THE TWELFTH STEP IS ACCEPTANCE
“It sounds like they’re overbidding. If the speculation is true that we’ve offered CC $100 million, why would you offer $140 million? Why wouldn’t you offer $110 million?”
–Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, on the battle to sign staff ace CC Sabathia.
“I don’t want to respond to that. It’s up to the player to go where the money is.”
“Who would complain if he took less money to be somewhere he chose? I don’t think his decision should be swayed by any pressure. [After] ten years or so, he’s worked to have the right to make this decision. As far as hurting the industry, that’s a bunch of bull. As a free agent, it’s whatever the market will bear and where you prefer to go… But the allure of the money, sometimes the tail wags the dog.”
–Anonymous MLB agent
“[The Yankees] have been pretty adamant about bidding on everybody. That doesn’t mean that’s what the market is. That’s just one team’s offer. Until all the bids are on the table, I don’t know what the market is.”
–Melvin, on the Yankees’ reported $140 million-plus offer. (Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
STOP TAKING HIM SERIOUSLY WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD ‘CLUTCH’
“I think we’re the most democratic. It’s the same with all our awards. The people voting are at the ballparks every day. They talk to the players, the coaches, and the managers. They see and hear things. They know whose numbers are clutch and whose are pile-on. They know who has value, and who doesn’t.”
-President of the BBWAA Jack O’Connell, on how his organization votes for the Most Valuable Player.
“Except for one or two guys, Albert is pretty naked in that lineup. It’s one of the reasons he’s receiving such strong consideration.”
–O’Connell, on Pujols’ candidacy
“It’s the hardest award to vote. Contributing to a team that makes it [to the postseason] is a key element for me. If someone was way ahead of everyone else and didn’t make it, I’d consider him. But I don’t see that as the case.”
–Chicago Tribune reporter Paul Sullivan, who voted for Howard. (Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
MATT KEMP AND RUSSELL MARTIN SHOULD START GETTING THEIR THINGS TOGETHER
“We don’t talk about moving them, we don’t offer them, we don’t shop them, but if someone came with something we couldn’t say no to, we’d have to listen, but the key component is we don’t offer them or shop them.”
–Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, on moving his young talent.
“That holds true unless someone comes in with a proposal that is stunning in a way. It would have to be something that really gets our attention.”
“We’re not looking for that kind of offer. Some of them have been in three pennant races, and to be 23-25 years old and have that kind of experience as key players, I think it speaks well for our scouts and the direction we’re headed.”
–Colletti (Jason Specter, New York Daily News)
MAKEUP! ET TU, BRUTE?
“He is going to help us tremendously. We all know the kind of talent he has with his numbers, but I talked to him and you can tell the kind of person he is. It’s a great fit.”
–Athletics manager Bob Geren, on his new best player, former Rockies slugger Matt Holliday.
“The last couple years we’ve had a lot of injuries and a lot of guys not doing as well as they’d like. They say hitting is contagious, and I believe that. Once you get guys rolling and get the pitcher worrying about a few guys, they’ve got to really bear down in the middle of the lineup. I played with Matt in Colorado. We were in the minor leagues together, and now we’ll be in the big leagues together, so it’s come full circle.”
-A’s DH Jack Cust
“Improving the offense was clearly our stated priority this offseason. Trading for a player of Matt’s caliber begins the process of creating an environment in which our young hitters can continue to improve and our young pitchers can continue to develop into one of the best staffs in the league.”
-A’s general manager Billy Beane
“It’s caused a lot of attention around these parts, the fact we got a big guy the Yankees wanted and a lot of other teams wanted.”
–Cust (Janie McCauley, The NWI Times)
CONJECTURE ABOUT VELOCITY
“I think it’s made him a more effective pitcher. He’s throwing a little cutter/slider thing now. It breaks really late, and he uses it off his fastball. His fastball velocity is down a little bit [between 92 and 95 mph], but he’s pitching more. He’s not just rearing back and firing.”
–Anonymous AL official, on White Sox closer Bobby Jenks
“In the last series the Angels had against the Mariners, Frankie threw 96, 96, 97 to strike out Raul Ibanez [leading off the ninth inning]. After the game, Frankie laughed and said, ‘See? I told you so.'”
-K-Rod’s agent, Paul Kinser
“Before, you could go out and take a pitch, take two pitches, and you knew he would throw fastballs-at 100, but fastballs. Now you have to be ready to swing from pitch one. When he wants to elevate, he can still go get it. He also has a top-to-bottom curveball that he shows early in counts, but if he doesn’t show it, he might use it at the back end. I don’t think looking at his strikeouts to walks is showing his effectiveness.”
–Anonymous AL official
“Frankie can still throw 96, 97 [mph] any time he wants to.”
–Kinser (Lyle Spencer, MLB.com)
“Really tough, but I’ll get over it. We had some issues with our team, and when we lost J.J. Putz early, it really hurt our team. We couldn’t recover from it. There are some things I wish were different, but I accept everything that happened. I was the manager, and I’ll accept the blame for it.”
-Ex-Mariners manager John McLaren (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“Realistically, we know teams will be able to afford more dollars than we’re able to afford. The biggest thing is, he’s had success with us. He likes it here. How important is it for him to stay? [Roy] Halladay and [Vernon] Wells decided that Toronto was a place they wanted to stay. We know we won’t be the highest bidder. But we offer things that maybe some other people don’t.”
–Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi on free agent A.J. Burnett.
“You’ve always got to take a negative and turn it into a positive and teach kids and understand that it’s not right. And coming from somebody that’s experienced it, there’s a little more legitimacy behind it. But you never want to-once is enough. That’s not going to happen again.”
-Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain
“We know it’s on everybody’s mind. It’s a decision we will make in two or three years.”
-A’s owner Lew Wolff on changing the name of the A’s to include the town of Fremont.
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.