Winners are Huston Street and Ryan Howard, probably the right two guys. Three Rockies on the NL ballot, albeit quite a ways back: Garrett Atkins (fourth), Jeff Francis (sixth), and Clint Barmes (eighth). It's a shame that Barmes got hurt, because there really wasn't a single rookie position player who played all season in the NL and put up impressive numbers. Which, yes, is a veiled slap at Houston's Willy Taveras (.666 OPS in 152 games) and Atkins (.238/.301/.347 on the road). The Phillies still have no place to play Howard assuming Jim Thome returns to health. They might as well trade Thome and pay however much of his remaining salary it takes to do so; you have to figure that Howard at the minimum plus three-quarters of Thome's money isn't too bad of a deal. The question is why they signed Thome in the first place. All the teams lining up to give Paul Konerko big dollars for multiple years should take heed.
Huston Street is the man; it only took him half a season to build up a reputation as the second- or third-best closer in the American League. And that should be something teams looking to sign B.J. Ryan or Billy Wagner should pay attention to.
The Rockies' free-agent shopping list is out there and it's not pretty. There are more guys on here I am praying they don't sign than guys I would be happy to see them add. Neifi Perez? Shawn Estes? Terry Mulholland? Elmer Dessens? No, no, no, no. As a corollary to our already-established "better than Mike Esposito" rule, I'd like to introduce the related "better than Omar Quintanilla" rule. Dan O'Dowd, Neifi Perez is not better than Omar Quintanilla. Actually, after a quick glance at Esposito's hitting stats, I'm not sure he wouldn't be a more efficacious option as a backup shortstop. Aren't we trying to remake the image of the Colorado franchise here? How does bringing back guys who have already been bad for us to be bad some more help in this?
The one guy on the Post list whom we should have interest in is Byung-Hyun Kim, whose national reputation is still colored primarily by his remarkable 2001 postseason but was the Rockies' second most reliable starter in 2005. If Dan O'Dowd elects to sign Shawn Estes over BK, this page will be a Royals blog next year.