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cards sign sidney ponson

no shit? sidney ponson?

well, what do you expect me to say? he's been a bad pitcher the last two years, and he has a been a bad boy. he was never that good to begin with; in six of his 8 seasons he posted era's of 4.71 or above. his reputation as a good player stems from two years, 2002-2003, in which he went 24-21 with a 3.90 era and a 1.29 whip. that's the upper boundary of this player's ability. (thanks day by day database.)

ponson, larry bigbie, aaron miles, deivi cruz, gary bennett, brian daubach . . . . don't the BFsIB deserve slightly better than this?

on the bright side, ponson slots nicely into the fat-pitcher roster slot vacated by ray king (about whom, by the way, a nice article appeared recently at colorado's site). but ray was fat and likeable (hope it works out for you, big fellah); ponson i already dislike.

at least it's a low-risk proposition -- one-year contract, low salary with incentives. (some good discussion about ponson got started in the comments to the previous post.) in isolation this acquisition makes no sense to me, but i'll reserve final judgment on it until i see what other deals follow in its wake; i'm hoping this is a small part of a suite of deals that will go down in the next couple weeks. it doesn't seem at first glance as though ponson alone provides sufficient rotation coverage to free up marquis for a deal; it think it would take another acquisition -- wade miller? -- before tony/dunc could feel secure in letting jason go.

or maybe it's this: ponson doesn't free up marquis for a trade, but he does free up anthony reyes. . . .

which leads me (awkwardly) back to yesterday's coco crisp inklings. i e-mailed SB Nation's cleveland affiliate, Let's Go Tribe, and asked what he thought of a possible crisp-for-marquis trade. he replied:

The Indians have been getting a lot of calls on Crisp, most notably from Boston. He's valuable because he's cheap, and a good defensive outfielder. Of the young players on the team, he's the one most likely to dealt, IMO.

The problem is that the Indians don't really have anyone to replace him. They lost out on Nomar Garciaparra (he would have played right field), and I don't think they want to have Casey Blake playing in the outfield full-time if they can help it. So if they do trade Crisp, they'd probably have to bring in at least another outfielder, and there isn't much out there on the free agent market.

Marquis doesn't really make that much sense for the Indians. He's a free agent after the 2006 season and will make a lot of money in arbitration. {Cleveland GM] Mark Shapiro has said that he's comfortable going with Jason Davis, Fausto Carmona, or Jeremy Sowers as the fifth starter.

Trading Crisp for another starter just doesn't make a lot of sense. The Indians are looking for another bat (preferably right-handed) and another setup man.

i question only that last phrase -- the indians appear loaded with setup men (cabrera betancourt riske rhodes sauerback), and they just signed graves and karsay for insurance. that minor point aside, i agree with what ryan's saying -- the deal doesn't seem to make sense for the indians.

but for some reason crisp's name keeps popping up; he was allegedly the centerpiece of a package the indians offered philadelphia for jim thome, and the indians did contemplate trading coco to the red sox for clement or arroyo a few weeks ago. (now that johnny damon has signed with the yankees, i'd expect the boxos to renew their pursuit of crisp.) so i asked's cleveland beat guy, anthony castrovince --- what gives? why is this guy always rumored to be on the move?

The Indians are very reluctant to part with Crisp, as you might imagine. The Phillies thing didn't come from their [ie, Philadelphia's] end. The Phils were asking for Crisp, and the Indians weren't interested in dealing him. I heard those same rumors regarding the Red Sox, but I'm not sure how concrete those were. Basically what I'm saying is, I would consider this a minimal possibility, but I wouldn't exactly expect it to happen.
so what's prob'y going on here is that the cardinals have inquired about crisp -- and that's all it took to trigger the gossip. i'd consider it not only plausible but likely that the cards have made this overture; if the sox are offering arroyo for crisp, why wouldn't jock call up and say "hey, how `bout marquis?" but that may be the extent of the "trade talks" between the two teams; walter calls, cleveland says no thanks -- just as they said no thanks to the red sox. i'm beginning to believe that this is as far as it goes.

well, let's forget our own roster woes and start the day with a smile. check out transaction oracle's graphical interpretation of the cubs' jacque jones signing. you'll be smiling all day. bottom line: "Cub fans are rightly worried about the future of their team."

but, um . . . . should we be, too?