"Be an interesting off season for those guys."
Kent is gone, my clubhouse source tells me he's dead-set on retiring. Burke will be the guy next year. Kent wouldn't fit in well in NY, mostly because he wouldn't fit in.....well, anywhere really. He's kind of an asshole, as most of us know. Tavares is probably not ready offensively, but is good with the glove, and one of the fastest guys around. He can cope with the huge CF at MMP as well as anybody I think. Beltran says he likes Houston and the core of younger talent in place, but we'll see if he likes George's money better. He may have put Houston out of the running financially with this postseason. Clemens may or may not come back, that's probably a coin toss.
Starting pitching looks promising with Oswalt, Pettitte, Miller, and Backe coming back for sure. The bullpen needs some tinkering, but Harville has potential, Gallo is getting there, Wheeler has proven to be solid, and Lidge is, well, Lidge.
Next year they'll be without Kent's bat, probably Beltran's bat, and possibly Biggio's bat. If Biggio retires or the team doesn't pick up his option (3 mil), you'll see Lane starting. We might see Chavez instead of Ausmus as well, but that's a push IMO. So Berkman is the only consistently dangerous hitter coming back; Ensberg was spotty this year, Bagwell is old and has one arm. They'll need some work.
If they don't get Beltran back, I'd like to see them make a run at Varitek and/or Beltre, but I don't like the odds of getting either guy :(
Could be a long year in '05.