Tough loss last night. That, unfortunately, was the Todd Wellemeyer that we saw so much of before he got here, the one that has largely been absent this season. Too many pitches, unable to put hitters away, just generally all the things you get from a pitcher who, despite the quality of his stuff, just isn't sharp enough to be successful.
It's not that I fear that Wellemeyer still isn't healthy, but I do still question the Cardinals' decision not to DL him. He looks like he's okay physically, but he doesn't look like he's right. He said it himself after last night's game; he could probably use another extra bullpen session or two to try and get back on track. Unfortunately, that's probably not going to happen. Now, of course, if the Cardinals had just put him on the shelf whenever he experienced the elbow issues, he would have had plenty of time to not only get healthy, but also to get his stuff ironed out before rejoining the rotation. Too late for all of that, I suppose. Don't get me wrong; I understand that the options to replace Welley in the rotation, even temporarily, weren't at all attractive, but watching the Cards give away games because of a pitcher who just isn't right is a less than enjoyable option.
In case you missed it, the Cardinals came to terms with their first round draft pick, Brett Wallace, yesterday. He signed for very slightly more than slot money, with a reported bonus of right around $1.84 million. I'm extremely glad the Cards moved so quickly to get this done early this year, rather than allowing the process to drag on until the signing deadline the way they did last year with Kozma. The sooner they can get Wallace into the system and playing ball, the better.
You know, the way the trade deadline is beginning to shape up this year, we may finally see some real movement this season. Every year, it seems we hear of all the big deals that are going to take place, yet the ESPN trade deadline special always seems to be mostly about a couple of middling relievers and a fourth outfielder or two. This year, though, I think we just may see that magic combination of teams with some excess in the farm system and several big names with reasons to be moved. So, in that spirit, let's take a look around at what some of the latest chatter may be.
Probably the biggest name on the trading block this year is the Indian's big lefty, C.C. Sabathia. It now actually appears that the Brewers (the article is insider only) may be one of the strongest suitors for his services. I must admit, I was shocked when I first heard this little tidbit making the rounds. For one thing, the Brewers' farm system has taken a pretty significant hit the past couple of seasons, with a ton of players graduating to the majors, and several others being moved in deals to help shore up some of the big club's weaknesses. For another, the Brewers already have a ton of money tied up in their rotation, with Ben Sheets and Jeff Suppan both having big, expensive deals. Of course, I thought that before I found out that Ben Sheets has apparently already indicated that he'll opt out of his current deal at the end of the season, and apparently the Brewers aren't willing to commit to him on a longer term basis. (There's an interesting discussion about that topic here.) With all of that in play, Milwaukee actually seems like a fairly sensible destination for Sabathia, though I still question whether or not they would be able to get a long term deal done with him.
Of course, the rumour that concerns us the most is probably the one about the Cards' interest in Matt Holliday and Brian Fuentes. There was a great discussion about it over Future Redbirds yesterday, and the prevailing sentiment over there was mostly that the deal would cost too much to make it worthwhile. I happen to agree with that notion, but I won't go into all the details here as to why. I'm just here to report the facts.
Besides our own Redbirds, the Red Sox and Yankees both appear to be suitors for Fuentes' services. The Sawx are certainly in a great position to make a play for the lefty, with a farm system that could easily take the hit. The Yankee system is a little less robust, but Steinbrenner appears to be pretty much hell bent on doing whatever it takes to build the team he wants, regardless of the cost or the wisdom. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Randy Wolf is an intriguing name, given just how astoundingly awful the Padres have been this season. Strangely enough, though, not a whole lot of teams have been linked to Wolf. The Cubbies appear to at least be somewhat interested, but I'm a little fuzzy on just what they might have to offer.
Even though they're in contention, the Athletics have a couple of players that seem to definitely be on the market. Rich Harden is a name that gets thrown around constantly, pretty much any time trades are the subject. He's as dominant as Sabathia when healthy; unfortunately, that's not really all that often. I'm sure it would take a ridiculous offer in order to pry Billy Beane's fingers off of Harden, but some team in contention could very well make that knockout offer to bring in this level of talent.
Mark Ellis, the A's second baseman, could make an attractive target as well, particularly to someone like the Cardinals. Ellis is relatively young, relatively cheap, and also just happens to be quite a ballplayer. Given those qualities, Ellis would also probably draw a pretty serious package, but he might be just what the doctor ordered. I heard a bit about the Mets or the Indians possibly being interested, but it was just a tiny little blurb somewhere, and I cannot for the life of me find it now.
The Blue Jays are trying like hell to unload A.J. Burnett, their $55 million problem child. He's also planning to opt out of his contract after this season, so he would be strictly a rental most likely. The Brewers, Phillies, Mets, and A's have all reportedly kicked the tires at least, and the Cubs have been rumoured to be interested, although there are quite a few conflicting stories on that front.
Vincente Padilla is being looked at by the Mets and Yankees. No thanks.
The A's are apparently looking at Adrian Beltre, from the Mariners. This one doesn't make much sense at all to me, I have to say. Beltre hasn't had a really good season since his contract year, he's owed $12 million next season, and the A's have a pretty good third baseman already, as far as I know. Actually, I take that back. I just checked Eric Chavez's page; he's been awful this year. I hadn't been paying that much attention to the A's this year, to be honest. Does anybody know what in the world has happened to Chavez?
I've got to run, everybody. Discuss amongst yourselves. I'll have a game thread up this evening.