another leg for burnett rumor to stand on

first of all, mega-apologies for the site being down. don't these @#$#@ servers realize we've got a roster to fill?

and while it's down and i'm away, what happens? my post gets eclipsed by the report from brian walton at the birdhouse that a deal from burnett is already in place, pending final i-dotting and t-crossing. i can't give you a link because birdhouse is a pay-for site; cardsrul noted it in the comments thread for yesterday's post:

The Birdhouse is saying that there is a deal in place with Burnett, but it's not finalized. They should know by the start of the Winter Meetings. If BALT or TOR come in with a better offer, all bets are off, but The Cards dont feel that will happen. Also from the Birdhouse: Jason Marquis - They are working to ship him in a trade for an impact corner outfielder (Abreu?) or second baseman (Soriano? Castillo?); or a Wilkerson for Marquis straight up trade is possible. Talks are stiull going on with Grudz, too.
i haven't seen this anywhere else yet, will gather more info as quickly as possible. meanwhile, here's what i had been planning to post. . . . :

so by now you've heard that giles re-signed with the padres -- 3 yrs / $30m. it's not a terrible blow. if he had signed with the cubs, that would be terrible. but he didn't; he's staying put, and there are still good outfielders available on both the trade and free-agent markets.

however, this might have larger significance than we realize. it might have removed a crucial link from a carefully planned chain of transactions -- and thrown the whole chain into disarray.

according to mark healy of gotham baseball, the edmonds-to-yankees trade is no chimera; it's a very real possibility. mark is hearing from sources inside the industry that this idea is off the shelf and back on the table. here's his post on this subject from last night:

Word out of the Gateway City is that Jim Edmonds is in play, and the Cards and Yankees may be talking deal.

Now that Brian Giles has agreed to re-sign with San Diego, the demand for St. Louis to move Edmonds may have changed their intent, but may have increased the Yankees' desire to acquire a player of his caliber.

The problem for NY? The Cards want Robbie Cano and Chien-Ming Wang. It's unlikely that either will be dealt, but St. Louis would like to replenish it's system with young players lost in recent deals (like last year's trade for Mark Mulder), so if this swap is consumated, look for St. Louis to ask for Melky Cabrera, Sean Henn and perhaps Matt DeSalvo.

i e-mailed mark and asked him: is your post based upon the rumor i posted at my site yesterday (and that bernie 1st conveyed ~3 weeks ago), or do you have independent sources? his answer: "I have independent sources confirming the Post-Dispatch story, but I think the Giles re-signing with San Diego may change -- or at least slow down -- the Cards' desire to deal Edmonds."

the obvious implication here is that the cards (as i mused in this old roster matrix) had been thinking of trading edmonds and reassigning his salary to giles -- while also, i surmise, signing burnett and trading marquis for a centerfielder. like this:

EDMONDS FOR WANG/CANO VARIATION #2: PLUS BURNETT

STARTING 8 BENCH ROTATION PEN
molina c
~$600K
sweeney 1b-of
$1m
carpenter rhp
$5m
is'hausen rhp
$8.5m
pujols 1b
$14m
luna if
$350K
mulder lhp
$7.5m
dotel rhp
$1.5m
cano 2b
$400K
rodriguez of
$350K
burnett rhp
$11m
wang rhp
$350K
rolen 3b
$11m
gall 1b-of
$320K
suppan rhp
$4m
thompson rhp
$350K
eckstein ss
$3.5m
fick c
$600k
an reyes rhp
$320K
flores lhp
$400K
taguchi lf
$1m
duncan 1b
Memphis
wainwright rhp
Memphis
ty johnson lhp
$320k
wilkerson cf
$4.5m
gall 1b-of
Memphis
warm body rhp
$320K
giles rf
$10m
schumaker of
Memphis
cali lhp
Memphis
TOTAL
$45m
TOTAL
$3.8m
TOTAL
$28m
TOTAL
$12m
OVERALL PAYROLL: $88.8m

wow. that would be worthy of a Memo, folks. it also would be consistent with something bernie posted at about 7 pm wednesday night (thanks to ryan vb of the diaspora for providing the link):

I have a feeling they are working on something big.

Burnett, yes, that would qualify as "big."

But my rather large gut tells me that there's something else going on. I can't crack it, though I try.

Is it Abreu? That's one guess.

Soriano?

Something is up....

but before we accept the elaborate chain of transactions outlined above, we have to try to account for some missing pieces to the puzzle:
  1. if this was the plan, then why hadn't the cards talked to giles or his agent in more than two weeks?
  2. how were the cards going to get around jimmy's 5-10 status?
  3. if the yankees were adamantly opposed to throwing cano/wang into the deal, would the other prospects mentioned in healy's post -- melky cabrera, sean henn, and matt desalvo -- have addressed the cardinals' needs?
  1. could be the cards told giles and his agent -- we're extremely interested but can't make a commitment until a) burnett signs and/or b) we get some payroll moved; we'll call you when those issues shake out.
  2. buy him out.
  3. not even close. only desalvo looks even remotely ready to wear a major-league uniform.
the giles thing is now moot, but the other two considerations are still very much at issue. but what the hell, we're so far outside the box now there's no point trying to crawl back inside. so suspend disbelief for a second and try this on for size: with giles off the market, the cardinals go after abreu instead. burnett signs, edmonds goes to the yankees for cano/wang, then marquis/reyes/king go to philly for abreu. might look like this:

EDMONDS FOR WANG/CANO VARIATION #3: ABREU

STARTING 8 BENCH ROTATION PEN
molina c
~$600K
sweeney 1b-of
$1m
carpenter rhp
$5m
is'hausen rhp
$8.5m
pujols 1b
$14m
luna if
$350K
mulder lhp
$7.5m
dotel rhp
$1.5m
cano 2b
$400K
rodriguez of
$350K
burnett rhp
$11m
seanez rhp
$1.5m
rolen 3b
$11m
gall 1b-of
$320K
suppan rhp
$4m
thompson rhp
$350K
eckstein ss
$3.5m
fick c
$600k
wang rhp
$330K
flores lhp
$400K
sanders lf
$4m
duncan 1b
Memphis
wainwright rhp
Memphis
ty johnson lhp
$320k
taguchi cf
$1m
gall 1b-of
Memphis
warm body rhp
$320K
abreu rf
$13m
schumaker of
Memphis
cali lhp
Memphis
TOTAL
$48m
TOTAL
$2.8m
TOTAL
$28m
TOTAL
$13m
OVERALL PAYROLL: $91.8m

lineup is eck, cano, albt, abreu, rolen, sanders, gooch, molina; rotation is carp burnett mulder supps wang.

all theoretically possible . . . . .

my brain hurts.

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