Thanks to everyone who posted diaries in my absence - it was great to see three diaries when I got back to school this morning.
-P- I let Bryanzane relay the news about Serguay Linares, the new Cuban pitcher the Pirates recently signed. My opinion is that this isn't a huge deal, but it's still nice to see. Linares apparently throws about a million miles an hour and is ostensibly fairly young, and the Pirates need prospects. His stats in Cuba were not as good as Yoslan Herrera's, and like Herrera, Linares has been away from competitive baseball for a while. So I wouldn't expect this signing to pay dividends any time soon.
-P- Rowdy dislikes the Dan Kolb signing because he assumes Kolb will make the team no matter what. I'm concerned about this too, but not as concerned as Rowdy is. In 2004, the Pirates took Juan Acevedo to Spring Training but didn't once call him up to the big-league team, even though Acevedo had a good year as the closer for the Tigers in 2002. So I wouldn't assume Kolb's past as a closer will ensure that he'll make the team, even though I suspect it will give him an advantage.
-P- The Stats Geek explains why the Tony Armas signing is a good move.
-P- The Brewers signed Bill Hall to a four-year, $24 million deal with a 2011 option. I don't know what to think of this - on one hand, if Hall is anywhere near as good in the next four years as he was in the last two, this is a big bargain. On the other hand, before 2005, there was absolutely no reason to think that Hall could hit at all. Look at his career numbers. They're bizarre. He was thoroughly mediocre, even in the minors, until 2005. He kind of reminds of of Rob Mackowiak, another guy who plays a zillion positions and always hit better in the majors than his minor-league record suggested he should, but Hall is even more extreme.
-P- The Reds signed Aaron Harang to a four-year, $36.5 million deal that includes an option for 2011. That sounds like a lot of money, but Harang was fantastic last year and not much worse than fantastic the year before that. He's a star, and there's no reason to think he won't continue to be one.