For those of you who aren't on Twitter, let me get you caught up. For those of you who are on Twitter, let me get you caught up, in case you haven't been on Twitter lately. The trade deadline is coming very soon, and Brandon League is on the market. We'll start at the beginning:
Wedge says he's pleased with way Brandon League has been pitching and he'll be given another shot at closer "sooner than later."— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) June 10, 2012
Whoops, no, that's the wrong tweet. Here we go, this is from yesterday afternoon:
The #Mariners are close to trading reliever Brandon League, say baseball sources. Location yet undetermined.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 29, 2012
Almost a full day ago, as of this writing. I'm not saying the report was wrong, but obviously, Brandon League has not yet been traded away from the Mariners, even though that tweet implied that something would happen very shortly. Around the same time, Dave tweeted that the Mariners have been showing heavy interest in Brandon Belt. The Giants have yet to really make a home for Brandon Belt, and they seem unconvinced that he's a long-term solution. Naturally, that led to speculation that the Mariners might try to trade Brandon League for Brandon Belt. Perhaps you don't understand how absolutely insane that is as an idea. Brandon League is an ordinary reliever with extraordinary stuff who's a few months away from becoming a free agent. Brandon Belt is a potential long-term first baseman with question marks. I'm not saying it's impossible that League could be traded for Belt - I'm saying it's impossible that League could be traded for Belt by a sane team executive.
Anyway, from there:
The Giants and Mariners have talked about Brandon League. The Dodgers and Mariners have talked about Brandon League. Previous reports suggest the Angels and Mariners and Rangers and Mariners have talked about Brandon League. Plenty of teams have talked with the Mariners about Brandon League. Which is exactly what you would expect. League is a soon-to-be free agent on a team in last place. Of course teams have talked about him with the Mariners. That hardly counts as news! The trade deadline is almost here, contending teams want pitching, and non-contending teams have some available pitching. If people tweeted every single name that gets discussed then Twitter would explode and collapse in on itself like Mount Mazama, leaving something a little less picturesque.
Brandon League has a $5 million salary this season, and presently a sub-4 ERA. His next contract is not going to be particularly cheap. It makes pretty much zero sense for the Mariners to hang on to League beyond this deadline, since there's no free-agent compensation possibility, so League will almost certainly be moved to a contender. What the Mariners are doing now is trying to find the best offer, because they still have the luxury of time. Complicating matters is that there are other relievers available on the market too, so it's not like the Mariners are in possession of all of the supply, but League is unlike most other relievers in skillset and track record. Managers would love to have a guy with League's fastball available in the middle innings.
Expect Brandon League to get traded, because there's little sense in that not happening. Brandon League has not been traded yet, and I know that because I just checked Twitter again a few seconds ago. If League is traded straight-up, the return will presumably be underwhelming, relative to Brandon Morrow. League could alternatively be traded as part of a package. I'm not saying that Brandon League will be traded as part of a package, but the possibility exists. Which I guess means I should tweet that out, since, 'tis the season. What could a package bring back? I don't know! I guess anything! Speculating is such a waste! We'll know about a Brandon League outcome soon. We don't know about a Brandon League outcome yet, because there isn't one.