Happy Black Friday, everyone. Anybody got any good leftovers recipes?
Things are typically quiet in the free agency market through the holiday weekend, but that doesn't mean there aren't some things going on to talk about and sift through. So here we go:
--The Cubs reportedly are interested in Carlos Pena for their first base vacancy, in addition to Lance Berkman, according to the Daily Herald. The Cubs, you'll recall, were one of the primary teams after Adam Dunn, and the more I hear and read, the more I think Dunn's price is only going to work in the American League, at least at this point. I still think there are possible suitors for him there; there are just more teams with some money to spend that need a power bat (Red Sox, White Sox, Rangers and maybe even the Yankees). It's widely assumed around baseball circles that the Nationals will land Pena, and I've been saying for months that they are strongly interested in him, but I wonder how prepared they'd be to get into a bidding war over him. And with Scott Boras involved, that's always a possibility.
--Derek Jeter reportedly wants $150 million over six years from the Yankees. That's posturing at its finest, but what happened to his negotiations with Yankees management being private? No matter how you feel about the Yankees, it's kind of sad things have gone this route; Jeter has embodied everything about the Yankees for a decade-and-a-half, and has deftly steered clear of controversy in that time. Is he worth $150 million? No way. But it would have been refreshing to see the two sides settle their differences without fighting about it publicly.
--Of the 19 players on MLB Trade Rumors' list of free agents who can play second base, five of them have played for the Nationals: Ronnie Belliard, Cristian Guzman, Anderson Hernandez, Adam Kennedy and Felipe Lopez. We'll get into this more next week, but there has been few positions where consistency has eluded the Nationals as much as it has at second base.
--Here's a crazy thought: David Eckstein is a free agent, and the Padres didn't offer him arbitration. I doubt he'd come cheaply enough, or be interested in the limited role the Nationals would have for him behind Danny Espinosa, but it'd be interesting to see him work with his brother, Rick, who's the Nationals' hitting coach. Rick Eckstein has always said that he and David served as each other's hitting coaches growing up, and the two are of the same mind when it comes to baseball. I still think David Eckstein is seeking a starting job somewhere - and he's probably still got enough left to get one - but it'd be fun to see the brother/coach dynamic if he ended up with the Nationals, by some chance.
Hope you're enjoying your holiday. And if you've got any good leftovers ideas, let me know -- I'm not a big day-after-Thanksgiving leftover guy, but maybe I just haven't found the magic combination yet.