The second trade deadline for
This figures to be a busy week, with Oswalt likely to join Lee (Seattle to Texas) and
The exception, not the rule, is the "haul" Seattle acquired when trading
Actually, two of the best heists involved trades for second-tier pitchers, not aces: the Rays turned
That said, do the Astros really expect a stud prospect for Oswalt and the $38 million due the soon-to-be-33-year-old right-hander (assuming the 2012 option is part of the deal)? Seems they would have to kick in a small boatload of cash for that to happen.
If the Phillies do get Oswalt, that would make for four major trades for starting pitchers in the past 24 months for them (
Otherwise, Amaro will have to spin off Werth to a third team, such as the Rays, Yankees or Padres, to satisfy the Astros. But if he does that, and assuming he plugs outfield prospect
In any case, the Phillies are starting to warm up. Werth has stopped swinging for the fences. ("He was trying too hard for the big payday," one scout said of the impending free agent.) Rollins on Saturday had his first opposite field hit left-handed, and only his second all year.
But Amaro still isn't sure if he can hunt down the Braves with Blanton,
The intrigue isn't confined to Philadelphia. Here are other key teams to keep an eye on over the next five days:
They held an organizational conference call Monday afternoon to map out their plans for the week. Trouble is, at 7 1/2 games out in the NL East and 5 1/2 back in the wild card race they are in the worst possible position: neither solidly in or out of contention. Their trendline is ominous: they have played more than a month without winning back-to-back games, going 9-19 while hitting .235.
The Mets don't want to take on any contracts with 2011 money (that means no Oswalt) and their available money is described as "case by case;" GM
They have the same record and the same amount of ground to make up to reach the playoffs as the Mets but they arrived in the same place, Pennant Race Limbo, via a different direction. One week from trading players such as
"Things changed all of a sudden with them with a couple of comeback wins," said one GM who was in talks with Florida. "They pick up another game or two and are five or six out, they'll probably go for it."
But look at the big picture: after 98 games they were a .500 team, six games out in the loss column in the wild card race with one of the worst defenses in the league. That is not the profile of a playoff team.
San Francisco can stand pat this week, though it's strange that their postseason chances come down to two guys thought to be givens when the year started:
The Yard Sale officially is on. Make an offer for
Eight games behind Texas in the loss column in the AL West with a negative run differential should tell you they're not catching the Rangers. But the Haren trade was too good to pass up even if it turns out it was more about 2011 than 2010.
But beware: the Diamondbacks seem to have flipped this guy at the right time. Haren no longer is an ace. He is 12-14 with a 4.59 ERA since the 2009 All-Star break. His fastball doesn't hold his velocity the way he used to -- his fastball range is 88 to 93 instead of 91-93 -- and his splitter is inconsistent. "He's a solid two or three now, not a one," said one scout. "His velocity is up and down. It's not the same ace stuff, but he's such a great competitor."
And that's why people saw a great divide between his perceived trade value in the media, which generally accused Arizona of getting fleeced, and his actual trade value: the media largely reacted to his reputation while the clubs reacted to the quality of stuff over the past year.