Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let's make a deal ... or not

Now comes that special part of the baseball season where rumors of trades fly higher than a another pop-up from Dioner Navarro. We'll call it: Let's make a deal ... or not.

With the July 31 trade deadline approaching, all sorts of possible deals are reported by ESPN, FOX, Sports Illustrated, and anyone else with a blog.

Toronto pitcher Roy Halladay is going to _________. (Fill in the blank.)

The Yankees. The Phillies. The Tigers. The Rays.

The Rays? Interesting. ESPN's Buster Olney reported that, but added "it's very, very unlikely," because of the Rays financial issues. I say it's very, very, very unlikely.

Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said he will not add payroll at the trade deadline. He will listen to vice president of baseball Andrew Friedman, who has a reputation of being creative.

The Blue Jays want a boat-load of prospects, of which the Rays have, but Friedman has been unwilling to part with any prospect.

Also, Halladay will not come cheap. He is due $15.75 million next year during the final year of a contract that carries a no-trade clause. Friedman could get flexible here and trade someone off the big league roster. Speculation is that could be Scott Kazmir, but Kazmir is dealing with arm issues again.

I just can't see any scenario that has Halladay going to the Rays.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported the Rays are interested in Cleveland pitcher Cliff Lee, last year's Cy Young Award winner. Lee has a $9 million option for next year, so it is going to cost the Rays next year.

Again, trading someone off the major league roster to free up salary for Lee is a possibility.

Again, Kazmir's name comes up. But if I'm moving a former Cy Young Award winner for Kaz, I want to make darn sure Kaz is healthy and able to pitch deep into games. Any one feel confident Kaz has checks next to each? Neither do I.

The Rays always seem to come up in trade rumors, but, other than the trade that brought Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett from the Twins, they never swing the big deal.

The Rays might make a move at the deadline, but I just can't see it happening. They never have, and they don't have the financial flexibility to do it now.

Unless Friedman gets real creative, or they move a big name player.

Keep in mind: We go through this year every year and the thing about all these trade rumors is few actually come true.

No comments: