Man, I'm been bored with this off-season. More than bored, sort of disappointed. It's been tough. It's hard to get excited about signing yet another relief pitcher. Yay, we signed Omar Visquel? Wow, Alex traded for Jeff Mathis. Really? Jeff Mathis? That's who we trade for?
The last couple of off-seasons have been fun. There seemed to be magic. Well, maybe trading away Doc wasn't magic, but it got us interested in the prospects and the future of the team. Soon after that Alex traded a middle reliever and a middling prospect for Brandon Morrow.
Then, last year, Alex moved the contract of Vernon Wells. If that wasn't magic, nothing else is. That was making the Statue of Liberty disappear type magic. It's the type of move that makes it look like the other GM's are going around asking 'is this your card?'. Then Alex traded for Brett Lawrie. He gave up one of my favorite players, but, come on, we got Brett Lawrie.
It seemed like Alex could do magic.
This winter? Not so much.
And I know the problem. Like Jesse pointed out, in a post last year, it is easier to go from a 1-win player to a 3-win player then it is to go from a 3-win player to a 5-win player. There aren't that many 5-win players out there, and other GM's don't want to give them away. That's why we like trades for guys like Colby Rasmus. He could be that 5-win player. He might not turn out to be, if he was a sure thing, we wouldn't have been able to trade a couple of middle relievers for him, but he could be.
It is tough. I knew, going into the off-season, that we weren't going to sign someone like Fielder to a 10-year contract, when he'd only give you value on it for the first 4 or 5 years. I did let myself get hopeful over Yu Darvish. Mostly, I was hopeful that Alex saw something in him that would make him worth $100 million plus. I can't argue that he is worth the money. Alex saw him, not me.
I just figured something would happen.
That's not to say I don't like our team, I know we are better this year. We are that much closer to where we want to be. We look to have a reasonable lineup and there's no Corey Patterson or Jayson Nix or Juan Rivera lurking. The starting rotation doesn't have a Jo-Jo Reyes or a Carlos Villanueva in it. I like what Alex has done with the bullpen. I'm sure we'll enjoy Sergio Santos more than Frankie and Rauch (though we'll miss the fun of Rauch making the 6'4" John Farrell seem like a little man). It will be an exciting season.
I'm just bored of the off-season. And I didn't expect to be. I expected Alex to keep me entertained. You let me down, Alex.
Oh well, 10 days until the first spring training game. Let's play ball.