Philip Humber Rumors
Plenty of action around the Mets lately; Omar Minaya has his work cut out for him. Hat tip to MetsBlog for several of the links.
- The sensational storyline here is that Minaya will meet with Scott Boras to discuss Alex Rodriguez. However, Boras and Minaya might spend more time discussing Kyle Lohse and Eric Gagne than A-Rod - the Mets' focus is pitching.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff reminds us of past trade talks regarding Joe Blanton, Jose Contreras, and Jon Garland. Those talks may be re-opened, though Davidoff notes that the White Sox aren't enamored of Lastings Milledge. Additionally, the Mets will meet with Carlos Silva's people this week.
- Buster Olney discusses the Mets' pursuit for pitching today in his blog. They need a horse, somebody who can chew up innings. Aside from the aforementioned Silva and Blanton, Olney names Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren, Scott Kazmir, and Dontrelle Willis as possible targets (though Marc Lancaster considers the declaration of Kazmir's availability to be "dubious at best." Meanwhile one exec thinks the Rays would only make him available if "his arm is about to blow.") Olney's guess is that the Mets will acquire Blanton. The Mets have some combination of Mike Pelfrey, Philip Humber, Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, and Aaron Heilman to offer. There are pros and cons to dealing each.
- There are other concerns besides pitching: second base and catcher. Besides the forthcoming monster offer to Jorge Posada, the Mets are considering Paul Lo Duca and Yorvit Torrealba as fallbacks. Ramon Castro is looking for a two-year deal, and hopes it's with the Mets. However, the Rockies have their eye on him.
- Pedro Martinez expects to pitch beyond 2008. Whether that will be for the Mets or someone else, who knows.
- Marlon Anderson's two-year deal will be announced today, according to Adam Rubin. The Mets will pass on Jose Valentin and Brian Lawrence's options.
UPDATE: SI.com's Jon Heyman says the Mets have offered Philip Humber to the Nationals for Cordero, but are holding fast with their bigger name prospects. He also confirms that the Diamondbacks are in on Cordero and could offer Carlos Quentin.
According to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, the fates of Chad Cordero and Jon Rauch might be tied to Eric Gagne. Gagne has the lower asking price and limited no-trade protection, and Jim Bowden may wait until that situation is resolved.
Some possible names on the Nats' radar include Wily Mo Pena, Carlos Quentin, and Philip Humber. Humber is one prospect the Mets are willing to trade, according to Jayson Stark. Those names don't exactly gel with the previous demands were hearing from Jim Bowden. Will Bowden back down? Will a desperate team offer a top flight prospect like an Adam Jones? Or will Cordero and Rauch just stay put like last year?
MetsBlog reports that Philip Humber was pulled from his scheduled start against the Portland Beavers today. Humber hasn't pitched since July 22nd, but food poisoning has been cited. There's a chance he's involved in a deal.
Dodgers fans following phenom southpaw Clayton Kershaw's start tonight may have been disappointed. The 19 year-old was pulled after just one inning. Conspiracy theorists have already established that Kershaw must be involved in a trade.
Usually I'm quick to contribute to any conspiracy, but I decided to take a few minutes to listen to the Great Lakes Loons broadcast instead. Turns out that the plan all along was to have Kershaw pitch just one inning - this plan was outlined before the game started. Apparently the Dodgers sent down this directive to keep Kershaw's innings count down this year. After all, this is Kershaw's first full pro season.
You could call BS on the Dodgers and insist Kershaw is headed to Oakland in a Joe Blanton deal. After all, there had to be some kind of party line for the announcer to use to explain the one-inning stint. But if he really had been traded, why let him pitch at all? Why not just scratch him and say he has the flu?
Kershaw might be the best pitching prospect in all of baseball right now. He's definitely the top lefthander. Most likely, the Dodgers are just being careful with him.
Additionally, I'm still trying to track down why Mets prospect Fernando Martinez was pulled from tonight's game after one at-bat. But I do know he recently came off the DL for a right hand contusion, so taking it easy with him is entirely reasonable.
One more for you: apparently Philip Humber was supposed to start tonight for the Zephyrs after being scratched Friday for food poisoning. Adam Bostick started instead, but I'm not sure why.