Saturday, November 17, 2007

Miggy: Go West, Young Man -- and maybe Dontrelle

ESPN "Hot Stove Report" sez Angels and Dodgers are best fits for the Miggy trade. ...
This is from LA Times:

The Marlins would like the Angels to include second baseman Howie Kendrick and top pitching prospect Nick Adenhart in any trade and would like the Dodgers to include pitcher Chad Billingsley or top pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw, perhaps both. The Marlins traditionally insist on top young pitching in any deal.

If the Marlins ask for two pitchers as part of a package of three or four players, neither the Angels nor Dodgers figure to have the depth for a deal, unless Florida expands the trade to include pitcher Dontrelle Willis. The Marlins would free an estimated $20 million in payroll next season by trading Cabrera and Willis.

The Angels, according to another major league source, do not want to trade four players straight up for Cabrera, 24, who has a .313 career average in 4 1/2 big league seasons and has averaged 31 home runs and 115 runs batted in the last four years.

Though they have refused to part with Kendrick the last two winters, the hard-hitting second baseman is not considered untouchable.

But the Angels would trade Kendrick only if they felt the package was right -- they don't want to trade Kendrick and Adenhart and third base prospect Brandon Wood and one of their catchers, Jeff Mathis or Mike Napoli, for Cabrera.

If the Marlins do insist on four players, including Kendrick, they might be willing to add second baseman Dan Uggla, 27, who hit .245 with 31 homers and 88 RBIs last season, to the deal.

Cabrera is expected to make between $11 million and $12 million in arbitration next season, but he is a much cheaper alternative to free-agent third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is reportedly looking for $30 million per year for at least eight years.

New Angels General Manager Tony Reagins met with Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, in Anaheim before the GM meetings. Tuesday was the first day teams could discuss monetary figures with free agents, but Reagins said he did not extend any formal contract offers.

"We're still in the information-gathering process," Reagins said.

As for growing speculation that the Angels are the front-runners to sign Rodriguez, Reagins said, "I don't know where it comes from. Obviously, some of it is from people seeing our need, but I don't like to comment on speculation."

The Angels could explore the possibility of signing free-agent third baseman Mike Lowell, who earned most-valuable-player honors while leading Boston to a World Series win over Colorado. But they don't want to go four years on Lowell, who reportedly has a three-year offer of about $40 million to return to the Red Sox.

The Angels won the American League West for the third time in four years this season but were hit hard by injuries and swept by Boston in the first round of the playoffs.

"If the season started today, I like our club, when healthy," Reagins said. "I like our starting pitchers, our bullpen, and if we have a healthy Garret Anderson, Gary Matthews Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero, I think we're pretty good. I don't feel pressured to make a huge move, but if you can get better, that's what you want to do."


rdfrench said...

I understand that the Marlins have a financial motive to trade Cabrera. But, the more think about it, the more I think its a purely defeatist move. They need to shore up their defense, mostly through coaching and motivation, and they probably need a catcher and another left=handed batter, preferably a first baseman. But mostly what they need to do is sort out their pitching mess, and then hope everyone stays healthy.
I can see trading Uggla, a great find by Beinfest, probably at peak value right now, and especially Jacobs (why is he never mentioned in trade talks? The guy has been a major disappointment. Their first loss will be their best loss--get rid of him.) But they've got to address the pitching issues and defensive issues to have any hope of competing.

They scored more runs than two of the NL teams that made the playoffs last year, but fourth most in the NL east. Trade Miggy, and they'll almost certainly score fewer next year. It makes no sense unless, except as a cost-cutting measure. Of course, their cost per game won will stay the same or even go down, and they will continue to be the most profitable team in the majors.
And, sometime in the next few of decades, there's even a chance they might find another hitter as talented as Miggy...

John said...

Right -- why is there cost-cutting? I wish some journalist would address this issue of Forbes calling Marlins most profitable team in baseball and yet their payroll remains at the bottom ...