A couple of quick hits on Christmas:
Angels sign Rodney to two year deal | Reuters
Fernando Rodney signs with the Angels for two years and $11 million, clarifying the free agent market for late-inning relievers. Like WTM, I'm a little confused by the idea that Rodney was perceived as any kind of attractive free agent option--he walks way too many batters and doesn't have much of a track record. His only redeeming traits are that he throws very hard and he saved a bunch of games last year. But such is the market for closers, which is another reason why I didn't like the Matt Capps non-tender. If Capps can do anything in 2010 that even resembles success in a ninth-inning role, he'll have a bunch of value.
In any case, the Pirates will probably get the best value in their relief shopping this offseason by looking for guys who aren't perceived as closers. This may be what they're thinking in pursuing Octavio Dotel, a significantly better pitcher than Rodney who will probably make significantly less.
When one writes a mediocre column | Jeff Pearlman
Jeff Pearlman praises Bucs Dugout for trashing him a few days ago. I salute him for owning up to writing a bad column, but one thing he still doesn't seem to get is that the things he was criticizing the Bucs for just really don't apply anymore. The Pirates did frequently bring in pointless, overpriced veterans when Cam Bonifay and Dave Littlefield ran the team. Those two were fired years ago. The team's current GM is Neal Huntington, and the reason Pearlman couldn't come up with good examples of overpriced veterans the Pirates acquired prior to 2008 or 2009 is that whatever one might think about Huntington, he doesn't make those sorts of mistakes.