The Search for the Perfect Trade
So we know that teams are lining up to talk to the Rangers about their relief pitching and we know that general manager Jon Daniels is going to drive a hard bargain.
We know that the Dodgers have expressed interest in Mark Teixeira but he’s on the disabled list. The Dodgers have moved Nomar Garciaparra to third base and are going with top hitting prospect James Loney at first base. If he stumbles, look for the Dodgers to renew their discussions with the Rangers.
Daniels knows that pulling a deal now might disrupt the roll that the Rangers are on but he also knows that if the right offer is made, he has to take it. The Rangers are too far behind.
The Rangers want two good prospects for Gagne because they know they’ll get two draft picks as compensation if he leaves as a Type A free agent.
So who is lining up?
The Boston Red Sox desperately want setup relief. General manager Theo Epstein knows that’s huge in October and that’s their glaring weakness. They also have concerns about Jonathan Papelbon holding up. Gagne wants to close and his contract incentives are based on games finished but Boston may be the team to beat right now.
The Red Sox also love Houston’s Brad Lidge, a reminder that the Rangers don’t hold all the cards. Kansas City’s Octavio Dotel is also available.
The Yankees want Gagne and Akinori Otsuka. So do the Cleveland Indians. The Atlanta Braves need bullpen help.
Arizona wants relief help but the Diamondbacks are telling people they don’t have much money to spend. Philadelphia is a similar situation but would love to talk about Otsuka. So would the Brewers.
The Tigers have demonstrated quite eloquently this week why they need bullpen help and the Rangers have good reports about their Double A pitching.
One thing the Rangers have to understand is that teams aren’t interested in trading good young pitching so don’t look for the Yankees to offer Philip Hughes in any deal. The cost of free agent pitching has sky-rocketed and so has the risk involved so clubs are more likely to concentrate on developing their own pitching.
One source said the Rangers will likely have a better chance of getting quality position players back rather than pitching. That may make some howl but that’s the reality of the situation. That’s also why a mega-deal involving Teixeira may not be possible.
Sammy Sosa? All quiet there. The Minnesota Twins are looking for a right-handed bat but they aren’t interested in Sosa. Word is something might develop closer to the trade deadline and the Mets still seem to be the most likely team. But they’re out there looking for pitching too.