Monday, July 28, 2008

Predictions (Guesses) As To Who Will And Won't Get Traded (And Where) By July 31st

Here are my guesses as to who gets traded where and who doesn't get traded at all:
Will Be Traded:
  • Jarrod Washburn and Miguel Cairo, Seattle Mariners to New York Yankees:
I have to believe that cooler heads will prevail, the Mariners will lower their demands just to get out from under Washburn's $9.375 million contract for 2009 and send him to the Yankees
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for whatever the Yankees want to give up. The question with Washburn is whether his performance since early June is to be believed or if the mediocre-to-bad pitcher he's been since joining the Mariners is the reality; my guess is that it's the former and the Yankees would be hoping to get some use out of him to win right now. They'd probably be better off just keeping what they have and seeing what comes available during August as more teams fall out of contention and look to shed salary.
There was talk that the Mariners would send both Washburn and Jose Vidro to the Yankees for Kei Igawa, but that was just to match up salaries. I think the Yankees would like to have Cairo back given his history with them and the success the Yankees have had with veteran utilitymen (Luis Sojo, Cairo) who provide surprisingly clutch hits in the post-season.
  • Arthur Rhodes, Seattle Mariners to New York Mets or Chicago Cubs:
I think the Mets are still thinking about how Rhodes came into the game against them as an emergency closer on June 23rd and blew away both Carlos Delgado and Damion Easley as the tying runs at the plate. I also think that the Mets are concerned about Pedro Feliciano's struggles this season and Rhodes is a playoff-tested veteran.
Cubs manager Lou Piniella relied heavily on Rhodes while managing the Mariners and would presumably love to have him again for similar reasons as the Mets would want him.
  • Raul Ibanez and Miguel Batista, Seattle Mariners to Arizona Diamondbacks:
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Ibanez is a lefty bat who hits for power and Batista has already had two stints with the Diamondbacks, and is known and well-liked in Arizona. The Diamondbacks have the organizational depth to make a bigger splash and have been spoken of as landing spots for the likes of Mark Teixeira, but Ibanez should become cheaper as the deadline gets closer. I would think that the Mariners would kick in some money just to get Batista out of town, especially if they unload Washburn first.
  • Kevin Millar, Baltimore Orioles to Florida Marlins:
    millar pic.jpeg
Millar is a gregarious veteran who's won before and was a popular member of the Marlins earlier in his career. He's a dangerous righty bat who can play first base and the outfield and wouldn't cost much in terms of players or money and is a free agent at season's end.
  • Chad Bradford, Baltimore Orioles to St. Louis Cardinals:
The Cardinals desperately need some bullpen help and Orioles president Andy MacPhail probably wouldn't mind hurting his former employers the Cubs by sending the Cardinals an unsung veteran reliever with post-season experience. Bradford's signed through next season at $3.5 million. The Cardinals also need to do something to placate an increasingly frustrated manager Tony La Russa; he's not going to stick around forever with a team that doesn't want to spend any money to improve at mid-season when he's doing what is perhaps the best managing job in his long and storied career.
  • David Eckstein, Toronto Blue Jays to Los Angeles Dodgers:
    eckstein pic.jpeg
The Dodgers have been scouring the big leagues for a shortstop to replace the injured Rafael Furcal. They've been focusing on Jack Wilson from the Pirates and checked in on the likes of Edgar Renteria, but they'd be better off with a fiery, post-season hero like David Eckstein who wouldn't cost that much, but would be a huge pickup for the stretch run.
  • Adam Dunn, Cincinnati Reds to Los Angeles Angels:
The Angels are saying that they're likely to stand pat, but they're going to need another bat to get past the likes of the Red Sox in the playoffs and Dunn wouldn't cost much in players, can play first base, the outfield or DH and would slide neatly into the Angels lineup while being comfortable with the laid back atmosphere of Los Angeles.

Won't Be Traded:
  • Brian Fuentes and Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies:
There will be many teams chasing Fuentes more than Holliday because he'd be a cheaper
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acquisition, but the Rockies fancy themselves as contenders even though they're eleven games under .500. Considering their comeback last season; that they're only six games out of first place and should be getting Jeff Francis back soon, they have an argument to hold their fire and see what happens and take the draft picks they'll get after the season when Fuentes leaves via free agency. The only way they trade Holliday is relating to the Red Sox/Manny Ramirez situation and it's a complicated deal to make on short notice.
  • Mark Teixeira, Atlanta Braves:
    teixeira pic.jpg
There won't be any way to get equal value for Teixeira; the Braves won't even be able to make up for what they traded to the Rangers last year to get Teixeira. They're not that far out of contention to make it worthwhile to trade him even though the state of their pitching staff and rampant injuries doesn't bode well for a climb back into contention. They might as well just hang onto him and take the draft picks after the season.
  • Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox:
As I said a couple of days ago, the only way this would happen is if a complicated three-team trade between the Red Sox, Phillies or Mets and Rockies will send Holliday to Boston. Other than that, they'll sit tight with Manny, eat his crud and hope that he helps them win another title. It's not like these Manny-blowups weren't predictable before the season started and things moved along without him getting an extension or having his contract options exercised. If the unlikely happens and the suggested three-team trade comes to pass, I would expect Fuentes to end up in Boston as well.
  • George Sherrill, Baltimore Orioles:
Unless they're bowled over by a desperate team, the Orioles have no earthly reason to trade Sherrill now. He's not going to be a free agent until after 2012 and if they decide to trade him, they can probably get as much, if not more after the season than they will right now.
  • Vicente Padilla, Texas Rangers:
The big problem with Padilla is that two of the teams that could really use him already had
padilla pic.jpeg
him in the Diamondbacks and Phillies and probably aren't going to want to go down that road again. He's been very good this year and only has one more year on his contract with a 2010 option, so he's an attractive option for teams desperate for starting pitching. The Cardinals would be a good landing spot but I think he'll end up staying in Texas at least until the winter.

Other teams that should be clearing out the house like the Nationals, Astros and the Padres have either made some strange maneuvers (Jon Rauch from the Nats to the Diamondbacks for one minor league infielder; Randy Wolf to the Astros for unfathomable reasons) or are just content to hang onto what they have and go down their current dead-end road (the Padres).
The trading deadline in recent years has either been heavy on rumors and light on action or vice versa; there are many teams in playoff contention this year, but that doesn't mean any deals of consequence are going to happen even if they should for the benefit of all involved.

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