There has been some new developments and some really bad rumors (Pavano for Winn) over the past couple days. One thing to keep in mind when reading your local papers or watching the man on the twenty dollar bill talk on ESPN, by the time the media gets wind of a trade discussion/possibility, the trade is more than likely dead or they are pulling information out of their nether regions. Most teams prefer to work quietly under the radar, for obvious reasons, and privacy is something that some teams take seriously (unless you are the Chicago White Sox who will tell anyone and everyone what they are planning on doing). While I dislike rumor mongering as much as the next person, I also understand that fans have a ton of interest in what their team might be doing around the trade deadline, so LL will continue to whet your palate until the deadline passes.
I touched briefly on the Jamie Moyer a couple days ago and not a whole heck of a lot has changed, except for the fact he did mention he wants to pitch next year and he has one goal remaining; "playing in the World Series." Obviously, my first thought was that Jamie would be open to a trade, especially to a contender. But this could also mean he would like to finish his year here and then sign a one year deal with a team that has a good chance of making it to the World Series next season. With Matt Clement taking a line drive of his head last night, Boston's need for another starting pitcher might have gone from moderate to high. Schilling has been mediocre as the closer and Boston has to be concerned about the backend of their bullpen and the unknown status and effectiveness of Foulke upon his return, which means Boston may be interested in acquiring Moyer and a bullpen arm (Guardado). Moyer still has to approve a trade, but he may be intrigued by the chance at pitching in and winning a World Series.
Current August 1st Prediction - 50/50 between Seattle and Boston/Chicago (NL)
The more I hear the Mariners say no, the more I think they mean yes. The market for Guardado's services is huge, much bigger than I thought it was a few days ago. There are literally 6-8 teams who have serious interests in acquiring him for the stretch run and a bidding war is highly likely. In fact, he might be the player garnering the most interest out there. With the possibility of some intriguing offers coming his way, I'm not so sure that Bavasi can continue to say no. Although, by saying no for the past month and a half, he may be able to orchestrate the Mariners greatest coup at the trade deadline.
Current August 1st Prediction - Boston
In 2003, he was untouchable. In 2005, the Mariners would love to ship him someplace else. While the Mariners haven't completely given up on Joel, they aren't comfortable paying him $6.3 million next season as he continues to work through his problems. Finding a team that will be willing to take on Joel may be difficult, partly because of his contract and partly because he has sucked for the better part of a year and a half. Some team might see something that they can fix and offer a package of some mid-level guys, but I don't see that happening. The Yankees have been mentioned as a possible destination, but I'm not sure that the Yankees are going to want to add another struggling pitcher to their already struggling pitching staff.
Current August 1st Prediction - Seattle
The other part of the inconsistent young duo of the Mariners pitching staff has seen his name pop up in some rumors. While Gil Meche has the most wins on the team, he has also been a beneficiary of some terrific run support. Both Meche and Pineiro have been equally frustrating this season, as neither has pitched at talent level that many envisioned. Meche has drawn interest from all over the league, but the possible return hasn't been anything to get overly excited about. There was some talk about packaging him up with Randy Winn in a deal to New York, but I don't see that happening.
I think it's time we realize that Meche may never reach the ace status that so many thought he may achieve, but that he is a middle of the rotation starter (#3 or #4). He should cost roughly half the price of Pineiro next season, so I see the team trying to push Pineiro out and retain Meche.
Current August 1st Prediction - Seattle
"New York, New York!" It's not a matter of if, but when. This deal could be done by as early as Thursday, with Sean Henn and a low level prospect coming in return. The Yankees desperately need to add pitching and may want another bullpen arm, which would obviously increase the return. Like I said the other day, don't expect Duncan or Hughes for Winn and a bullpen arm. However, if Bavasi is able to bring in one of them, we need to chip in and buy him a trophy or medal.
Current August 1st Prediction - New York