1. Sparky Anderson dies: Sparky Anderson has died at the age of 76. To read more about Sparky Anderson’s death, please visit Matt Strobl’s great article on the subject: http://sportsnickel.com/2010/11/04/baseball-loses-a-legend-sparky-anderson-dead-at-76/ RIP, Sparky!
2. World Series MVP let go: The San Francisco Giants have decided to decline their $9.8 million option on World Series Most Valuable Player Edgar Renteria with a $500,000 buyout. They have declined his almost 10 million dollar option because Renteria is comtemplating retirement in which he has fought through an injury plagued season as well as playing the entire postseason with a lot of pain. If he would decide to retire, he would be going out on top which is what every baseball player wants to do, and what better way to go out on top than to win a World Series MVP before retirement?
3. Ron Washington remains in Texas: Ron Washington is now going to be the Texas Rangers’ manager through the 2012 season as he has just signed a two-year contract after having a season in which he made it to the World Series and finished with a 92-70 record. He is tied with Buck Showalter for third on the all-time list of most games coached as a Texas Ranger at 648 games. He trails Bobby Valentine and Johnny Oates in games won as a manager in Texas Rangers’ history. He is 331-317 overall in his four years as a Rangers’ manager. He will be hoping to retain all of his coaches to assist him to another successful year they are hoping for, but they could lose Clint Hurdle to the Pittsburgh Pirates as he is interviewing for the Pirates’ managerial position. “That’s what baseball is all about,” Washington said. “The bar is set high. I don’t feel any pressure. We have a good team and a solid foundation. We believe in each other. All we can do is get better as we go forward.”
4. Rockies trade Olivo to Toronto: The Colorado Rockies and Toronto Blue Jays have made the first trade of the 2010-2011 MLB offseason. The Rockies have decided to deal Miguel Olivo to the Blues Jays for a player to be named later. The Rockies will be opening up a spot in the catchers’ starting position for Chris Iannetta but expect them to bring in competition at the catchers’ position. By trading Olivo, the Rockies do not have to pay Olivo his $500,000 buyout leaving them with $500,000 more money to buy another bat to assist with their offense. Last season, Olivo batted .269 with an on-base percentage (OBP) of .315. He had 14 HR and 58 RBI in 112 games played. He was a below average player last season as his OPS+ (on-base-plus-slugging) was at a 92. 100 is the league average, below that is below average, above that is above average. Over his career, he has batted .246 with an OBP of .283. He has knocked 110 balls over the fence while driving in 388 runs in 866 games spread out over nine seasons. He has an 84 OPS+ throughout his career.
5. Offseason rumors: The Rockies are interested in Kevin Gregg and are expected to be in talks with him within the next few days. While Scott Podsednik declined his option for next season, he is currently in talks with the Dodgers to remain with the organization. Speaking of free agents, the Yankees and Rangers have publicly made Cliff Lee their top priority this offseason, which should be an exciting race to see who will be able to land him. Concerning Carl Crawford, he seems to be done with the Rays. The Angels and Red Sox are the top candidates as of current, but the White Sox, Tigers and Giants are likely to get into the bidding for Crawford. The Astros are passing on him as well are the Yankees. Detroit is leading to sign Jayson Werth with Boston going after him if Crawford decides to go somewhere else besides Boston. Adrian Beltre would like to return to Boston, but since his family is situated on the west coast, he is likely going to land on team out west which could possibly be Seattle, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Oakland could come out and make a run at him as well. Carlos Zambrano has stated that he wants Adam Dunn to be hitting baseballs out of Wrigley Field next season, but the Nationals will be trying their hardest to sign him. Dunn is looking for a four-year deal, but is willing to listen to offers for a three-year deal. If the Nationals are unable to re-sign Dunn, the Nationals will be going after Carlos Pena. Prince Fielder could be traded, with several pitchers that have been talked about as possible trade bait for the power-hitting first baseman. Names like Jonathan Sanchez, Derek Holland, Brett Cecil and Felix Doubront. The Brewers are going to be looking for pitching in return, so if they cannot get a good pitcher in return for Fielder, look for him to be traded at the trade deadline unless the Brewers are in the playoff hunt. Zach Grienke can block 20 teams this year if their is a deal struck and 15 teams next year. He has stated that he does not want to pitch with the Yankees, so that team is out in regards as possible destinations for Grienke if a trade would arise. Tigers, Orioles and Rockies are interested in Victor Martinez and if they’re able to offer a four to five year deal for Martinez, Boston could be in trouble at the catcher position. Look for the Red Sox to be heavy into the catchers’ market this offseason if Victor Martinez is unable to stay with the team. The Red Sox have retained David Ortiz, though, picking up his $12.5 million option.