Arms' Worth 

* Just a thought: with starting pitchers commanding premium salaries this winter (Kris Benson, 3 yrs, $22 M; Jaret Wright, 3 yrs, $21 M; Jon Lieber, the same; Paul Wilson, fer chrissakes, 2 yrs, $8 M), what would Jerome Williams or Noah Lowry be worth in a trade?

Trading Lowry or Williams would create a hole in the rotation that would need to be filled with a more expensive pitcher or someone like Brad Hennessey or Kevin Correia (unless Merkin Valdez or Matt Cain shows up this spring ready for the bigs).

For that reason, a young cheap pitcher is probably worth more as a keeper than as trade bait. But if the Giants want to get a good, young position player, someone like Jason Bay of one year ago, someone who's on the verge of making an instant impact in the bigs, I would argue that there's no better time to trade good young pitching. (For what I think is a contrary opinion -- kinda hard to tell with all them fancy numbers and graphs! -- see this article by Studes-Studes-Studio.)

Someone's not going to want to pay $8-10 M a year for Carl Pavano, or $6-8 M a year for Matt Clement. And that someone will likely listen hard to offers of Williams and Lowry, who could jump right in as #3 or 4 starters, or even Correia and Hennessey, both of whom could become solid major league starters.

And now, with Kris Benson now earning $7 M a year, Kirk Rueter's 2005 salary of $7 million doesn't look so egregious anymore. I could even see the Giants packaging him with another pitcher.

* I'm curious to see what Odalis Perez will pull down. He's a much better pitcher than any of the mediocrities and one-year wonders that have signed so far. And he's lefthanded.

* Bye, Dye: Jermaine has signed with the White Sox for 2 yrs, $10.5 M, with a $6 M option for 2007. Seems that the reported 2yrs, $16 M the Tigers offered Steve Finley will be the numbers to beat. Gold Glove center fielder and left-handed power bat: If Finley weren't 39 years old, the guy could probably ask for 4 years, $40 million.

* Fun topic of the day: Bill James is comparing the recent media coverage of Bonds/BALCO to a racist lynching (is there any other kind?). And while we're asking questions, who put this pubic hair in my Coke?


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