Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

It's Saturday And Do You Know Where Pudge Is?

For Scott Boras to be successful as an agent he needs two things to happen. One he needs a market that will overpay for his players, and two he needs clients who are not afraid to wait until the last minute before securing a job for the next baseball season.

This year Boras has been frustrated because his premier clients are at the tail end of their illustrious careers and the demand for their services, whether intentionally downplayed by the owners or it’s the market correction the billionaires are talking about, has reduced the teams seeking Greg Maddux and Pudge Rodriguez to a mere few.

Rodriguez has the Tigers hot on his trail which should tell you the depth of the interest for his services.

Boras is supposed to make a counter offer to Detroit momentarily and if he isn’t careful the woeful Tigers will accept on the spot, no matter what terms Boras suggests.

Supposedly Boras will propose an out clause to Detroit similar to the one Mike Sweeney had in Kansas City. Meaning if Detroit doesn’t make it to the .500 mark within a specified period, Pudge would be released from the contract.

Fans in the AL West must watch this situation carefully because the Mariners suddenly enriched by the retirement of Kaz Sasaki have about ten million to spend and they want Pudge among others to beef up their offense.

Click below and I’ll explain.Seattle has targeted Richard Hidalgo, Magglio Ordonez, and Geoff Jenkins along with Pudge as hitters who can make a difference in 2004.

Seattle is a team to watch if they land one from that group. Randy Winn, at 3.5 million is expendable. Ichiro can move to center filed with no problem if they come up with a corner outfielder. Catcher Ben Davis will be long gone if Pudge comes to his senses and signs with Seattle.

With Eddie Guardado now the closer and Rafael Soriano (in winter ball he has pitched 42.3 innings, giving up 2 runs) along with Shigetoshi Hasegawa in the set up role, the Mariners are looking better on the hill. Once Soriano masters a slider or changeup to go with his fastball, watch out.

Seattle’s biggest issue has been relying on Edgar Martinez and John Olerud to carry them over 162 games, they can’t anymore. The addition of Scott Spiezio, Raul Ibanez, Rich Aurilia, and one from the group above along with Bret Boone and Ichiro will make the Seattle offense one to be reckoned with all season, not just until August as in the past.

Seattle’s starters need consistency. Freddy Garcia needs to put together a good season. He pitched with cotton in his ears for the last two seasons, this off season he has had surgery fto correct two ruptured eardrums, apparently the cause for the cotton in the past, and now should be more relaxed on the mound. Gil Meche has to show he can do it again, same for Joel Pineiro and Ryan Franklin. Jamie Moyer is always around 15 wins, so this group can and will give the division a run for its money in 2004.

The A’s play Seattle very tough and in 2004 the pitching matchups will have a playoff look to them. Mulder versus Garcia, Hudson versus Moyer, Zito versus Pineiro, Redman versus Franklin, Harden versus Meche. You will see this seven times in April.

So, Pudge can help Seattle if he decides to go there. Pudge had a whole career in the West with the Rangers, he can make a difference for this team. If I was Seattle I would get on the phone right now, the downside is, this plays right into Scott Boras’s hand as his long awaited market might be emerging for Pudge. So far, it’s only been Detroit or go back to the Marlins May first.

In any case Pudge is a cool customer and will stay with the Boras strategy, so now the fun begins this week for sure.

Same goes for Greg Maddux. The Cubs have offered Maddux two years for 10-12 million. No other team has stepped up with any offer close to that. St. Louis needs pitching, the Padres have an offense, but weak starters, the Diamondbacks have Shane Reynolds and Steve Sparks (can you believe that) as their fourth and fifth starters, and the Giants are still looking for that one legit starter to back up Jason Schmidt (what was wrong with Russ Ortiz?). So, Boras has to parlay the Cub offer into more lucrative offers from the teams listed above. Maddux is the prefect client, he is in no rush and probably liokes the intrigue.

Maddux will wait until spring training begins if he has to before making a decision. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees jump into this mix as they are relying on Jon Leiber as their fifth starter and he hasn’t pitched for two years. Speaking of the Yankees with an aging rotation except for Javier Vasquez, they will need more middle relief, so it was good news for Yankee fans to hear that Steve Karsay might make it back sometime this season.

Sounds like Robb Nen won’t be ready to start the season in April. Now closing for the Giants: Matt Herges. Apparently the Giants aren’t worried and feel that Herges can be the new Tim Worrell. Who’s to say he won’t, he throws hard and is an experienced bullpen pitcher. What went wrong with Felix Rodriguez and why is he still here if he can’t close?

Jim Palmer told me that the 25th, 26th, and 27th outs are the toughest to get in a baseball game. It takes a special pitcher to get the job done, one who is comfortable with all the money on the line. It isn’t for everyone. Arthur Rhodes wouldn’t do it in Seattle when asked to close last season, LaTroy Hawkins failed in Minnesota, and probably Felix Rodriguez falls into that category as well.

Ellis Burks would fit the designated veteran the A’s like to have on their team quite well. Burks is great in the clubhouse, murders lefthanded pitching which the A’s will see very often. If his knees are OK I’d add him ala Ron Gant and John Jaha as the A’s did in the past.

Jeremy Giambi signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers, last time I checked Jeremy still doesn’t have a position he can play, so what’s he thinking signing with a NL club.

How do you think the Yankees like the right side of their infield with Jason at first and Soriano at second, think the pitchers will be thrilled with that alignment?

Now that Jay Payton is in San Diego’s outfield where does that leave Terrence Long? Ryan Klesko, Payton, and Brain Giles will get the playing time.

I still say Long and Ramon Hernandez will be traded before the season to Pittsburgh which, must get rid of Jason Kendall.

The White Sox signed a new possible closer known as Mr. Zero from Japan. Problem is he is 34 and about 5’6″ tall and doesn’t throw very hard. What ever happened to Billy Koch’s career?

The A’s open up with Texas to start the season. How do you like these matchups. Hudson versus Kenny Rogers, Mulder versus Colby Lewis, and Zito (who has never lost to Texas) against RA Dickey.

This highlights the fact that the A’s will be an underdog very few times when the matchups are posted in Las Vegas this season.

Remember Ron Mahay. He has a split fingered pitch that has rejuvenated his career in the Texas bullpen.

Vlad Guerrero will be the biggest offensive force in the West this season. How will Arthur Rhodes feel closing out a ninth inning facing Guerrero, Salmon, and Glaus? Chad Bradford better be ready.

New pitching coach Curt Young says watch Justin Lehr this spring as a possible breakthrough pitcher in the A’s pen.

The Angels called Rafael Palmiero’s agent inquiring about the first baseman’s availability and were told that he was close to signing with the Orioles. They were told why don’t you make an offer for Guerrero, they said “really”, and did, and the rest is history.

Funny business this agent /player/ club stuff, you never know where the wheel will stop spinning.

If you are an Angel or A’s fan you hope that Pudge is shopping for his new condo across the street from Comerica Park and not in Seattle.


1 glenpark { 01.24.04 at 8:21 pm }


Nice work laying out the Rodriguez and Maddux situations.

Here are the remaining free agents as of 24 January:

The 51 remaining free agents:


ANAHEIM (1) — Eric Owens of.

BALTIMORE (3) — Albert Belle, of; Hector Carrasco, rhp; Scott Erickson, rhp.

BOSTON (1) — John Burkett, rhp.

CLEVELAND (2) — Ellis Burks, dh; Terry Mulholland, lhp.

DETROIT (1) — Matt Walbeck, c.

KANSAS CITY (4) — Jose Lima, rhp; Graeme Lloyd, lhp; Tom Prince, c; Jamey Wright, rhp.

NEW YORK (1) — Antonio Osuna, rhp.

SEATTLE (2) — John Mabry, of; Mark McLemore, ss.

TAMPA BAY (2) — Travis Lee, 1b; Al Martin, dh.

TORONTO (1) — Mike Bordick, ss.


ARIZONA (2) — Mark Grace, 1b; Raul Mondesi, of.

ATLANTA (3) — Darren Bragg, of; Darren Holmes; Greg Maddux, rhp.

CHICAGO (4) — Mark Guthrie, lhp; Eric Karros, 1b; Troy O’Leary, of; Dave Veres, rhp.

COLORADO (1) — Darren Oliver, lhp.

FLORIDA (2) — Ivan Rodriguez, c; Ugueth Urbina, rhp.

HOUSTON (3) — Orlando Merced, of; Brian Moehler, rhp; Ron Villone, lhp.

LOS ANGELES (4) — Andy Ashby, rhp; Ron Coomer, 1b; Rickey Henderson, of; Fred McGriff, 1b.

MONTREAL (3) — Wil Cordero, 1b; Jose Mercedes, rhp; Todd Zeile, 3b.

NEW YORK (2) — Pedro Astacio, rhp; Jay Bell, 2b.

PHILADELPHIA (2) — Jose Mesa, rhp; Dan Plesac, lhp.

PITTSBURGH (2) — Pat Meares, 2b; Jeff Reboulet, 2b.

ST. LOUIS (4) — Joe Girardi, c; Lance Painter, rhp; Russ Springer, rhp; Garrett Stephenson, rhp.

SAN FRANCISCO (1) — Andres Galarraga, 1b.

As you mentioned, Burks is a great fit anywhere –but wasn;t his departure from SF based on family preference for playing in the midwest? As for the others, your earlier mention of Travis Lee stills looks great in Oakland –wonder why he has not been picked up? Is he asking for too much money?

And Mondesi is a very solid player, maybe he will end up in a place like Detroit, Illich is on record as saying he will spend this year.

McLemore is a very useful player, solid, versatile — he would be a big help in Oakland or in SF

Urbina may be in legal trouble, but he is proven and should be signed soon somewhere. Guthrie and Villone can help someone.

Do you think Felipe Alou would be interested in Wil Cordero?

Only three weeks until Camps open.

2 marty { 01.24.04 at 10:59 pm }

I think Ron Villone and Jose Lima could help someone as fifth starters. Travis Lee has a poor reputation among scouts going back to his days as a Diamondback when he allegedly quit on the team at the end of the season. Notwithstanding that, he is the best fielding first baseman in the big leagues other than JT Snow. I thought the Yankees would go after him. Maybe the Dodgers or the Angels will pick him up. McLemore’s price is too steep for the A’s, Menechino is back at just above the minimum salary. I am not aware of Urbina’s legal problem’s, refresh my memory if that is the case. Urbina would be good insurance for the Giants. Cordero is a decent hitter but like Mondesi comes with baggage which lowers his value. Piitsburgh’s team is so weak all the players mentioned above could make the Pirates. I can hear the bat hitting the ball very clearly now.

3 glenpark { 01.25.04 at 12:14 pm }


This week’s news reports have Urbina arrested for firing weapons off at a party, I believe in Caracas. This clouds both his ability to avoid prosecution at home and maybe entry visa issues under the new federal legislation re: foreign nationals.

This morning on ESPN radio, Marlins braodcasters brought up an interesting thing about Urbina –during the playoffs he was throwing mostly change-ups and topping out at 90 mph fastballs –maybe fatigue, for a player who plays 12 months a year –or maybe he has just lost a few inches on his strikeout pitch.

Still, Alou seems to have great rapport with these Caribbean players –Urbina would be a great fit if Nen becomes an insurance claim. As for Cordero, he seems to be OK living up to the terms of the plea bargain –still young, versatile, and athletic enough to be a solid MLB player–if he has the right manager. As last year’s playoff’s show, McKeon has a real keeper in Cabrera, a solid hitter who can play anywhere, just like Cordero can. SF may feel Feliz is already giving them what Cordero could — Feliz just has too many mediocre at bats which balance his stellar ones.

Hot Stove league stuff is great –but spring training is off the charts — and just a few weeks away.

4 Anonymous { 01.26.04 at 2:11 am }

Marty, this is my first time posting but a long time reader. I was wondering if you knew of any truth to rumors that the A’s are interest in Urbina? He would be a good pickup as far as a deadline deal for a big bat. Also, have the Hatteburg/Spivey rumors have any truth to them? I enjoy listening to your show because its indepth on players throughout the league.

5 marty { 01.26.04 at 8:47 am }

Don’t think the A’s have any more money to spend, other than an investment in a minor league contract with a major league spring training invite attatched. As long as Travis Lee is out there, it may be possible to pull off a Hatteberg/Spivey trade and sign Lee to play first. The chances diminish with each passing day.
More importantly will the A’s avoid their usual spring training disasters concerning their own free agents and make contact with Eric Chavez before the press converges in Phoenix.
Also, the Dodger deal must close before January 31st according to contract and Billy Beane and Pat Gillick are the front runners to replace Dan Evans if this happens. Imagine the scrambling in Oakland if BB is the choice. Paul DePodesta is ready I’m sure, I wonder if Paul Lo Duca would be the compensation? He plays first also and could replace Hatteberg. All this is interesting to specualte about, but may be far from reality, then again who knows?

6 Anonymous { 01.30.04 at 11:56 am }

SF Chronicle is reporting that the A’s are interested in Eric Karros as a righthanded 1B/Bench player. What do you think? He certainly adds some power. And doesn’t this mean that the A’s are losing faith in Hatteberg?

7 marty { 01.31.04 at 6:18 pm }

If the A’s pick up Eric Karros, then Scott Hatteberg’s playing time will be reduced because Karros will play against the tough lefties. Karros also would give a vet presence in the clubhouse. The A’s usually look for one over the hill vet to act as the designated veteran in their clubhouse. Karros could be it this year.
If the A’s read Eric Chavez correctly they could sign Chavez by spring training, but it will take an honest assessment of the market to get it done. Chavez will be pursued by the Mets, Yankees, Dodgers, Padres, and Cubs for openers and you know anytime the Yanks are in the equation the ultimate price goes up. It helps to have a reasonable man in Dave Stewart as his agent. At least he understands the Bay Area and won’t engage in mindless platitudes with the media. If the A’s step up, they could get this done. If they don’t agree by the first week of the season or are reasonably close at that time to a deal, then negotiations will be suspended until after the season and you know what that means.
Pudge to Detroit? Why? Once you are over 20 million or so, does it matter?

8 Anonymous { 02.03.04 at 1:04 am }

Detroit will apparently announce Rodriguez’ contract with them tommorrow –something like 40M / 4 years –so he will be out of the AL West

Interesting thought –when all the 2004 numbers come in on AL West teams, it seems both Anaheim and Texas will be over 100M, and Seattle close to that ….but the A’s appear to be topping out around 50M —yet if Dye becomes Dye again, and the rotation is healthy, and if someone can close, the A’s appear to be the division favorite


9 Anonymous { 02.03.04 at 12:13 pm }

The acquisition of Eric Karros completes the annual remaking of the A’s and solidifies them as contenders once again. I believe Karros will be a help and I’m very glad he didn’t end up with the Angels.

It is indeed amazing what Billy Beane has done with his budget in the face of ballooning AL West spending. Like him or not, Beane is the most resourceful GM in the business.

The A’s go into 2004 with as set a lineup as I have seen in a while. The only position battles I see are:
Byrnes/Kielty in left, Menechino/Scutaro for utility infielder, and The Duke versus others for the last spot in the bullpen.
This is a far cry from the days of No Slide leading off !!

So 3 of the 4 AL West teams look good on paper.

Let the Games begin !!!

Reno Bill

10 marty { 02.04.04 at 8:35 am }

I like the Eric Karros signing because now the A’s aren’t locked into Scott Hatteberg at first base. Not many lefties in the division so don’t expect Karros to get that many at bats, I expect him to be an Olmedo Saenz type player late in the game against a lefty reliever with some occasional starts. We should get some news this week about the Eric Chavez negotiations, as I said earlier Chavez is amenable to signing with Oakland as long as the offer is competitive. If this goes on until next fall, then the big teams step in and Chavez will be playing elsewhere. Right now the biggest concern for the A’s is making sure all the new acquisitions stay healthy because Kielty, Kotsay, Miller, Hammond, and Rhodes all have a history of needing time off. If they are at the top of their game then the lineup will be productive, coupled with the starting pitching and a deep bullpen, this race will be terrific.

11 Anonymous { 02.05.04 at 2:54 am }

Help me out here. I’m a little confused as to why we should believe Eric Chavez’ situation will be any different than the ones before (the you-know-whos). He’s said he would like to stay around, and the A’s have said they’d like him to stay around. Aren’t we seeing a pattern unfold that we’ve seen in the recent past…twice? Unless Chavez has some loyalty to the A’s (and I honestly don’t see him having enough) he’d be a fool not to test out the free agent waters. He could get a contract similar to Tejada’s if he waits. The A’s could give him maybe half that.
In addition, I would have to say that Beane has to be waiting to break his piggy bank for the Big Three.
And lets face it, Chavez is good, very good. But he’s not great. He’s never hit lefties, never hit in the clutch, and never hit over .290.
Is this just another PR stunt that both parties are pulling to keep from looking like the bad guys when the inevitable takes place? Or do we honestly think this might happen?

12 Anonymous { 02.05.04 at 3:22 am }

Chavez may stay in oakland and here is why: he knows that they will contend for a championship every year as long as the big three are around and he seems like the type of guy that likes to be in a comfort zone. He obviously has it in oakland with his buddies that he came up with in the farm system. Truthfully if Chavez does bolt I’ll miss his defense more than anything else. Though defense up the middle is usually the difference between a good infield and a great one I have not seen anyone else pick it like Chavez. The guy has saved the team a lot with his defense and that more than his potential as a hitter, which I am skeptical of, is almost worth giving him a bit extra to stay. Definitly not a max contract though, if someone else wants to pay him that go ahead but I wouldn’t for a guy who’s timing has had trouble from late may through july every year.

13 Anonymous { 02.05.04 at 12:24 pm }

I strongly feel that the A’s will re-sign Chavez for multiple years for J. Dye money. Hopefully the deal will get done before the season.

He’s young and experienced enough that Chavvy has a chance to step up and actually be worth the dough.

This year will tell as he will be asked to be the top dog in the batting order.

Reno Bill

14 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

15 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:47 pm }

16 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

17 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 2:19 pm }

18 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 3:03 pm }

You must log in to post a comment.