Tag: athletics

Reds Trade Willy Taveras

willy-taverasThe Reds have sent centerfielder Willy Taveras and infielder Adam Rosales to the Athletics for utilityman Aaron Miles and a PTBNL.

This trade has perked up the ears of some Mets fans and pundits, who are now wondering if it signals an opportunity for the Mets to trade Angel Pagan and a bag of balls to Cincy for Brandon Phillips, Bronson Arroyo, Aaron Harang, and perhaps even Joey Votto.

Such as it goes in that solar system where the planets revolve around Flushing.

In reality, I doubt highly that Taveras’ exodus to Oakland has anything to do with another deal for the supposedly cash-strapped Reds and everything to do with shedding some salary while making room for rookie Drew Stubbs.

The only place where the Mets come into the conversation is to ask why they traded Brian Stokes for Gary Matthews, Jr. if Taveras was available?


Garland, Sheets Off the Table

Remove the garland from the Christmas tree, and get Lazy Mary to pull the sheets from her bed.

A little late on this, but reporting it so you can post your comments — Ben Sheets agreed to a one-year, $10M deal with the Oakland Athletics, and Jon Garland signed a one-year, $4.7M deal with the San Diego Padres.

As mentioned in the previous post, Sheets + Oakland makes a lot of sense for both parties.

Garland, I imagine, preferred to be on the Left Coast, so it’s possible the Mets were never a possibility considering their Right Coast locale. Additionally, he has a nice opportunity to hurl a stress-free year in a huge pitcher’s park — a good formula for boosting his value when he becomes a free agent again next winter.

Additionally, former Cub prospect Rich Hill signed a minor-league deal with the Cardinals. The lefthander had a breakout season in 2007, then forgot how to throw strikes. This is a very under-the-radar move that could very well turn out wonderful for St. Louis. Can’t you just see Hill suddenly finding himself under the tutelage of Dave Duncan?

In other belated reporting, you may or may not have heard that the Phillies signed Jose Contreras to a cheap one-year deal. I don’t think the Mets were ever a player for his services, and I don’t believe he would’ve been a good idea. Most reports speculate that Contreras will begin 2010 in the Philly bullpen.

Finally, the latest buzz is that Jarrod Washburn is leaning toward the Twins and Mariners.

So, who’s left on the open market for the rotation? Looks to me like Braden Looper, John Smoltz, and Pedro Martinez are the best of the best. Ouch. In other words, Omar Minaya best be burning the phone lines talking trade with other GMs to find another arm or two.


Why Ben Sheets May Choose Oakland

bensheetsThe rumors swirling around Ben Sheets recently have included the Oakland Athletics, which may come as a surprise to some people considering their budgetary concerns.

But from Ben Sheets’ perspective, signing with the A’s makes a lot of sense.

For one thing, making a comeback in Oakland should be less stressful than, say, New York City, Chicago, or a similarly large market. Let’s not forget that Sheets spent his entire career in small town Milwaukee, so there’s a comfort thing. Besides the smaller number of press and journalists hounding him 24 hours a day, there would likely be less pressure for Sheets to pitch if he suffers a minor setback.

But also important is the fact that by signing with the Athletics, Sheets is almost guaranteed to be in the thick of a pennant race. How so? Looking at Billy Beane’s past history, one would assume that he would hang on to Ben Sheets as long as the A’s are contending. But if things look even slightly bleak, Beane will be sure to trade Sheets in July to a desperate team that is either fighting for a playoff spot or fending off close rivals while sitting atop the standings.

So in a way, choosing Oakland could be Ben Sheets’ best decision — presuming his ultimate goal is to pitch in the postseason.

Now, if his main goal is about money, that’s a different story entirely.


Mets Sign Jay Marshall

jay-marshallWhen I heard the Mets picked up a lefthanded pitcher named Marshall for the bullpen, I was kind of hoping his first name was Sean.

Instead, it is Jay.

Jay Marshall was claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics and added to the 40-man roster (which now comprises 39 players). Whether he’ll be the “second LOOGY” to Pedro Feliciano remains to be seen.

Marshall has had success at every level of the minors, including the hitter-happy PCL, but


Rafael Furcal’s Offers

Various media outlets are reporting that the Oakland Athletics have offered Rafael Furcal a 4-year, $48M contract — and, that the Mets have also made him a “tempting” offer.

However, Susan Slusser at the San Francisco Chronicle had this to say:

Los Angeles papers have picked up on a report in El Caribe that the A’s have offered free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal a four-year, $48 million deal that could be as much as $50 million with incentives.

A well-placed A’s source tells me this is “untrue.”

How untrue? Hard to say. That could just mean a million or two either way, or it could mean it’s way off the mark.

Personally, I also find it hard to believe that the A’s made a four-year offer, considering Furcal’s chronic back issues. Though, it may be possible that the four years are not guaranteed, but rather tied to games played. Furcal is a fine talent, and when healthy that kind of commitment is plausible — but he’s not so outstanding that he’s worth a four-year risk.

Now, what about this Mets rumor? It’s coming from the same source that Slusser says is suspect. But the Mets have been after Furcal before — they talked to him about playing second base the last time he was on the free agent market.

But if there’s any truth to the 4-year / $48M offer — or, if there’s a chance that anyone is willing to give Furcal four guaranteed years, I’d imagine that the Mets are out of the bidding. If they go four years for a second baseman over the age of 30 (again), it will be for Orlando Hudson — who has a better chance of remaining healthy, won’t need to transition from another position, and has the kind of media-friendly personality the Mets need in their clubhouse.


Will Street Be Flipped?

With the Matt Holliday trade all but confirmed, CBS Sportline’s Scott Miller suggested that the Colorado Rockies may flip Huston Street to another team.

Per Miller:

The Rockies will receive outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, left-handed pitcher Greg Smith and closer Huston Street in return, though they may not keep Street. One source said Monday that the Rockies are prepared to turn around and trade him — though to which team he wasn’t sure.

St. Louis, the New York Mets, Detroit, Cleveland and Tampa Bay are among the clubs in the market for a closer this winter, though the Tigers do not appear to be involved with Street.

Strange that the Rockies would be so quick to move Street, considering that the Rockies are currently without a closer and Street is a young and inexpensive one for now and the future. If it’s true Street will be moved again soon, there must be a deal in place, as he is the only individual in the deal with legitimate MLB success in his career. Yes, Greg Smith was impressive in his rookie season, but you don’t trade one of the best hitters in the National League for a guy who lost 16 games.

Is it possible that the Rays would offer someone like Carl Crawford in return for Street? Are the Cardinals prepared to exchange Ryan Ludwick for the young reliever? If so, the Mets don’t have a chance in … wait, perhaps they do — Ryan Church would seem to be an ideal fit for the god-fearing Rockies.

Think about it — Church has a great name and the perfect makeup for the mile-high bible-toters (NEW testament, of course). It’s amazing that Church’s public display of anti-semitism was completely ignored by the New York media (and likely applauded by the Rockies) for an entire year — what are the chances he can keep that old “secret” buried another season?

Personally, I don’t care what Ryan Church believes, so long as he hits and plays hard (in that order; there’s always Endy Chavez to not hit and play hard).

But I digress …

What do you think? Would you trade Ryan Church for Huston Street? What if the trade also included, say, Jon Niese and Jeff Francis? Fernando Martinez and Brad Hawpe? Speculate away …