Have you ever been friends with someone who learned English as a second language? It’s awesome for two reasons: 1) You get to ask them what a rooster says in their original language and their answer will always make you laugh; and 2) They’ll come up with hilarious turns of phrase and idioms that might make sense technically but would never be used in practice. I love hearing phrases like “Let us make party here.”
I have a difficult enough time explaining the term “hot stove” to people who have spoken English all their lives. Imagine all the ways that someone learning English would struggle with such an idiom. As such, here are some quick rumours from the MLB Warm Oven:
Leo Nunez/Juan Oviedo
After signing Heath Bell to a three year contract worth $27 million, the Miami Marlins will no longer be tendering a contract to Juan Oviedo. MLB Trade Rumors projected that Oviedo, perhaps better known as Leo Nunez, would have earned $5.8 million in arbitration ahead of next year.
The reliever with three seasons of closing experience for the Marlins, is facing legal trouble after it was revealed he was using the identity of another person in the Dominican Republic.
It would be nice for teams seeking bullpen help to benefit twice from Miami bringing Bell aboard, first by avoiding the bound to be disappointing closer and secondly by pouncing on a reliever whose value is low because of off field issues. Unfortunately, Oviedo’s one good season in 2010 isn’t enough to overshadow those off field issues.
When word first broke that the San Francisco Giants had expressed interest in Alex Gonzalez, Jason Collette from Baseball Prospectus suggested that considering that Giants GM Brian Sabean was involved, both of the Alex Gonzalezes that graced MLB rosters in the last decade could be in play.
Unfortunately, the rumours were referring to the shortstop who played in Atlanta last season. There is absolutely no way that Gonzalez is guaranteed to have a better season in 2012 than Brandon Crawford who, at this point in their respective careers, actually has some upside, a term not all that familiar with Sabean and company.
Former Chicago Cubs third baseman, Aramis Ramirez, recently met with the Los Angeles Angels, and the team is expected to make the free agent an offer. A potential signing could make Alberto Callaspo available, a useful on base guy with good hands at third base.
Ramirez opted out of the remaining year of his contract that would’ve paid him $16 million in 2012. It’s unlikely that he’ll get paid for than that annually, but a multiple year deal should give him more than that overall.
Mike Napoli is heading into his final year of arbitration before free agency. Instead of taking this opportunity to see if last year’s career year was an anomaly or his true talent level, the Texas Rangers are attempting to lock him up with an extension this off season. It’s interesting that we aren’t hearing about a similar amount of eagerness to lock up Josh Hamilton who will also become a free agent in 2013.
Hey Toronto Blue Jays fans, imagine a super platoon of Carlos Pena and Edwin Encarnacion. Or imagine first base and designated hitting duties being swapped between Pena, Encarnacion and Adam Lind based on optimum matchup. I think that could be a very interesting scenario.