Wednesday, July 06, 2005The Semi-Hot Corner (#4)
1) Washington: Good thing for the Nationals is that they've already reported around $20 million in revenue. And there's no way Bug Selig is going to stand for the owners to ruin this good market. The Nationals will make trades with teams that have owners who want to dump salary. Hello Devil Rays! Hello Royals!
2) Atlanta: The Braves have rebuilt on the fly. They get Chipper Jones back so that's a huge acquisition. They won't add much salary, but they will find a closer and more bullpen help. Might be the landing spot for Eddie Guardado.
3) Florida: Lots of talk of A.J. Burnett heading to Toronto and Mike Lowell could also be on the move so already the Marlins look like sellers. What they get in return will show how serious they are about challenging in the second half.
4) Philadelphia: Not wanting to add salary, I can't expect Philadelphia to be too active in the trade market this year. They could definitely use a starter and something to get Jim Thome out of his slump.
5) N.Y. Mets: The ultimate buyer/sellers in the National League. With Steve Trachsel returning they've love to dump one of the starting pitchers. They would prefer to part ways with Tommy Glavine, but his contract is a sore spot. Victor Zambrano or Kaz Ishii would be next, but what could they get for those guys. The Mets need a big bat and bullpen help. They would like Todd Helton but the Rockies will have to eat a good part of the 97 million dollars left on his contract. As always the Mets will make moves and as always they will have me scratching my head or pouring champagne.
1) St. Louis: If Steve Kline and Tony LaRussa can make it, the Cardinals will definitely take him back. The average age of the outfield is 36 so the Cardinals would like some bench help there to give the older veterans more rest down the stretch.
2) Houston: Forget about trading Roger Clemens, ain't gonna happen. The Astros are interesting because they being only two games below .500 are not in a position to fold. They could make a big acquistion in hopes of gaining momentum for 2006 and keeping Clemens around for another year. The Rocket isn't going anywhere.
3) Chicago Cubs: Pitching, pitching, pitching and a healthy Garciaparra. The Cubs have bullpen needs and another starting pitcher to supplement such a fragile staff.
4) Milwaukee: The trade to acquire Carlos Lee has worked out so well I don't expect the Brewers to any serious dealing and ruin the karma of an improving team. If a team needs Ricky Bottalico, the Brewers will move him.
5) Pittsburgh: They will have some calls for Matt Lawton and rightfully so, the Pirates could land a strong prospect or two for him. Daryle Ward could also get a new address. As for pitching, both Rick White and Jose Mesa will be on the market.
6) Cincinnati: The Reds hold a lot of cards. Ramon Ortiz will be in demand as the starting pitching market is thin. Joe Randa and Rich Aurilla will be available for teams who need veteran infielders. Sean Casey and his three home runs will also be on the market. In the outfield, Griffey is probably untradeable but Adam Dunn can bring in attractive offers. Wily Mo Pena is probably untouchable.
1) San Diego: The Padres lead in the West is only at 4.5 games but it's a comfortable margin. They are good e\nough to win the West but probably not good enough to last four games in the playoffs so they need a player, probably a nice infield bat. San Diego already acquired Paul Quantrill so they are bolstering the bullpen.
2) Arizona: A team that's destined to be a little below .500. It's possible Luis Gonzalez could net them some strong prospects. It'll most likely be a trade of Royce Clayton and several teams will inquire about Javier Vazquez but will be offered Shawn Estes.
3) Los Angeles: On the road to nowhere. With the Dodgers' best players injured it's tough to gauge how good they could be. This is about the time that Jeff Weaver is rumored to move and I'm sure Jeff Kent has become a pain in the ass but the extra years on his contract will keep him a Dodger.
4) San Francisco -- I believe Jason Schmidt will stay because the Giants want to have a contender in 2006. They will look to deal Jason Christensen and possibly LaTroy Hawkins. With Lance Neikro the first baseman of the near future, the Giants will accept takers for J.T. Snow.
5) Colorado -- How much of Todd Helton's $97 million will the Rockies eat? That will determine their action. Even though he has slumped, Helton's presence on the market will demand 2-3 top flight prospects in return. In a thin pitcher's market someone will overpay for Joe Kennedy and the Rockies will also offer Preston Wilson. The Rockies can build many blocks for the latter part of the decade if they can pull major deals this month.