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Friday Morning Rockpile:

Thomas Harding had a new mailbag on Wednesday with the following question and answer:

Since Matt Holiday [sic] has emerged as the power guy and Todd Helton is now hitting more for average, do you think manager Clint Hurdle will swap them in the lineup next season?
-- David F., Denver

When I asked Hurdle about it recently, he said he had not thought a lot about his lineup. But, it's certainly a switch that I'd be tempted to make.


I think that's a switch many of us would want to see happen. That Hurdle hasn't given much thought to his lineup for 2008 would appear to be an indication that the only change in the order we'll see early on is Tulo's move to the two-hole. But I certainly hope Hurdle will flip Holliday and Helton during spring training so he can see the potential payoff from the move.


So, Mark Redman's contract guarantees him $1M even if he doesn't make the team, and Josh Towers will secure $800K more than Redman should he make the 25-man roster (under the deal the sides have discussed; it could change). Should the Rockies offer guaranteed money to Mark Hendrickson, a guy the Rockies have long pursued and might make a push for after having been non-tendered by the Dodgers in December (end of article)? Give me Mark Redman any day of the week.


The Oakland A's continue their rebuilding phase by Nick Swisher to the White Sox for pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Fautino De Los Santos and outfielder Ryan Sweeney. For now and maybe a few more years, Swisher should play center field, though Carlos Quentin (acquired from the D'Backs earlier in the off season) and Jerry Owens might have something to say about that come March. Gio Gonzalez was in his second stint with the White Sox, having been traded to the Phillies in the Thome deal and a year later being shipped back to the White Sox as part of the deal for Freddy Garcia. Billy Beane won't return Gonzalez to the White Sox next off season.

Fautino's a few years away from the Majors, while Gonzalez could be up at the end of the year and Sweeney has already spent time in the Majors (though being the outfield version of Sean Burroughs isn't a good thing).

Eric Chavez feels he could be moved as part of Beane's plan.


Hideo Nomo reached a minor-league deal with the Royals. Where have you gone, Hideo Nomo?