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rumor time redux

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just had my attention called to this diary entry, posted wednesday night ~10 pm central:

The Cards are trying to work out the details on a trade that would send Jeff Supan, Jason Marquis, and two pitching prospects( Wainright/Lambert)to the D-Backs for Javier Vasquez and two prospects. One of the prospects is believed to be one of the D-Backs top OF prospects, Carlos Quentin. The Cards believe Quentin can fill one of the corner OF spots that they currently have open and can platoon Johnny Rodriguez/So Taguchi in the other. My source also says that the Cards would then try to convince Matt Morris and Mark Grudzielanek to take a little less than market value to come back( which is what both players would like to do any way).

i've e-mailed pzonehitter to see if i can learn more about the source(s) of his information; until then, my judgment's suspended on whether or not this is credible. i can at least say that this post is consistent with what i heard from a good source yesterday, viz.: "the cards have interest in acquiring vazquez, possibly in a deal that includes carlos quentin."

Update [2005-12-8 1:57:28 by lboros]: i have heard back from pzonehitter. he purports to have heard about this from somebody who is in a position to have direct knowledge of it. i have asked his permission to reveal the job description of said individual; am awaiting an answer. in the meantime, i can at least share with you part of pzonehitter's reply:

Evidently the Cards had interest in Quentin last year and talked to the D-Backs about a possible trade at the trade deadline that did not involve Vasquez. My source says that Quentin, not Vasquez, is the key to this proposal. They like Vasquez but don't know if they can sign him long term. They think that Quentin could become Pujols II. They're that high on him. As far as the prospects are concerned my source suggested that Wainright and Lambert had been talked about but there were others that he felt the Cards would be willing to dangle in order to make a deal( Pomeranz / McCormick / ???? ). Cards originally tried to send Marquis-King-Wainright. Didn't work for D-Backs. His info about Morris and Grudzielanek was based on his understanding of "Plan B" after missing out on Burnett.
i am not entirely sold yet, but i also have no specific reason to doubt this person. his information is consistent with things i have seen/heard both in print and from top-secret sources. so my judgment remains suspended --- not ready to commit to this yet, but definitely listening attentively.

Update [2005-12-8 2:37:6 by lboros]: pzone would prefer that i protect his source's identity; suffice it to say that this individual is a baseball professional. pzone also added this: "The Ray King trade (see below) makes sense because in the original discussion with D-Backs, King was included to dump salary, among other things, to help make room for Vasquez 11.25 mil per year. It also may mean that Quentin is out of the picture since Bigbie was acquired. May be bad news for the Vasquez deal."

i would certainly hope not. if indeed the cards are pursuing this trade --- and while pzone seems very credible, i still can't commit to this rumor just yet --- it would be a shame to drop the initiative for larry bigbie's sake. bigbie is 28 and still not a proven everyday player; quentin will be 23 next year and raced thru the minors in only two seasons. he has a very high ceiling. my hope would be that bigbie has been added to provide depth, and that the purported blockbuster remains an active pursuit.

that ends the update --- back to reg'lar post. . .

baseball america rates quentin as the 3d-best prospect in the diamondback system. he's an outstanding defender with good power and excellent strike zone judgment. baseball america also rated him the 7th-best prospect in the pacific coast league (anthony reyes ranked #11 on that list). the 2006 top-100 prospect list hasn't been issued yet; he ranked #22 on the 2005 list, and #16 among the hitters.

his short minor league career has been very impressive. but read those triple-a numbers carefully -- he posted them in the thin air of tucson, which inflates offensive numbers in much the same way that denver does.

this is a tantalizing possibility; will update if/when i get some more info on the sourcing.

Update [2005-12-8 1:7:1 by lboros]: ray king's gone: "The Rockies acquired left-handed reliever Ray King from the Cardinals for second baseman Aaron Miles and outfielder Larry Bigbie. King went 4-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 2005 for the Cardinals."

Update [2005-12-8 1:19:38 by lboros]: lord, does aaron miles stink. a .686 career ops in coors field . . . . .320 on-base pct. he does have decent fielding statistics ? 101 career rate2. 2005 salary was $300K; will be out of the league before he ever sniffs an arbitration hearing.

larry bigbie shows a modicum of promise with the bat. in 2003-04 he posted a .790 aggregate ops (352 obp, 438 slg). he?ll be 28 next year. average fielder. 2005 salary was $380K; not arb eligible for another couple years.

Update [2005-12-8 1:26:8 by lboros]: thinking on my feet: miles is bound for triple a. bigbie will come into camp and compete with j-rod for a reserve outfield slot or possibly a platoon starting role. i think he's likely to make the team.

the main point of the trade appears to be clearing away salary space for some other purpose . . . but they might also have gotten a useful player back in bigbie. even at $2.5m, king was overpaid --- flores and ty johnson can handle the LOOGY thing for 1/3 his salary. small move, but a good one.