Tagged: Trade Rumors

Unleash the Beast

While I was enjoying a nice day on the beach at Santa Catalina Island, I was keeping track of the moves made before the trade deadline on my iPhone. Fellow beach goers were fairly startled when I jubilantly jumped up out of my seat, exclaiming at the top of my lungs, “we got Manny! We finally got Manny!” (tear of joy rolling down my face). Then a sudden panic set in. Who did we give up to get him? Matt Kemp? Andre Ethier? James Loney? Clayton Kershaw? None of the above? Believe it or not but you’d be correct if you guessed “none of the above”. It took a little while before all the details started streaming in but once they did, I did a double-take…no, scratch that…it was a triple or quadruple-take…possibly even a quintuple-take because I found out that the World Champion Boston Red Sox sent us their World Series MVP who happens to be one of the top 5 hitters in the game and a future Hall of Famer for Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris. That’s right… Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris and that’s it; a decent, 25 year old, 3B prospect who’s not nearly as popular in scouting circles as he once was due to the trouble he’s had hitting big league pitching and a mid-level relief prospect, one year removed from Tommy John surgery who’s not even one of the Dodgers’ top 15 prospects, maybe not even top 20… Did I mention that Boston will also be covering all $7 million that is remaining on Manny’s contract for this year? Absolutely amazing! Thank you Boston! The fact that we get to keep Kemp and Ethier is really something else. I’m just beside myself. I should probably blog about this later when I’m not in a state of shock. All I can really write is “I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it.” over and over again. I guess the very least I can do is rank the Dodger prospects to give you an idea of what a steal we just made:

1. Clayton Kershaw, LHP
2. Ivan DeJesus, SS
3. Scott Elbert, LHP
4. Chris Withrow, RHP
5. Blake DeWitt, 2B/3B
6. Andy LaRoche, 3B
7. James McDonald, RHP
8. Josh Bell, 3B
9. James Adkins, RHP
10. Ethan Martin, RHP
11. Lucas May, C
12. Andrew Lambo, OF
13. Chin-Lung Hu, SS
14. Kyle Russell, OF
15. Austin Gallagher, 3B/OF
16. Cole St. Clair, LHP
17. Cody White, LHP
18. Thomas Giles, OF
19. Josh Lindblom, RHP
20. Anthony Delmonico, SS
Anybody see Bryan Morris anywhere on that list? Anybody? Really, I shouldn’t rag on the guy… Afterall, he was a top 20 prospect (and 1st round pick) at one time but took a major hit because of TJ surgery…not because of a lack of skills or anything like that. If he can rebound from the surgery (which he pretty much has at the minor league level, at least) he could eventually become a decent middle reliever one day. Best case scenario you’ll see him as a back of the rotation starter. 
And by the way…notice I have not said a single word to credit GM Ned Colletti for this move? There’s a reason for that. The reason is speculative, but if true could be the final nail in the coffin for old Ned. Rumor has it (reported on LA sports radio) that Ned in fact did not want to make this deal. Team owner, Frank McCourt, reportedly had to get on the phone himself to complete the deal with the Sox. If this report is true, Ned has absolutely no defense. It’s not like he was trying to preserve our young players… that wasn’t a concern at all since none of our cornerstones were involved in the deal. It’s hard to believe but would fall right in line with everything that Ned has done up to this point. Let’s hope for his sake that it’s not the case because I can’t imagine that he’d hold onto his job for very long after scoffing at a no-brainer…. That’s the icing on the cake…if true. We’ve already gained Manny and now might lose Ned. What a day! 

You Take Tex

I’m sure there are a fair amount of Dodger fans out there crying that the Angels landed Mark Teixeira and the Dodgers didn’t. I personally am not one of them. The problem here is the quality of the players the Braves wanted from us was far superior to the quality of players they wanted from the Angels. If the Dodgers had offered James Loney, the Braves wouldn’t have been able to accept the offer quick enough. But who on Earth would exchange years and years of discounted, Loney-like production for a 2 month rental of Teixeira? Resigning him is not a sure thing and even if you do, it will cost upwards of $100 million. Sure, Tex will make a difference for the Angels in the playoffs but had the Dodgers traded for him, there still wouldn’t be a guarantee that we’d even make the playoffs. I’ve said this a thousand times and I’ll say it yet again… the Dodgers should NOT trade any of the cornerstones of their franchise for a rental player. If we’re going to trade a James Loney or an Andre Ethier, it better be for someone who will be here for the long haul. 

To give you an idea of how badly these rental deals can blow up in your face… take a look at what the Braves gave up to get Tex in the first place… 5 prospects. They rented him for a little longer than 2 months of course, but absolutely gutted their system to bring him into ATL. Power hitting catcher/1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia (who’d probably be a better long-term option at 1B than Kotchman), top SS prospect Elvis Andrus, top pitching prospect Neftali Feliz and mid-level pitching prospect Matt Harrison and Beau Jones were all dealt for Teixeira when the Braves originally made the deal for him. All they got back in the end… Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek. Now many Braves fans are questioning whether or not they would’ve been better off taking the draft picks they would’ve received for him during free agency. 
I can assure you that this is exactly what would happen to the Dodgers. We’d deal Loney, Kemp and Ethier for a guy like this (Boras client, of course) who refuses to resign with the team and ends up hurting us much more than he helps us. That’s why the Dodgers should only explore deals for players who are already locked in to multi-year contracts. For example, shortstop Michael Young of the Rangers would be the perfect trade target. He’s an all-star, we need a shortstop, the Rangers are going nowhere and he’s locked up for 5 years, meaning that we’d actually get to keep him if we traded for him… what a novel concept! 

Annual Manny Trade Rumors

It’s once again come to that time of the year where the Dodgers make their annual call to the Red Sox about superstar slugger, Manny Ramirez. Manny announced, for the umpteenth time, that he would like to be traded from the Red Sox and doesn’t really care where he goes (at least, that’s what he’s saying now). What puzzles me is the fact that Manny has said he will only waive his no-trade clause if his new team agrees NOT to pick up his $20 million option for next season. Sure, most players want the security of a long-term deal and don’t want to be playing for consecutive one-year deals…but there’s no way that Manny will make $20 million per year in free agency. 

The fact that Manny is even in this position is all because of Manny’s selfishness or his former agent’s (Jeff Moorad, currently with the D-backs) bravado, depending on who you listen to. Manny originally signed a $160 million deal the year A-Rod signed his deal for $250 million with the Rangers. In order to make his contract look like it was nearly as big as A-Rod’s, Manny or his former agent (depending on who you listen to) insisted that the team add 2 option years worth $20 million each to bring the potential value of his contract to $200 million, rather than $160 million. Because of that, Manny now finds himself in a predicament. IF the Sox do pickup his contract, he’ll be forced to play for consecutive one year contracts which will take away any long-term security that he probably deserves. If the Sox don’t pick up the options on his contract, there’s no way any other team will pay him anything close to the $20 million per year that he would’ve received from his option years. He (or his former agent) managed to shoot himself in the foot all because of ego and greed and now it’s coming back to bite him. 
Now, back to the Dodgers. According to Boston insiders, the Dodgers were one of four teams to contact the Sox about Manny yesterday. The Dodgers have been trying to acquire Manny ever since former Red Sox manager, Grady Little, was at the helm. Undoubtedly, Joe Torre understands what Manny brings to the table and would probably do a backflip to get him in the middle of the order. It would sure make his job a lot easier (in that respect at least). It’s no secret that Manny can put up huge numbers with his eyes closed. That would not be a problem at all. The concern with bringing Manny to LA would be just that…bringing Manny to LA. You think he acts up in Boston? Just wait until he’s under the bright lights of Hollywood. LA loves drama and there’s never a shortage of it when it comes to Manny. Considering how pathetic the Dodger offense has been, I’m pretty sure Torre would be willing to deal with whatever headache comes along with a .300/40/120 hitter in the middle of the lineup. 
The question now comes down to return. What do the Red Sox expect to get in return and what can the Dodgers afford to offer. It’s seems pretty self explanatory that the Sox would want to be able to replace the production lost in one way or another. Of course, they won’t be getting a player like Manny back in return but they could get a package of young players who can contribute across the board. For example, if the Dodgers could get some kind of assurances that Manny would resign with the team, a package consisting of OF Andre Ethier (to replace Manny), reliever Cory Wade (for the bullpen) and top catching prospect Lucas May (to eventually replace Varitek), the Sox would have a hard time refusing. However, it wouldn’t make much sense to send quality players like that away if there is no guarantee that Manny will be with the club for longer than a couple of months. If we could sign him to an extension (say 5 years or so), then this would easily be a deal I’d consider. Due to his age and condition, he’d be a liability in the field but still would create enough runs to make him a + player. 
To be perfectly honest, I’d love to see Man-Ram in the middle of the Dodgers lineup for years to come but highly doubt it will happen. If the Sox are really that upset with him and don’t plan on resigning him, why not wait him out and sign him in free agency and only pay two draft picks instead of 2-3 quality, major league-ready players? If I had to guess and if history is any sort of an indicator, I’d bet that Manny won’t be going anywhere before the trade deadline.  Then again, the problem with trading Manny in the past was always his massive contract. Now that his contract is more reasonable, this may finally be the year in which the Red Sox trade Manny Ramirez. Imagine that… 

Trade Rumors

-Mark Teixeira, ATL

The latest rumors involving Teixeira have him possibly going to the D-Backs in exchange for 1B, Conor Jackson, among others. D-Backs’ management denies the reports. 
-Brian Fuentes, COL
According to Rockies’ management, the team will keep closer, Brian Fuentes, and try to compete for the NL West title. They are only 6 games out of first place after winning a good number of games over the past couple of weeks. 
-Bengie Molina, SF
Yankees scouts have been checking out Giants’ catcher, Bengie Molina, lately as a possible replacement for the injured Jorge Posada. Molina is signed thru ’09 and wouldn’t come cheaply. The Giants are asking for a package of big-time prospects in return making a deal unlikely. If a trade does go down, Bengie and brother Jose would be reunited again (they used to play together when they were on the Angels). 
-Jarrod Washburn, SEA
The Yankees should complete a deal for M’s lefty, Jarrod Washburn, today if the M’s decide to accept the proposed offer. The M’s are indicating that they may keep Washburn but that could just be posturing. Washburn is due about $14 million this year and the Yankees have offered to take that salary off the books for them…but here’s the catch, they’ll be sending a C-level prospect in return (if that). The Yankees have made it clear that they are willing to give the M’s some cap relief but will not give up anything of value for him. 
-Hank Blalock, TEX
After failing to come to an agreement for the M’s 3B, Adrian Beltre, the Twins have reportedly turned their attention to Ranger’s 3B, Hank Blalock. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, the Twins are serious about upgrading at 3B and tried to acquire Casey Blake from the Indians before he was sent to the Dodgers over the weekend. 
Players on the Block
ATL
-Mark Teixeira, 1B
-Will Ohman, LHP
BAL
-George Sherrill, LHP
-Brian Roberts, 2B
-Aubrey Huff, 1B
-Melvin Mora, 3B
-Jamie Walker, LHP
-Chad Bradford, RHP
CIN
-Adam Dunn, OF
-Ryan Freel, OF
-Ken Griffey Jr., OF
-Corey Patterson, OF
-Scott Hatteberg, 1B
-Bronson Arroyo, RHP
-Josh Fogg, RHP
CLE
-Jamey Carroll, 2B
-David Dellucci, OF
COL
-Brian Fuentes, LHP
-Matt Holliday, OF
-Mark Redman, LHP
-Glendon Rusch, LHP
-Kip Wells, RHP
-Garrett Atkins, 3B
-Clint Barmes, SS
-Scott Podsednik, OF
CWS
-Orlando Cabrera, SS
-Paul Konerko, 1B
-Joe Crede, 3B
-Brian Anderson, OF
DET
-Ivan Rodriguez, C
-Placido Polanco, 2B
-Marcus Thames, OF
-Edgar Renteria, SS
-Fernando Rodney, RHP
-Todd Jones, RHP
FLA
-Mike Jacobs, 1B
-Josh Willingham, OF
-Cody Ross, OF
-Ricky Nolasco, RHP
-Scott Olsen, LHP
-Mark Hendrickson, LHP
-Josh Johnson, RHP
KC
-David DeJesus, OF
-Jose Guillen, OF
-Mark Grudzielanek, 2B
-Miguel Olivo, C
-Brian Bannister, RHP
-Ron Mahay, LHP
-Gil Meche, RHP
LAA
-Chone Figgins, IF/OF
-Francisco Rodriguez, RHP
-Casey Kotchman, 1B
-Gary Matthews Jr., OF
-Reggie Willits, OF
LAD
-Juan Pierre, OF
-Andruw Jones, OF
-Derek Lowe, RHP
MIN
-Michael Cuddyer, OF
-Nick Punto, IF
-Brendan Harris, 2B/SS
-Mike Lamb, 3B
-Craig Monroe, OF
-Scott Baker, RHP
-Kevin Slowey, RHP
-Nick Blackburn, RHP
-Boof Bonser, RHP
-Glen Perkins, RHP
-Jesse Crain, RHP
NYM
-Luis Castillo, 2B
-Aaron Heilman, RHP
NYY
-Robinson Cano, 2B
-Kei Igawa, LHP
OAK
-Justin Duchscherer, RHP
-Huston Street, RHP
-Alan Embree, LHP
-Lenny DiNardo, RHP
-Mark Ellis, 2B
-Bobby Crosby, SS
-Emil Brown, OAK
-Eric Chavez, 3B
PHI
-Shane Victorino, OF
-Jayson Werth, OF
-Carlos Ruiz, C
-Geoff Jenkins, OF
-Brett Myers, RHP
PIT
-John Grabow, LHP
-Jason Bay, OF
-Tyler Yates, RHP
-Matt Morris, RHP
-Freddy Sanchez, 2B
-Jack Wilson, SS
-Ronny Paulino, C
SD
-Khalil Greene, SS
-Brian Giles, OF
-Josh Bard, C
-Michael Barrett, C
-Greg Maddux, RHP
-Cla Meredith, RHP
SEA
-Erik Bedard, LHP
-Jarrod Washburn, LHP
-Carlos Silva, RHP
-Miguel Batista, RHP
-Raul Ibanez, OF
-Adrian Beltre, 3B
-Kenji Johjima, C
-Jose Vidro, 2B
SF
-Bengie Molina, C
-Randy Winn, OF
-Jose Castillo, 2B/3B
-Dave Roberts, OF
-Rich Aurilia, 1B
-Brad Hennessey, RHP
-Tyler Walker, RHP 
TEX
-Eddie Guardado, LHP
-Joaquin Benoit, RHP
-Frank Francisco, RHP
-Wes Littleton, RHP
-Vicente Padilla, RHP
-Kevin Millwood, RHP
TOR
-Roy Halladay, RHP
-AJ Burnett, RHP
-Scott Downs, RHP
-Jeremy Accardo, RHP
-Armando Benitez, RHP
-Lyle Overbay, 1B
-Marco Scutaro, 2B/SS
-Rod Barajas, C
-Gregg Zaun, C
-David Eckstein, SS
-Scott Rolen, 3B

A Trade that Should Happen

Phillies Get

-Scott Baker, RHP
Twins Get
-Shane Victorino, CF

Phillies Perspective
The Phillies have a surplus of OFs and could really use some solid starting pitching. Losing Victorino (aka The Flyin’ Hawaiian) would not be easy for the fans but would make sense for the playoffs. Baker is an up and coming young pitcher who’s proving to be very polished on the mound for his age. He doesn’t walk many batters or give up many hits. He’s a good strikeout pitcher as well and projects as a possible #2 or #3 starter down the road. As previously mentioned, the Phillies would still have enough OFs to get by in the event of a Victorino trade and could move Jayson Werth over to CF to take his spot and play Geoff Jenkins in the corner (or possibly call up Greg Golson from the minor leagues to play CF). A rotation consisting of Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Scott Baker, Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick would definitely put them in a much better position heading into the postseason. 

Twins Perspective
Even though the Twins are contending right now, they are in somewhat of a transition mode… handing the team over from the old guard to the new. Landing an OF like Victorino would be the icing on the cake and would give them possibly the best defensive OF in baseball along with Carlos Gomez and Delmon Young (and the fastest as well). Unlike most teams, the Twins have enough starting pitching and could actually afford to trade a few of them. If the team could figure out a way to send over Kevin Slowey or Glen Perkins for Victorino, I’d do that and keep Baker but I’d imagine the Phillies would want Baker for an established vet like him. This would also free up the team to make a Mike Cuddyer and/or Craig Monroe trade, possibly for a relief pitcher or prospects. Jason Kubel could then move to the permanent DH spot and the team’s lineup would be set. 
1. Shane Victorino, LF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Delmon Young, RF
6. Jason Kubel, DH
7. Carlos Gomez, CF
8. Brian Buscher, 3B
9. Nick Punto, SS

A Trade that Should Happen

Blue Jays Get

-Jaime Garcia, RHP
-Bryan Anderson, C
-Pete Kozma, SS
Cardinals Get
-AJ Burnett, RHP

Blue Jays Perspective
-Trading Burnett now would be a way to unload some payroll and restock the farm system. He’s not pitching very well and his value is lower than it could be but nonetheless, there are some contending teams out there that are absolutely starved for starting pitchers… like the Cards. While they probably wouldn’t be willing to send over their best prospect for him (Colby Rasmus), a combination of lesser prospects shouldn’t be a problem to work out. Like all teams, the Jays could always use some young pitching… hence Garcia but the big catch here would be the catcher, Bryan Anderson (no pun intended). He’s one of the top catching prospects in baseball and could prove to be the Jays long-term answer behind the plate. Kozma is a mid-level prospect but could serve as a decent backup in the middle infield one day. To sum it up, the Jays could end up with a very promising catcher and a pitcher that they could plug into their bullpen immediately and could eventually start for the team down the road. 

Cardinals Perspective
-In my opinion, this is a fair price for Burnett. Although he’s not pitching his best and is injury prone, the Cards wouldn’t have to completely gut their farm system to get him. Everyone knows that Burnett has the stuff to be a top-of-the-rotation starter when he’s going well and he could recapture that magic on his return to the NL. The Cards have a good chance to make the playoffs this season but no one knows how long their makeshift rotation will hold up. Guys like Kyle Lohse, Todd Wellemeyer, Joel Pineiro and Braden Looper have been pitching better than anyone thought they ever would and ever have before. Adding Burnett would give them extra insurance so they wouldn’t have to rely on question marks heading into the postseason. Once Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright return, the team would suddenly have a strong rotation, capable of going head to head with the best of the NL. The best part about this trade is they wouldn’t have to subtract from their major league team. Garcia was just promoted last week to join the bullpen and could be replaced by Wellemeyer or Looper (who were both relievers before they became starters). Anderson is a minor leaguer who is not needed now with the emergence of Yadier Molina and Kozma does not quite have as much potential as Brendan Ryan

A Trade that Should Happen

Red Sox Get

-Heath Bell, RHP
-Colt Morton, C
Padres Get
-Coco Crisp, OF
Red Sox Perspective
-The Sawks have been trying to unload Crisp for some time now without any luck. Trading him to the Padres for Bell wouldn’t be the most exciting trade for Sawks fans but would make sense for the club heading into the playoffs. Their bullpen needs strengthening and they have more than enough OFs running around out there. Crisp’s value is higher right now than it has been in the past so the club likely could land a top-line reliever like Bell. Another option would be to take a young starter in return like Josh Banks, Will Inman or Matt Latos. Morton (who is interchangeable with Nick Hundley or Luke Carlin) would give the team a young catching prospect in the system (which suddenly matters now that Jason Varitek may be on his way out) and even a possible backup catcher for this season. If the team would rather have a veteran backstop, I’m sure they could figure out a way to send them Michael Barrett or even possibly former Red Sock, Josh Bard. All in all, this is the most impressive haul for Crisp but Bell would be a big-time difference maker in the fall and would give them exactly what they sought but failed to receive when they made the transaction for embattled reliever, Eric Gagne, last season. 
Padres Perspective
-The Padres are going nowhere fast and can start looking towards next year. They have a surplus of relief pitching but need offense…and more specifically, they need a centerfielder/leadoff hitter. Crisp would instantly make a big impact on the team with his glove and as a spark plug to kick off games and generate runs. On the other hand, Bell is a valuable commodity as well but it really doesn’t matter how good your bullpen is when you’re in last place. Cla Meredith or Justin Hampson can takeover his role or the team could call up a prospect from the minors… like Inman, Latos, Drew Miller, Nick Schmidt or Steve Garrison