gil meche's agent says gil meche is a hot commodity --- half the teams have made contact, blah blah blah. @#$##$ agent-generated buzz. . . . but we do hear from other sources that the cardinals might be interested in this guy. meche is cut from the carpenter mold: big boy, throws hard, nasty stuff. like carp, he was drafted high (22d overall), reached the big leagues young (20) with ace-like potential, struggled, and got hurt --- blown shoulder. that injury required two surgeries to fix and kept meche sidelined for a year and a half; he has stayed healthy since his return four years ago.
if the shoulder is fixed, the pitcher still is not; here the similarity to carpenter ends, and the likeness to jason marquis begins. after nearly 150 big-league starts, meche still apparently lacks a plan for getting hitters out --- either that, or he's unable to execute one. jeff sullivan at the great mariner blog Lookout Landing recently posted an excellent review of meche's 2006 season; excerpts:
He finished the season even worse than he started it, and fans who had been swayed by his run of good pitching in the middle of the summer swore off ever believing in Gil again. He concluded the year appropriately enough, walking five batters in Oakland's AAA lineup and needing 125 pitches to get through six innings. Classic Gil. The second he got pulled, Mariner fans everywhere breathed a deep sigh of relief, armed with the knowledge that they'd almost certainly never have to watch Gil trot his sorry ass out to the mound in a Seattle uniform ever again. After more than a decade of underachieving, the Gil Meche Era was finally over.
probably meaningless; he was pitching pretty well against al clubs too at that time. in any case, the month of interleague play (june) was the only one in which meche managed to keep his era under 4.00; he was at 4.78 or higher in 4 of the 6 months last season.
another fine mariner blog, USS Mariner, seems to have spoken for the majority of seattle fans in this post:
one other item: ken rosenthal reports that baltimore is shopping rodrigo lopez, a pitcher the cardinals reportedly tried to get at the trade deadline last year. lopez had a terrible year --- 5.90 era in 189 innings --- and hasn't been very good his whole career; had one good season, whoop de doo. he is in his last year of arb eligibility, so he won't come cheap (prob about $4m) and can walk at the end of the season. the orioles have a hole in the outfield; the brewers supposedly have offered kevin mench for lopez. one can imagine st louis offering encarnacion for the guy, but i hope they don't; lopez looks like another problem, rather than a solution. the orioles (who, with the acquisition of jaret wright, now have six starting pitchers) also might dangle kris benson; he's sort of the pitching equivalent of juan encarnacion --- a reliably, hopelessly average player. benson is under contract for $7.5m this year, with an option at the same price for 2008; we'll have to see how the market develops, but he doesn't look like much of a bargain at this point and hence doesn't seem to meet the cards' needs.
i doubt the orioles would view encarnacion any more favorably . . .