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Roundtable: 2008 Trade Deadline

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday July 31, 2008 2:00 PM ET 2008 Trade Deadline roundtable.

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Dave Pease (10:18:31 PM PT): Please join us on Thursday, July 31, at around 2:00PM ET for running commentary on the 2008 trade deadline.

If you'd like to submit a question to be answered during the roundtable you can do so here.

In the meantime, be sure to visit our homepage to check out our trade deadline coverage, up to and following the deadline.

Kevin Goldstein (11:02:02 AM PT): Hey everyone, we're here and we begin with the disappointing news that it seems like the Manny deal has crapped the bed. That takes a little bit of the luster off things, but it gives us hopefully three hours of Jason Bay intrigue!

Will Carroll (11:03:05 AM PT): Yeah, though I still haven't figured out exactly where this fell apart. How about you, Kevin?

Kevin Goldstein (11:06:29 AM PT): As I understand it, the Pirates were happy with their prospect package, but the Marlins were not happy with just getting Manny (even though it was salary free) -- they wanted more.

Will Carroll (11:06:37 AM PT): Interesting thing now will be to see whether the Red Sox, Pirates and Marlins all go to Plan B and to see who gets involved. I don't think the Pirates will deal Bay now, though the Rays, I'm sure, will make an inquiry. They weren't close before and with Paul Konerko suddenly available and right-handed, who knows?

Joe Sheehan (11:07:28 AM PT): Thank god you guys are here. Hey, everyone...I'll be in and out all afternoon for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the impending death of my dry cleaner.

Joe Sheehan (11:09:30 AM PT): I thought the deal as it stood was horrible for the Marlins--the gap between Hermida and Manny narrows to nothing when you consider defense, age and cost--so it's interesting to see them be the ones to spike it.

I really like what Neal Huntington's doing. Or trying to do, anyway.

Kevin Goldstein (11:10:27 AM PT): Rick (Chicago): Ken Williams traded for Ken Griffey Jr for the fun of it and to vent a little frustration from not being able to get anything else done in the last few days. Reds did it to shed a few million bucks and to avoid having to not pick up Junior's option. Convince me otherwise.

Ken Williams got something for nothing. Richar and Masset aren't going to help the team at all, Griffey might. That's a plus, no?

Christina Kahrl (11:11:16 AM PT): Hi gang... sorry for the delay, doncha love brownouts? Wow, the concept of Konerko in somebody else's uni... I guess it's a sad thing from my POV because the one time I got to talk to him about baseball, after we did the TV thing and the canned answer for coverage of Sox Fest, we had a great time then talking about baseball for reals.

John Perrotto (11:12:52 AM PT): Pirates are extremely disappointed the three-way deal looks dead. They thought it was a great chance to start a very necessary rebuilding of the entire franchise.

Kevin Goldstein (11:12:55 AM PT): Jim (IC): Is Stanton of the Fish really that great a prospect? He is still young, but striking out in 30 percent of your plate appearances has to raise some flags.

It raises huge flags. At the same time, I don't need more than two hands to count to number of 18 year olds who have shown this much IN GAME power.

Christina Kahrl (11:14:27 AM PT): Yeah, Masset's a body. A big body, but a body, sometimes with a fastball, and Richar... well, he could hit well in the Gap, but so could most people who aren't overly slappy. The Sox still have Chris Getz to fall back on should something happen to Alexei Ramirez, so they could afford to deal from depth with roster fodder.

Kevin Goldstein (11:15:07 AM PT): John (Daly City): Has there been any interest in Duscherer?

Nothing close to what Oakland had hoped for. I just don't think people really believe in his season.

Christina Kahrl (11:16:21 AM PT): As Clay would say about translating what Stanton's K rate involves, the big strikeout rate can also be taken as something fixable, not just a black mark against him. Sort of a Glenallen Hill thing, back when he was generating breezes galore down on the farm.

John Perrotto (11:17:05 AM PT): Athletics are done dealing. They didn't get they wanted for Duchscherer or Street.

Kevin Goldstein (11:17:32 AM PT): Jason O. (New York): Assuming the Bos/Pit/Fla three-way is dead, what's more likely: the Red Sox and Marlins look to get a different 3rd team involved (Dodgers?); or Red Sox and Marlins decide to work it out between the two of them? I heard Henry wanted a player that could help *this year* (ergo Bay over Hermida), but if Boston is so desperate to move Manny...

I really just think it's dead-dead. I don't see how you can get a Manny deal done in two hours -- it's complex by default. What do you guys think?

Christina Kahrl (11:18:29 AM PT): That "show me" sensibility with Duchscherer's interesting in how it might mean he's available for less, or might be affordable enough to remain an A.

Joe Sheehan (11:19:39 AM PT): Corkedbat (Dallas): Heard rumors about a deal involving Baltimore's Brian Roberts and the Dodgers. That was early in the morning. Any other news on that front?

This has been bouncing around for a while. The Dodgers desperately need a leadoff hitter, and Roberts is a high-OBP guy. I love the idea of trading for him to play shortstop, because even though it's risky, the offense they'll get makes it worthwhile. The Dodgers have run Angel Berroa and Nomar Garciaparra out there; Roberts couldn't possibly be worse.

Of the bad deals the Dodgers could make with their prospects, this one at least addresses their biggest need.

Joe Sheehan (11:21:35 AM PT): Well, the only thing you absolutely have to do is get Manny to say "yes." Maybe he'd do that for something simple--the options go away, or they get picked up.

KG, I think he stays in Boston, but honestly, I think you could do a deal between now and 4 p.m. if you really wanted to.

Joe Sheehan (11:24:41 AM PT): wilk75 (hou): With Dye, Konerko, Swisher, Quinton, and Thome, where does Junior fit in?

The only guy there he should play over is Konerko, and that only against right-handers. I don't know how you fit him in without making the defense really, really, really bad. They refuse to use Thome at first for three years, but they will now?

It's a free Ken Griffey, as KG said, but how this plays out will be fascinating.

Jay Jaffe (11:24:43 AM PT): Hey guys, what names are being tossed around in the Roberts-to-L.A. deal?

Kevin Goldstein (11:25:13 AM PT): Eric (Girard, Oh): If the Mets rumored interest in Ian Snell who is true, who would they be willing to give up for him?

This assumes that PIT would want to trade him, which would make no sense. He's not expensive until 2012.

Christina Kahrl (11:25:33 AM PT): Mike (Bloomington IL): What do you anticipate the Cubs being able to get out of Scott Eyre if they choose to deal him, and what do you anticipate the odds of that actually happening are?

Not much, and few. The way the Cubs' interlocking parts in the lineup have worked out since the Edmonds acquisition really sort of negate any need to move anything else around; I wouldn't be in a rush to move Ronny Cedeno, even if he does deserve to start somewhere. And I don't think they really need to move something around on the staff in the wake of the Harden trade.

Kevin Goldstein (11:30:44 AM PT): SC (Rochester, MN): What does the 4p.m. deadline actually mean? That is, what specifically has to happen by 4p.m. for a deal to be made?

The trade has to be submitted to the commissioner's office by that time.

Will Carroll (11:30:50 AM PT): It's not a free Griffey -- the big hold up keeping this from being finalized is who pays the buyout on his 2009 option. At $4m, that's hardly a cheap rental.

Sorry - traffic is keeping me from chiming in.

Christina Kahrl (11:31:44 AM PT): rawagman (Toronto): The Jays, while effectively out of the race, are understandably, not big sellers, seeing their current team setup as constituting valid contenders for next season. That said, some bit parts may be available. Zaun has publicly shopped himself. The Jays also have some extrenous middle infield types (Scutaro, Inglett, McDonald, Eckstein). Being on a one year contract, it would seem that Eckstein would be a very saleable player. What chance he gets moved? What grade prospect could he net? Thanks for the great coverage!

Thanks, rawagman, it wouldn't be possible if not for the admirable avidity of people like Will and John P. on the front end of this stuff, and Joe and Kevin on the back end of the analysis side of things.

As far as the Jays, the nice thing about their veteran filler types is that they could also be of the right quality/lack of-level to fit in rather nicely in August waiver deals. Zaun's always been someone who rubs some people the wrong way, which limits the number of teams who might be interested; Eckstein's fielding at short is always going to raise hackles. That might make them available for very little despite their playing at positions of relative scarcity.

John Perrotto (11:36:24 AM PT): Snell is not being traded. Pirates would be selling far too low on him now.

Kevin Goldstein (11:36:27 AM PT): Ian (Pittsburgh): Why doesn't Florida just deal for Bay instead? If they are sending all the prospects, etc., why not do it for Bay, who is under contract for another year?

Because then Florida would have to PAY Bay, and . . . well . . . it's the Marlins. In the Manny deal, they didn't pay a dime of what's left in his contract.

Christina Kahrl (11:38:57 AM PT): Rob (Alaska): Does the Griffey deal suggest the Reds may want to retain Dunn after all?

It would make an awful lot of sense, since he's the right kind of player in the right environment, and with Jocketty and Baker in charge, it would appear to be pretty clear that winning very soon would be on the agenda. Add in that Dunn's apparent value around the game isn't as high as you might think, and it might be a mutual matter of settling, because they're comfortable for one another.

Christina Kahrl (11:41:19 AM PT): On some level, you have to acknowledge that trading for Manny's about grabbing mindshare in their market. People would notice, even in Miami. That's conceivably worth a lot more to them than Hermida's three years of arbitration eligibility.

Kevin Goldstein (11:41:36 AM PT): Recent text messages indicate that Paul Byrd and Mark Kotsay are likely not going to go anywhere until next month's deadline with the waiver wire.

In additon, the Braves cointinue to go through offers for Ohman, and while he's probably going to go somewhere, the offers are not in the range they expected.

Jay Jaffe (11:45:41 AM PT): carlosrubi (Mexico): This one's for Jay Jaffe -- what Futility Infielder do you believe is going to get traded today? Seems like there's always a minor deal involving a token MI that makes a difference later on (Blum? Graffanino?)

True story that the name of my site was keyed by the Yankees' 2000 reacquisition of Luis Sojo and the slew of other infielders (Jose Vizcaino, Clay Bellinger, Wilson Delgado) the team went through in compensating for the throwing woes of Chuck Knoblauch.

Anyway, to your question, I've heard Marco Scutaro's name bandied about, particularly in regards to the Dodgers, but that one seems to have fallen through. Jamey Carroll is somebody who has his admirers, and let's face it, if the Indians tire of trying figure out which version of Asdrubal Cabrera they can expect going forward, they'll have Josh Barfield back soon enough. Maybe he's the answer to your question.

Joe Sheehan (11:50:05 AM PT): Two points:

1) $4 million is pocket change in today's game, Will. That's a very cheap rental. Someone's being a toolshed in that negotiation.

2) The Marlins' payroll is so low that they can add Bay to it and still pay their players next season using only non-locally-generated revenue. They could cover their nut if they shut the doors for the season. So for money to be an issue in them not adding a player or two--especially when no team in the game has more potential revenue in the short term, given how many empty seats they have--is an abomination.

Christina Kahrl (11:51:13 AM PT): ODo26132002 (MPLS): Stark is saying the Twins offered Bonser for Aurillia. Shouldn't Bonser be a Giant if this is the case.

You would think so, but maybe Brian Sabean's sixth sense for player valuation is calibrated differently than other people's. Less cattily, I wouldn't be surprised if, should this be the case, this was the sort of thing that people are waiting on before the deluge of reports that will go from "rumor" to "pending approval" in an hour or so.

Will Carroll (11:53:33 AM PT): $4m is pocket change until it's your pocket. Given that the Reds are on the hook for a boatload of deferred and unfunded compensation, Griffey is going to be an issue in Cincy for a long time, traded or not.

Derek Jacques (11:54:56 AM PT): Is there any sense that the Manny deal falling through (for the umpteenth time in the last five years) is a happy accident for the Red Sox? Isn't this the way it has gone in the past--Manny whines, Manny wants to get traded, everyone kisses and makes up, Manny gets a World Series ring?

Will Carroll (11:56:59 AM PT): Eye of the storm or "dead-dead" as we come close to the one hour mark? My vote's for the latter beyond small-change trades. Angels are done, Pads seem done, Dbacks are done, Giants are done. When does The Shield start again?

Jay Jaffe (11:57:20 AM PT): Dexter Fishmore (New York, NY): Any idea what Matt Kemp might have done to Ned Colletti or the Dodgers to deserve getting dangled in every single potential trade? As position players go, Kemp and Russell Martin both have the most promising futures on the team and - oh hey, guess what? - they're the best on the team *right now*. And yet, while Martin is untouchable, Ned just can't get rid of Kemp fast enough. What gives?

Don't forget Joe Torre's role in all of this and his tendency to favor old meat flavored with veteran herbs and spices rather than the inherently tastier farm-raised cuts. He's the one who fills out the lineup card, and the one who deals with Kemp and Andy LaRoche and Andre Ethier every day. My Spidey sense tells me he's not really one to relate to the kids any more.

The Dodgers are a mess right now, torn between Colletti's desperation to win now to save his desiccated carcass versus the player development side's stronger upper hand with ownership and ability to block some of Colletti's more hare-brained schemes. I'd put my fist through something if they traded Kemp, but I'm kind of hoping they do trade LaRoche so he can embarrass them by hitting well for another team.

Either way, given how just about every free agent of significance that Colletti has signed during his tenure could be found on the DL about a month ago, i think his days are numbered.

Christina Kahrl (11:57:52 AM PT): AJ (Pasadena): Why the apparent eagerness of the the Cards to deal Lohse (whom they need to try to sign long-term) or deal for Bay (when next year's OF is crowded and good already with Ankiel, Schumaker, Ludwick, Rasmus, and maybe Barton). Or these just rumors?

Take a good look at what you're saying, AJ. Lohse is basically a fourth starter, and with Carpenter back and Wainwright coming, why not convert him into something you can use now? Looper, Pineiro, and Wellemeyer round out that rotation well enough, and if they're already decided about not keeping Lohse, that actually makes pretty good sense, given the fragility of the Cards' bid.

As for the outfield, they know Schumaker's a fourth outfielder, and they know Ludwick has pumpkin potential, and they know that Barton's the type who might only compete with Schumaker for that job. Short-term, it'll do, but long-term, it's not something to set aside the opportunity to add someone like Bay to take your best shot now.

Joe Sheehan (12:00:22 PM PT): With something like $30MM coming off of the payroll and a relatively inexpensive and relatively young core, plus a newish taxpayer-funded park, the Reds have no business whining about four million bucks.

Don't want to pay a buyout after trading a popular veteran? Hey, don't play Corey Patterson for seven weeks and torpedo your season.

Make better decisions. (That, and not "I am not a scout," is what I want on the BP T-shirts.)

Christina Kahrl (12:00:35 PM PT): Let's not trash small-change trades. Sous-chefs and waitstaff need to be reviewed in serious restaurant reviews, and we might only wind up with nice things to say about Larry Beinfest for getting Arthur Rhodes this time around.

Christina Kahrl (12:01:35 PM PT): With a nod towards Admiral Farragut, maybe we should have "Damn the Pattersons" on the t-shirt.

Kevin Goldstein (12:03:01 PM PT): a5ehren (Atlanta): KG, with all the talk about the value of various 1st round and supplemental picks, it'd help to know if next year's talent pool is going to be especially deep or shallow...especially since it looks like the Braves are gunning for a Top 10 pick...

It's way early, but the 09 draft RIGHT NOW looks to be below average.

Also, let's not just rip the Braves -- they are you're offical recipient's of the "nothing has gone right here" award. Nobody stayed healthy.

Will Carroll (12:05:30 PM PT): T-shirt slogans ... everyone send one in and see if the server commits Harry Caray.

Jay Jaffe (12:08:11 PM PT): Olinkapo (Displaced New Yorker): Multiple Choice: Is it relatively safe to say that Brian Cashman is the single greatest general manager in the history (and future) of any sport? A) YES. B) Indeed. C) Darn Tootin'. D) Damn Skippy.

As I noted over at FI earlier today, it's telling that so many of the Red Sox's recent attempted deals in the Henry/Epstein regime tend to be a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing (the annual trade-Manny fest, the collapsed A-Rod deal) except the team's willingness to negotiate through the media and let those house organs play. Granted, the results have worked out all right for them -- two rings in four years -- but the process is pretty distasteful, and it certainly makes any rumor that comes out of there worth taking with an aquarium-sized brick of salt.

Meanwhile Cashman is the Stealth Bomber, able to spring a surprise deal like Rodriguez-Farnsworth with absolutely zero fanfare. To me that's a much smarter way to do business, but it would sure help his cause if the Yanks won a World Series or something before the Steinbrenner Brothers force him out.

Kevin Goldstein (12:08:12 PM PT): Keith (Blacksburg, VA): Do the Brewers have a late surprise for us at the deadline? They seem to need to shake it up one more time.

I don't think so. They seem to have some interest in the relievers out there (personally, I think their need in that department is desperate), but they're not going to provide a 'wow' moment. In fact, I'm not sure anyone is going to have a wow moment at this point.

Will Carroll (12:08:17 PM PT): Speaking of the Reds, they're not only unlikely to re-sign Dunn (rumors of a one-year deal remain), but the surprising thing to me is that they seem disinclined to talk extension with Jay Bruce or their young pitchers. While I'll agree that I wouldn't extend Volquez or Cueto, especially with Dusty around, Bruce strikes me as a pretty safe risk.

I actually JUST got a text saying that the Astros just made an inquiry on Dunn. I wish I were joking.

Will Carroll (12:10:22 PM PT): Does it surprise anyone that the Rays end up with nothing in this trade season?

Christina Kahrl (12:12:42 PM PT): "We'd like to get Adam Dunn."
"Whatcha got, Ed?"
"Well, are you really concerned with the legality of child labor laws? I can also assure you that, rumors to the contrary, Uncle Sam doesn't prosecute white slavery, and my wife tells me that we have children to spare."

Jay Jaffe (12:13:17 PM PT): Regarding the Astros, senile dementia is your best entertainment value, even when it tragically strikes somebody as young as Ed Wade (52 according to Wikipedia).

Somewhere Shawn Chacon is laughing.

Will Carroll (12:14:20 PM PT): Or not ... Bay to Rays? Possible.

Kevin Goldstein (12:14:44 PM PT): David (D.C.): Please tell me the Pirates are getting more than Brignac and Niemann for Bay.

This question came in two minutes after an email that basically said, "Please tell me the Rays wouldn't give up Niemann and Brignac for Bay"

Just sayin. . .

I don't think Tampa is done talking to anyone, and I think they might be close on Bay actually. The Rays were always Plan B on that.

Christina Kahrl (12:15:06 PM PT): Mike W (Chicago): Why isn't Texas doing anything about it's C logjam?

Because they don't have to, not until somebody comes crawling. And they will.

Will Carroll (12:15:23 PM PT): Still confirming, but looks like Jason Bay to Tampa for Reid Brignac and Jeff Niemann.

Derek Jacques (12:16:01 PM PT): The shoe might be on the other foot with the Rays. For years, they had that rep for asking the moon and the stars in trade talks, and now that they're buyers, I'm sure other teams have dreams of a bushel of blue-chippers in any trade scenario.

Kevin Goldstein (12:18:17 PM PT): I think it's done.

Bay to Rays for Jeff Niemann and Reid Brignac. The rebuilding in Pittsburgh continues.

Christina Kahrl (12:19:48 PM PT): Derek, the way I look at it is this: if you got a gilt-edged invitation to Tiffany's, with an offer to trade in some careworn item in your possession for something nice and sparkly, wouldn't you drop everything too?

Christina Kahrl (12:23:23 PM PT): A year and two months of Bay for a maybe-something almost ready starter and shortstop... not bad.

Kevin Goldstein (12:25:56 PM PT): jtratz (Oakland, CA): Any word on whether the A's will deal Street, Duchscherer, Embree, Ellis, or anyone else?

A's seem to be done.

Pirates have closed up their war room, meaning no comment until four. Rays also not confirming anything.

Derek Jacques (12:27:04 PM PT): Obviously, I'm a big Flags-Fly-Forever believer. Still, I think that when you're in the Rays position--great prospects, tight race--you probably don't get the same kind of bargains the Yankees got in their deals this week.

Christina Kahrl (12:27:44 PM PT): Stanky (DC): When he was coming up through the minors, Quentin played some CF. While it was always thoguht he was a little stretched there, could he be adequate enough that moving him to center and givng Griffey the corner might be the plan?

It beats playing Griffey in center, certainly. As Joe pointed out in Prospectus Today, it isn't like Nick Swisher's all that nimble in center; Quentin might be occasionally survivable, in the same way that maybe Thome at first is occasionally survivable. The larger problem is sorting out if Griff's willing to settle for starting three or four times a week when he doesn't have a nagging hurt of some sort. As folks found out after he left Seattle, he can be a bit of a handful.

Will Carroll (12:28:57 PM PT): Jays "very close" on Raul Ibanez, I'm told. I don't have names on who might be headed to Safeco.

Kevin Goldstein (12:30:50 PM PT): LeverettB24 (Boston, MA): If you were the Red Sox, wouldn't you take Kemp for Manny?

We have about 129 variations of this question in the que. This deal is not available. I repeat. This deal is not available.

Will Carroll (12:32:38 PM PT): Nats seem to be making a last second "need a reliever?" push with Joel Hanrahan and Luis Ayala.

Christina Kahrl (12:34:19 PM PT): Andrew (Washington, DC): Are the Mariners out of their minds with what they are asking for Washburn and Beltre? Or is it that the interim GM really does not want to make any trades because he believes that doing nothing is the best pathway to a permanent job?

Lee Pelekoudas probably remembers how quickly the Reds threw Brad Kullman under the bus in 2003, and can you blame him? To be fair, it's unclear how much say-so that anybody has in Seattle right now.

Will Carroll (12:36:55 PM PT): Very appropriate song just came up on shuffle ... "do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you? Do you want to hear me beg to take me back? I don't want to fade away ..."

Derek Jacques (12:38:04 PM PT): Swingingbunts (NY): Are you guys maybe overlooking the obvious on the Red Sox pushing to move Manny? Could it be because he assaulted the Traveling Secretary? Chacon did the same thing and got released the next day. Manny being Manny stops being funny when he criminally assaults' someone.

If the Sox cared about Manny assaulting people, they could have suspended him. If Chacon didn't suck, the story in Houston would have been what a playful and eccentric individual he is for trying to choke the GM.

Kevin Goldstein (12:39:55 PM PT): Henry (ATX): Was Travis Snider ever offered to Pittsburgh for Bay?

No.

Jay Jaffe (12:39:58 PM PT): Andrew (Nueva York): I'm hearing Hanrahan, Lannan for Swisher.

Hanrahan, Lannan, a bunch of bananas and a tape of Roseanne Roseannadanna ought to get it done, at least in the Assonance Association. It makes less sense in real life, but when the Griffey deal came over the wire you had to figure there would be another bat moving to break the logjam.


Kevin Goldstein (12:39:59 PM PT): Henry (ATX): Was Travis Snider ever offered to Pittsburgh for Bay?

No.

Christina Kahrl (12:44:08 PM PT): Brecken (Chicago): Kevin-Joe-Chris question: Teixeira deal - I find myself wondering if 2 draft picks aren't better than what Atlanta got (it sounds like Christina might be there). I think Joe has referenced the time value of prospects where they might like a flawed Kotchman versus the unknown upside of 2 (likely) HSers. Would this trade be more of an admission that they still view themselves as re-loading for next year (and hence want the major league ready Kotchman) rather than looking to 2 yaers out when they may have put their rotation and pen bakc together?

I guess it depends on what you see as the upside of Kotchman over the period of time in question. There's reason to believe, and there's reason to doubt. For myself, I look at the draft picks as potential value, and the absence of someone as dubious as Kotchman as 'space value,' where you can fill first base with something as good as Kotchman has been this season relatively easily for every team that doesn't play in Kansas City. If you were going to deal Teixeira, why not get something more substantive than an arb-eligible mediocrity at first base and an arm? I'd welcome everyone else's thoughts on this, but these were my own.

Will Carroll (12:47:07 PM PT): For those wondering where Ken Griffey will be playing in Chicago, one of the conditions of his exit was that he would be playing CF. Apparently, he didn't get the memo.

Christina Kahrl (12:49:53 PM PT): strupp (Madison): Paraphrase... "a guy who is slugging .591 has just tried to bunt his way on... twice..." I LOVE Len Kasper.

Amen to that, strupp. However many chipmunks and chirpy cheerleaders teams hire, a few teams are getting it right in terms of who they put in the booth. Here's hoping Len Kasper covering the Cubs is only the start of a long and happy relationship.

Will Carroll (12:51:17 PM PT): Cool. My article at Popular Science is up:

http://www.popsci.com/entertainment-%2526-gaming/article/2008-07/athletes-beyond-repair

Christina Kahrl (12:52:29 PM PT): pjtopor23 (Quincy MA): Are the Royals not going to sell anything? Their system is awful light and they have a nice bullpen--seems to make an awful lot of sense.

It's sort of like markdowns at Marshall's: if the shoppers don't show, it doesn't matter what price you're selling your wares at.

Derek Jacques (12:54:18 PM PT): Not only did Griffey not get the memo, but he didn't notice that his best and healthiest season in a long while came with him playing a corner.

Given Griffey's rep for being high maintenance, the pairing of him and Ozzie Guillen could be a gift of epic proportions.

Jay Jaffe (12:56:14 PM PT): Kevin, regarding Kemp/Ramirez, my knuckles thank you, as do all of the breakable objects within 10 feet of my desk.

Regarding Kotchman, if he's failing to build on last year's nice little breakthrough, he's pretty much a drag on your team's pennant chances. But to play devil's advocate for a moment, he's not so far down that two hot months couldn't put his batting line above last year's line, particularly with the move to a more hitter-friendly environment and easier league. For the Braves to have a hold of a 25-year-old arb-eligible 1B with two seasons of continued improvement under his belt isn't that far out of the question here.

Steven Goldman (12:57:40 PM PT): Regarding the Royals, I would have thought DeJesus would have been of moderate interest to someone. Of course, that was before the back spasms grabbed him this week...

Kevin Goldstein (12:57:50 PM PT): We got trouble! Right here in river city!

Some kinda holdup on Bay deal -- it ain't done.

Great quote from a FOT (first time I've used that term!). "The Orioles want teams to pay for a guy with 30 saves, teams are offering for a guy with the other numbers of a decent middle reliever"

Christina Kahrl (12:58:06 PM PT): Keith (Blacksburg, VA): I think you are selling Kotchman a bit short, Christina. Arb-eligable mediocrity is a touch harsh for a kid who seems to have a bit of upside with his average and his power. The point about the picks having value is true, but you'd be pretty happy if you got a Kotchman out of a sandwich pick, which is by no means guaranteed.

That's an argument for which the answer can only come with time. For myself, I see having Kotchman as the kind of thing that leads you to skipping opportunities with perhaps even better upside at a position where finding people isn't a problem; Carlos Pena came from somewhere, after all, and people who can hit as well as Kotchman has are usually available as minor league free agents in November and December if you get a leg up on the other bargain-basement shoppers.

Will Carroll (12:58:08 PM PT): Deal OFF for Bay? Hearing conflicting things.

Will Carroll (1:00:37 PM PT): Apparently the Niemann-Brignac package was not enough. Following this one.

Kevin Goldstein (1:00:41 PM PT): To add to the Kotchman talk, take a look at the Braves system (No 1B, other than Freddie Freeman, who's in Low-A), then take a look at the free agent market (no first basemen). Go one more year out to the next free agent market (no first baseman). The Braves really needed something to replace Teix in the deal.

Will Carroll (1:01:45 PM PT): Ibanez stays. Ohman stays. Manny stays. Bay stays. Everyone stays! Sit! Good dog!

Will Carroll (1:03:49 PM PT): Wait, wait ... Bay to Boston? Is the Manny deal something out of a George Romero movie?

Christina Kahrl (1:06:19 PM PT): Doesn't the heroine kill everyone else off at the end in Romero movies? Who does that put on the spot, Jean Afterman, or Kim Ng?

Christina Kahrl (1:08:44 PM PT): Doesn't the heroine kill everyone else off at the end in Romero movies? Who does that put on the spot, Jean Afterman, or Kim Ng?

Christina Kahrl (1:08:46 PM PT): Doesn't the heroine kill everyone else off at the end in Romero movies? Who does that put on the spot, Jean Afterman, or Kim Ng?

Will Carroll (1:13:28 PM PT): Joe Sheehan will be on ESPNews here at the bottom of the hour, assuming Comcast didn't take the channel away from you like they did with me.

Christina Kahrl (1:15:19 PM PT): Tim (Sonoma, CA): Okay, so does anybody have any immediate analysis as to why so many teams were stingy in (not) making all these deals?

My throwaway comment on this for the last couple of years is that it's a case of paralysis by analysis. Nobody's dumb, but there are a lot of possibilities, and a lot of things to tease out. Will was right when he pointed out earlier that what we're going to get are the little deals, because as much as the really cool stuff gets bandied about, as the Manny three-way offer reflects, it isn't quite so easy when somebody wants just that little bit of extra than somebody's willing to give.

As for the duplicates, sorry about that folks. Some sort of server hiccup.

Will Carroll (1:16:07 PM PT): Is it too early for mojitos? Is it ever too early for mojitos?

Steven Goldman (1:18:18 PM PT): So unless we get word of some stuff filed right at the deadline, this has to be the biggest anticlimax since the Star Wars prequels, right?

Christina Kahrl (1:18:19 PM PT): For shame, Will, some of us are already enjoying a lovely Portuguese vinho verde.

Christina Kahrl (1:19:37 PM PT): Jango Fett will make you pay for that, Goldman.

Christina Kahrl (1:21:54 PM PT): TGisriel (Baltimore): At what point does a rebuilding team stop offering its best players who are around 30 for prospects, and start signing them to stay for a few more years and build around them? Is it too early for the O's to try to sign Roberts and perhaps Teixeira, or should they be trying to sell Roberts?

Good question, Tom. Roberts is one of the few guys I could see the Orioles making a commitment to, in no small part because he remains one of the few players who is fun to watch day-in and day-out on that team, and on some very basic level, the product is an entertainment. Given that the organization has so much work to do on so many fronts, keeping Roberts wouldn't be the end of the world, should he prove amenable.

Will Carroll (1:22:15 PM PT): Manny to Dodgers?

Kevin Goldstein (1:22:15 PM PT): It's 3:21 and people are telling me Manny may have been traded. It just . . . won't . . . die.

Will Carroll (1:22:51 PM PT): Yep, I have two sources on this one, plus Jon Heyman. NO idea on particulars.

Steven Goldman (1:25:08 PM PT): Historically, the concept of moving a player like Manny in the middle of a race is really unprecedented. The only comp I can think of is Max Carey sitting Kiki Cuyler for the second half of 1927 because of a dispute about the batting order. Even that's not the same thing as trading him out of town, even if you do get Jason Bay back.

Christina Kahrl (1:25:35 PM PT): Andrew (Los Angeles): Christina, I think you're underestimating how much of Kotchman's value comes from his defense.

It's first base, and the first order of business at the position is hitting. Like lipstick on a pig, I suppose it's nice enough, but I want bacon. If you want the Mientkiewicz types, that's all well and good, but better to find a bopper.

Steven Goldman (1:25:48 PM PT): When I said Max Carey, I meant Donie Bush. Apologies to all of those Max Carey fans out there.

Kevin Goldstein (1:26:43 PM PT): Joe (Washington, DC): A pretty big after-deadline trade announcement! OK, not really...but can someone enlighten us all on Yankees INF Alberto Gonzalez to the Nationals for RHP Jhonny Nunez?

If this is actually official, I think it is, it's a prospect/prospect deal. Nunez is a long, lanky Dominican with a plus fastball, but that's the only offering he has that's even at least average. Slider just ok, sometimes. What'd you want for a defensive shortstop who can't hit?

Will Carroll (1:27:19 PM PT): Manny and TJ Simers? This isn't going to go well.

Jay Jaffe (1:28:07 PM PT): In the context of the non-deals, score another point for the Yankees' ability to get things done, given that their two division rivals weren't able to pull the trigger on those more loudly trumpeted deals.

What's nice for the Yanks is that while Manny is easily waiver bait, there's no way in hell that Bay gets through to either the Sox or Rays given his relatively cheap contract. Cashman could put a claim on him if it got to that point, and he'd hardly be left with Jose Canseco.

That said, I wouldn't cry too hard for the Red Sox. The Bronx Zoo Yankees of the late 70s should serve as an ample reminder that clubhouse harmony is not a prerequisite for winning, and the Sox have made it work before with regards to Ramirez's idiosyncracies.

Christina Kahrl (1:28:42 PM PT): Ah, Goldman, get your head out o' them history books. You're skipping on Jose Canseco getting moved in 1992 (in his age-27 season, no less), although that was at the very end of August, making it stranger still in terms of timing.

Will Carroll (1:30:04 PM PT): Bay to Red Sox?

Joe Sheehan (1:30:57 PM PT): OK, I'm out of the subway. Fill me in on all the big deals. What did I miss?

Wait...what?

What a dud.

By the way, it's amazing who gets asked publically for an opinion these days. Amazing. Truly.

Steven Goldman (1:31:49 PM PT): Canseco was a similar kind of deal to Manny - someone (Tony?) saying, "I don't want to come to work if this guy is still here tomorrow." We've all had that feeling, I'd imagine.

Steven Goldman (1:33:12 PM PT): A's were also 6.5 up, which makes that a little different than the Red Sox, who are chasing.

Christina Kahrl (1:39:10 PM PT): hammersla (DC): the 4:00 deadline is pretty much baloney, isn't it?

I always wonder if the guys or gals making the calls are busily chit-chatting away about how the missus or mister and the kids are doing, how about that Little League team, did you hear about the housing market, and... oh, yeah, I called for a reason, by the way, we have this move to report, and—oh my!—look at the time!

Jay Jaffe (1:39:45 PM PT): Robo-thal says:

Manny Ramirez + $7 mil to LA

Jason Bay to Boston

Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris (LA #1 in '06, i think), Craig Hansen and Damien Moss (both BOS) to PIT

Kevin Goldstein (1:40:14 PM PT): Just for the record. ESPN has senior golf on, ESPN2 has tennis, and ESPNews is talking to Brett Farve's travel agent or something.

Will Carroll (1:41:16 PM PT): The Pirates now have both LaRoches as Andy was the centerpiece of the Manny deal. Also included Bryan Morris from LA. The Bucs also get Brandon Moss (who was discussed for relievers just a couple days ago) and Craig Hansen.

Christina Kahrl (1:41:16 PM PT): Sure, Steven, but that gets us into wondering about the Bobby Abreu deal—another "I'm so over you!" situation—because the Phillies were semi-sorta chasing as well. Admittedly, at that point, it seemed that they weren't, and then suddenly they were, so they did, but I don't think it's quite so unusual as all that.

Will Carroll (1:42:33 PM PT): Nice timing -- the Dodgers just announced the deal at their WBC Classic announcement. (Dodger Stadium gets the 09 WBC Championship game.)

Christina Kahrl (1:43:40 PM PT): Kudos to Huntington, because LaRoche and goodies for Bay is exactly the sort of improve-now move this organization and its fans could use.

Will Carroll (1:43:52 PM PT): Hmm. Andy LaRoche ... can he move or does this make Pedro Alvarez a 1B? KG?

Kevin Goldstein (1:44:43 PM PT): I'll bet a burrito that Andy LaRoche turns into a well above-average every day third baseman and occasional all-star now that he's away from the team that's jerked him around for the last two years.

Kevin Goldstein (1:46:31 PM PT): It's funny Will, neither LaRoche or Alavarez are especially good defenders at third base. Both are kinda mediocre, but not total disaster types.

Will Carroll (1:49:09 PM PT): That's it for me -- thanks to all the readers for reading. I've got a flight to catch. If anyone's in Chicago in the vicinity of the Magnificent Mile and wants to have a beer tonight, you know my email.

Kevin Goldstein (1:50:10 PM PT): Just to be clear, it's BRANDON Moss, not Damien (who's in the Braves system).

Steven Goldman (1:51:14 PM PT): Three deals in the whole history of baseball doesn't make for commonplace. I see your point, of course, but these may be the only exceptions. There haven't been too many GMs who would risk the inevitable second-guessing that would ensue if you had traded Lou Gehrig in the middle of a race and finished one game out, even if you got Hal Trosky back.

Jay Jaffe (1:52:26 PM PT): And that's Ken Rosenthal getting his Mosses mixed up. Should have hired a botanist.

The Yankees' advantage for the week is now taken down slightly, and while the Red Sox now get to chuckle a bit about getting their man while blocking the Rays from same, I think this is at best a wash, production-wise, with the real gains coming with regards to next year's payroll.

Christina Kahrl (1:54:45 PM PT): Jivas (Oak Park, IL): Word is that Griffey agreed to the trade under the condition he play CF. With this in mind, shouldn't the media narrative be that this was basically Kenny Williams catching his white whale? That he made a move to scratch an old fetish without regard to improving his team on-field? I like Kenny, but the motives here seem transparent.

One way of looking at it is that, hey, if teams can win despite plugging in Derek Jeter or Nomar at short, why not let all of the future Hall of Famers play at their glory-days position?

My completely off-the-cuff thought is that acts of willful self-destruction are really sort of a shame, but I expect that the Twins will put Kenny on their Christmas card list after they pass the Sox on a game-winning triple to left-center by Delmon Young or Carlos Gomez. You can bet that should this be the case, Sox fans will turn on Griffey with their usual (understandable) choler.

Kevin Goldstein (1:55:48 PM PT): I need to go as well -- I'm sure we'll have plenty of analysis coming down the pike from everyone and Jay Jaffe will be chatting in the afternoon.

I have no flight to catch. If anyone's in DeKalb, IL in the vicinity of campus and wants to have a beer tonight, you know my email.

Christina Kahrl (2:09:09 PM PT): With that, I'm signing off as well. I have a lot fewer moves to write about than expected, certainly. Debating whether or not Arthur Rhodes was part of the third-biggest deal of the day highlights how much the early-July activity made a difference on the run-up to the deadline.

Joe Sheehan (2:16:48 PM PT): I don't get this.

Manny Ramirez is getting slammed for making $20 million and not wanting to play, and the words "integrity of the game" are being invoked.

Full stop.

What is more damaging to the integrity of the game? One player dogging it for $20 million, or 30 teams not signing a great hitter for $200,000, while nominally trying to win?

Maybe the answer isn't clear, but it's damn sure a good question.

Joe Sheehan (2:26:13 PM PT): Wait, where'd everyone...go?

OK, I have about 40 minutes before I go on again (with BP alum Keith Law, ESPNews Pregame), so I'll take as many questions as I can.

provenveteran (Chicago): So...Kemp, Ethier, Pierre, Andruw, Manny... Something's got to give!

Big sanity check here for Joe Torre, who has three MLB starting outfielders and two other guys arrayed in front of him. If the starting OF is ever not Ramirez/Kemp/Ethier, outside of a RARE rest day, he'll deserve every single bit of opprobrium we can heap upon him. Every bit.

Seriously. Pierre and Jones can't hang in that crowd. They can play defense and pinch-hit.

Be interesting to even see how Torre plays defense at the end of games. Best glove team is Ethier/Jones/Kemp.

Joe Sheehan (2:30:43 PM PT): Jake1313 (James Creek Pennsylvania): how did he pirates make out in your opinion in the bay trade?

Like the winning quarterback at the postgame kegger. 850 PAs of Jason Bay, traded at about peak value, for five years of Andy LaRoche is a win on its face. Morris is a low-upside play, one who has been performing well. Hansen and Moss are like the guys in the Yankee deal--bullpen and bench upgrades for a team with lousy options there.

Win for Neal Huntington.

Joe Sheehan (2:34:50 PM PT): Jordan (NYC): Doesn't something seem off here in the Manny deal? Jason Bay is good and all, but they're giving up Manny, two prospects and $7m to get Bay back? Basically, they're giving Manny to LA, and making a prospects-for-Bay deal with Pittsburgh.

Don't get caught up in the idea of Hansen and Moss as prospects. They're not prospects for the Red Sox--neither had any chance of ever contributing to them beyond low-leverage work, and neither had much trade value.

This is, for the Red Sox, Ramirez for Bay. That's a pretty good trade--with defense, Bay is at worst even with Ramirez, and arguably better. They get him for 2009 as well. And, value this however you will--I think things would have been fine in Boston had the trade not happened--they get out from under the current headaches with Ramirez, and the question of the options.

I don't hate this deal for any of these teams. I think the big winner is, as Jim Baker said, Andy LaRoche. Oh, and Jason Bay did well for himself.

Joe Sheehan (2:41:43 PM PT): Todd (Pittsburgh): Neal Huntington turns an all-star, a glorified platoon OF having a career year and a situational reliever into 8 young players, 6 of whom are pretty much ready to go, only a couple with real all-star potential. Gut reaction on how he did?

Very well. Because the Pirates have a decent record, it's easy to miss just how lousy their talent is. The pitchers they've acquired from the Yankees and Red Sox really could all be on their staff right now, upgrading it immediately. LaRoche will be their best player as soon as a year from now, and Tabata is the first high-upside Pirate prospect in forever.

Given the nature of the trade market, how players are valued these days, this is very good. Today was for the Pirates what 7/31/07 was for the Rangers.

Joe Sheehan (3:12:09 PM PT): Closing up the shop now...thanks for hanging out with us today!


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