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December 8, 2008

The Week in Quotes

December 1-7

by Alex Carnevale

HE SAYS NO WAY IN HELL

"We need to get a response to our proposal. They told us that we've been very patient, and they appreciate that."
-Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, on his $100 million dollar proposal to CC Sabathia.

"Because the market has been slow, it's got a chance to [become a situation] where agents may dominate the meetings trying to get a feel for what they can get. We all have to be aware of the economy-even the big-market teams, from what I've seen."
-Melvin

"If they went to Sabathia with $140 million, he could go back to them and say, 'Give me $170 million and I'm there.' He hasn't done that. The Yankees aren't his first choice. Why isn't he jumping on their offer?"
-Anonymous AL general manager

"We do need to look at the rest of our team. There's not going to be a lot we're going to do with our team. But if there is a chance to do something, you'd like to be able to know what you can and can't do."
-Melvin (Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

"We're in a situation where the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays have had to lay off employees. So we have to be mindful of that. There are projections we made a few weeks ago that have already changed. There's that, and also the fact that there are teams who spent south of $100 million on their payroll who made the playoffs and played in the World Series."
-Melvin

"We're not going to hear what the other teams have [offered]. We just need to get some type of reaction to our proposal."
-Melvin

HELL MAY HAVE FROZEN OVER, COME TO THINK OF IT

"There's no way in this economy anyone's dipping into their own pocket."
-Anonymous team official, on the Giants' "pursuit" of CC Sabathia.

"The evidence is, are players taking less to sign? You have to wait for all the evidence to make a determination. So far, the evidence isn't clear."
-Dennis Gilbert, special assistant to White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf

"There's a lot of hay in the barn for teams to deal with. I don't think our industry operates as a short-term reflection of our economy."
-Superagent Scott Boras

"I've never gone into a negotiation saying, 'Because the economy is at a high, I need 20 percent more for my athlete.'"
-Boras (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

HE'S GOING TO TRADE FELIX, ISN'T HE?

"Open-minded is, I think, the best way to put it. It takes two to tango. I'm not in the mood to give anyone away. I'm in the mood to improve this ballclub."
-Newly minted Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, on his attitude toward the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.

"They look like a team that needs to make a blockbuster trade. You look at what their needs are-hitting-and you look at what they have to deal-pitching. It shouldn't be too hard to find a match. Do that, and a lot of their problems could go away in a hurry."
-Anonymous scout

"People have inquired about them, yes. They've inquired about other people as well. It's been calling me, asking me about it, and 'Would you be interested?' My answer is, we lost 101 games, so there are quite a few areas we can improve on."
-Zduriencik, on whether he'd trade Adrian Beltre or J.J. Putz. (Geoff Baker, Seattle Times)

THE SADDEST GENERAL MANAGER IN THE WORLD

"I think more of the pitching because it looks like we're going to lose Burnett. We don't know where Burnett is going to go, but we've got to assume Burnett's going to be gone. Marcum is out for the year, and McGowan won't be back until May, so to start the season three-fifths of our starting rotation is out."
-Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi

"I don't really see us being that active unless it's via the trade route right now. I think we'll listen and we'll try to create some things. But really, at the end of the day, I don't see us being that active."
-Ricciardi

"For us to get in with any type of contract, or any type of dealings that may really handcuff us financially going forward, wouldn't be the prudent thing for us to do."
-Riccardi

"We just want guys to be the players we know they're capable of being, and that they've done in the past. I don't think it's any more pressure. These guys are capable of doing very good things, and that's why we have them here."
-Ricciardi (TSN.ca)

THE MAN STROKES TAYLOR TEAGARDEN'S ROOKIE CARD BEFORE HE SLEEPS

"It's probably broader than people think, maybe not so deep. If you study all the clubs, there are more teams with a catcher to move than one might think, or that maybe is being represented. That doesn't mean that we've found a way to match up yet-we haven't. Probably more teams out there with catching that they can move than anticipated."
-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein

"If CC signs with the Yankees, it will set off a chain reaction. If CC goes to the Yanks and A.J. goes to the Braves, there will be a war for Teixeira and Lowe, which is exactly what Scott wants. And the Red Sox are coming away with someone."
-Anonymous agent

"That's a desirable outcome. We also have catchers in waiting in the minor leagues who are talented, but maybe not quite ready to step into a prominent role right now. We'll see. I'm confident that we [will] find a way to end up with a reputable catching corps that we hope will have us set up not only for 2009 but also for the future."
-Epstein

"I wouldn't say we're in cost-cutting mode, but we're certainly conscious of all our expenditures. We're going to look at all the ways to improve our club. For the most part, we've been focused on trying to add players who fit with our long-term plan. Those are younger players."
-Rangers general manager Jon Daniels (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)

"We have to be mindful of the fact that [Wakefield] can be a challenge for some catchers. At the same time, I don't know that even Wake feels we should limit our options at catcher because of any one pitcher. We just have to strike the right balance. [Varitek has] caught him in the past. He's always been an option to catch him. It's obviously something that [manager Terry Francona has] stayed away from in recent years."
-Epstein

"There are free-agent pitchers we're interested in. Some are more realistic targets than others. We've worked long and hard to try to build an organization that's not dependent on big free-agent pitching signings. That's not typically a market that we enjoy diving into. That said, there will be pitchers signed to free-agent deals who go on and are worth every penny and more, dominate for years to come. We're interested in a lot of those pitchers, but we have an approach and we'll probably stick with it."
-Epstein

"The goal is always the same. To get good players at reasonable deals for their prime years."
-Epstein (Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe)

HE'S LIKE MANNY, IN THAT HE WON'T GET THE MONEY HE WANTS, EITHER

"Adam is a kid with a lot of power. He's going to hit you probably between 35 and 40 homers per year. What you see is what you get. For his sake, I wish that his defense would improve, but he tried to. He's like Manny. He can try for as long as he wants, but he's always going to be bad."
-Nationals consultant Jose Cardenal, on Adam Dunn.

"That's unfair. That kid would do anything to win. I saw him taking so many infielders out. That's not true. You've got to see him every day."
-Cardenal, on J.P. Ricciardi's comments and criticisms of Dunn.

"I think he's better than the J.P. review. He's fairly bright and pretty social, especially with teammates. He can be a little lazy at times. He's a good guy who needs some external motivation to play at his best."
-Anonymous front-office executive

"Low-energy. Not a hard worker. A terrible defender at any position. He's a DH. I like his on-base percentage and I like his power."
-Another anonymous front-office executive (Ken Davidoff, Newsday)

THE REST

"We're not opposed to moving money and adding money. It's kind of intriguing, to be honest. We're in a good spot because... the team that's on our wall right now you can line up with and contend. I don't think a lot of clubs can say that."
-Cubs general manager Jim Hendry

"I don't think it has yet. We're talking to agents. We're talking to teams. In many ways, it's the same. Agents are looking for the best deals. Teams are looking for the best players at the best deals."
-Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti (Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune)

"The negativity is never good. I've always been a big believer in being positive, especially in professional leagues. You've got a lot of negative things going on, so you always try to be positive. I'm a positive guy, try to be positive all the time. I'm glad to be here in Atlanta."
-New Braves starter Javier Vazquez (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)

"We have to get to spring training. We'll have to see. He has been told we need 10 pounds off him before he reports to spring training. He's certainly athletic enough. ... Taking batting practice, you see this young man, along with Mr. Flowers, you're just not talking about the average bear. It's going to be fun to watch."
-White Sox general manager Kenny Williams, on Cuban third baseman Dayan Viciedo and new acquisition Tyler Flowers. (Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune)

"We're not actively out there swimming with the sharks."
-Giants general manger Brian Sabean (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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