Make sure you use an oven mitt

Posted by Steve

‘Cause that stove’s getting hot!

I can’t remember the trade rumor mill ever being this active this early. It seems like most teams are starting to finally use trading as the first option over high-priced free agents.

Rumors are rumors, but the quality of names being reported as possibly available are ridiculous, particularly starting pitchers. Jake Peavy, Johan Santana, Erik Bedard, A.J. Burnett, Scott Kazmir, Joe Blanton, Danny Haren and even our own beloved Ben Sheets.

Now of course that doesn’t mean much. I’d be shocked if more than one of Peavy, Bedard, Sheets, Kazmir or Haren were traded. There’s probably a good chance that Santana and Burnett get dealt, and a decent chance for Blanton as well. Throw in the fact that Miguel Cabrera is all but a lock to be traded and you have what could end up being the highest-impact trade market in a long time.

From the Brewers’ perspective, as much as I hate to say it, it probably makes sense to at least consider trading Sheets. He hasn’t pitched a full season in a few years and his contract is up after ’09, so they might as well see what’s out there.

With that said, the reasons why the Brewers should consider trading Sheets is the same reason why teams probably won’t make a big offer for him. Why would a team give a premium package of young players for one year of a pitcher who hasn’t stayed healthy? It could happen, I suppose, and if for example the Dodgers offered Matt Kemp and Jonathan Broxton I would think the Brewers would jump at it, but I don’t think an offer like that is likely at all.

My guess is they end up keeping Sheets for ’08 and hope to work out an extension early in the season or in Spring Training.

Other Brewer-related rumors:

  • So far the Royals and Padres have shown interest in Geoff Jenkins. I’m pretty sure the USC guy will end up in San Diego.
  • The Rangers are once again showing interest in Tony Gwynn Jr. They were talking about him at the deadline for Eric Gagne, so maybe Doug can get a different reliever. I certainly feel that Gwynn’s perceived value is greater than his actual value, so they might as well take advantage of that fact and trade him.
  • The Brewers are interested in left-handed setup man Ron Mahay, who was very solid last season. The problem there is he is the top lefty reliever and probably the best free agent reliever after Mariano Rivera and Francisco Cordero, so there is sure to be competition.
  • Speaking of Cordero, the Astros look like they’re trying very hard to sign him. They just traded Brad Lidge so there is a definite need there. By the way, I thought the Lidge trade was awful for Houston. He was their biggest trade chip, and they got back a light hitting center fielder (Michael Bourn), a 12th-man type reliever (Geoff Geary) and a mid-level third base prospect (Mike Costanzo).
  • So far the only reliable report on who the Brewers are targeting for left field is Randy Winn. He’s not quite the name I was hoping for, but they could do worse. He’s a switch hitter who will put up about a .350 OBP and play great outfield defense. On the other hand he doesn’t have any power, they’d have to give up something decent in a trade and he is owed 16 mil over the next two seasons. I’d still rather see Austin Kearns, Ryan Church or Luke Scott.
  • Ken Rosenthal has also reported that some teams have shown interest in Dave Bush and Chris Capuano.  The Brewers will almost surely trade one of Bush, Vargas and Capuano, and probably two.  I expect Capuano and Vargas to be dealt, mainly because Bush is probably the best bet to convert to a reliever if necessary.
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2 responses to “Make sure you use an oven mitt

  1. you should change the name of this website to steve.com

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