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News Roundup

-P- Johan Santana easily won his second Cy Young award. Chien-Ming Wang finished second, which tells you how much of a contest this was. (By the way, Wang had 76 strikeouts in 218 innings this year. I wonder when the last time was that a pitcher finished in the top ten in Cy Young balloting with a strikeout rate that low? In any case, expect big-time regression next year.)

-P- The Tigers have signed "Upper St. Clair Native" Sean Casey to a one-year deal. Here's hoping it's not for much money and that they're going to give Chris Shelton a chance to compete for the job - surely they don't think Shelton is worse than a 32 year old who plays bad defense, runs like a tortoise, is constantly hurt and just put up a .724 OPS for the season as a first baseman.

-P- The Cubs traded reliever David Aardsma and minor league pitcher Carlos Vasquez to the White Sox for pitcher Neal Cotts. Whether or not this deal is any good depends on whether the Cubs can get Cotts sorted out. In 2005, Cotts allowed only one homer in 60 innings and put up a 1.94 ERA; in 2006, he allowed 12 in 54 innings and had a 5.17 ERA. The Cubs also could move Cotts to the rotation, where he could be a good starter if someone figures out what the problem is.

Aardsma throws very hard, is younger than Cotts and has less service time, but is just a reliever. Vasquez is a decent relief prospect, and nothing more. It looks like the White Sox will win this deal, but the Cubs are getting a lot more upside. I like this trade for both teams. The White Sox are in contend-now mode and are struggling to patch up a bad bullpen, and the Cubs are a mess and need some players with upside.

-P- Finally, the Orioles gave former Tigers reliever Jamie Walker a three-year, $12 million contract. Walker is a decent reliever, but not a great one, and he's 35. $12 million for him is ridiculous.