Should the Padres wait to deal Adrian Gonzalez?

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Thumbnail image for adrian gonzalez.jpgHe’s been one of the most
bandied-about names this offseason, but Jon Paul Morosi of
FOXSports.com thinks it would behoove the Padres
to wait until the 2010 non-waiver trade deadline to trade Adrian Gonzalez:



By the middle of this season, it should be different.




In July, other GMs can’t talk about free-agent options.




In July, other GMs are under pressure to
go for
it by getting one more left-handed slugger.




In July, other GMs will look at the money remaining on
Gonzalez’s contract — at that stage, barely more than $7
million through 2011 — and say to ownership: “For this guy,
for that amount of money, we should make it happen.”




Owed a modest $4.75 million next
season with the bargain of a $5.5 million club option for 2011, the
Padres are wise to wait for the right deal in return for their
franchise first baseman. According to Morosi, one rival executive
doubts new general manager Jed Hoyer would accept an offer of
right-handers Clay
Buchholz and Daniel Bard if the package didn’t also include
right-hander Casey Kelly or outfielder Ryan Westmoreland.




It’s a hefty price tag, of course,
but Morosi likens the situation to that of Mark Teixeira, when he was
dealt from the Rangers to the Braves at the trade deadline in 2007 —
also, a year and a half before hitting free agency. The Rangers managed
to turn that deal into shortstop Elvis Andrus and promising
right-hander Neftali Feliz. With teams jockeying for position around
the trade deadline, the Red Sox may come knocking with a more
substantial offer should their lineup lack the proper thump without
Jason Bay.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.