Maybe Not Houston, But

Some of you may recall my ‘Free Agents in 2005‘ post. For those of you that don’t, I ran down a thread that was on Wicked East Coast, a forum that I visit (link under Fire Brand’s links). In it, the posters discussed where exactly Nomar would end up. There was a thoughtful discussion in the comments, and I thought the discussion was over until I found that someone had recently left a comment. Well, boy, this comment caused me to change my thinking. Perhaps Houston won’t be signing Nomar after all, as I predicted. Ryan (a Cubs fan) says this:

Houston has backloaded almost all of their contracts, and although they will be
losing players, they will not be losing some salaries. One example is even though
they can buy out Kents contract for 700K, they still owe him 5M in 2005 and 5.5M in
2006. They will spend 2M to buy out Hidalgo’s contract. Bagwell gets a 2M raise
until 2007 when his contract can be bought out for 7M (unbelievable). You also have
to add in his signing bonus which is 6M this year, 8M next, and 10M the next. Im
sure there are some others out there, but thats just an idea of the financial
trouble Houston will be in soon. I belive Berkman is in a contract year as well.
Dotel will probably go from 2.8M to 6M+, Lidge will go from 360K to 2M, Miller and
Oswalt should each bump up from 3+M to 8M. So they save 19.3 by buying out Kent and
Hidalgo. But they will spend an additional 24M over last year on Bags, Miller,
Oswalt, Dotel, and Lidge. Who knows how much Berkman will make, it all depends if
he can keep up this MVPlike performance. So without even spending money on
replacement 2b and RF, the stros are spending quite a bit more. Adam Everett is
putting on a show defensively this year (I should know, Im a cubs fan) so if anyone
would be moving to second it would be the now average defensive Nomar and Everett
has been much improved at bat.
Obviously Nomar would like to go to Cali, but Id also take them out of the equation
because I dont think they will want him with the way Izturis is playing right now.
If he can keep this up and not drastically drop off, they will stick with him and
spend money elsewhere.
As a cubs fan in desperate need of a shortstop, you are all going to think im crazy
but I dont want Nomar. Personally, I think whatever contract he signs, he will be
overpaid. Boston needs to resign him because he means alot more to the team and the
city than just what he does on the field. They will be overpaying, but at least
they will get it back in intangibles (what the accounting world calls “goodwill”.
Also, Nomar’s injuries should be a cause for concern in a long term deal.

While I want that comment to be the meat of the post so I don’t ‘taint’ ( 😉 ) it with my ramblings, I do need to add my thoughts on this.
So far, Nomar has seemed to been welcomed well by the Boston fans. Is this because we are so eager to see some offense, or because Red Sox fans really DO like Nomar? We that read the blogs in the internet, quite frankly, are the minority. Factor in that even the internet community is split on Nomar, I find it concievable that at least 75% of all Red Sox fans want Nomar to come back. I’m not rehashing why I don’t want Nomar back, however I will say to Ryan that “goodwill” only takes you so far.
Now that that is out of the way, may I submit a new team to the Nomar sweepstakes?
In the comments of ‘Free Agents in 2005′, the ever-ready Sam, in his haste to cut down the teams into those he believes will bid for Nomar, disregards the Angels, saying that they have already spent their money in the spending spree this offseason, so they won’t be a factor. Well, Sam (and readers), I think you’re wrong. Over the season, I read an article on the Angels’ owner, Arte Moreno. He has been called the West Coast’s answer to George Stienbrenner but with a personality and a brain. I agree.
Now, why would Anaheim want Nomar, when they have Eckstein? Simple. Troy Glaus is injured for the season, a free agent, and has never fit in with the other players on the Angels (I will use a Red Sox phrase to describe the Angels: Dirt Dogs). Glaus is a metrosexual (not that that’s bad, but it is when 24 other players aren’t, and resent you for it). It’s easier to replace one than 24. So, let’s assume they sign Nomar. (Why not? Money, check. California, check. Good park, check.)
> Nomar becomes the shortstop.
> David Eckstein moves over to second. (Which everyone was saying he would have to do eventually.)
> Chone Figgins/Adam Kennedy now at third base.
Adam Kennedy is the current Angels second baseman and is famous for that home-run barrage he had in the postseason of 2002, in a single game. Jeff Howe over at the League of Angels was telling me one day that he was very underrated defensively. If that is true, he can handle a switch to third, and keep Chone Figgins as a super utility sub.
One problem: Kennedy makes a decent amount of money, whereas Chone Figgins does not. Figgins is a speedster, a good fielder, and has grown to have a pretty good stroke of the bat. In other words, he is a more valuable Juan Pierre. He has played third this year (and other places, too). And last I checked, the last player to settle down at third after being a super utility player the year before (Melvin Mora) has done pretty well for himself. So, trade Adam Kennedy. For what? Pitching, of course, or minor leaguers. And there is a market for second basemen around the league. Like for example, the Yankees. Heck, even Boston might throw their hat in the ring. Reese, Bellhorn, Kennedy. Other teams in the market for a second baseman after this year could include the Astros, Giants, Devil Rays … it’s quite possible that this could happen.

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