In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hands out his midseason awards. His award for "Most Surprising Team" so far goes to the White Sox in the American League and the Mets in the National League. Cafardo credits the Mets' management team of Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, and J.P. Ricciardi for piecing together the scraps and overshadowing the team's Bernie Madoff public relations nightmare. Here's more from today's piece..
- Red Sox starter Josh Beckett can block any deal with his ten-and-five rights, but it wouldn’t shock baseball people if Boston eventually pursues it. “He would get some interest if some of the money was absorbed,” said one National League GM. “He’s not what he was, but he can still pitch. He’s got the postseason resume and still seems to have some competitiveness on the mound, which are all things you look for. The things you have to evaluate would be the issues in the clubhouse, to some extent, and breaking down a little more than he used to.”
- Earlier today we learned that the Pirates have had preliminary talks with the Padres about Carlos Quentin. Cafardo writes that the outfielder could be the next big bat to go and would also be desirable for the Dodgers and Blue Jays.
- Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik keeps insisting he will not trade Felix Hernandez, but he would likely be able to take care of three or four positions by doing so. However, Zduriencik has been tempted with great offers in the past and declined to part with the right-hander.
- While the Phillies are obviously giving serious thought to dealing Cole Hamels, one consideration for the club is that they have aging pitchers in Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, and Hamels is younger. The 28-year-old would be even more valuable down the road and rebuilding in Philadelphia is tough.