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monday musings

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if you're still mulling over the looper signing, some final, very serious thoughts appear in this diary.

weekend news: rudy seanez said to be signing with the red sox; the dodgers landed both nomar and kenny lofton.

coupla interesting outfield names cycled through the rumor mill over the weekend, both targeted by the boston red sox: seattle's jeremy reed and cleveland's coco crisp. the sox reportedly offered matt clement to both teams. (here's some info about the reed trade talks, and here's the skinny on the coco rumor.) the mariners were serious enough about a deal that they counteroffered, asking for bronson arroyo; the indians supposedly also had some interest in arroyo. if both teams are willing to contemplate trading their young ofs for clement or arroyo, i don't know why they wouldn't consider marquis or suppan too. . . . .

today's boston globe discounts the crisp trade angle, as does rotoworld. but the seattle times thinks reed may still be traded for an arm, even after the mariners' weekend signing of pitcher jarrod washburn. if you're not familiar with reed, a quick dossier: was seattle's #2 prospect entering last season, ranked #33 overall by baseball america, and had a damn good rookie season -- led all al centerfielders in zone rating and range factor, logged 5.4 defensive win shares (same number as edmonds). struggled at the plate (674 ops) but is a better hitter than that --he tore it up at ev'y level of the minor leagues. as a rookie reed logged a .322 obp with no power, but safeco is a pitcher's park and the kid is only 24. good chance he lifts the obp to the .350-.360 range before long. he makes the minimum or close to it, won't be arb-eligible for a couple of years . . . . that's a very valuable commodity, yadi molina with more offensive upside. why the mariners would ever consider dealing him for one year of bronson arroyo (who like jason and jeff will be a free-agent after 2006) is beyond me, but if they are truly mulling that option open i hope st louis will pursue it.

the diamondbacks' affiliate wrote last wednesday that "[Shawn] Green is going to be dealt, probably to the Chicago Cubs, in the next couple of days." but no deal so far, and no deal forthcoming, according to mlbtraderumors, because green has a virtual blanket no-trade clause. perhaps more to the point, green is 33 years old, no longer a .900-ops monster, signed for $8m this year and $9.5m in 2007, and saddled with a reputation for being "soft." so he may be staying put, but if so that leaves the dbacks with a serious logjam in the outfield. green and crusty old luis gonzalez hold two of the slots, and chad tracy likely the third -- which leaves conor jackson and carlos quentin with nowhere to play. and the dbacks added yet another stud outfield prospect, chris young, in the javy vazquez trade -- and they're now talking about him as a candidate to start in centerfield next season. we know the cardinals like quentin, also that the dbacks showed interest in marquis and suppan during the cards' bid for vazquez. they finished 14th in the league in era last year and are currently returning four starting pitchers from last season's rotation -- and the only change is a downgrade, from javy vazquez to orlando hernandez. . . . .having finished just 5 games out in the nl west last year, maybe the 'backs would trade some future value for a short-term fix? wishful thinking? prob'ly. but the 'backs can't keep those kids down at tucson forever, and they're not likely to find takers for green or gonzalez.

jon garland's name also continues to circulate. over the weekend fox sports' ken rosenthal echoed the opinion i received from The Cheat last week about what return the chixos might demand:

What kind of deal would the White Sox want to make for right-hander Jon Garland? Probably one similar to the Marlins' trade of outfielder Juan Pierre, in which the team acquired three young pitchers from the Cubs. The White Sox are thin at the upper levels after sending left-handers Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood to the Phillies in the Jim Thome trade.
mlbtraderumors hears that the astros may dangle two minor-league pitchers in a bid for garland -- one who pitched in class a last year, another in double a. so perhaps the trade-bait trio i tossed out last week -- lambert, wainwright, and brad thompson -- isn't so far off the mark? prob'y all depends on which arms the sox's scouts happen to like. . . . let's just say that he isn't necessarily out of reach. the cards will inquire, and you never know where the phone call will lead.

the possibility also exists that the cardinals may simply add one free agent outfielder and call it good. taguchi/bigbie/j-rod would platoon at the other outfield slot, luna/miles/cruz would shuffle at 2b, and last year's rotation would return largely intact, with marquis staying put and anthreyes taking morris's slot. that team would probably contend for the division and have a decent chance to win it; but it doesn't seem (on paper anyway) like a very strong postseason contender.

for which reason jocketty is likely still working on some variation of plan A, viz.: add a starting pitcher to free up marquis, who then gets traded for an affordable 20something outfielder with some upside.

non-tender deadline tomorrow; prob'y add a name or two to the cards' list.