2011-12 MLB Hot Stove League Thread

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Wolf

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Cards manager Tony La Russa retires

Tony La Russa waited until after the championship parade and then called a team meeting with his players.

And with that, the 67-year-old La Russa said goodbye to baseball and became the first manager to retire immediately after leading his team to a Series title — the third of his career.
 

Jon

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Renck: Rockies look more aggressive in offseason market
By Troy E. Renck
The Denver Post
POSTED: 11/13/2011 01:00:00 AM MST

It is often in a loss that a team reveals what it will do to win.

The Rockies were as aggressive as anyone in pursuing free-agent infielder Jamey Carroll. They wanted him for the clubhouse, for the lineup and for second base. He signed a two-year, $7 million deal with Minnesota where, at 37, he will be the Twins' starting shortstop. What's interesting is how much the Rockies were willing to do.

According to a source with direct knowledge of the Rockies' talks, the team offered Carroll a multiyear deal. Was it one season plus a player or mutual option? A straight two-year contract? That's uncertain, but it provides a glimpse that Colorado has more flexibility than originally believed. It's no secret that the Rockies would have preferred Carroll on a one-year deal given his age.

The market demanded more, and Colorado ditched rigidity. This is a good sign for the remainder of the winter, if more a trend than an aberration. The Rockies quietly did this a year ago, presenting catcher Yorvit Torrealba with a two-year deal that the Rangers ultimately trumped in dollars, not years.

If there's a lesson to be learned from last offseason, it's to be bolder. They thought that two pedestrian players — Ty Wigginton and Jose Lopez — would be a better investment than one bat. It proved costly as Wigginton — stuck in the middle of the Ian Stewart can-or-can't-he-play drama — never gained traction, and failed repeatedly with runners in scoring position. And Lopez was a bust.

Lance Berkman was a target last November, but the Cardinals offered $4 million more. The Rockies can hit the reset button. Going after the Braves' Martin Prado in a trade makes complete sense. With apologies to Carroll, a steady player and leader, Prado brings high character and more power.

The Braves like Seth Smith, but want another piece, preferably a center fielder. Talks could heat up quickly at this week's general managers meetings in Milwaukee if the Rockies include Tim Wheeler or Charlie Blackmon.

Grady Sizemore drips in risk, his career kneecapped by a bad knee. He's looking to restore his value, likely in a one-year deal. Coors Field is enticing in that scenario for both parties.

Carroll's talks provided a hint. If the Rockies believe the fit is right, they will act. That's encouraging, because this time a conservative approach won't work.

Nicasio's influence.

The Rockies' priority remains adding a starter, but they want impact innings, not just a soft- tosser. One reason: Juan Nicasio. His miraculous recovery from a broken neck continues to move forward in the Dominican Republic, where he's throwing bullpen sessions. Those watching say they can't tell he was even injured. Facing hitters will be the next step.

The point is that while the Rockies have urgency to add an arm this winter, they now lack desperation. They will focus on an impact starter, not just someone to keep the seat warm for Nicasio and Jorge De La Rosa.
Renck: Rockies look more aggressive in offseason market - The Denver Post

Word is they're going hard after someone like Wandy Rodriguez from the Astros or Carl Pavano from the Twins. Hope they get that first-line starter that they lost when Ubaldo Jimenez lost his confidence and was traded. If White and Pomeranz work out, and we DO get Rodriguez or Pavano that would make a stellar rotation that could compete with the Giants and D-Backs in the NL West, if not win the whole thing.
 

Wolf

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Sounds like the Rockies want to improve there team, but will it really happen?
 
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Jon

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They need help at 3rd base, MAYBE Second base, and Corner outfield. They're looking at a front line starting pitcher like Oswalt or possibly Pavano from the Twins. Sounds like they're willing to at least try. Prado sounds like he's going to the Tigers and Oswalt possibly to the Royals.
 
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