It’s not nice to horde all the good things in the world, so kudos to the Braves for selflessly allowing all the other baseball teams the opportunity to have Kyle Fanrsworth and Rick Ankiel on their roster by declining to exercise their options. Don’t cry for them, though: they each get six-figure buyouts, which is the closest anyone will ever get to stealing without breaking the law.
OK, I’ll try to be fair. Ankiel hit .261/.317/.467 in 92 at-bats for the Royals, and while that wasn’t worth the $3.5 million deal Kansas City inexplicably gave him before last season, it’s not utterly useless. He declined after the trade to Atlanta. Farnsworth had a similar season dynamic: useful — actually pretty darn useful with the Royals — and then falling off after being shipped to Atlanta. Overall he posted a a 61/19 K/BB ratio and a 3.34 ERA in 64 2/3 innings. Which should be enough to get him a job as a middle reliever someplace.
You just sort of hope that place isn’t near your team, though.
I love the trade deadline. Yeah, it’s cool that players get traded, influencing pennant races and all that jazz, but I also love it for the terminology.
So many “internal discussions” and so much tire-kicking. Just today I heard that a team has “gotten some feelers” for a player. That sounds kinda dirty, but in a good wholesome PG-13 sort of way. It’s two solid weeks of euphemism, really.
Sometimes, though, it gets scary. Like the way the Brewers are said to be talking about Justin Wilson of the Tigers:
I suppose if you’re “hanging on for dear life” that even the worst behavior can be excused, but I do hope that Brewers GM David Stearns is not threatening to rough up Tigers GM Al Avila or anything. Can a trade made under duress caused by threats of physical force be vetoed by the commissioner? An interesting analysis to be sure, even if it’s only speculative for now.
As for Wilson, I suppose the Brewers would have to be aggressive. He’s probably the most sought-after pitcher on the market at the moment. The Detroit Free Press reported earlier this week that 10-12 clubs were in on the left-handed reliever. He has a 2.75 ERA in 38 appearances and is striking out 12.5 batters per nine innings. He’s textbook trade deadline fodder, and the Tigers will likely get a nice return for him.
But please, Stearnsy, don’t hurt ’em.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Indians have expressed interest in Asdrubal Cabrera.
Cabrera, who began his career in Cleveland, would be a utility guy. Which is not exactly the Indians’ greatest need — they need a starting pitcher above all else — but improvement is improvement. Not much improvement in Cabrera’s case as he’s hitting .250/.333/.398 with nine homers in 70 games this season, but that’s useful if he’s cool with a strictly utility role. Which he’d have to be given that the Indians are solid at second, third and short.
Cabrera would come pretty cheaply of course. Partially because he’s not major piece, partially because he sort of hilariously demanded a trade last month. In large part because he wants to play shortstop which, now that I think about it, may complicate this whole “Cabrera for a utility role” idea the Indians seem to have.