Top major league moves this winter

Published 6:37 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It’s another busy day in the world, and you’re all probably wondering the same thing I am right now…

Why do people embarrass themselves by auditioning for American Idol?

After watching clips of the season premier Tuesday night, I’m convinced anyone who lies to a member of the youth choir should spend time in jail.

Little Johnny is only 9. I know that. But the pain now is a whole lot less than a decade from now when four professional judges (and millions of amateur ones) laugh at him.

No, this has absolutely nothing to do with sports.

But it’s my column, and I’ll cry if I want to.

Quick, George L., think of a way to get back on task… Baseball!

Pitchers and catchers report to major league spring training a month from now. Ask me if I’m happy about that. Ask me.

I’m happy as a hungry baby on laundry day.

It’s still the offseason, but today on “The List” you’ll find out about teams who know that competition never ends.

5. New York Yankees.

George Steinbrenner retired, and the new stadium didn’t fall into an abyss. Who knew? Typical Yanks, they went out and spent the Gross National Product of Malaysia on a handful of free agents. The addition of CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett means they will have deep pitching, and when was the last time you could say that about this team?

4. Tampa Bay Rays.

The American League Champs didn’t go crazy with the checkbook, nor can they afford to. But paying Pat Burrell $8 million for two years shows the team is serious about beefing up a lineup that had no right-handed power behind Evan Longoria.

3. Oakland Athletics.

Apparently there’s not a single outfielder the A’s aren’t looking at, including me. But I know one thing for sure: All Star Matt Holliday has job security. Making a trade with Colorado was the smartest thing they’ve done in years. Signing Jason Giambi out of free agency is probably the dumbest. He hit 32 home runs last season. Whoopity doo! But he’s 37 now, and defensively he still couldn’t handle a beach ball with a tuna net. Not that he’ll do anything besides DH anyway, but still, I thought small market teams couldn’t afford one-trick ponies.

2. Atlanta Braves.

I have some reservations about giving Derek Lowe $60 million over four years. Then again, I’m not desperate for an experienced ace in my rotation. Let’s hope his arm speed is still good enough to allow him to come close to the 3.24 ERA he posted for the Dodgers in 2008. At the very least, he’ll make a good mentor for Jair Jurrjens, who showed flashes of brilliance last season.

1. San Francisco Giants.

Have to give Los Gigantes the medal for making the boldest winter moves. Randy Johnson? He still throws heat, but he may also throw out his back if he sneezes too hard. I’m not as quick to write off Edgar Renteria as everyone else, just as long as he isn’t the everyday shortstop. It ain’t 1997 anymore, guys.