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Whither Miggy?
The Marlins are giving every indication that they are committed to dealing Miguel Cabrera, whether because they don't want to pay him what he'll get in arbitration the next two years (Cabrera won't be eligible for free agency until the 2009 offseason) or because they're tired of his "act" (the same routine they pulled prior to parting ways with AJ Burnett) -- and really, who wouldn't get tired of a middle of the order hitter on a Hall of Fame pace to begin his career?

While some teams might be looking at Cabrera as a consolation prize of sorts in the ARod sweepstakes, organizations who fall out of that hunt quickly could make a strong move for Cabrera before ARod signs. Let's take a look at the most likely trading partners:

Yankees: Marlins GM Larry Beinfest appears to be targeting a top of the rotation starter and a center fielder in trade talks. The Yankees have both, but while Melky Cabrera is an easy fit for the CF slot Brian Cashman might be reluctant to give up either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, and Beinfest likely won't settle for a lesser pitching prospect like Ian Kennedy or Alan Horne. Obviously the Yankees can afford Miggy, both in the short term and for whatever it would take to sign him long term. Cashman could easily decide it makes more sense to sign Mike Lowell though, and keep his young talent, rather than pay the ransom Beinfest will want.

Red Sox: ARod is the top priority here, and Theo Epstein likely won't consider a package like Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz anyway. They have the resources to get and keep Cabrera, and can't complain about their last deal with the Marlins (Josh Beckett for Hanley Ramirez and change) but unless the politics of *not* getting ARod come into play they're probably a long shot to acquire Miggy.

Dodgers: Could be the favorites. The Dodgers would like to make a roster splash to back up the Joe Torre hire, and have a wealth of young talent to send Florida's way. A package of Andy LaRoche, Chad Billingsley and Andre Ethier might make some Dodger fans cringe, but would certainly get Beinfest's attention.

Angels: The LAA of A could end up being on the losing end of both the ARod and Miggy sweepstakes. They have some nice, major league-ready talent to send the Marlins' way (Reggie Willits for CF, Erwin Santana for the rotation and something few other teams can offer, a young catcher in either Jeff Mathis or Mike Napoli) but the players they can offer may not have the upside Beinfest usually covets, and would be a little closer to making bigger money in arbitration than Florida owner Jeff Loria would like.

White Sox: Another long shot, but ChiSox manager Ozzie Guillen is friends with Miggy, and you never know which way GM Kenny Williams will jump. A package of Josh Fields, Gio Gonzalez and Ryan Sweeney could get Williams to the table though, although it might not quite get the job done.

Indians: Their available young talent may not quite match up with what Beinfest is looking for, but if GM Mark Shapiro really wants Cabrera and digs deep, a package of Franklin Gutierrez, Andy Marte and one of Cleveland's top pitching prospects (Chuck Lofgren or Adam Miller) would certainly be in the ballpark. A package that big seems unlikely, however.

Giants: They've been mentioned as a suitor, as they look for a star to replace Barry Bonds, but it's hard to see what they could offer to fill all the Marlins' needs, even if Brian Sabean was willing to give up Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum.

Posted by Erik Siegrist at 11/8/2007 11:23:00 AM

Comments (3)

Lidge trade analysis*
After looking at the Lidge deal, I was all set to blog how poor the Astros made out, and then I read Keith Law's excellent analysis on ESPN.com.

Basically, even if Lidge was done in Houston, the Phillies got way below market value for him. With the price of relief pitching skyrocketing (see: $19 million over 3 years for Danys Baez to serve as a set-up man), Lidge at under $6 mil per year to close is a terrific deal. Wade touted Bourn as the big fish landed in the deal, but isn't he a Willy Taveras clone? So the net of the two deals (including the one with the Rockies last offseason) is that the Astros trade Brad Lidge, Willy Taveras, Jason Hirsch, and Taylor Buchholz for a broken-down Jason Jennings, Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary, and Michael Costanzo.

Unless Wade pulls a Brett Myers with Wandy Rodriguez and moves him to the closer role, who's going to close for the Astros? For the sake of Houston fans, it better not be Chad Qualls, with his 1.32 WHIP and .272 BAA last year.

Posted by Bret Cohen at 11/8/2007 7:40:00 AM

Comments (7)

It's Award Season
Gold Glove winners were announced today, and, per usual, I have qualms. Derrek Lee is a fine first baseman, but Todd Helton had five less errors in nearly 300 more chances. And of course Maddux and Pudge got a free ride again (not necessarily that Maddux doesn't deserve it, but at this point his name should just be pre-printed on the ballot). Coco Crisp should have gotten a nod in the AL outfield, and while Jimmy Rollins is swell, Troy Tulowitzki had 117 more chances in 66 less innings and had the same number of errors as Rollins. And I'll take Utley at second, too, thanks.

My question, though, is who should really vote on these awards? Managers and coaches vote for Gold Gloves but don't seem to put much effort into it. Baseball writers vote for MVP, Cy Young, etc., and there are sometimes goofy results with those, too. The biggest rip-off is fan voting for the All-Star Game. So, if managers, writers and fans can't get it right, who should vote (besides me)? Or does it not matter if some awards are totally out of whack? Or are mistakes an unavoidable flaw of any system, and, thus, I should stop whining about it? Or perhaps the mistakes are actually what make it interesting because it gives old men something to talk about while propped atop bar stools?

Maybe Gold Gloves, et al, don't really matter, but they do help form the conventional wisdom, and I get annoyed with a conventional wisdom that says Brooks Robinson is the best all-time fielding third baseman just because he won more Gold Gloves than Mike Schmidt.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 11/6/2007 3:38:00 PM

Comments (4)

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