General Managers struggle with trade rumors
One of the increasing frustrations for general managers is trade rumors that take on lives of their own, even if they are without substance. If it gets printed, it gets on mlbtraderumors.com—which I like—and becomes non-fiction. Blue Jays officials talking to another club ridiculed the notion that they would trade Jose Bautista for Domonic Brown; the Jays don’t even like Brown. The Orioles were angered that it was reported they were considering trading J.J. Hardy to St. Louis; in fact, the Cards asked if Hardy were available, but were told no.
“That’s different from the discussion of whether or not a Ranger-Dodger swap of Ian Kinsler for Andre Ethier makes sense,” said one club official at the meetings. “That makes some sense, as Kinsler would replace Michael Young with his ability to play so many positions, and the Rangers could use Ethier.”
Beltran talks heat up
There seems to be a lot of heated early action on Carlos Beltran, with the Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox and others. Pudge Rodriguez has Beltran’s ear on behalf of the Rangers, Carlos’ boyhood friend Edgar Perez is a Red Sox scout, and the Yankees have long been interested. In fact, in 2005, Beltran almost went to the Yankees and wanted to sign with them. But in the end the Yankees backed off because the $15M AAV would have brought another $6M because of the luxury tax, and they did not feel $21M a year was justifiable.
Lackey’s trade value on the rise
One GM thinks there will be considerable action on John Lackey should the Red Sox seriously weigh offers. “They can get more for Lackey than they can for Jake Peavy or Ryan Dempster,” says one GM. “Since his 2015 option is for the major league minimum, you’d be trading for a solid major league starter for two years at an AAV of around $10M. That should translate into a decent return for the Red Sox.”
Boston really likes Lackey, but if they do decide to trade a pitcher for a bat, catcher or bullpen arm, it might make sense. Problem is, Lackey is revered within the clubhouse as a teammate and a help to younger pitchers, and he was arguably their most consistent starter for the 2013 season.