It looks like Curt Schilling is off the market, as ESPN.com is reporting that the Red Sox have reached a preliminary agreement with the free agent pitcher on a one-year, $8 million deal. If true, Schilling is taking less than market value to return to Boston. My guess is he could have netted $13-15 million on a one-year deal elsewhere (like Queens), but the draw of Beantown was apparently too strong.
The Mets may be preparing a "monster offer" for Jorge Posada, at least according to Ken Rosenthal's latest at FOX Sports. To be fair, Rosenthal's actual phrasing is "Posada, 36, is expected to draw a monster offer from the cross-town Mets...", a statement which is not attributed to any source and whose reliability falls somewhere in between "none" and that of a "high-ranking team official".
The rumors trickling in indicate that any team interested in luring Posada away from the Bronx will have to add a fourth year, if not a fifth year, to any contract proposal. Five years for a 36-year-old catcher is fairly absurd, and as much as I think bringing Posada across town would be a great move for a number of reasons, extending him that far makes many assumptions of his longevity, his future ability to play a credible first base, etc.
Baseball's general managers voted 25-5 on Tuesday in favor of recommending instant replay on homerun plays, opening the door for commissioner Bud Selig to bring video replay to the sport. Baseball purists would likely oppose such a move, but I think most people involved are interested in the umpires getting the call right, even if it means a short delay every once in a while.
Given the ubiquitous placement of video cameras around the ballpark and the ability for fans at home to know the correct call within seconds, it was probably only a matter of time before that technology was introduced into the game itself. Opponents of replay will say that allowing it to creep into the game at all paves the way for future uses of it in non-critical situations. I enjoy the fact that baseball's officials make judgement calls without the aid of video equipment, but I will also acknowledge that the level of umpiring seems to have deteriorated in recent years and perhaps replay is merely a way of normalizing things.
Buster Olney knows the Mets are interested in big name pitchers like Johan Santana, Roy Oswalt, Scott Kazmir, et al, but doesn't believe they have the chips to acquire that sort of ace via trade. He's very possibly right. The Mets could package all of their brightest young prospects -- Milledge, Pelfrey, Humber, Martinez, Mulvey, Gomez -- and maybe that would be enough to pry Santana from the Twins. At the end, they would be left with a terrific starting pitcher but very little in the way of almost-ready young, cheap talent that could contribute at the Major League level in the coming seasons.
According to Newsday, Omar Minaya will be targeting pitching this offseason, and plans on meeting with the representation for free agent Carlos Silva in the coming days. Silva is a control pitcher who walks very few, doesn't strike many out, and is endlessly at the mercy of balls put into play. He will eat some innings, and he generally doesn't allow a lot of homeruns (save 2006 when he allowed 38). In 2005 he walked only nine batters -- two intentionally -- in 188.1 innings.
Silva will be looking for a deal similar to the one Gil Meche signed with the Royals last year; something on the order of five years and $55 million. He will be 29 next season.