I Dream of Barry
So Gammons, or as his sycophants refer to him, GAMMONS!!! is reporting that:
Royals GM Allard Baird says there are four teams currently in the Beltran hunt, with the A's, Red Sox and Yankees three of the four (could the Marlins be the fourth?). Baird and Beane worked on the three-way trade that would have included the Dodgers, then spent the weekend working with Theo Epstein on a three-way deal that in the Red Sox's world would have sent Beltran to Boston, Kevin Youkilis and Scott Williamson to Oakland and A's third baseman Mark Teahan (Kansas City's favorite), Red Sox catcher Kelly Shoppach and Oakland pitcher Mike Wood to Kansas City.
But the A's are not convinced that Williamson is their answer at closer, and Youkilis would eventually have to be moved once franchise player and Gold Glove winner Eric Chavez returns in a month from a broken right hand. Every team Oakland talks to wants reliever Jairo Garcia, who throws 97 to 98 mph and at Class A Kane County has 16 saves, has allowed one earned run and has a 49/6 strikeout/walk ratio in 30 innings. Boston may be able to pull off a trade for Beltran, but Epstein will have to come up with some new parts in order to do so.
While the Red Sox think about putting Beltran in right field and having Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon switch between left field and DH, Oakland has a lot of decisions to make in the near future.
To which I say, no, no, no, no, NO!!!
We need pitching. PITCHING PITCHING PITCHING PITCHING. We can't keep Arroyo in that fifth spot the way he's been playing--he's had a few tough breaks but is still unreliable. Wake continues to need long relief. D.Lowe seems to be righting the ship, but Lord knows how long that would last. And let's not forget the Hoss, whose ankle continues to give us the shakes, or Petey, who continues to be Dr. Pedro and Mr. Martinez.
Pitching. We need Freddy Garcia, Barry Zito, or someone. Anyone. Pitching. Someone needs to come in and stabilize the rotation the way B.K. did last year. And I hate to tell you, but some ancient reliever the ROYALS of all people don't want any more with a tear in his rotator cuff and an 8+ ERA is not going to be that guy.
What are we going to do with another outfielder? It'd be nice to make up for Manny's defensive mediocrity, but then what do you do with Ortiz? Play him at first? Then what do you do with Millar?
Oh, wait. I get it now.
Okay, I can see that. But should we really give up our hot catching prospect with our All-Star catcher a free agent at the end of this season? Are we really going to hand over Youkilis to Oakland after the way Billy Beane has so famously salivated over him?
As elephantsinoakland puts it, "Why arm your enemy so soon to battle?" After all, Oakland is going to be a strong contender for and during the playoffs, and remember what happened last year--should these teams really cooperate? What happens when one or the other ends up getting the short end of the stick--and having it bite them directly in the butt in the postseason?
In the end, though, for me the biggest problem isn't how Beltran might or might not benefit us, or giving up Shoppach or Youkilis, but giving up Scott Williamson. That's right, he of "Timlin in the Eighth, Williamson in the Ninth," our rock and our salvation in last year's playoffs, is going to be cast off? For more offense "on paper"? We have all the offense we need "on paper". We need to kick the butts into gear of the offense we have (and not, ahem, sit them against other teams' aces) instead of giving up pitching.
I also don't think we should give up the reliever that makes our bullpen work. I know we have Foulke now, but you can't use him every day. Williamson works beautifully as kind of an off-day closer, if we're behind but still should be kept in the game, or a setup man for Foulke if we use Timlin and / or Embree for early relief (of course, Francona should probably also stop using Timlin and Embree for one batter apiece and then going to DiNardo).
If we were giving up Williamson in the Ninth for Barry, or Garcia, it would shore up our rotation in a way it badly needs despite all offseason predictions. It would add another bat to the Yankees' lineup, since they'd probably get Beltran as a consolation prize, but if we really want to cramp their style, we need to keep them from getting the pitching they are desperate for.
In Theo we trust? Maybe. But if he and Steinbrenner are engaging in stupid spite trades regardless of how a given player would actually help their team, things will be Not Good. Or maybe we simply haven't seen the big picture yet. Or maybe we're being led astray by rumor.
In any event, The Kid had better pull a rabbit out of a hat soon...
Meanwhile, The Hoss's horse went yahhd this past weekend...
Meanwhile, The Hoss himself goes against the team my family (some of whom hail from the Land of 10,000 Lakes) has always referred to as the "Twinkies" tonight. Let's hope those "Homer Hankies" aren't waving...