There’s a couple big stories brewing in Mill territory, so I won’t wait:
Beware when people start saying “a deal is close.” Still, it seems like many think a deal is close between the Brewers and Indians involving C.C. Sabathia. Most of the talk has been focused on prospects like Matt LaPorta and Mat Gamel, but the Indians really value defense, something neither of these players do well. Taking one or both of these would indicate more about Travis Hafner than anything else. J.J. Hardy and Alcides Escobar haven’t been big parts of the discussion. There’s been some rumblings that a third team is trying to get involved to get one of the shortstops by chipping in something for Cleveland. (LaPorta is out of the Huntsville lineup Sunday … hmm.)
The Indians aren’t working on just one front, because there’s some rumor that Tampa Bay has interest in Casey Blake. I’m not sure how much sense this one makes, since Blake would be taking over the role held by Eric Hinske now. The difference? Blake’s a right-handed bat. I don’t see the Rays making a major deal, and certainly not something as crazy as Brian Fuentes for one of their top pitching prospects such as Wade Davis or Jeremy Hellickson.
The Jays are not going into a fire sale mode as long as J.P. Ricciardi is in control. Of course, that could change sooner rather than later. The Cubs think they match up well for A.J. Burnett. Remember that Jim Hendry has always had a thing for those 2003 Marlins, in large part because he’s a big fan of their scouting staff.
A lot of teams are watching the Angels. That’s because they have a lot of prospects, a lot of pitching, and a weird mix of money and talent that they could use in deals. Several teams think that Gary Matthews Jr. could be had cheaply, but Tony Reagins seems to be as slow on the trigger as Bill Stoneman was with a deal.
In calls around the league, here’s some blind quotes:
“Why are the Pirates sellers and the Reds aren’t?”
“The Cubs will react quickly to any deals in their division.”
“Who’s this year’s team to pick on now that the Pirates bought a clue?”
“Texas is looking for pitching right now and has the right pieces to get involved, but no one’s sure if they think they can win or are just building.”
“The Mariners are paralyzed. Even when they bring in one of these inside-baseball names on their short list, I’m not sure what they’ll do.”