The Orlando Fernandez sweepstakes is finished and the righty RP is headed back to Jacksonville for 5 years, $62MM + change. GM topoftheworl is going all out for a WS this year...in his words, "I'm going to have a train wreck in a few seasons, but I'll rebuild it myself. If I'm going to get to the WS it's gotta be soon."
Not to be overlooked in yesterday's hubbub were a couple more interesting Type A moves. Salem added power-hitting 2B Gary Person for 5 years, $60MM. Person was a key component of Scranton's Season 27 & 28 Championships; he's a big score in the Witch Hunters' remake.
Huntington rolled the dice on RP Roger Harvey to the tune of 3 years, $21MM. Harvey looks like the kind of pitcher who could have a really good season every other year - good ratings except for that ugly vR. The problem is that it hasn't happened. Other than a promising start in Season 24, he's put up 5 straight stinkers. Maybe he'll find it in a new locale.
Now that the Fernandez debate is settled, all eyes turn toward Joe Johnson and Jamey Brewington. We have confirmation from one source that bidding on Johnson is at the max; it's a foregone conclusion that Brewington has reached max as well. Time to speculate on who's going after our 2 remaining superstar Type A's: (speculation based on cash availability and need - only 1 of the following teams has confirmed their interest)
Santa Fe Fire: Huge cap space available, and a gaping hole at 2B with the departure of Ken Woods. Brewington would be a massive defensive upgrade at 2B over Woods (37 errors and "-" plays last year) and would be an annual 60-HR threat in that park. If there's a team for which the $80MM max on Brewington would be a "bargain" this is it. Their starting pitching situation is already "aces", as in 2 young aces already on the roster (Juan Martinez and Willie Tepera), plus 4 good-looking SP prospects in the low minors. So I think they'd be less inclined to go for Johnson.
Salem Witch Hunters: Even after signing Gary Person, they have ample cap space, although I think Person means they're going for Johnson rather than Brewington. Young ace Yean Carlos Posada starts the season on the ML roster; a Johnson/Posada 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation would be formidable. New GM tk21775 has been very active so far and not bashful about spending...don't know if they'll land Johnson but I bet they're in the mix.
Louisville Steam: Have the cap space and the motivation to add talent alongside young superstars Yean Carlos Gonzalez and Kelvim Hasegawa. Brewington's bat would certainly make a lot of noise in their park, but I'm not sure he's a position fit. Hasegawa will be at 2B for the next decade, and Juan Soria (under contract for 3 more years) handled CF adequately after Hasegawa came over in a trade. Even after signing another Type A starter, Juan Veras, I think their target would be Johnson.
Scranton Express: Veteran team, the window's still open. It's just a matter of which free-agent losses to replace. With Person, RF Vladimir Henriquez, CF Lewis Gilkey, and 3B Wilkin Guerrero all departing, my bet is they go for the hitter.
New York Sewer Gators: Have cash, been very active. Every indication they're setting up for a big score. With all the defensive genius they have spread around the lineup, I think they're going for a pitching/defense scheme - I think they'd go after Johnson.
San Diego Surf Sharks: Probably the dark horse of this group because they've had a quieter offseason than the other teams - no trades or ML FA signings yet. But they have the space and the need to upgrade if they're going to compete in the AL West. Brewington or Johnson? I don't know...they have a gaggle of pretty decent 2B/CF's...but they have a gaggle of pretty decent SP's too. No clue which one, but I bet they're going after one.