Sean Casey Rumors
Let's run down all the possible trades Dave Littlefield and the Pirates have brewing.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review still has Oakland as the favorite for Sean Casey, a move that makes little sense to me.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mentions a possible swap of John Grabow for Ryan Shealy. That sounds reasonable.
Dejan Kovacevic's article also indicates that the Mets and Yankees are leading the charge for Kip Wells. The Yankees also want Craig Wilson and Roberto Hernandez. Wilson and Wells seem unlikely at this point, though, as the Abreu deal looks close.
Here's the latest from around baseball...
Dejan Kovacevic mentions that the A's are considering Sean Casey. Casey's doing his usual good batting average/low slugging thing and he's getting $8.5MM for it. The combined efforts of Dan Johnson and Nick Swisher have been inadequate at first, but would Casey really help? Johnson is hitting .485/.575/.848 in 33 Triple A at-bats; maybe he deserves another look. The Athletics, who are dead last in the AL in slugging, wouldn't be helped by adding the powerless Casey. They need Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Lee, Pat Burrell, or even Raul Ibanez to make a difference.
The Yankees have decided to hold on to Philip Hughes, and the Phils aren't biting on whatever else they offered. According to George King, the Yanks think assuming Abreu's contract and exercising his option should be enough. Still, it would be cool to see a nasty young Phillies rotation in 2008 with Hughes, Cole Hamels, Gio Gonzalez, and Scott Mathieson.
Also, I'm hearing that WPEN in Philadelphia has mentioned a trade rumor: Tom Gordon for Trot Nixon. Nixon is a good hitter (.400 OBP), though he's 32 with declining power numbers. Given that Flash would be hands down the best reliever on the market, I'd expect the Phils to get more.
Kenny Williams didn't deny the recent Soriano rumor, so now you know it's legit. Kenny has been pretty shrewd with the media, so this is probably all part of his plan. Despite word of a possible contract extension with Washington, Buster Olney all but assured us of a Soriano trade in today's blog.
Also, Olney nixed the A-Rod to the Cubs idea, explaining that Rodriguez is a bargain in the Yankees' world. This column is kind of weird to me. Phil Rogers almost seems like he's just cooked up a brilliant scenario or something, with Aramis Ramirez and Jacque Jones being swapped for A-Rod. Thing is, Bleed Cubbie Blue broke out this exact trade rumor three weeks ago.
RotoAuthority has a look at which pitchers have been abused this season.
Wow, I stepped out for a couple of hours and a billion trades/rumors occurred. Here's three, with more in-depth analysis to come tomorrow.
Peter Gammons is saying the Dodgers are close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano for Jonathan Broxton. I suppose Soriano could take over at third base; he's yet to play a Major League game in the outfield. Broxton would fit well in either the starting rotation or the 'pen. The hefty right-hander split time between the roles at Double A Jacksonville in 2005. One of Broxton's specialties (besides the palmball) is limiting the home run, a trait that will come in handy in a ballpark that inflates homers by 19%.
The Mets dumped Kris Benson and his salary on the Royals, acquiring southpaw reliever Jeremy Affeldt and perhaps Mike MacDougal. Affeldt has pretty lousy control and just an OK strikeout rate for a reliever; I'm not sure why everyone's saying that he'll shore up the Mets' middle relief. MacDougal at leasts boasts a career 8.5 K/9. As for Benson, Kauffman Stadium isn't much worse of a place to pitch than Shea. But with the Royals' defense behind him, he'll still see his ERA go up at least half a run.
The Reds unloaded Sean Casey's salary on the Pirates. Hopefully Casey will just be a stopgap until Brad Eldred learns to take a walk. Dave Williams gives up plenty of homers and allows plenty of baserunners, so his transition to Great American Ballpark will be anything but great. The move probably takes Austin Kearns off the market, as the outfielder logjam is solved now that Adam Dunn will play first.