The Mariners made some early noise with their nice start to the season, but the club could create a much bigger national story as a trader this summer. Unlike a vast majority of teams expected to straddle the buy/sell fence, the now 22-26 Mariners seem to understand their position as a rebuilding team. What's more, they have decent, veteran talent to trade, including front-line, left-handed pitcher
Bedard's value on the market could depend in part on
Bedard leads at least a sextet of Seattle players with the potential to go elsewhere and impact a pennant race, with pitchers
Washburn (who makes $10.35 million in the last year of his deal) is having a solid season and could help plenty of teams; Branyan (.608 slugging percentage) is red hot and a bargain at $1.4 million; and Batista could start for some teams. But the highly-paid Beltre ($12 million, also in the last year of his deal) is off to his usual painfully slow start at .212, and Betancourt's recent defensive regression will limit interest, despite a seemingly reasonable $13.75 million deal through 2011.
Meanwhile, Bedard, who is 3-2 with a 2.48 ERA and back to showing his immense talent after a rough initial year in Seattle, is the clear headliner.
With the $60 million remaining on Peavy's contract, plus his complete no-trade clause and very specific wishes (he apparently wants a contending team in the National League that's in either the Midwest or West, or he may just want the Cubs), the most interesting top-of-the-rotation action may actually revolve around Bedard, who was acquired by Seattle's previous regime for a raft of young talent and who is now months from free agency. Bedard's first year in Seattle was marked by difficult interpersonal relationships and nagging injuries. But this year, it's all been positive.
"He's a different guy, and he's not that durable," one competing GM said of Bedard. "But this could be a real market opportunity for [the Mariners]. There are not a lot of mid-to-frontline starting pitchers available. Teams just might overpay."
Interested teams wouldn't pay like Seattle did, when it sent budding center field star
Peavy can't be blamed one bit for invoking the no-trade provision that was negotiated in good faith. But one GM on a competing team said he believes the very public selling of Peavy, accompanied by continued speculation about which teams Peavy might accept, could become "the death of the no-trade clause.''
That may be wishful thinking. But this clause has certainly led to months of angst and heartache for the Padres, who competitors believe are anxious now to be rid of the $60 million or so remaining on Peavy's deal. While Padres GM
The Padres are said to be continuing to try to find the right spot for Peavy, who seems destined to have more words written about him this season than any other player. They can keep throwing darts out there and hoping one will stick. Or they can focus on teams Peavy might accept.
There's no reason why Peavy has to provide an expansive list (or any list, really) of teams that he would accept, and there's nothing to compel him to agree to go anyplace. His original, very unofficial, list included the Braves, Astros, Cardinals and Dodgers in addition to the Cubs; one person close to Peavy said he likes any team in his own division except the Coors-dwelling Rockies (not that adding to the Giants and Rockies would do all that much since both teams are flush with top-of-the-rotation starters) and one competing GM thought Peavy would accept the Dodgers, Angels or Cubs. Towers would likely prefer to not hand Peavy to the rival Dodgers, though at some point desperation may set in.
One person connected to the Padres said, "All I keep hearing is Cubs, Cubs, Cubs." Eventually San Diego may have no choice but to try to engage the Cubs again, a team that really doesn't desperately need starting pitching, could be hampered by a change in ownership that's going slow (even commissioner
It's getting ugly in Houston, where negative stories about manager
Astros higher-ups are now declining to provide a public vote of confidence to Cooper, creating the impression that Cooper could be canned. And if he is, that would be a shame.
Some people believe the real problem is not Cooper but general manager
• Rangers owner
• The Giants are denying that they are dangling
• The Braves don't like their outfield production, with center fielder
• The Braves are seen as a threat to reacquire
• Top Braves pitching prospect
• The Rays'
• Some Rays people were not happy with how Marlins rookie
• That was the second controversial incident for Coghlan; the first involved the ball-hogging catcher of his first career home run, who is actually a 29-year-old policeman who tries enhance his take-home pay by catching home run balls and is after a
• The Marlins are willing to talk about
• Brett Myers' hip injury is devastating news for a Phillies team that was already looking for pitching help in a market without much. Myers was said by the team to have "possible tearing," in the labrum of his hip and may be a candidate for the surgery that's sweeping baseball. Alex Rodriguez,
• Zack Greinke's ERA actually went up, to 0.84, with his complete-game, 6-1 victory over Detroit on Tuesday. He is the third pitcher in the modern ERA to have an ERA under 1.00 after 10 starts, following
• The campaign to support
• Recent Cubs call-up
• Why no job for
• Just asking: Will
• The Yankees look as fundamentally sound as they've been in years. Their 14 straight errorless games is a franchise record.
• Top Mets prospect
• Looks like the No. 6 spot didn't relax
• Acting Nationals GM
• The classy Diamondbacks told pitcher