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Guest blogger J.P. Maxwell emailed me today with his take on the Pirates trading for starting pitcher Matt Morris.
I watched an interview with Cards GM Walt Jocketty before Tuesday night’s game with the Pirates. My intention was to find out why the Cards didn’t do more at the deadline and I was also curious about why the Cards didn’t get in on Matt Morris. I understand why the Cards let him walk way a couple of years ago, but I thought the Cards could have sent a mid-level prospect to the Giants plus had the Giants “eat” about half of Morris salary to make the deal work. I know Morris hasn’t been great in about the last month and a half, but I think Morris returning to the Cardinals would have been a boost that he needed to return to his old form. Well as it turns out, Jocketty said the Cardinals were in on Morris till the last minute and were actually the front runners till the Pirates jumped in and offered to pay the remainder of Morris’ contract. I don’t know what the specifics of the deal would have been for Morris to return, but now all we can do is wonder.
Cardinal and Pirates fans out there, what do you think?
Several readers have emailed me letting me know the Pittsburgh Post Gazett is reporting that the Pirates have "acquired starting pitcher Matt Morris from the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Rajai Davis and a player to be named later".
This must have been one of the last deals to be allowed as it wasn’t announced until well after the 3pm eastern deadline. MLB.com has more on the deal.
Jermaine Dye’s name continues to be mentioned in various trade rumors. The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting a potential deal that would send the future free agent Dye to the Yankees for struggling RF Bobby Abreu. Aside from the fact that Abreu and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen are close friends, the Sox are subscribing to the theory that Abreu is simply off to a slow start and will heat up along with the summer temperatures.
The other prevalent deal that won’t seem to die has the White Sox sending Dye to the Phillies for former White Sox fan favorite Aaron Rowand and some bullpen help. This trade almost happened at the Winter Meetings and also during Spring Training but never came about because the Phillies wanted reliever Matt Thornton included and the White Sox didn’t want to part with him. However, now the Sox have a new bargaining chip in struggling Mike MacDougal, whom the Phillies may consider making a reclamation project.
As if that weren’t enough, the San Francisco Giants are also said to have some interest in acquiring the outfielder.
In my opinion, the deal that makes the most sense for the White Sox would be to send Dye to the Yankees for Abreu. I think they will miss Dye’s pop in that lineup more than they realize, and I don’t buy the thought that Abreu is finished. He is only 33 years old and has a career .300 batting average to go along with his .409 on base %. There is no reason to believe that he somehow forgot how to hit over the winter, I think he simply needs a confidence boost. His defense has always been a little overrated, but he is still an average outfielder with a good arm. Lately he has started to show some signs of life at the plate and is beginning to demonstrate that he could be a very valuable acquisition to any team willing to roll the dice with him.
~ Guest Blogged by Derek Wonderland
The San Francisco Giants and Florida Marlins have reportedly swapped relievers. According to the AP, the Marlins are receiving the struggling veteran Armando Benitez in exchange for Randy Messenger. The Giants will also reportedly pay over $4 million of Benitez’s $7 million contract.
While Benitez has the name recognition in this deal, it would appear to be a great one for the Giants. In Messenger, they get a 25 year old reliever with a 2.66 ERA so far this year and rid themselves of a troubled player. Benitez has recently been under fire for criticizing the San Fran offense as well as his hefty 4.67 ERA. The Marlins are presumably hoping Benitez will return to his 2004 form when he saved 47 games while compiling a minuscule 1.29 ERA.
In actuality, this rumor is what kick-started me out of my recent slump. I simply could not pass up a chance to write about this. A New York Times article is discussing the possibility of Bonds landing in Boston. That’s right Boston. I’ll let the author, Murray Chass, explain it to you.
"Six weeks after they agreed to terms on new contracts, Barry Bonds and J. D. Drew remain unsigned. Bonds hasn’t signed with the Giants; Drew hasn’t signed with the Red Sox. That prompts a thought. If both contracts were to fall through, the Red Sox could sign Bonds to play left field and move Manny Ramirez back to his original position in right."
What? Look, I know Boston wants to win. I know that since they tasted that sweet nectar of an epic Yankee defeat as well as a World Series Championship in the same year, they haven’t been the same. I get that. But you’re suggesting that just when it appears the Giants might be doing the right thing and not putting up with Bonds’ BS that the Red Sox are going to snatch him up and inject a cancer into their clubhouse?
Don’t get me wrong, I think both signings are in danger. I think Bonds is too stubborn and detached from reality to realize that the Giants are (or at least should be) his only option. I also think that Scott Boras may have played chicken one too many times and could be taking J.D. Drew headfirst into an oncoming semi (and really it only seems appropriate). But the reason these players aren’t signed yet is quite simple. They’re damaged goods! Bonds has only played in a few dozen games in the past year and he’s old. A body can’t be put through what Bonds put his through without consequences.
Have you ever seen those old ladies that tanned and used all those treatments and surgeries to keep themselves looking young? Sure they look good for a while and then one day they wake up and their face and everything else is hanging about two inches off the ground and they look like an old baseball glove that’s been left outside for a year. The same thing is bound to happen to good ole Barry. The man’s going to end up with the knees of Jerome Bettis and the back of Quasimodo.
Anyway, the point is, these players need these teams more than the team needs them. They just haven’t seemed to figure this out yet. If Boston doesn’t end up signing Drew, it will likely be because they got fed up with dealing with the demands of Boras and a primadona player. So, despite the fact that Bonds to Boston might make a little bit of sense on a lineup card, there’s simply no way Theo Epstein decides to jump into a situation that’s just as bad, if not worse.
ESPN.com is reporting that Barry Zito has agreed in principal with the San Francisco Giants on a 7 year deal worth $126 million. A news conference is expected this afternoon to announce the deal.
In addition, "the deal, agreed to late Wednesday night, includes an $18 million option for 2014 that could increase the value to $144 million, an unidentified source told The Associated Press."
The will lock up the 28 year old lefty at least until he turns 34. Through 6 seasons of Major League service, Zito has racked up 100+ wins, 1000+ strikeouts, and an ERA of 3.55. While looking through Zito’s career statistics, I noticed something very interesting. The average annual value of $18 million is more than Zito has made in the past 4 years, COMBINED. In 2002, Zito received a $400k signing bonus and a salary of $500k. Over the next four years his salary rose to $900k, $2.5 million, $5.6 million, and $7.9 million respectively for a grand total of $17.8 million.
And that ladies and gentlemen, in case you were wondering, is why players continue to sign with Scott Boras.