Saturday, July 26, 2008
You can pretty much forget about Beltre or Blalock coming to the Twins based on the price the Dodgers paid to get Casey Blake, the Busch Light of the group, from the Indians. LA sent pitcher Jonathan Meloan and catcher Carlos "Smooth" Santana to the Injuns to attain the services of the former Twin, who can become a free agent after this season and is hitting .289/.356/.465 with 11 homeruns so far this season.
That is way, way to much to pay for a dude who isn't going to be the difference between playoffs and no playoffs. Blake is a nice player, but the Dodgers got fleeced. Meloan was ranked as the Dodgers #8 prospect going into the season, and proved he has the stuff to be a top shelf relief pitcher, putting up ERAs in the low 2s or better and WHIPs less than 1.00 in stops at all minor league levels over the past three years. The Dodgers may have soured on him after trying unsuccessfully to convert him to a starter at AAA this season, but that's their fault. The guy has the stuff to be an excellent reliever, with a "plus-plus-slider" and a sinker in the low 90s leading to 335 strikeouts in 263 innings.
The other dude, Mr. Santana, wasn't ranked anywhere in the top 11 going into the season, but that might change for next year's list. This year in High A ball, Santana has hit .323/.431/.563 with 34 doubles and 14 homeruns in 99 games. Not bad for the "throw-in" in the deal.
This pretty much puts the higher level 3b-men out of what the Twins' will, or should, pay. I'd be comfortable giving up one good prospect, but not two, and that's looking clearly to be the price the Mariners and Rangers are looking for, with Seattle even coming out and saying they would require two top prospects to move Beltre. With the Rangers not really actively shopping Blalock - and looking for pitching help - it would probably take about the same. If anything happens, it looks like it would be for Kouzmanoff, but don't hold your breath.
I'd also like to take a look at a couple of journalists who clearly should not be writing about baseball, starting with Charly Walters of the Pioneer Press. He writes, "It will be interesting whether the Twins try to package Michael Cuddyer and Livan Hernandez in a trade for a slugging third baseman before the July 31 deadline, saving $20 million in guaranteed money to Cuddyer and $2.5 million to Hernandez. Denard Span ($390,000) would replace Cuddyer in right field, and Francisco Liriano ($400,000) would replace Hernandez in the starting rotation."
What? I don't understand why journalists are allowed to throw out this ridiculous crap with no repercussions. And they claim bloggers are uninformed and unprofessional. That package is, without question, one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen. From the complete untradeability of Livan to the assumption that the Twins would even consider trading Cuddyer (hint: they wouldn't) it's just a complete mass of sheer lunacy. Not to mention that no team, ever in history would trade a quality player for that garbage. I've broken down Reusse before, but even though he's written some god-awful articles, he's never written a sentence as bad as that.
Second is some dude named Matt Zimmer from some paper called the Argus Leader in South Dakota, and it's obvious they don't have a baseball team out there and probably don't even watch the games ever even if their job is to cover the Twins. He suggests shouldn't bother to trade for a reliever. His reasoning: the bullpen is bad and anyone they trade for won't be better than Jesse Crain. His solution: make Francisco Liriano a set-up guy. BRILLIANT! Not to mention that Crain's WHIP of 1.42 pretty much means that anybody they traded for would probably be better than him. He's 173rd out of 269 pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched this year. I'm not even going touch on making Liriano a setup man. That's pretty much as dumb as Walters trade ideas.
Last dumb journalist(s) for today are Tim McCarver and Joe Buck. I was watching the Yankees and Red Sox today, and they were talking about the Damaso Marte trade and going on and on about how the Yankees grabbed a great "left-handed specialist" and how he would be great for a batter or two a night. Now, I'm not a Pirates fan, so it's possible things changed, but I remember Marte from his White Sox days and he wasn't a specialist. A specialist is Dennys Reyes, who, incidentally, my child looks a lot like. Marte was always a straight up set up man, pitching to lefties and righties, and pitching full innings at a time. So I checked. He's pitched in 47 games this season, and pitched less than a full inning twelve times. So a little less than 25% of the time. He's also pitched more than an inning nine times. So you know what that means? HE'S NOT A SPECIALIST. Again, uninformed people making uninformed statements to one of the biggest audiences possible. And somehow this is ok. Seriously, this is what is wrong with America.
Two other very quick things I want to mention:
1. Dustin Diamond is writing a tell all book about Saved by the Bell. It promises sex, drugs, and hardcore partying and I could NOT be more excited. Rock on.
2. It seems Snacks has turned into a full-on Jersey Chaser, the worst kind of member of society. He sent me a text today that read, "OMG this iz so kewl. Me and [MRS SNACKS] are drinking at Hooters with [GOPHER LINEBACKER] and [GOPHER D-BACK] and it's so awesome and it makes me feel validated as a person. I have a boner." Nothing worse than a jersey chaser folks. It's pretty much time to give up on him at this point.