Picks of the Pen: Werth’s Cash, Budget Slash and Baby Rash

A little too much Derek Jeter news for my liking last week, so let’s start off today with a real curveball:  Rabid raccoon infestation in the Little League Baseball Fields in Forest Hills, New York!  Holy shit!  Ha ha wow!  Okay here we go.

PIC OF THE PEN

Steve brought up the forthcoming Rays fire sale, so in honor of the division championship squad without a fanbase, here’s a good place for them to start–the mascot, Raymond the Sea Dog.  He appears ready to take his own life anyway, staring wordlessly at the St. Petersburg horizon as the warm Florida wind brushes through his beard and a woman reaches slowly for his crotch.

Justin

If you thought there weren’t nearly enough “Werth/worth” puns out there on the trading block, wait until you get a load of the “Dunn/done” ones that are going to pop up now that Adam’s headed for the ChiSox.  Busy week for them; A.J. Pierzynski was headed up to Toronto, until suddenly, he wasn’t anymore.  Talk to Robert Novak at Southside Showdown for the details; I’m trying to watch Sherlock Holmes for the first time.  It’s… pretty okay so far.  He just electrocuted that giant Frenchman.

But the best White Sox news this week (As I focus on everything that isn’t the Werth deal to keep my heart from exploding) is that the team’s attire has been proven to make babies smile.  On a more abusive note, the same experiment also proved that Cubs gear causes intense childhood trauma.  It may not come as a startling notion that said tests were overseen by the Cubs Suck Club.

Wally

Next week, the Rule 5 draft will take place, and while it has lost it’s luster in recent years, fans of every team hope that their front office will unearth the next diamond in the rough. It can be a bit daunting to keep track of which players are eligible to be selected, but this year SPANdemonium has us all covered with a complete list broken down by organization.

While most Rule 5 picks won’t stick with their new organizations, and those that do probably won’t have much of an impact, there have been plenty of signings on the free agency front that will make a difference. One of those signings has our own Michael Jong of Marlin Maniac excited about the fact that his Florida Marlins took a risk.

Michael

I know firsthand the hatred that a Cubs fan has for the Cardinals.  A former roommate of mine is as obsessed about the Cubs as I am with the Royals.  Among his favorite Cubs players of the past few years was Ryan Theriot who was traded to the Dodgers last summer and then traded to the Cardinals last week.

When informed of the trade, my friend responded exactly as I expected him to : “F— him! He should retire before playing for them!”  Theriot, despite not hearing the statement, must have endeared himself quickly to his Cardinals fans, saying he was “finally on the right side” of the rivalry for a change.

Ouch. FanGraphs’ Alex Remington has more.

Logan Burdine at RoxPile reacts to the Troy Tulowitzki extension.  I’m still scratching my head about the timing of that one… and I can’t imagine what it’s like for the Rockies fans.  Logan, appropriately I think, finds the deal to be scary as hell.

Steve

Another week, another team in pursuit of Zack Greinke. This time the team in the hunt is the Toronto Blue Jays. At the upcoming winter meetings, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun thinks the Jays could make a push for the Royals righty. And wait till you see who he’s proposing in the deal.

Despite making the playoffs in two of the last three years, the Tampa Bay Rays ownership made it no secret that payroll would be slashed for the 2011 season. That would not only allow the likes of Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Rafael Soriano to look for new residences, it also stuck the Rays brass in a tough position. Who are they  going to get to replace these guys? Matt Staton of Rayhawk Review examines a few names the Rays could consider.

Ryne

Larry Bowa is currently unemployed. The fiery baseball man, who played shortstop for the great Phillies teams of the late ’70s and the 1980 World Series champions, recently left his coaching position with the Dodgers organization. The reason?  Partly because the pampered young players like Matt Kemp couldn’t handle his intensity.

Justin Klugh, like most baseball fans, thinks the Washington Nationals deal for Jayson Werth is perplexing and hilarious. Werth was awesome for Philly during his stay for many reasons, so the deal is also upsetting for many as they can only sit back and hope Domonic Brown lives up to the hype soon.

Nathaniel

The A’s cut DH/OF Jack Cust around this time last year, only to bring him back and watch him post a solid 2010. Now they’re ready to let him walk again. If they go through with letting Cust go this time, will they be right? Fangraphs breaks it down.

It’s only early December, but it’s already time for fans to begin piecing together what their team’s 2011 lineup will look like. Bob Horton tries his hand at optimizing Atlanta’s 2011 lineup over at Tomahawk Take.

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