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Crazy Trade Rumors
One of the most entertaining parts of the year, in my opinion, is when clueless sportswriters dream up trade scenarios to help improve their team in the winter [or deadline], with wanton and reckless disregard for the ramifications of that trade for the other team, or any legitimate valuation of the players involved. Any other time, you have to scour the New York Post for crazy rumors, but they seem to run rampant at this time of year. For example, Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe discussed potential trade scenarios for Manny Ramirez:

The Padres, of course, have been a regular trading partner for Boston general manager Theo Epstein, who was once a protégé and top aide to San Diego GM Kevin Towers. The two names that instantly spring to mind in a potential Sox-Padres deal are starting pitcher Jake Peavy, San Diego's ace who had a disappointing 2006 season (11-14, 4.09), and Scott Linebrink, who had a league-leading 36 holds as Trevor Hoffman's primary setup man.

I'm sure the Padres are clamoring to trade their 25-year-old ace, locked up through 2009 for $18.75 million, for a 35-year-old clubhouse cancer due around $40 million the next two seasons.

What are some of your favorite bogus proposed trades?

Posted by Bret Cohen at 11/28/2006 10:13:00 AM

Comments (3)

Market for Injury-Prone Pitchers
Everything is relative, so it's hard to call this free agent market completely crazy. The signing to lucrative contracts of one-hit wonders in a contract year like Gary Matthews (or Carl Pavano last year) seem to be commonplace in any sport. But two of the most astonishing pickups I've seen this offseason are the ones in the past day or so of Adam Eaton for three years and $24 million, and $8 million guaranteed to Randy Wolf for next year (with a $9 million vesting option if he reaches 180 innings).

Just to recap, Wolf has pitched 273.1 innings over 48 starts the last three seasons, coming back at the end of last season after Tommy John surgery. Even throwing out last season's numbers, when he had a career-worst 5.56 ERA, 1.69 WHIP and 44:33 K:BB ratio (yea, I know, players get better their second season after TJ), Wolf had the worst numbers in his injury-plagued 2004 and 2005 since his second season in 2000.

Eaton has pitched only 193.2 innings over 37 starts the last two seasons, missing time both seasons with a recurring strained finger injury. Don't forget that he started only 23 games total in 2001 and 2002 due to elbow surgery. Moreover, Eaton pitched in pitcher's parks in a pitcher's division his first six seasons in San Diego, and has a career home-road split ERA of 4.19/4.65 (his seven home starts in Texas last season are relatively negligible in the grand scheme of things), and now is moving to the hitter's haven that is Citizen's Bank Park. At least Wolf's deal was only for one year -- Eaton has had two seasons of more than 24 starts in his entire seven-year career, and now he gets a ton of guaranteed money for three years? It's not like he's an All-Star either. Taking a couple examples from, oh, the past two years, he looks like another Eric Milton or Carl Pavano waiting to happen.

It actually looks here like Kerry Wood ($1.75 mil plus incentives) and Wade Miller ($1.5 mil plus incentives) took below-market deals, the way teams are paying previously injured pitchers. Are teams really that desperate for pitching? Or are they just "awash in cash"? How much is an injured pitcher with a better track record, like Mark Mulder, going to cost -- $10 million?

Posted by Bret Cohen at 11/28/2006 12:16:00 AM

Comments (2)

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