Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Joe Kennedy. Kennedy passed away this morning while at home with his family in Florida. The cause of death has not yet been determined.
UPDATE: According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, there are some indications that the Diamondbacks intended some of these claims as blocks and didn’t want the players.
Josh Byrnes has a growing collection of August waiver pickups, adding Joe Kennedy today to go with Byung-Hyun Kim and Jeff Cirillo.
Kennedy provides another credible back-end rotation option for the Diamondbacks, and he cost only money (about $880K remains on his contract this year). I like the strategy here. Who knows, the Diamondbacks might not be done yet. Guys like Armando Benitez, Kyle Farnsworth, and Sammy Sosa could receive the same salary-dump treatment (not that Sosa is earning much).
Dan Graziano at the Newark Star-Ledger has really stepped up in recent days with a lot of insider trade talk. Let’s see what he has in store for us this morning.
- Apparently Josh Byrnes is calling around, actively shopping Livan Hernandez. According to Graziano, the Mets, Braves, and Mariners have expressed interest. To the contrary, Ken Rosenthal wrote last night that the Mets and Braves are not interested. Who to believe? Hopefully the Mariners do better than Livan if they make a move for a starter. To hear Nick Piecoro tell it, the Diamondbacks are more likely to just opt for the draft picks they’ll get if they let Hernandez leave via free agency.
- The Yankees are in a quandary when it comes to dealing Scott Proctor or Kyle Farnsworth. For Proctor, they want more than just a role player like Ty Wigginton. They want a reliever back, which begs the question – why not just keep Proctor? With Farnsy, the Yanks are reluctant to pay a big chunk of his $5.5 salary for ’08. They should toss in $2MM and see if that’s enough to get Wiggy.
- If the Red Sox can snag Bobby Kielty, they might turn around and trade Wily Mo Pena to the White Sox. Wily Mo in that ballpark with 600 plate appearances? 40 home runs. Might make Theo look bad. Dejan Kovacevic mentions that Epstein is "actively shopping" Pena, and seems to like the idea of the Bucs sending Salomon Torres to Boston for him.
- The Brewers, Phillies, and Dodgers are looking at Oakland lefty and impending free agent Joe Kennedy. Kennedy is only 28 and he has had National League success as a starter.
Yahoo’s Tim Brown has a new post up, with some trade rumors we’ve heard before and some we haven’t.
- Clearly the A’s are sellers, and they’re offering up Mike Piazza, Joe Kennedy, and Bobby Kielty. Brown names the Twins as the club most interested in Piazza. He also feels the Yankees, Angels, Mariners, and Red Sox would be good fits. But where would Piazza play on the Red Sox?
- The Red Sox were apparently close to a deal for Kielty, a 31 year-old switch-hitting extra outfielder. He hasn’t played much center since ’02, so maybe the Sox have relaxed that requirement. Kielty was supposed to be moved in a three-team deal that would have sent Wily Mo Pena somewhere. The deal has stalled, but it’s really starting to look like Pena is on the move.
- The Yankees and Rangers are still discussing Mark Teixeira. My guess is that Brian Cashman just wants to see if this can be done without involving Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain. Failing that, the Yanks have Ty Wigginton and Shea Hillenbrand on their list. Wiggy would be a useful addition. Joe Maddon would still find a way not to play Jonny Gomes though.
Amidst all the Buehrle/Jacque rumors floating around this week, we’ve neglected to write about the many other players who could be traded in July. Let’s give a little press to three forgotten players who could be on the move.
Kyle Lohse, SP, CIN – I was pretty high on Lohse after April, thinking he was about to go all Bronson Arroyo on the NL. Good Bronson, that is. But Lohse followed up his first four starts by going 2-10 with a 6.27 ERA and 4.4 K/9. And that actually included a shutout against the Pirates. It’s hard to see how Lohse can help a pennant contender this year, but as a Boras client and impending free agent earning $4.2MM, Wayne Krivsky should dump him off somewhere. OK, so now that I think about it, he’s more of a DFA candidate than a trade candidate.
Joe Kennedy, SP, OAK – Billy Beane might be able to move the 28 year-old southpaw and free agent-to-be for something useful. Kennedy makes only $2.8MM and has an ERA under 4. That might not last with his microscopic strikeout rate though. With Esteban Loaiza on the shelf and Rich Harden questionable, Beane might have to hold off and take the draft picks for Kennedy. But given Kennedy’s strong groundball tendencies and the Phillies’ lousy starting pitching, maybe they could match up.
Jose Guillen, RF, SEA – Guillen is earning $4MM this year with a $9MM club option for ’08. The Mariners are just 2.5 games out of the wild card, and their rotation could use a boost. Guillen has posted a subpar line for a right fielder – .257/.330/.412. I’m not sure how much trade value he has, but the Mariners already have a superior player ready to go at Triple A in Adam Jones. Guillen is on pace for about 20 homers and 90 RBIs, so maybe some GM would bite on that. Teams looking for an outfielder with some pop could include the Royals, Twins, Mets, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, and Padres.