The Dutch Oven: Still Pipin' Hot in Aught-Nine

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Why the dutch oven? Because the term 'hot stove' needs to be retired. This feature will attempt to give you a listicle-driven source for all sorts of off-season baseball rumors. If you have any suggestions, rumors, or recipes that I can cook in my dutch oven, email us

A few things of note happened since last we convened. Here are the biggest stories of the holiday break:

  • Giants Offer a One Unit Contract to Biggest Unit of Them All: Believe it or not, Barry Zito is now the Giants' fifth starter. After San Fran's GM Brian Sabean inked grizzled veteran Randy Johnson to a one-year deal, the best pitching staff in the NL West now looks like this: Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, Johnson, Zito. Maybe with less pressure on him, Barry Z will be able to rediscover his once crushing curveball.

  • Dusty Baker Can't Let Go: Reds Sign Corey Patterson Lite: The Reds miserable 2008 centerfield experiment with Corey Patterson was a total washout, so GM Walt Jocketty went out and got a different quick fast outfielder with a penchant for low OBPs: Willy Taveras! Only, Taveras doesn't even have half the power Patterson did and plays defense significantly worse. "Don't Hit Willy Taveras Leadoff" just doesn't have the same ring.

  • Red Sox Plan Massive Reclamation Project With Ol' Brad Penny: I've always argued that the US Gubmint should eliminate the penny because they're nearly worthless in today's economy and folks just hoard 'em or discard 'em anyway. Get rid of the penny and get rid of the paper dollar, says I. The Red Sox, however, signed Brad Penny who is coming off an injury-plagued 2008 season with L.A.

  • Despite Letting K-Rod Walk, Angels Continue to Not Get It: The Angels replaced single-season-save-stud Frankie Rodriguez in the closer role by signing Brian Fuentes to a two-year deal. Fuentes is the Rockies all-time leader in career saves and is not related to Daisy.

  • Cleveland Continues to Raid Cubs' Pantry; Adds Versatile DeRosa: Just a coupla weeks after signing free agent Kerry Wood to close out games, the Indians have consummated a trade with the Cubbies for a 33-year-old to slightly overperform replacement level at four different positions. Yes, Indians fans, Mark DeRosa will replace Casey Blake as the guy your pal Greg from Akron calls 'scrappy' and 'a gamer'.

  • Andruw Jones Is Coming Home, Maybe: Now that the Dodgers have restructured their deal with much-maligned outfielder Andruw Jones, deferring the remaining money on his contract and granting him a full release, rumours are floating all over the baseballblogosphere about the kid maybe headed to your favorite team. Don't worry, kids, unless you're a Braves fan, because in Andruw's heart of hearts, there's only one place that makes him happy. Plantains for everybody!

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The Braves are trying to insure I won't be attending any games this year.

If Derosa doesn't fall off too much coming to the AL he can be a solid #2 hitter for us. I like the addition, small things can sometimes add up.

Hey, getting rid of the penny/paper dollar would also be a no-cost way to marginally stimulate the economy! Which I'll take over a $700 billion way to marginally stimulate the economy.

The Braves should just bring back the entire 90s dynasty. That would make Larry Jones happy.

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