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Sunday Roundup

Ramirez again asks Sox for trade. Chris Snow, Boston Globe.

In other news, the sun will rise in the east. Manny continues to want no part of going to the Mets. Unlike last year, Manny now has the right to veto any trade because he now has "10 and 5" rights. So the Red Sox are in a bit of a bind. There aren't that many teams (if any) who could take Manny's entire deal, and of those, the Mets seem to be off the table.

Because the Indians seem to be one of the teams Manny would waive his de facto no-trade clause for, there's been several mentions about the possibility of Manny coming back. But this would probably happen only if (a) Boston eats a significant part of his salary, and (b) the Indians would only have to part with Coco Crisp and a prospect. Let's face it, the Red Sox don't have a whole lot of leverage here, so the Indians should be the ones dictating the details.

Of course, Manny will probably change his mind 10 more times between now and Spring Training.

Talkin' Tribe. Terry Pluto, ABJ

I think the Indians should make their big bid early to keep free-agent Kevin Millwood. Once he turns them down -- and he will -- they should go after Brian Giles.
  • I know Giles will be 35 by next Opening Day. I know that his numbers don't seem extremely impressive: .301 average, 15 homers, 38 doubles, 83 RBI. I also know he played in San Diego, a nightmare for hitters. I know that he has missed only seven games in the past two years. I know he's a career .299 hitter, and while he has slipped a bit on defense, he still can be an adequate right fielder.
  • I hear Giles might be open to returning to the Indians, even though he is a San Diego native. I know that he made $8 million last year, and his price tag might be too high for the Tribe. I think the Indians have reached a point where they have to gamble on someone, perhaps overpay a bit. Giles recently turned down $21 million over three years from the Padres.

The problem is that Giles is the best option in a weak outfield free agent class. A lot of other clubs probably have Giles as their #1 target, and the Indians usually don't win those battles. I'd be more willing to offer Giles a front-loaded contract (say 2/$22M) than pay him $7M when he's 38 or 39. Most clubs get a pretty good return in the first couple years of a contract, but tend to pay for it in the last couple years.

Belle a long shot for Cooperstown. Paul Hoynes, PD

Hoynes compares and contrasts Belle, who is eligible for the HOF in 2006, with Kirby Puckett, another outfielder whose career ended because of injury:

Kirby Puckett's career mirrors Belle's in some ways. Glaucoma ended Puckett's career at 34 following his 12th season with the Twins.

 While Belle played left or right field, Puckett played center. Puckett was faster, a better defender and hit for a higher lifetime average at .318. He couldn't compete with Belle's power.

Puckett, a 10-time All-Star who led the league four times in hits, finished with 207 homers and 1,085 RBI. Belle's power numbers were better in fewer games (244) and at-bats (1,391).

It's a valid comparison, but I don't really think Puckett should have made the Hall in the first place. If Albert had Kirby's personality, he might have snuck in, but I don't think his numbers are good enough to make up for his other issues. I think I'll come back to this question once the HOF voting gets closer.