The merry-go-round continues to spin as we approach MLB’s trade deadline on Friday. In today’s column we’ll simply run through some of the names that are in the news. I can’t be the only one who finds this alternative invigorating and frustrating as hell can I? I mean we hear rumor after rumor but often fail to come to any type of resolution with a boatload of these players who end up staying right where they are. Let’s hope this year sees a lot of movement (I’ll be writing about these things all day on Friday in my running Trade Deadline Diary).
The Indians have already moved Ryan Garko to the Giants, you can read about the deal in Around the Horn. The question now becomes do they try and also unload Cliff Lee and/or Victor Martinez? Depending on which source you read, chances of both being moved may be as high as 50/50. The bidding should be pretty strong considering that Lee is probably one of the 10 best lefties in the game while V-Mart is one of those rare catchers who can be a difference maker at the dish. The Red Sox are said to be heavily involved in talks for Lee as they are apparently unlikely to get Roy Halladay given that they would likely have to overpay to get a pitcher from a divisional foe.
Why would the Blue Jays announce to the world that they would explore potentially dealing Roy Halladay if they were just going to ask for half of every team’s young hurlers in any potential deal? Couldn’t they have just done that behind the scenes and spared us all the palace intrigue since it appears no better than a 50/50 shot that he will be moved.
Brett Favre won’t play, at least according to offseason rumor #312. Let’s hope that he won’t call a press conference to state that his last retirement press conference was real and that all the media should just refer to it if they need a quote for their columns.
Nick Johnson is still on the market, but with Adam LaRoche and Ryan Garko already with new clubs, who is still in the market for a first baseman? The team was hopeful of acquiring two potentially strong prospects for Johnson, but the impending free agent will likely have to be sold at a discount unless the Nats want to lose him for nothing at the end of the year. Someone should be interested, after all the man is hitting .295 with a .407 OBP this season. Don’t let his .405 SLG concern you – at least that’s what the Nationals will be telling other clubs.
Ian Snell continues to be on the Yankees radar. In six minor league starts the man has a 0.97 ERA and 47 Ks in 37.1 innings. Given all the money they have at their disposal, why don’t they just offer to pay everything left on Snell’s salary for this year and next and just float some mid-level prospects the Pirates way? In other Pirates news, they seem to be willing to sit pat with Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson. Apparently they only trade fantasy all-stars and not merely solid major leaguers. If they do move Sanchez, the Giants would love to be the recipient of the .300 hitting second basemen given that their second basemen have combined to post a .585 OPS this year. That’s just embarrassing.
The Mariners have “officially” announced that Jarrod Washburn is available on the trade market. Did I miss something? Since when do teams “officially” put someone on the market? Is there a website I can visit? Given the proliferation of the news media, virtually no major move occurs without the story leading so that we are made aware of it well before an actual deal happens. Take Washburn for example. We knew this guy was on the trade market about two months ago, but it’s good to know that the Mariners are going to do what everyone expected them to do all along.
By Ray Flowers