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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

May 27, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Trade winds already starting to blow

The internet is already starting to percolate with trade speculation, and it will only get more heated in the upcoming weeks as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches. I will do a post (or a column) soon on the benefits of waiting until the feeding frenzy of the July 31 deadline versus making a trade earlier, a la the Indians’ handling of C.C. Sabathia, who was dealt to Milwaukee on July 7 of last year.

But I wanted to throw out two articles from today’s newspapers for your perusal:

1) The Cardinals fear that third baseman Troy Glaus, who has been out all season following shoulder surgery, will soon be shut down for the season. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the team is “preparing a search for a right-handed hitting third baseman or outfielder given what they expect to be a pessimistic report” about Glaus.

Strauss mentions Garrett Atkins of Colorado and Mark DeRosa of Cleveland, but you’d have to think that Adrian Beltre would be of interest to the Cardinals. He’s a great defensive player, and it’s reasonable to expect that Beltre’s offense, miserable so far, will come around at some point. He has a well-earned reputation as a slow starter. Beltre, making $12 million this year, is a little pricier than the other two, however. Atkins is making $7.05 million, and DeRosa $5.5 million. That could be a factor against Beltre with the budget-conscious Cardinals. Keep in mind, however, that Beltre, a native of the Dominican Republic, is buddies with Albert Pujols, also a Dominican and the king of St. Louis.

2) Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News speculates on the Phillies’ need for another starting pitcher. With Seattle resident Pat Gillick now advising first-year GM Ruben Amaro, you’ve got to figure that they’ll at least take a look at both Erik Bedard and Jarrod Washburn. As this story points out, the Mariners will be in competition, when it comes to dealing pitchers, with the likes of Jake Peavy (the big prize, because in addition to being a bona fide No. 1 ace, he still has three years and an option beyond this season), Brad Penny and possibly Roy Oswalt, among others.

Dave Cameron makes a good point about dealing Bedard and Washburn as soon as possible, because they are volatile commodoties that could collapse at any point, either in terms of performance or health. But as Geoff Baker pointed out today in his KJR radio interview, both have already had health issues recently — Washburn’s knee and Bedard’s hamstring — that have caused them to be scratched from starts. Teams are gong to be probably want to see how they hold up over the next few weeks before making a commitment in talent.

At any rate, the Mariners’ collapse into the bottom regions of the AL West standings — they’ll fall into a tie for last with Oakland if they lose today — has accelerated the trade-rumor portion of the season. It is, in fact, now officially upon us.

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