Though relievers are always a hot deadline commodity, this year seems different. To hear Buster Olney tell it:
"The value of middle relievers (or set-up men, or whatever you want to call them) is increasing, like oil stock."
That’s no excuse for what Wayne Krivsky did, but bashing him isn’t productive. What is productive is cranking out the trade rumors like there’s no tomorrow.
According to Gotham Baseball, Roberto Hernandez is "the guy the Yankees would like to get." The 41 year-old righty signed a $2.75MM contract with the Bucs this winter. He has somehow managed a 3.10 ERA this season despite allowing more than 1.6 baserunners per inning. Last season with the Mets was Hernandez’s one decent season since 2000.
If Dave Littlefield can spin Hernandez into anything useful, we may see more of this trend. Non-contenders will snap up free agents like Aaron Fultz, Kent Mercker, Darren Oliver, LaTroy Hawkins, and Brian Meadows for a few million bucks and then peddle them come July. Maybe the Cubs should consider trading Bob Howry and Scott Eyre? If there’s another Austin Kearns to be had it’d be foolish not to.
The Gotham report also contains a rundown of various starters on the block and their chances at being dealt.