Both Ken Rosenthal and Richard Justice are hinting at the same idea: struggling closer Brad Lidge could be trade bait for the Astros.
"If general manager Tim Purpura dangles struggling closer Brad Lidge — as he did last off-season in a deal for Tejada — the possibilities could get interesting."
The possibility first popped up in mid-December, though the situation was much different back then. Now, Lidge is pitching badly and his stock has fallen dramatically. Justice, a sportswriter for the Houston Chronicle, indicated in his blog today:
"By the way, Fernando Nieve was sent to Round Rock to pitch late in games. Phil Garner intends to use him late when he returns to the big leagues. That’s probably an indication the Astros expect to trade a closer by Monday’s trading deadline."
However, as RotoWorld points out this afternoon, Lidge is paid decently and wouldn’t interest the teams looking to trade big bats. They theorize that a longshot possibility could be sending him to the Phillies for Bobby Abreu. Houston, of course, is where it all began for Abreu. Perhaps a three-team deal would be necessary to make this work.