the team and price.

A player who is willing to sign for only one year will increase his marketability, sparking interest from a greater number of clubs.

He also will put himself in position to re-enter the free-agent market next offseason, hopefully in a better economy.

Take Dunn as an example.

The Red Sox could sign him for one year as protection against further decline by David Ortiz.

Dunn, by putting up big numbers for a high-profile contender, would raise his standing in next winter's free agent class, which features a weaker group of hitters.

For clubs, such one-year deals would create multiple options. The team could trade the free agent without his permission after June 15 or sign him long-term if the arrangement proves worthwhile. Trading another player to reduce a surplus also would be a possibility.

White Sox: No F. Garcia or O. Perez

The White Sox certainly could use another starting pitcher, but price remains a deterrent.

The Mets' bid for Freddy Garcia — $1.5 million guaranteed, plus $6.5 million in incentives — was too rich for the Sox.

Free-agent left-hander Oliver Perez, 27, seemingly would be more attractive, but he would face the dual challenge of moving to the American League and pitching at U.S. Cellular Field.

Perez had the highest flyball percentage in the NL last season, and U.S. Cellular had the second highest home-run rate in the majors.

Not a fit.

Why Moises?

Some executives believe that free agent Moises Alou, 42, would be a curious choice for the Phillies as a right-handed hitting reserve; his risk of injury would only increase if he needed to play in the field.

On the other hand, Alou can handle any type of pitching — the primary qualification for a pinch-hitting specialist.

Of the Phillies' other options, Mark Grudzielanek also lacks defensive versatility; he play only second base, where Chase Utley is a fixture.

Nomar Garciaparra and Rich Aurilia can handle multiple positions. Ty Wigginton probably does not want to accept a role of only 150 to 250 at-bats.

Little movement in Anaheim

The Angels continue to lay low, with one club official saying, "This may very well be the club we take to spring training."

Others, however, believe the Angels still could trade Chone Figgins to clear third base for Brandon Wood, then sign a free agent such as Dunn to serve as an outfielder/first baseman/DH.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia, however, is a stickler for strong defense, and Dunn and most of the remaining free-agent hitters are below-average defenders.

As for Figgins, the problem with trading him is that the Angels lack another leadoff option; shortstop Erick Aybar had a .314 on-base percentage last season, and second baseman Howie Kendrick has yet to stay consistently healthy.

Royals' Greinke: Cy or bye?

Royals right-hander Zack Grienke received "very minor" no-trade protection in the first two years of his new four-year, $38 million contract, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

Grienke, 25, will earn $13.5 million in each of the final two years, prompting one rival executive to say, "He's going to get traded in one of the thirteen-and-a-halfs, unless he wins a Cy Young Award before then. And he could."


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 27, 2009

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