A few thoughts on some current events …
* I like the Javier Vazquez extension. Three years, $34.5 million might seem like a bit much for a pitcher who went 11-12 with a 4.84 ERA last year, but there’s a lot to like regarding Vazquez -- namely his ability to dominate hitters (8.17 K/9) and his command (184/56 K/BB). With skills like that, Vazquez should improve on his lackluster ERA in the years to come.
In addition, with all the money being tossed at hurlers this winter, the Vazquez deal certainly isn’t out of line. Vazquez’s yearly salary is more or less the same as Gil Meche’s. Whom would you rather have?
* Mike Hampton’s oblique injury guarantees Kyle Davies will open the season in Atlanta’s rotation. Davies is too wild to be a smash hit in 2007; he walked 33 in 63 1/3 innings last year. Nevertheless, there is some strikeout potential here, and Davies’ age (23) should make him attractive to those of you in keeper leagues.
* I shed no tears for the Angels over this whole Gary Matthews situation. Serves them right for signing him to such a ridiculous contract.
* First it was his back. Then it was the virus. Now it’s knee inflammation.
Todd Helton is breaking down. Actually, let me rephrase that: Todd Helton has broken down.
I still see Helton listed among the elite first basemen on many Web sites and in many magazines. Why?
Stay away from Helton unless you get him at a deep discount -- which you probably won’t.