Buster Olney talks trade in his latest insider-only piece. Let’s have a look at the guys he names.
- Ryan Howard. This is a tough one. Philly is in second place right now, and they should be in contention throughout the year. Howard has started poorly, but you can figure a rebound. While the Phillies might not be eager to pay Howard $25 to $30MM over the next two years, some other team might. I figure they could get a decent haul from, say, the Angels. Still, it’s hard to justify trading away your best power hitter (at least in name) while you’re vying for a playoff berth. The odds are long, very long for this one.
- Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon. No way, no how. Then again, Phillies fans are probably saying the same about Howard. The Yanks stagnant offense figures to improve once A-Rod returns next week and Jorge Posada gets back behind the dish next month. But Matsui leads the team in average, OBP, and slugging, while Damon is second in OBP. Unless the Yanks fall out of contention, there’s no way they’re trading these guys. Even so, they’re a pair of 34-year-old outfielders making $13 million a season, with 2009 guaranteed. There’s no way a team will offer anything close to equal value.
- Ben Sheets. If the Brewers are going to contend this year, they’re going to need Sheets in the rotation. However, they’re 16-17 right now, and likely won’t see Yovani Gallardo for the rest of the season. The Brewers likely won’t keep Sheets after this year, anyway, so if they’re still in the middle of the pack, they can use the oft-injured ace to reload on players that can help them next year. Their lineup is still very young, with only two regulars over the age of 28. An influx of pitching could set them up well for next year.
Joe Pawlikowski writes for River Ave. Blues, a Yankees blog.