Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Great Expectations

Happy Wednesday to you all! Upon lengthy consideration, I've decided to blame my recent layoff on George Bush. It's trendy and hip!

Back to work! The day is approaching... the day before which all significant transactions must be finalized. The trading deadline is July 31st, and the MLB trade market has been incredibly tame to this point. I can't say I expected it, and judging by recent columns published by sportswriters far more knowledgeable than I, it does not appear like I am solitary in my surprise.
What is it that has contributed to teams' uncertainty to pull the trigger? It hasn't been the players on the block. Mark Teixeira, despite the first injury stint of his career, has looked dangerously sharp since returning. Eric Gagne has remained his dominant self. Kenny Lofton is hitting .310, and Joaquin Benoit (Although I still don't see him as a prime contestant in the trade game) has been steadily increasing his value.
The problem lies not with the players, but with the fans and the man supposed to be their leader...
Jamey Newberg!
I wish. That man's passion for the squad is incredible.
Tom Hicks!
... He hasn't related to the common man in the last several dozen years.
No, It's young Mr. Daniels. Understandably, he's wary about making trades early or recklessly. His history with inter-club dealings justifies this paranoia. The situation here is one that can be turned into a great strength for years to come, but mishandled could become another lamentable chapter in the Rangers' non-deviant history.
According to reports, Daniels has been asking for the farm in exchange for his commodities.
Good for you, Jon. Just don't overdo it
I'm all for demanding the moon in trades. But what people, namely Maverick fans, fail to remember is that is takes two satisfied teams to make a deal work.
Let us examine Mark Teixeira for a second. For the team curently holding him, he's a gold glove first baseman who has visited the DL once during his career, a .300 hitter with a +.400 OBP with 35 home run capacity.
From the perspective of the Angels, or Dodgers, or Red Sox: Teixeira is arguably not a top 5 first baseman, will be owed over fifteen million dollars throughout a little more than a year with the team, and... -direct quote- a little more than a year with the team.
Tex is an upgrade for almost any team. The Yankees don't need offense, but first base is arguably their weakest link. I get the feeling that George Steinbrenner is wary of entering a stretch run with Andy Phillips frequenting his starting lineup. The Red Sox have a terrific first baseman in Kevin Youkilis and an excellent DH who can pretend to play there in Big Papi. I've said since the beginning that I didn't understand their reported interest in Tex-It'd take too much wheeling and dealing on their part to make the situation work.
The Dodgers have understandably backed off from the leaders in the Teixeira derby-James Loney is a 23 year old rookie hitting .367.
The Angels are still reportedly involved, although with Kasey Kotchman producing consistently as he has I'm not certain why. I have no aversion to it, of course-the more bidders with laden farm systems, the better.
The Braves, Giants, and Orioles can all justify interest by pointing at their underwhelming first basemen.
But here's the catch: What can you recieve for Mark Teixeira? I can recall a Cowlishaw piece earlier in the year, which suggested a package of Ferocious Feline kids Maybin, Miler, and Blevlen. It was laughable then, and remains so. Dave Dombrowski would need to be more than drugged-he'd have to be acting in accordance with demands during a hostage crisis.
If you're Jon Daniels, do you pull the trigger on a straight up deal for Andrew Miller? For Noah Lowry or Tim Lincecum?
How about Brandon Wood? Kasey Kotchman?
They're all good players-and good players with youth on their collective sides. But I must admit, any of them, dealt alone, would not be worthy of the transaction.
I'm not sure more could be had for Big Tex. And Daniels is asking for the farm, moon, sky, and an autographed Derek Jeter bat.
This is what's preventing the deals from going through. And unfortunately, I have an uneasy feeling that it will be what prevents the trade from occurring at any time.

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