THE ANGELS MAY WANT TO CONSIDER A PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATION AS WELL
“I was actually close with Chicago because they really have a chance to win in Chicago. Other teams were kind of a year away. I could have done the Royals, I could have done the Rangers for sure and several other teams.”
–new Angels center fielder Torii Hunter
“I’m sure the Twins have in their mind what they can and cannot do, and we respect that. It’s important for the fans in Minnesota to understand that Torii cherished his time there. In the end, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
—Larry Reynolds, Torii Hunter’s agent
“If you can’t get pumped up playing in Anaheim, then you really need to go and get your mind evaluated.”
–Hunter, demonstrating a unfashionably sound grasp of geography as to where his new team plays.
“[The Angels] came and swept me off my feet. I never thought the Angels would be the team to step up and get it done. If you ask what team I would want to play for out there, it would be the Halos. But I knew I couldn’t because they had Gary Matthews Jr. So they were straight in the outfield.”
HIS GRANDMOTHER WAS IN FACT READY TO BRING THE PAIN
“They told me, ‘Look, we want you to be our center fielder.’ And they gave me an amount of money that my momma and all my friends would have slapped me if I turned it down.”
–Hunter (Joe Christenen, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
“They came in trying to get something done in a hurry, and it worked out.”
–Angels general manager Tony Reagins
“They were nowhere in sight prior to Tuesday. We were thinking we were going to make a decision next week. But this call from the Angels changed all that because they basically said this offer’s on the table for one day.”
“In the past, we said we’re going to pursue every opportunity to make our club better. This was an opportunity. I had the support of some people around me, then I got aggressive.”
“I watched the Angels go to work on us. They play the game the right way. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
BUT WE WANTED TO OVERPAY HIM!
“All along, we have been talking to other free agents, as well as positioning ourselves in the trade arena. So I’m still optimistic we can make an impact.”
“This is a business, but it was tough because [White Sox manager] Ozzie [Guillen] and Kenny Williams, they were so good. It was tough to tell [Texas owner] Tom Hicks, the Hicks crew. They were so polite and down to earth. Everybody was so cool on both of those teams. But I knew when I had a good deal on the table.”
–Hunter (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)
HE’S OVERCOME WITH ENTHUSIASM
“I’m really surprised and, at the same time, happy and excited. My wife and I, we really took this news with a lot of joy. I’m looking forward to living in Chicago, and I’m looking forward to playing for the White Sox.”
–new White Sox infielder
“It’s a great challenge for me right now and I’m going to take it the best I can and with a good attitude. It’s really good news for me.”
“I’ve never had that guy who knew my position maybe better than I do. He likes to win and likes to tell the truth. That’s all me right there.”
–Cabrera, on his new manager.
“They are going to make some moves and bring in some players. Whatever they want to do, I think it’s going to be good for us. He said, ‘Welcome and we are not done yet.'”
WHAT ACCOUNTS FOR OVERSPENDING IN CLEVELAND
“I’d give every player a one-year deal, if I had my choice. But the market is what the market is. We’re talking about a guy who has a very consistent track record of closing ballgames. That consistency makes us comfortable with a two-year deal.”
—Indians GM Mark Shapiro, on signing Japanese reliever Masa Kobayashi
“Beautiful lake, and the city has the Indians.”
—Masa Kobayashi, on what he knows about Cleveland.
“Baseball is rapidly becoming a multi-cultural game. With the kind of attitude our players have, they’re going to embrace him and make him feel like part of the team.”
–Shapiro (Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com)
ALL’S QUIET, BUT NOT FOR LONG
“Teams are not motivated to do a whole lot trade-wise until the free-agent market figures itself out. Teams are hesitant to give up multiple young players if they can sign a player with a free-agent contract. Until that settles, the trade market will take a little longer.”
—Jon Daniels, Rangers GM (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)
“That’s like the guy who says he’s going to buy a Mercedes–until he sees the sticker price. I guess they’re available. But I’ll believe it when I see it. I know this: If anyone does trade for them, it will be [for a] king’s ransom.”
–anonymous GM on Miguel Cabrera and Johan Santana.
“It’s definitely a seller’s market. There are no prime free agents. Instead of giving Carlos Silva $50 million over five years, you can try to deal for someone far better. Think about it–the well’s dry on the free-agent market. If you want to make yourself better, you have to do something else.”
–another anonymous GM
“I’ve never seen a time in this game when kids in Baseball America are more valuable than guys who win at the big league level. It’s great to have good prospects, but have we forgotten it’s whether you win that is most important? When you talk to other teams about young pitching, it’s like you’re talking about their child.”
–anonymous GM (Sean McAdam, ESPN.com)
“Do you know how much it would cost to insure a deal like that?”
–anonymous MLB executive, on the contract Johan Santana will eventually receive.
“I tended to be more of a self-educated type. When I was 12 years old, I read Churchill’s memoirs and other history books like that. School tended to bore me, so he had to push me to get my homework done.”
—Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner, on his father’s influence on him during his school years. (Steve Serby, New York Post)
“I’ve never seen so many good friends like we have in Major League Baseball today. It drives me crazy. With free agency, everybody has played with everybody else. It looks like a reunion before every game. I’ve never seen so many players hugging and kissing. I saw Brett Myers have his arm around Chipper Jones before a game this year, and two hours later, he was trying to run a fastball up under his chin.”
–former Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt (Keith Groller, The Call)
“We don’t elect. We induct. It’s really a question for the voters. If you ask me about the exhibit we have for Bonds breaking the record, we have no intention of dismantling or removing it.”
—Jeff Idleson, vice president of communications for the Hall of Fame. (Tracy Ringolsby, Rocky Mountain News)
“I think we’re in a good position right now. We don’t have to make a deal. We made the biggest move we needed to make in signing Joe. I don’t anticipate any nonsense in that clubhouse. He gives us instant credibility, and we’re thrilled to have him.”
—Dodgers owner Frank McCourt (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“When the Egyptians were building the pyramids, they didn’t think about what they had to build, they just carried the rocks up. I think that’s what we have to do. We have to bring the rocks up one at a time and stick with it. I mean, we do have the financial wherewithal, maybe not to compete on a one-on-one basis, but to make the investments once we have a foundation where we feel the investment will really pay off for us.”
—Orioles president Andy MacPhail (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“Chris has always had a great bat, but he has battled some injuries in the past. We feel he will be healthy this coming year and adds a left-handed hitter and some depth to our outfield.”
–Philadelphia assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., on signing oft-injured outfielder Chris Snelling. (Yahoo.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.