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Game 112 Open Thread: August 8, 2005

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i noted hopefully the other day that, with kevin mench's contract negotiations with the texas rangers having broken down, maybe jocketty can pick him off for cheap. well, perhaps the thinking's not entirely wishful; at least, the newark star-ledger doesn't think so:

The Rangers could still trade outfielder KEVIN MENCH this month. The team had been working on a three-year contract extension with Mench but pulled its latest offer off the table, increasing speculation that it might be about to deal him.

no word on who's doing said speculating, or whether it's based on any actual information . . . . marquis-for-mench? i can see it.

as long as we're fantasizing, here's another unlikely scenario -- so unlikely, in fact, that you can imagine jocketty working the angle deep under the radar: alfonso soriano. the rangers are said to be agonizing over whether or not to retain him; he is arbitration eligible and will probably earn at least $10 million next year, and a contract of that size would clash with other organizational objectives -- upgrading the pitching staff and/or locking up mench and mark texiera with multi-year deals. he fits the profile jock professed to be looking for -- high-impact, rbi bat -- is 29 years old, and has postseason experience.

before the deadline the rangers explored deals with the mets, cubs, and marlins -- the latter of which planned to play soriano in left field, according to the fort-lauderdale sun-sentinel. presumably soriano could play there for the cards as long as the outfield remains undermanned; he could also make some starts at third base until scott rolen is ready to play. if sanders, walker, or rolen can't go in october, soriano takes his place; if all three return hale and hearty for the postseason, soriano becomes a potent pinch-hit bat and (if stl makes it to the series) a formidable DH.

after the season stl could either offer soriano arbitration and hand him the 2b job for 06; sign him to a multiyear deal; or non-tender him and spend the
money more wisely.

what would i offer to get him? the sun-sentinel reported that florida offered luis castillo and two prospects; suppose the cards dangled jason marquis and brad thompson? the rangers need pitchers . . . . maybe we toss in someone like hec luna or john gall or chris gissell, and the rangers toss in lh relief pitcher brian shouse.

the longest of shots . . . . and given the rookies' performance, perhaps jock'ty is no longer inclined. tho if he had a chance to add a 40-hr man, how could he resist?

****************

"If David Eckstein can hit a game-winning grand slam," notes my colleague jeff at Brew Crew Ball, "Victor Santos can beat the Cardinals."

the brewers ain't out of it yet; they are right at .500, only 4.5 games out with about 50 to play. the astros were in a much worse position this time last year and still went on to win the wild card. here's jeff again:

If the Crew can hold steady or pick up a game or two between now and the 18th (a strong possibility, with six games against the Reds and Rockies) and then grab a split or better in Houston, they could well turn the Sept-1 corner within a couple games of the wild-card lead.

hey, we've seen stranger things. but let's get `em off on the wrong foot tonite.


mattmo santos
12-4, 3.68 3-11, 4.02