Cubs/Red Sox/Mariners Trade Possible

A reliable source told me today about a three-way deal that is "imminent."  It’s always risky to throw around "imminent," but I’m just quoting him here.

Here’s the scenario:

BOS gives: Bronson Arroyo, Tony Graffanino, PTBNL

BOS gets: Jeremy Reed, Will Ohman

CHC gives: Corey Patterson, Ohman

CHC gets: Raul Ibanez, Graffanino, cash

SEA gives: Reed, Ibanez, cash

SEA gets: Arroyo, Patterson, PTBNL

Let’s evaluate.  There’s no doubt the Cubs would be making out like bandits in this trade.  Corey Patterson is useless to them, even as a fourth outfielder.  28 year-old lefty Ohman tossed a solid 43 innings this year, and seems recovered from his January 2002 Tommy John surgery.

But Chicago’s bounty seems to outweigh the former phenom and useful southpaw.  Ibanez is on the hook for just $4.25MM in 2006, and the 33 year-old is probably good for a .290/.350/.460 line in 2006.  He played 55 games in left field for the Mariners in 2005.  I’ve projected him at .288 with 21 HR, 84 RBI, 89 runs, and 8 steals for 2006.  Graffanino could probably chip in with some decent on-base skills from 2B or a utility role.

My Arroyo projection has him leading the Red Sox in wins with 16.  Arroyo does a good job limiting his baserunners and should have an ERA under 4.  I don’t think Safeco would have a major effect on his numbers.  Reed should continue to improve all facets of his game in ’06, and would be a nice pickup for the Red Sox.

There may be a holdup in the deal because the Red Sox want to trade before Graffanino and Arroyo hit arbitration, and the Cubs want to wait.  The word is that Mariners GM Bill Bavasi is strangely infatuated with Corey Patterson. If that’s the case, Hendry should strike while the iron is hot.  I don’t have any information on where Matt Murton would find himself if the proposed trade takes place, but he wouldn’t have a starting gig for the Cubs.

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