Buster's latest insider post has a lot of great news and rumors:
- Olney starts out talking about the Toronto Blue Jays needing closer help, and names some possibilities, like Ryan Madson and Heath Bell. But then he takes us by surprise and mentions Andrew Bailey of the Oakland A's, who the Jays would have to trade for. Olney says that the A's "are rotting in a baseball twilight zone waiting for approval for a San Jose ballpark" and it makes sense for them to trade Bailey.
- Olney says that the firing of Minnesota Twins GM Bill Smith might be the niecest firing ever, and compares Terry Ryan to Jack McKeon in Florida, just keeping the position warm for when they hire a full time GM. He also mentions that the fact that Michael Cuddyer may not return could have sparked some inflammation
- The Orioles GM search was a tough one, because as Olney said, only so many people wanted the job, most of them former GMs trying to get back in the game, and it led them to former Expos and Red Sox GM Dan Duequette.
- Kansas City Royals GM Dayton Moore said that the Royals window is opening with guys like Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, and they had to go out and get pitching to contend, hence the Jonathan Sanchez trade.
- Olney talks about an interesting thing in this column, the draft pick compensation. He says this:
One of the most important issues being negotiated in the collective bargaining talks these days is about the Type A designations for free agents. Initially, the draft-pick compensation was set up three decades ago to deter George Steinbrenner from signing all the top free agents. Then, over time, teams used the offer of arbitration to free agents -- which comes along with the draft-pick compensation attached -- as a way to extend the window to negotiate in the offseason. He offers two solutions to the problem; Instead of making teams give up a top pick, give the team losing the free agent just a supplemental round pick. "Or, A guarantee of a high-end salary for any Type A free agent who is offered arbitration, along the lines of the system used in the NFL. For example: If the San Diego Padres offered arbitration to Heath Bell, then San Diego would be obligated to pay Bell a salary comparable to the highest echelon relievers in the game"
- It looks like Hanley Ramirez will no longer be the Marlins shortstop with their pursuit of Jose Reyes. Olney suggests they move Ramirez to third base.
- The Colorado Rockies have had internal discussions about second baseman Aaron Hill. Meanwhile, Jamie Carroll wants to sign with the Detroit Tigers.
- The Chicago Cubs plan on addressing the Carlos Zambrano situation this week.