Posted on: July 17, 2008 5:31 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2008 7:27 pm
It's no real surprise to see Tony Clark going from San Diego back to Arizona. Clark is from San Diego, but he has lived for years in the Phoenix area and very much wanted to get back there. The Diamondbacks needed help off the bench, and also the veteran presence that Clark brings, and the Padres have reached the point where they realize they don't have a chance this year.
There were those in baseball who thought Arizona would be a possible destination for Mark Teixeira, should the Braves trade him. Like Clark, Teixeira has a home in Arizona, and could possibly have been interested in staying there long-term. But Arizona didn't want a full-time first baseman who would take at-bats away from Chad Tracy and Connor Jackson. The Diamondbacks were encouraged by the 25 runs they scored in the final four games behind the All-Star break, and convinced themselves that at this point their offense doesn't need the big-time boost from someone like Teixeira.
It's also no surprise to see the Phillies trade for a pitcher, even though Oakland's Joe Blanton was far from their first choice. The Phils were looking for a difference-maker, and it's hard to see Blanton being that kind of pitcher. The one plus is that he normally pitches a lot of innings, and the Phillies might score enough runs to help him succeed.
Other talk circulating in the baseball world today:
-- The Mariners continue to be open for business, and there has been some talk that they would even be open to dealing young shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. But one official who has spoken to the Mariners said he was told Betancourt was one of four players the M's wouldn't talk about, with the other three being Ichiro Suzuki, Jeff Clement and Brandon Morrow.
-- The Rays' interest in Rockies closer Brian Fuentes has been talked about for days, but a baseball official said Tampa Bay has also talked to Oakland about Huston Street. The Rays are also in on Casey Blake, who could well be traded by the Indians.
-- Even after trading for CC Sabathia, the Brewers are well-positioned if they want to make another deal. Matt LaPorta was the key piece in the Sabathia trade, but one scout said LaPorta was no better than the fourth best prospect on Milwaukee's Double-A Huntsville club. "(Third baseman Mat) Gamel is an impact guy, and so is (shortstop Alcides) Escobar," the scout said. "And (outfielder Michael) Brantley has a chance to be an All-Star. For a lot of people, including us, LaPorta is going to be no better than an average everyday player."
-- One other Milwaukee player to watch is shortstop J.J. Hardy. The Blue Jays are very interested in him, and some people believe that if Dustin McGowan hadn't gotten hurt, a deal could have been made (the Brewers aren't interested in Burnett). There's still a chance, those same people believe, that the Jays could pursue Hardy this coming winter.
-- The Tigers haven't been saying very much about Dontrelle Willis, who was sent to Class A Lakeland more than a month ago (and more recently was in Detroit to have his knee examined). The word is that in Willis' workouts in Lakeland, his control hasn't been any better than it was in Detroit. People familiar situation said Willis has been doing a lot of running, trying to take off some of the weight he has added.
-- While the White Sox are telling people that they're satisfied with their team and unlikely to make any significant moves, there are those who wonder whether they'd deal shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who will be a free agent at the end of the year. Whether he's dealt or not, it's unlikely Cabrera will be with the Sox next year, because rookie Alexei Ramirez is expected to take over at short, his natural position.
Some e-mails, and some quick responses:
From Josh T.: "Did you even watch the (All-Star) game? Did you see any other pitcher pitch? Did you see the defense on each side? All you can talk about is the freakin' Yanks and Boston"
Let's see, the All-Star Game was at Yankee Stadium, the MVP plays for Boston. No, I can't figure out why anyone would have written about the Yankees and Red Sox. You're right. Next time, I'll be sure to feature someone who had a bigger effect on the game. Cristian Guzman, maybe?
From Jason: "You're an idiot to suggest that CC Sabathia isn't an All-Star because he didn't make this year's team. I could make a team out of the players not on this year's (All-Star) roster and beat them in a game."
Sorry, but if you don't make the All-Star team, you're not an All-Star. If you don't believe me, then try to collect that All-Star bonus in your contract without being named to the team.
From Scott: "I don't understand why you included the pitcher from Kansas City (Zack Greinke) in your (On The Block), other than for filler."
We included Greinke because the Royals are willing to talk to other teams about him this month. No, he probably won't be dealt, because it would take a huge package to get KC to actually make a deal, but we thought it was interesting that they're even willing to discuss him.
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Tags: A's, A.J. Burnett, Alcides Escobar, Alexei Ramirez, Blue Jays, Brandon Morrow, Braves, Brewers, Brian Fuentes, Casey Blake, CC Sabathia, Diamondbacks, Dontrelle Willis, Dustin McGowan, Huntsville Stars, Huston Streets, Ichiro Suzuki, Indians, J.J. Hardy, Jeff Clement, Joe Blanton, Mariners, Mark Teixeira, Mat Gamel, Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley, Orlando Cabrera, Padres, Phillies, Rays, Red Sox, Royals, Tigers, Tony Clark, White Sox, Yankees, Yuniesky Betancourt, Zack Greinke
Posted on: July 8, 2008 7:58 pm
You're not supposed to be able to play for today AND tomorrow. It doesn't work that way.
So does that mean they're nuts, dealing away a sometimes dominating pitcher (2.02 ERA over his last 10 starts) at a point where they're six games out in the American League West and 3 1/2 games back in the AL wild-card race?
At first glance, the A's take for Harden doesn't seem that great. Sean Gallagher, the guy they're calling the key to the deal, was ranked by Baseball America as the Cubs' fifth-best prospect entering the season. His numbers so far don't suggest that he's Harden.
But the A's were supposed to be taking a step down (at least for today) when they traded Haren last winter for a group that included Dana Eveland and Greg Smith (both already doing well in the Oakland rotation). They were supposed to be taking a step back when they traded Mulder for Haren back in December 2004.
They keep trading guys away (and perhaps Bobby Crosby will be next, once he gets healthy). They stay competitive.
They play for the future, as general manager Billy Beane says they're doing with today's deal. They do it without giving up on the present.
You're not supposed to be able to do it this way. But maybe the A's can.
They've done it before.