12/15/2004: Renteria Watch, Day 2
From Ray Mileur yesterday at The Cardinals Birdhouse:
14/14 [sic] Edgar Renteria - Returning - we got the scoop and we got it right this time - details and official announcement to follow soon.Ray is apparently so confident of this (and given his call on the Pedro Martinez situation, there might be reason to doubt--but read on) that he's willing to give $100 to one of his lucky readers if Edgar signs elsewhere.
That's in the right hand column (for those of you who have never visited The Birdhouse, the main webpage there is in a three column design). Unfortunately in the center column, there's a slightly different story: two items by Brian Walton. Down a little ways (third item in the center column) there's an item by Brian, timestamped about 4 PM CST, which says that Edgar's coming back--it's a done deal. However, at the top of the column there's another item by Brian, timestamped 9 PM CST, which tells us that Edgar is apparently under quite a bit of pressure.... On the one hand, his teammates and Tony LaRussa have been lobbying him to return (understandable; he's a valued member of the team and his teammates and manager respect his talents and want him back), while on the other hand the Major League Baseball Player's Association is apparently sticking their nose in the situation; the MLBPA having a vested interest in keeping Edgar from accepting a below market value deal and thereby depressing the free-agent market. The wild card is Edgar's agents; of course they (in theory) work for him and do his bidding (and supposedly, Edgar's desire is to sign with the Cardinals, apparently even being willing to forego a bit of salary to do so), but on the other hand, of course, they get paid a percentage of any deal they negotiate with any team, and therefore they have a vested interest to see Edgar go elsewhere for more simoleons, too.
Meanwhile, Mileur is reporting (and there were news stories to this effect that I read earlier yesterday) that the Pedro Martinez-New York Mets deal may be on the rocks; apparently the Mutts are insisting that Pedro submit to an MRI on his pitching shoulder as a condition of the deal (considering that the deal is for an amount worth about as much as Scooge McDuck's swimming pool full of cash, as well as being guaranteed for at least 4 years, IIRC, this isn't entirely unreasonable on the part of the NY Mess), while Pedro is balking at this condition (which then raises the issue of how healthy is Pedro, really?). If the Martinez-Met deal falls through, that affects the BoSox's ability to be a factor in the Renteria situation.... Well, you can start speculating along those lines, too.
Ah, the off-season is so much fun....
UPDATE: Some lucky Birdhouse reader (not me; I'm too late, I'm sure) may be $100 richer soon; the Boston papers are reporting that a Sawx deal with Renteria is close at hand, while the latest and most optimistic news from the Post-Dispatch states simply that "other things being equal" Edgar would rather remain in St. Louis. Of course, the kicker in that situation is that other things aren't equal, especially given that Boston can offer a bucket (or more) of money for every small brown paper sack of money that the Cardinals can offer....
UPDATE 2: And Mileur has conceded; the winner of the $100 will be announced tonight at 8:00 PM CST.
Len on 12.15.04 @ 07:53 AM CST