To expound on the final item of Jim’s Christmas list, there are some catchers out there, but it would take some pretty creative moves by Gillick to land one and it might not be worth it considering some more gaping holes on the squad. Benjie Molina, Ramon Hernandez and Brad Ausmus are all free agents on the market and Toby Hall and Paul Lo Duca on the trading block. The Mets have offered similar three-year contracts worth between $5 million to $7 million per season to both Hernandez and Molina. The D’Backs and Orioles are reportedly interested in Hernandez, as well. Still, why does it seem like the Mets and Overspending Omar are always one step ahead of the Phils? At least Gillick and the Phils still have the waiver wire, the nontenders after Dec. 20, and the Rule Five draft to try to find some overlooked talent.
On the Billy Wagner front, it seems as if 2 more teams are jumping into the ring of death – the Braves and Red Sox. The NY Daily News reported in its usual city mouse-country mouse spin, that since Wagner lives in Virginia, the Braves could offer the kind of Southern lifestyle he’s more accustomed to. It’s funny because in another article, Bill Madden claims that New York is becoming less of an appealing destination for free agents. Let’s hope so. Meanwhile, the Boston Globe claimed the Red Sox hope to get into the hunt for the free agent closer and have invited him to Boston this week. Billy said he couldn’t make it, but I’m sure he’ll find the time to make it to Beantown before the end of the year. It actually works in his favor as the Phils will be forced to continue to mull over their offer in the context of the Mets’ 3 year/$30 million with an incentive option for a 4th year.
Finally, in case you haven’t heard, the Dodgers have interviewed Jim Fregosi for their managerial vacancy. Personally, I would love to see Jimbo back in uniform and smoking in the dugout.