July 29, 2006
Odds and Ends
A few deals went down after my post went to press yesterady. The Brewers acquired Philly 3B David Bell for a pack of peanuts, the Giants acquired 70-year-old Mike Stanton from the Nationals (though they apparently gave up a pretty good prospect in return), and the Braves finally dealt utilityman Wilson Betemit, getting Danys Baez back from the Dodgers. Baez is a solid, not spectacluar reliever, and the Dodgers will play Betemit at third (possibly making Cesar Izturis trade bait).
Miguel Tejada is apparently on the market and he has many suitors lining up. The Angels reportedly offered two great young players - young starter Ervin Santana and AAA shortstop Erick Aybar - and everyone I've heard is saying the O's should jump on this deal. Peter Angelos is more likely to wait and accumulate offers, however, and the Dodgers, Astros, and Rangers all have interest. It would be amazing if the Rangers could add another impact bat before the deadline, but you still won't make the playoffs if you give up 15 runs per game. With the pitching depth in that division, I don't think the Rangers would be assured of a playoff spot, even if they did get Tejada. And you never know what Peter Angelos will do - he could easily pull Tejada off the market, because nobody knows what Angelos is thinking and nobody ever will. They need to rebuild that team around some young pitchers and let Leo Mazzone do his thing - they could probably do that with Tejada, but it might be better to move him.
Yesterday I mentioned that five teams were interested in Maddux, but today it looks like there's just two - the Padres and Dodgers. What seems most likely at this point is that Maddux stays in Beantown; the Pads have a good staff already and the Dodgers need more help than Maddux can provide.
The Phillies are trying a number of strategies to move Abreu, including packaging him with either Jon Lieber or Corey Lidle. The only interested team right now seems to be the Yankees, and from what I've heard they've backed off their demand of Philip Hughes or Jose Tabata. All signs are pointing to Abreu in pinstripes by August.
Apparently Coco Crisp and Trot Nixon are on the market, though I doubt Crisp will be dealt unless the Sox recieve a great offer. Mark Loretta also might be avaliable, as the Sox have young second baseman Dustin Pedroia waiting in the wings.
The Angels need a first baseman, and reports say they've narrowed their search to Sean Casey or Jeff Conine.
Kip Wells helped his stock last night with a 7 IP, 0 ER performance, and may be leaving Pittsburgh by Monday.
The Blue Jays apparently have lost interest in Julio Lugo, and are looking to add a starter - most likely Lidle, Lieber, or Rodrigo Lopez.
The Twins are still talking about Soriano, but are hesitant to deal top pitching prospect Matt Garza, who may be in the big leagues any day now. They still could get a deal done, although Torii Hunter is expected back in the lineup on Monday, which should help their offense out. The Astros like Soriano as well, but don't want to give up either of their top prospects - Jason Hirsh or Hunter Pence.
All Omar Minaya has to do is say the magic words ("Lastings Milledge", or possibly even "Aaron Heilman"), and Barry Zito will be on the next train to Beantown. But right now Minaya isn't biting, and instead is focusing on lesser options such as Livan Hernandez, Jon Lieber, or Kip Wells.
The MLB Induction ceremony is tomorrow in Cooperstown, and Tim Kurkjian has the must-read on how lone inductee Bruce Sutter changed the art of pitching.
According to coolstandings.com (third time in four posts I've linked to this - I'm on a roll!), the chances of my midseason division and wildcard predictions coming true is roughly one in 4.6 million - about the same likelyhood as a pregnant woman having identical quadruplets. So, if we've learned one thing, it's this: When in doubt, take my advice and go the other way.