A week to go to the trading deadline. A lot to talk about. So let's get started, because I only have a half-hour to chat today.
Please tell me something happened to keep the Dempster trade from going through. It seems too dangerous to bring in someone having a career year like this.
It hasn't blown up. It's likely to happen. My understanding is that Dempster had told the Cubs some time ago that the Braves were one of the teams he wanted to go to. So it's just a matter of him officially signing up. Not sure I understand why this qualifies as "dangerous." Somebody explain that to me.
What exactly is the rockies strategy behind keeping guys like scuatro, giabmi, betancourt etc. - why not get something, anything for guys who clearly wont be back next year or part of a winning team any time soon
Scutaro and Giambi are very, very available. Their reservation about moving Betancourt is that their rotation is so unstable and gives them so few innings, they need their bullpen depth more than ever. And remember, he's signed for next year, too.
With Atlanta waiting to hear on Dempster, do they pursue a Jason Vargas or Fransisco Litiano type guy, and still have enough money for Dempster?
No. Never liked those two a whole lot anyway. And they have no reason to think the Dempster trade won't happen. Assuming it does, they'll be done shopping for starting pitching.
With the tigers trade, do you think they can now be considered a contender for the world series?
They were already a contender for the World Series. I picked them to win in March, and I never changed my mind. But this shores up their two most glaring holes. And they still might not be done.
Is there any market for A. Soriano? He'll never be worth more than right now
I hear the same stuff on Soriano over and over, from other clubs: "I'd take him for two months. But I don't want him for two years." Doubtful he gets moved.
The Pirates still have not promoted Starling Marte. Do they see him as a valuable prospect in a trade or do they still not think he is ready? The way the corner OF is struggling in Pittsburgh this has become a head-scratcher.
What they're telling other teams is that they think he's ready right now. So if they can't trade for a proven outfield bat, they'll bring him up and turn him loose. If they can, he might be the guy to go if it's a player they can control for enough years.
Wondering if Cliff Lee might bring more of a return than Cole Hamels in the current trade market. Older, bumpy 2012, but has pedigree and cost certainty over a shorter term than Hamels will require. What type of package could the Phillies command if they went in this direction?
Well, he's not a rental. So clearly, they'd get more for him than for Hamels. But I think their strategy for rebuilding is to keep Hamels, Lee and Halladay and know if they're all 100 percent, it won't be as hard to fill in around them. They're listening on just about everybody, but I think it's highly unlikely they trade Lee.
Any moves in store for the ChiSox? Or are they hoping that Verlander has a run-in with an iron a'la John Smoltz?
They're in on every high-end starting pitcher who might potentially get trade, from Hamels to Lee to Greinke to Shields, etc. Not sure they have enough prospect depth to pull off one of those moves, but seems as if we say that every July and Kenny Williams finds a way to do something big.
What is your take on the Ichiro deal ?
I had dinner last night with a bunch of scouts and asked the question: "What do you think the odds are that Ichiro gets energized by this trade?" They tended to think there's a good chance that happens. The guy hasn't had a shot to win anything in 10 years, if you don't count the WBC. And one of my most vivid recollections of watching him in the WBC was how much joy he seemed to take in having something meaningful to play for. Buster Olney wrote today this could be the Yankees' equivalent of the White Sox trading for Kevin Youkilis. I'm not 100 percent sold on that. But it wouldn't shock me, either.
How about those Reds? Do you see them making a move for a leadoff hitter or anything else?
I do. They don't want to overpay, but they're involved with a decent group of outfield bats.
What's your take on Dempster withholding his trade approval? Another case of an athlete being a diva?
I know there are a lot of people suggesting that. But this happens all the time. Players negotiate no-trade clauses so that, when the time comes, they have the right to control their fate, either by blocking deals, negotiating some sort of perk or even getting an extension out of it. I don't think this is that big a deal. It's just part of the business. No reason to overreact to it.
In your opinion, who won the Tigers-Marlins swap? Tigers short-term, Miami long-term sound about right?
I think you nailed it. I've always thought a good deal was one that worked for everybody, and that's what this one is. The Tigers definitely got better in the short haul. And Jacob Turner gives the Marlins a potentially high-end young starter who's under control for a long, long time. And the other two guys probably will play in the big leagues, too. Now the Marlins have to be careful about what they do next. Can't give their fans the impression this is another fire sale.
Are the Padres going to super-maximize Headley's value, knowing that he's A) cheap and under team-control, B) plays a position that is in demand and C) has respectable numbers outside of PETCO. If you're Colletti in L.A., do you risk seeing your No. 1 prospect in Z. Lee in the division for years to come --- IF that's the cost?
That's exactly what they're doing: Portraying Headley as a guy they don't have to move, but knowing they want to move him. Here's my guess: When he does get traded, he winds up outside the division. Sounds like the price for the Dodgers is more than Lee, and is higher than they're looking for from teams like Oakland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, etc. The Phillies, by the way, are another team that's had interest in Headley for a long time.
any new hamels news what do you think will happen
I think now that this gets done, for two reasons: a) The Phillies are telling other teams they believe they're going to get the guy signed. And b) by offering six years, they're clearly all in now, and they can't let him leave over a few million dollars. But on the other side of this, Hamels is still telling his teammates he doesn't know what he's going to do. He has to decide how much he wants to stay versus how much he wants to explore his options and find out what he's truly worth.
With Lewis going down, Rangers have to make a move, right?
I'd be shocked if they didn't. They have more prospects to trade than any team out there. They can take on money. They're not afraid of a rental like Hamels or Greinke. And they're committed to doing whatever it takes to get back to the World Series. So it's just finding the right fit.
Phillies trading for Headley wouldn't necessarily mean they're "buying", right? It would be an upgrade for both the short-term and long-term, so they could conceivably trade for him and move Victorino and/or Pence
Absolutely. Whatever they do, it will be to try to put pieces in place for next year. And third base might be their biggest worry. The free-agent market isn't good, and their trade options aren't much better.
In your opinion factoring in contract, current form, etc., assuming Shields is on the block and Garza's injury isn't real serious, who would command a higher return package? Do scouts see Shields as a classic AL-to-NL guy who would return to form going to the much weaker league?
Those are two big assumptions. Garza is going to miss his next start, and teams aren't going to trade for him until they see he's OK. And the Rays don't have to trade Shields right now. He's under control for two more years beyond this one, and they're unlikely to plummet totally out of the race. But now that we've got that out of the way, Garza clearly has better stuff, but Shields is viewed as more dependable. So the returns ought to be comparable, or there's no reason for their teams to trade them.
Do the Astros find a way to move Wandy? If so, which team looks the most interested?
They're willing to eat money, but there's just so much of it to eat! So I rated the odds at only 50-50 last week, and he hasn't pitched well enough lately to improve those odds at all. He'll get traded eventually. It just might not be in the next week.
I know the overachieving Mets have come back down to earth, but will Sandy at least make a bullpen move to try and stop the bleeding. Something, anything?
Only, at this point, for a guy who can help them next year. They're now 10 games back in the loss column in the division, and fading in the wild card. So it's not worth overpaying to do anything in the short term. Their view is, the players have essentially told them that by how they've played since the break.
Hate to run, but I only have time for one more. Sorry!
To follow up on the Shields-Garza talk, would it in the Rays and Cubs' best interest to wait until the offseason to pick up the phone on offers, especially if Hamels re-signs in Philadelphia. They'd move another notch up the pole and both teams would have more teams involved in trade discussions.
That could easily happen. What keeps them in play right now is that, if Hamels signs and Greinke doesn't have a good start tonight, those two guys get even more attractive -- AND they're probably the two best non-rentals on the market. So both teams will listen. The hold-ups are Garza's health and the Rays' place in the standings. Shields is a tough guy to trade in midseason. A big leader in that clubhouse.
Sorry I couldn't stick around longer. It's a busy time of year! See ya down the road in Chat Land.