The remainder of free agency comes and goes like a lamb, and not Mike
, as we settle for microscopic, tiny moves while watching Kansas City
pay millions for infielder Bill Hall, whose best asset even at age 27 is that he still has the "good face". Well, I suppose that's not too bad.
Having come up empty for a catcher on the free agent market, we look toward the NL West, just as we did last year with Jason LaRue
, who's sailing the world with Ricky Williams
nowadays. This time it's the Giants
who are awash in backstops. Yorvit Torrealba, who obscured serviceable part-time play in 2004 and 2005 with a miserable eight for ninety-five trial last year, is the most appealing, and all it takes to extract him is good-glove, no-hit shortstop prospect Rob Valido and marginal at best pitching prospect Kyle Sleeth. Brian Sabean's fetish for wet-noodle shortstops in the line of the Neifster
, Deivi Cruz, Cody Ransom, and in this universe, Rey Ordonez
and Alfredo Amezaga
, is able to continue, and we've got ourselves, at the very least, a second catcher.
A third man who can don the tools of ignorance, Tony Richie
, comes into the organization with one of two likely foolish major league deals, the other being a three-year contract handed out to middling 21 year old outfield prospect Edgardo Baez
, who's had some success at the AA level. Foolish, it indeed may be, but I'll win my battles where I can.
And Ryan Franklin
's our Trafalgar
, I guess. The veteran right-hander, who won over thirty games between 2004 and 2005 only to blow out his arm a handful of starts into last season, is somehow swayed to Chicago
with a minor league deal. He probably won't be ready for Opening Day, but he's a hell of a wild card to have in the back pocket, to say the least, and not the kind of guy we can normally afford to bring on.
I suppose it's rather telling that our best free-agent signing is probably going to be a guy who got a minor-league deal. But I guess that's the whole idea behind this small-market thing, right?