Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hot Stove Wrap Up 12/23 and Josh's Christmas Wishlist

Quote of the Day:

"Wow! What a crazy few weeks. Hey Cleveland! Are you ready? Because I'm coming home! #RollTribe"

-- Nick Swisher on Twitter after agreeing to a four-year, $56 million contract with the Cleveland Indians.  

 (Nick Swisher continues his streak of playing on teams that I dislike, therefore I continue to dislike Nick Swisher)  

Welcome to today's Hot Stove, where we can get away from the misery of our fantasy football season.  Today we go over the Swisher signing, see who the Red Sox give up for Hanrahan, a RIP Ryan Freel tribute and Josh F from Milwaukee shares his Christmas wishlist with us. 

Let's get this party started.  

  • Nick Swisher ends weeks of speculation by signing with the Cleveland Indians for four-years, $56 million.  A quasi-Ohio native, Swisher played college ball at Ohio State and is "coming home."   
  • Swisher should fit in nicely to fill in for the recently departed Shin-Soo Choo in RF after the Indians traded the Korean outfielder to the Reds.  The Yankees will receive a compensation draft pick as a result of the Swisher signing.  
  • The Indians continue their approach to trade players that are close to free agency and sign ones they feel will fit.  It's probably their only option to compete, given their low-budget in a competitive AL Central.  It explains why the Indians are looking to trade Asdrubal Cabrera, Chris Perez and Justin Masterson.  
RIP Ryan Freel
  • Our sympathies and condolences go out to the family and friends of former big league utility man Ryan Freel.  The 36-year-old was found dead in his Florida home in an apparent suicide.  Freel spent most of his career with the Cincinnati Reds and was the epitome of what a utility player should do: hustle, hustle, hustle.  He will be missed.  
  • The 37-year-old (maybe?) Livan Hernandez wants to play next season.  With a 6.42 ERA last season though, the only place he will be playing is Triple AAA or Japan.  
  • Joel Hanrahan will indeed head to the Red Sox in a trade that will be completed after Christmas.  Some of the rumored soon-to-be ex-Red Sox include Jerry Sands, Stolmy Pimentel, and Mark Melancon.  
  • While Hanrahan is a two-time All-Star, some scouts and executives are concerned about his rising walk rate and conditioning.  Hanrahan's walk rate climbed from 2.1 BB/9 in 2011 to 5.4 BB/9 last season.  Another closer with a similar climb in walks?  Jose Valverde.  Buckle up Red Sox fans.  
  • 40-year-old OF Raul Ibanez is coming back to Seattle on a one-year contract.  Ibanez provided a big bat for the Yankees last season but let's see how he does without the Yankees Stadium RF porch and  not facing Papa Grande in the playoffs.  
But seriously?! Raul Ibanez?! If the Mariners wonder why they have the lowest attendance...Raul Ibanez. 

  • And the Nationals are rumored to be very close to finally extending a new contract to Adam LaRoche.  If the deal happens, expect a lot of GMs to be calling DC about Michael Morse.   

And again, another episode of....

My Christmas Wishlist (All I Want for Christmas is...)

Today, we welcome another guest blogger Josh F from Milwaukee which makes him a default Brewers fan. While the Brew Crew had a tough 2012, there's reason to be optimistic.  That also makes him the third straight guest blogger from the NL Central after Eric's Cardinals wishlist, Jim's Cub's wishlist and now the Brewers with Josh.  

Thank you so much Josh for taking some time to share with us.  I hope you get everything you want except for Prince Fielder back (if that's even what you want).  He's ours now.  Take it away....

All Josh Wants for Christmas is...

"I've been a baseball fan to one degree or another for my entire life. More specifically, I've adored a team that wholeheartedly represents the hard-working and blue-collar spirit of its hometown; the Milwaukee Brewers. I'll split my Christmas Wishlist into realistic and more lofty desires. 

We don't have many seriously gaping holes, but one of them is the bullpen. 

We went from having one of the best to one of the worst in the span of a year, a problem personified by our committee of closers. The K-Rod experiment was a joke, and Ax simply lost confidence in his command. I'm not asking for a record season, but a little consistency would be nice. I would like Jean Segura to be our first halfway reliable shortstop since The Kid. We have such a logjam in the outfield, maybe Mat Gamel could be traded for something useful. Brauny, keep it up. 

One of my earliest memories is of my grandmother; standing in the kitchen, drinking instant crystals coffee and smoking Dorals, listening to Bob Uecker on the radio. That man has played an enormous part in my life. My truest wish for the Brewers this Christmas is that they play exciting baseball this year. Before Bob keels over in the 620WTMJ booth (which he surely will do, he said so) 

I want to experience a World Series in Milwaukee, accompanied by "right down Wisconsin Avenue" and "get up, get up, get out of here, and gone."

-- Josh F.  

Thanks for that Josh, I think everyone in baseball wants Bob to get a World Series.  Truly a legend in the booth and a great ambassador for the game.   Thank you again for sharing and to all our guest contributors this week for sharing their thoughts on this great game.  

Tomorrow and Christmas will be light, but we'll have a few gifts for you.  Christmas Eve will feature Tommy and Wade's long-awaited Christmas wishlist so be sure to check in for that.  

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!