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Kaz Matsui Signs With the Astros


ESPN is reporting that the Houston Astros will be signing second baseman Kaz Matsui to a 3 year deal, worth somewhere between $15-17 million. We had this story here on Mlb Fleece Factor on November 19th.

It appears Matsui has cashed in on a strong post season with Colorado. His numbers away from Coors field were down right horrible in 2007, however, as he hit only .249 with a .304 OBP. He is serviceable at second base defensively, at best. This signing has “fleece” written all over it.

Winter Meetings Rapidly Approaching!!


In only 4 short days, the best time of the baseball offseason begins.  Yes, that’s right, the Winter Meetings.  On Monday, December 3rd, the meetings will kick-off in Nashville, Tenn.

There are so many huge names being thrown around in the trade market, and this will surely dominate the talks among GM’s.  Some of the bigger stories to follow:

  • #1 will be the availability of Twins ace Johan Santana – Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Dodgers will be the most likely destinations.
  • The possible trade of Miguel Cabrera to the Angels or Dodgers – the team that gets him or Johan will likely be out of the other race
  • Mets will be looking for an ace pitcher – Bedard, Haren and Blanton remain the most likely prospects; Pelfry/Humber/Gomez are bargaining chips
  • D-Backs will also be in the market for another ace to slot behind Brandon Webb – they appear to be in on the Haren/Blanton sweepstakes as well; Carlos Quentin and Carlos Gonzalez look like the trade bait here
  • The possible trade of Miguel Tejada – we probably won’t see this until after (if) Cabrera gets traded
  • Phils are also looking for pitching depth – Hiroki Kuroda looks like their main target
  • Cubs are looking to upgrade their offense – main target will be Japanese OF Fukudome, who would improve their much-needed OBP; they will also likely fleece themselves on Kaz Matsui
  • Detroit will look to upgrade their bullpen – Dotel? 

Man, I absolutely live for this time of year!  I hope you all are as excited as I am?!  We will keep you abreast of all the rumors, trades and signings. 

Pettitte Moving to a Retirement Home?


According to, Jorge Posada has stated that he thinks Yankees’ starting pitcher Andy Pettitte is leaning towards retirement.  Apparently Posada has been talking with the lefy starter at least once a week since the season ended. 

Pettitte would be leaving $16 milllion on the table if he decided to call it quits.  Now I know that Andy isn’t driven by money like most pro athletes, but still, that’s an awfully lot of *guaranteed* cash to walk away from.  And he has already stated that his only options are coming back to the Yanks next season, or retirement.  He will not be pitching for his hometown Astros again.  We shall see where this story goes…

Brewers Playing it a little Riske?

riske.jpgPer Ken Rosenthal, the Brewers are on the verge of signing free agent reliever David Riske to a multi-year deal.  Riske was only 1-4 last season with the Kansas City Royals, but did post a solid 2.45 ERA.  He also added 4 saves to his resume in 2007, bringing his career total to 20. 

It is believed that David Riske will be the Brewers new closer next season, with Turnbow likely pitching the 8th inning and Mota the 7th.  My guess is that he will get a 3-year deal for around $14M or so. 

Santana Update: Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers

Time for a quick update on the Johan Santana trade rumors involving three of the major players:  

  • Boston currently has the best offer on the table, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  The offer would send Coco Crisp and lefty Jon Lester to Minnesota along with prospects Jed Lowrie (SS,2B), and Justin Masterson (RHP).   If the Red Sox could land Santana without giving up Clay Buchholz or Jacoby Ellsbury, it would be huge fleece for the World Champions.
  • The New York Post is reporting that the Twins are looking for a package of “well beyond” Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera from the Yankees.   This is surprising, as I think Hughes has more potential than anyone in the Red Sox current offer, including Jon Lester.  I also think Cabrera is already better than Crisp.  Maybe the Yankees haven’t technically made that offer, though.
  • According to NBC’s Rotoworld, “A source with knowledge of the Twins’ position told the Los Angeles Daily News that the club is asking the Dodgers for a package of three or four players from a pool of six: Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Andy LaRoche, Jonathan Broxton and Andre Ethier in Johan Santana discussions.”  Getting 3 of those players would be a huge fleece for Minnesota.   Two of them would be more than adequate.

Rays New Stadium?


The St. Petersburg Times brings us the model for the proposed $450 million, open-air stadium, complete with a sail and everything.  A sail! ha  Anyway, the stadium would be on the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg, and would seat 34,000 fans.  It seems there will be a large mast in the outfield as well, which would pull “sails” over the stands.  This will hopefully keep the fans cooler in that sometimes unbearable Florida heat. 

Rays officials claim that the new stadium would not cost taxpayers any new money, and that if it runs over the $450M budget, then the team would take on all additional costs.  The hope is that this new stadium will get approval, and be set to open in the 2012 season.