Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 6, 2007
BASEBALL: The Block

Jerry Crasnick's list of top free agents to be doesn't include much in terms of pickings for the Mets to play for a deadline deal; Ichiro's not likely to get traded (he means too much to Seattle for the franchise to let him go without a fight), and most of the others are at positions (notably center field) where the Mets are already taken care of. Of course, the Mets were always more likely to pursue pitching help.

One omission I'd wondered about was Ken Griffey, but apparently his contract runs through 2008 with a 2009 option, and only Atlanta, St. Louis, LA and Houston are exempted from his no-trade clause. Even if you could get him at a reasonable price, I'd hate to be on the hook beyond this year for Griffey; he's not even a great bet to be healthier than Moises Alou come September. Adam Dunn is actually more likely to get dealt, although as Baseball Digest notes he's a career .238/.482/.362 hitter away from Cincinnati, so his value should be downgraded accordingly. Given his youth, Dunn is likely to be an expensive option.

The Cubs seem disinclined to deal Carlos Zambrano, though it can't hurt to ask. I'm iffier about Mark Buehrle, who is clearly on the block; Buehrle's low strikeout rates give him a fairly slim margin for error, as we saw in grisly fashion last season. Still, he's been durable and shown good control, and long term the Mets may no longer be in an extreme power pitcher's park.

Actually, the guy who might be a bargain pickup is Brad Lidge; coming to a team that already has Wagner would remove any issues about closing and let him slide back into a setup role, in which he has pitched outstandingly well this season.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:53 AM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I would have said I want Lidge for the Sox, but I'm feeling pretty good about the pen these days. The Tigers should make a run at Lidge, they need arms in the pen. Big time.

Posted by: Mr. Furious at July 6, 2007 10:50 AM

I wouldn't count on the Astros letting Lidge go for a bargain. His resurgence before his injury should convince them that he can close again. If they deal him, I think they would demand a very high quality prospect at minimum. Not to mention the fact that Lidge is determined to close, so I don't think he would be happy knowing he was playing the next year and a half in a setup role.

Posted by: saulpanzer at July 6, 2007 11:34 AM

I would imagine Omar is looking for a high-quality reliever, if he makes any move at all. I could see Lidge, Eric Gagne, or perhaps Jason Isringhausen as players that I'd look into if I were in his shoes.

I suppose the Mets could also trade for a stop-gap outfielder (I would think Texas would cheaply part with the still-useful Kenny Lofton, for example) but I don't see that as an impact move, nor one for which I'd give much up.

Posted by: Jerry at July 6, 2007 12:37 PM

I think it is going to be a pretty slow mid-season of moves. With the Yankees in buy/sell limbo, the Angels probably content with what they have and the Tigers, Indians and Sox maybe only looking to add a minor piece the AL should be pretty calm. I can see the NL being more wide-open as more teams have realistic play-off hopes but with 2 of the 3 highest spending teams largely on the sidelines (likely) it would seem that there won't be enough juice for sellers to get rid of parts. Beuhrle might be the only major player that gets teams off their butts.

Posted by: jim at July 6, 2007 6:22 PM
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