MLB '08 Is Right Around the Corner
The MLB off-season feels so short. It seems like I was just reading about the '07 post-season! One potentially big transaction was Seattle picking up pitcher Erik Bedard. Bedard was on his way to a career-best season in '07 before his early exit in late August due to injury. He ended up with a 13-5 record (not bad considering his team finished 69-93), a 3.16 ERA and 221 K's in 182 IP (10.93 K's/9IP). He also tossed a 2-hit shutout against the Rangers on 7/7, with 0 BB's & 15 K's! The big question mark that's been looming over his head is his health, but if he can remain injury-free, you can expect his cards to jump a couple of notches in hobby stature. His 01 Donruss Class of 2001 RC #'d 625 is his only serial #'d rookie card (although many sellers put his 02 cards up on auction, and list them as his "RC" cards). In August, before he got hurt, this card was selling in the $60's range. Thereafter, it's been fluctuating in the $25-32 range, through January. I haven't seen any sell so far this month, but I wouldn't be surprised if it starts to rise again with the prospect of him pitching in a better rotation, and for a better team overall.
Another player on the move that I'm very excited to see is Andruw Jones. Jones signed a 2-year deal with the Dodgers, after spending his first 12 major league seasons with the Braves. It was reported that Jones has put back the 15 lbs that he lost with the hope to regain his strength at the plate (Agent Boras had previously advised him to lose the weight, to make him more attractive as a free agent). Jones is hoping for a longer-term contract extension in L.A. before putting down permanent roots in his new city. In the meantime, he'll be renting a house in Calabasas (a suburb about 45 minutes northwest of Dodger Stadium). Over the past couple of months, Jones' 95 Bowman's Best RC has been selling in the $20-22 range, and his 95 Bowman RC in the $11-13 range. I haven't seen any Bowman's Best sold this month, but his Bowman RC has been averaging $14.62, possibly signaling an increasing level of hobby interest. Despite hitting only 22 HR in '07, we need to remember that he hit 41 & 51 HR in '06 & '05, respectively, and he could do it again for the Dodgers. I believe that Jones has the potential, from a hobby standpoint, to match the values of Vladimir Guerrero's rookie cards, which have been selling for about 50% more on the Bowman's Best, and 100% more on the Bowman.