Let's Make A Deal Rumors
I've been getting a lot of emails about Edgar Renteria. Let's take a look at the situation.
In my opinion, the Braves need to import one solid, dependable starting pitcher. Free agency presents plenty of options - a few dependable, most not: Matt Clement, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Randy Wolf, Jaret Wright, Jason Jennings, Koji Uehara, Carlos Silva, Livan Hernandez, Tom Glavine.
Same deal with trade options: Carl Pavano, Jose Contreras, Kei Igawa, Matt Morris, Jon Garland, Bronson Arroyo, Nate Robertson, maybe Joe Blanton.
Back to Renteria - can we find a match? The White Sox, Tigers, and A's might want to import a shortstop (though Renteria for Blanton wouldn't fly with Oakland). Indeed, the first two connections have already surfaced in print. The Braves offered Renteria and a top pitching prospect to the White Sox for Garland and were denied. And more recently, John Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press connected Renteria with the Tigers for multiple reasons.
I like a Robertson for Renteria swap. The Braves get two below-market price years of Robertson, who could be quite solid in the NL and is only 30 years old. Renteria meanwhile is signed cheaply for $9MM in '08 with an $11MM club option ($3MM buyout) for '09. Better yet, the Red Sox are chipping in towards next year's salary and would cover the buyout. Everybody wins and even Carlos Guillen is happy.
The Braves would then move Yunel Escobar to shortstop and play Kelly Johnson every day at second base. That's not much of a loss and Robertson would really solidify the staff if healthy. You may recall Keith Law opining in July that Escobar did have the glove to play short and could be a respectable hitter.
The Blue Jays, Royals, A's, Cubs, Astros, Cardinals, and Giants may also be in the market for a shortstop. Shaun Marcum, Joe Blanton, Wandy Rodriguez, Anthony Reyes, Sean Marshall, and Noah Lowry could conceivably be available from those clubs. Marcum's a long shot and as I said above I don't see Renteria for Blanton happening.
Anyone have any other reasonable trade scenarios for Renteria?
Jorge Cantu DH'd for Triple A Durham last night, though his agent still refers to him as "an experienced second baseman with a power bat." Cantu, of course, would prefer to be traded to a team that would let him start in the big leagues again.
Which teams could use a second baseman? There's the Braves, if you don't believe in Kelly Johnson. Personally, I do. Ditto for the Mets and Jose Valentin, who I also think is at least as good as Cantu. There really aren't any perfect fits for the guy. The Rockies seem reasonable, though they have guys they want to try first. And would they really want to pair their rookie shortstop with a defender like Cantu?
Given that Valentin is on a one-year deal, I have to lean towards the Mets. Minaya would only go for it if it was a bargain. Just guessing, but maybe a Jason Vargas or a Joe Smith would be sufficient?
It looks like B.J. Upton might be here to stay, so Cantu is going to have to regain some of his value at Triple A. The market for him should be fairly weak.