Monday, November 29, 2004
• Gabe Kapler signs a $2 million deal to play in Japan.
It is a nice opportunity for Kapler to reestablish himself as an everyday player and make some good coin. Replacing Nixon's platoon partner and backup centerfielder is not a priority for the Sox. Kapler's departure does make the decision as to tender Dave Roberts a contract more complicated. Adam Hyzdu is the in-house Kapler, but the Sox may want to be proactive in acquiring a young outfielder to be Nixon's platoon partner and the possible future replacement for Johnny Damon. Marlon Byrd would be a great fit, if the Phills sign Beltran or another centerfielder they will be looking to move the former hot prospect. Personally, Kapler’s departure means no more yelling “Kappy’s Liquahs come through again!” after a Gabe hit.
• The Sox rumored plan B at catcher - Damon Miller - inked a three-year deal to play home games at Miller Park.
Hey, the tailgating before Brewer's games alone is worth picking the Brew Crew over Beantown. As Scara would say “whatever.” This move is a nobrainer for Miller after winning a title in Zona. He gets three guaranteed years at 35 and he goes home.
• El Guapo's Ghost plan B at catcher - Jason Kendall - is no longer available either. As the winter's first blockbuster, Kendall was sent to Oaktown for Redman and Rhodes.
If Billy Beane does not have to trade Hattie or Durazo, the A's should have one of the top offensives in the A.L. next season, adjusted for park factors. The A's are going to be very tough.
• The above two transactions likely prompted a call from Theo to Doug Fried Bellies agent. Doug is the pro-typical backup catcher and a fit for the Sox at a reported one-year deal worth an estimated $1.5 million.
Belly is not a full-time catcher and would unlikely receive more cash from another club. With Wake, Belly is more valuable in Boston than anywhere else. It is a good deal for both parties even though the Sox overpaid by about $.75.
Belly is only the smaller portion of a platoon. If he plays much more, he will be exploited. His bat has too many holes.
Theo is in a very tough spot. Tek is a huge risk after 2006 but without any other options he may have to bow to Boras or get very creative. A Belly-Greg Zaun platoon could work for a year. Signing Zaun soon would allow the Sox to hold out on Tek. Hopefully, his price will fall as his other suitors’ budgets get slimmer and slimmer as the winter wears on. As I have said before, inking Tek to three guaranteed years is a risky proposition; four is very tough to swallow and five should be out of the question.