In today's Insider-only blog entry, ESPN.com's Buster Olney ranks baseball's most irreplaceable players, with Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez heading his list. Here are a few other highlights from the column:
- Responding to Henry Schulman's San Francisco Chronicle piece about the Giants' need for bullpen help, Olney identifies two roadblocks. According to general managers, the relief market is "very, very thin." On top of that, a group of GMs polled by Olney named Brian Sabean as the most difficult GM to trade with.
- The Cubs have tried to deal with Carlos Zambrano's past outbursts because of his talent and his $91.5MM contract. After the latest blow-up though, it appears the club has run out of patience. According to Olney, there's "an overriding perception within the organization" that Zambrano hasn't cared about living up to his end of the deal.
- Given the non-existent extension negotiations between Prince Fielder and the Brewers, Olney says the team has two options: trade Fielder and receive a lesser return than fans would expect, or keep the 26-year-old and try to re-sign him after 2011.
- Buck Showalter had a very good interview with the Orioles, who will also interview Eric Wedge this week (Twitter link).