July 2007

Pirates Acquire Matt Morris For Rajai Davis, PTBNL

UPDATE: This was a pure salary dump – the Bucs are paying the entire contract.  Why, Dave?  Why?  Props to Sabean, but on June 1st he might’ve gotten a good prospect plus the same salary relief. 

The Pirates have acquired Matt Morris from the Giants for outfielder Rajai Davis and a player to be named later.  I’m guessing they just wanted salary relief, because Davis isn’t much more than a speedy reserve outfielder.  Brian Sabean made this deal about a month and a half too late.  Morris had a 2.56 ERA in June 11th.

The Pirates seem to be trying that strategy that didn’t work for Allard Baird – third-division club acquires third-division overpriced veterans to give the appearance of respectability.  Maybe a few years from now they’ll catch on to the Dayton Moore model.

Braves Announce Teixeira Deal

The Rangers received even more than anticipated for first baseman Mark Teixeira and reliever Ron Mahay.  We knew they were getting Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, and Matt Harrison.  But there’s now a fifth prospect going to Texas: southpaw Beau Jones.

Jones throws in the low 90s with a sharp curveball; he’s been compared to Kyle Davies.  The 21 year-old Jones was recently promoted to High A Myrtle Beach.

Meanwhile, Dan Lewis of Armchair GM weighs in on John Schuerholz’s many dealings.

Braves Acquire Royce Ring

Alright, blog service is back up.  Booyah.  As you may know, a bunch of southpaws were swapped today: the Braves got Royce Ring from the Padres for Will Startup and Wil Ledezma.

Should be nice to have Ring around in case things don’t work out with Ron Mahay. Still, it would’ve been nice to see John Schuerholz come up with some kind of starter for the back end of the rotation.  Maybe in August.

Startup’s been solid in Triple A, and the Padres might be able to coax some goodness out of the twice-traded Ledezma. 

With so many decent lefties floating around at minimal cost, you have to wonder why a team would ever sign Mike Stanton.  But that’s why they’re GMs and I’m just a guy who blogs until he gets carpal tunnel.

Staying Put

Many trade candidates weren’t moved today.  We’ll get into the August possibilities tomorrow, but for now let’s review who stayed put.

White Sox: Jose Contreras, Jon Garland, Javier Vazquez, Jermaine Dye.  It seems that teams just couldn’t find a market for their crappy starters like Contreras and Steve Trachsel.  As for Garland and Vazquez, Kenny Williams can still trade one of them this winter for an outfielder.  Seems like Dye was nearly a member of the Red Sox, but Williams prefers two good draft picks to Wily Mo Pena and Craig Hansen.  The White Sox, though, required one of Justin Masterson and Manny Delcarmen instead of Pena.  I would be surprised if the Sox sign Dye to an extension.

Nationals: Chad Cordero, Jon Rauch, Ryan Church.  Another situation where the GM asked for the moon at the deadline and decided to just hold off.  These three will also be worth just as much this winter, but may seem more appealing compared to pricey free agents.  Plus, more teams will be in the mix.  Jim Bowden wanted more than just Philip Humber for Cordero from the Mets.

Reds: Bronson Arroyo, David Weathers, Jeff Conine, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr.  Wayne Krivsky had some opportunities to blow this team up and try to rebuild in 2008.  Waiting until winter makes sense with Junior, though I don’t buy Steve Phillips’ assertion that the fans will stop showing up if he’s traded.  Dunn, I would’ve dealt.  Some no-trade protection kicks in if and when they exercise his $13MM option for ’08.  As Arroyo and Weathers, you keep them around if you expect to win in ’08.  I guess that’s the plan.  I would’ve taken Reyes and Escobar for Arroyo if it was truly offered.

Twins: Torii Hunter, Carlos Silva.  Haven’t really hard of any concrete offers on Hunter, so it’s hard to say whether Terry Ryan was better served to just take draft picks.  Plus, he may want to make some kind of three-year, $40MM offer for PR’s sake.  Keeping Silva, though, I don’t get.  He should’ve fetched something useful and doesn’t need to be on the 2008 team.

Marlins: Armando Benitez, Byung-Hyun Kim.  No one wants these dudes – both have walk problems. 

Devil Rays: Dan Wheeler, Al Reyes, Jonny Gomes.  What was the best offer for Reyes?  Sounds like the Mariners didn’t get desperate and offer Jeff Clement.  As for Gomes, he represents a surplus.  But maybe he can get out of Joe Maddon’s doghouse and be the team’s full-time DH in 2008.  There’s no rush to trade him.

Giants: Steve Kline, Ray Durham, Dave Roberts, Omar Vizquel, Ryan Klesko.  Props to Sabean for ditching Matt Morris’s contract – better late than never.  As McCovey Chronicles points out, a shrewd GM might have shopped Noah Lowry for a sweet bounty of much-needed position players.  I imagine there just wasn’t a market at all for some of the vets listed here.

Pirates: Shawn Chacon, Salomon Torres, Damaso Marte, Jack Wilson.  It’s easy to rip on the Pirates, so I will.  I can’t believe Dave Littlefield couldn’t get something decent for Marte, who is a premium lefty-killer.  And it seems like the Tigers really wanted Wilson – eat some salary and get him outta there!

Rangers: Sammy Sosa, Brad Wilkerson.  Still liked either for the Mets, but overall the Rangers done good for themselves.

Royals: Odalis Perez, Reggie Sanders, Emil Brown, Mark Grudzielanek.  I’m sure the market was zip for most of these guys, but I would’ve really liked to see Dayton Moore clear ’em out to give more playing time to the kids in the last two months.  Out with the old, in with the nucleus, to quote the Simpsons.  Benching or cutting some of these players might be embarrassing.

Orioles: Steve Trachsel, Chad Bradford, Kevin Millar, Jay Payton.  Trading these four might’ve been akin to admitting their signings were a mistake.  Maybe that’s why the O’s couldn’t get anything done.

Athletics: Mike Piazza, Joe Kennedy, Joe Blanton, Dan Johnson, Shannon Stewart.  The A’s are notorious for collecting draft picks, so it’s not a surprise to see them hang on to Piazza and Kennedy.  Piazza may be moved in August anyway.  We don’t know what offers were out there for Blanton, but he can be shopped this winter when guys like Jeff Weaver are signing for $9MM.  The A’s didn’t unload Johnson, and his value will probably drop if he sits on the bench.

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Rangers Offered $140MM To Teixeira

The Rangers made a legitimate offer to first baseman Mark Teixeira before trading him.  Apparently they offered him an eight-year, $140MM package.  That’s an average annual value of $17.5MM.  A little light, but not a bad starting point.

But since the deal covered the 2008 season and Teixeira would’ve gotten around $14MM regardless, it was really a seven-year, $126MM offer – same as Barry Zito‘s contract.  $18MM a year for Teixeira sounds reasonable, but who knows how it will seem a year from now?  He might be a $22MM player at that point.  Teixeira will, of course, hit the open market after the 2008 season. 

Phillies Obtain Julio Mateo

The Phillies are attempting to corner the market on scumbags.  Today, they acquired 28 year-old reliever and wife beater/biter Julio Mateo from the Mariners.  Performance always wins out, and Mateo had allowed just four runs in 32.2 Triple A innings this year.

Kudos to the Mariners for leaving Mateo in Triple A and getting him out of the organization.  He should move directly into a late-inning role for the Phillies.

Red Sox Acquire Eric Gagne

UPDATE: According to NESN’s Tom Caron, Gagne has agreed to come to Boston and will serve as the setup man.

UPDATE: Third player going to Texas, according to Buster Olney.  That would be 17 year-old five-tool outfielder Engel Beltre.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox are the winner of the Eric Gagne sweepstakes pending Gagne’s consent and a review of medical records.  Rosenthal says Gagne might share the closer role with Jonathan Papelbon; it would not be shocking to see Papelbon become the setup man for the rest of the year.  That would be a hell of a 1-2 punch regardless and a huge asset for the playoffs.

Rosenthal says Kason Gabbard is one of the two players going to Texas in the deal.  Jayson Stark thinks David Murphy is the other player, but it’s far from confirmed.  The Red Sox still need to talk to Gagne and Scott Boras.

Twins Pursued Garrett Atkins

According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins went after Rockies’ third baseman Garrett Atkins with a package that included Juan Rincon.

Given the way Rincon has pitched this year, I would guess he has little trade value.  The Twins would’ve had to offer a good young player like Scott Baker to be taken seriously.

Padres Interested In Igawa, Lamb, Loretta

UPDATE: Will Carroll reports that the Padres appear to be close to a deal for both Lamb and Loretta.  Not sure if the Ensberg acquisition changes this.

I’m not sure when it was published, but Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Padres have interest in Mark Loretta or Mike Lamb from the Astros.  That we knew, but Krasovic also mentions that the Padres would like to buy low on Kei Igawa but the Yankees aren’t shopping him.

Dodgers Considering Troy Percival

ESPN’s Jayson Stark says the Dodgers are "actively exploring" a trade for Cardinals reliever Troy Percival.  It would apparently require a mid-level prospect.  Percy would be a consolation prize after the Dodgers missed on Octavio Dotel; really, he’s not much worse.