If the San Diego Padres are trying to create the most volatile clubhouse in the league, they certainly took another step in the right direction today. The fathers acquired the often troubled Milton Bradley and cash from the Oakland A’s in exchange for minor league pitcher Andrew Brown.
Bradley’s performance on the field and at the plate is tough not to like but his history of injuries and explosive behavior. Bradley’s currently hitting .292 with two home runs in only 19 games this season. However, the San Diego dugout now contains both Michael Barrett and Bradley, both who have had serious trouble playing well with others in the past. At this point I’m almost rooting for Barrett to drop a throw home from Bradley in a critical moment of a game. I mean how often do you get a chance to see two volcanoes explode at the same time?
Update: There are rumors running around that Buerhle has resigned with the White Sox for 4 years at $50 million. To me that seems way too low to be true and so far it’s only 3rd hand information. I’ll work under the assumption that he’s not resigned until I find a more reliable source.
I’ve been writing the Rumor Mill for quite a while now and reading rumors for even longer but I can’t remember any situation ever being as crazy as the Mark Buerhle saga. He’s been on the trading block for weeks, several teams have been rumored to be front runners, the Red Sox jumped to the lead, then claimed Chicago had planted the rumors, Buehrle’s affinity for the Cardinals was rumored to be a sticking point with several teams (they were basically assured of getting a rental), and now it appears that Buerhle might not be going anywhere?!?
The Chicago Sun Times today reported that the White Sox and Buerhle have apparently had a change of heart and hope to get an extension done by the end of the week.
"The Boston Red Sox, who had jumped out as the clear favorite to acquire White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle during the weekend, have pulled out of the sweepstakes, according to one source. And not because the asking price of top minor-league prospects was too high or because they no longer coveted Buehrle’s services, but because Buehrle is no longer on the trading block for the time being."
The article goes on to say
The Sun-Times has learned that a change of heart in both the Buehrle and White Sox camps during the last 48 hours has led to talks about the sides somehow getting together and agreeing on a contract extension by the end of the week.
Now, call me a skeptic but I’ve always had a hard time believing stories that relied heavily on unnamed sources. **** I could sit here and tell you that a "source" from the Cardinals organization told me that they are bringing Big Mac out of retirement and trading for Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson. Of course that would be complete BS but hey, it’s from a source right?
I don’t see any reason Buerhle would sign with any team before testing the free agent market. With the kind of money that was thrown around last year, the offer would have be pretty compelling. Being a Cardinals fan I would like to think that the lefty still wants to play for his home town team and would do so at a considerable discount, however, when you’re talking about that kind of money, I think all bets are off.
There’s sure to be more news and twists in this suddenly entertaining soap opera, and I’ll try to keep you updated as best I can.
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If there’s a managerial equivalent to Mark Buerhle right now (someone everyone wants but no one can seem to get), it would have to be Joe Girardi. The former Marlins skipper was courted by the Baltimore Orioles last week and has been rumored to be the heir apparent for Joe Torre in the Bronx. However, if the Washington Post is correct, the Orioles might get a second shot at landing the much coveted manager. According to the post, "If the Orioles still haven’t decided on a manager by the end of the season, it’s a possibility they could restart talks with Girardi then, a team source said yesterday." Apparently Girardi’s decision to turn down the Orioles’ offer last week was mostly due to the timing (taking over a team mid-season) factor.
Even if timing was the key factor, it’s tough for me to see the brown birds getting another bite at the apple. If the Yankee position opens up I’d expect to see their former catcher to accept in a heart beat. However, I think I’d rather see Girardi managing another young team similar to the situation in Florida. He’s young for a manager and might have a hard time dealing with the high priced veterans on the Yankee squad.
Guest Blogged by J.P. Maxwell
A lot of confusion has been made in the last 24 hours or so, since White Sox GM Kenny Williams made it known that he is shopping his Sox players. Williams didn’t say exactly who would be made available, but Williams stated after later that hard decisions would soon follow, but some changes HAD to be made. The likely to go are Mark Buehrle and Jermaine Dye. Many believe that for the right price, starting pitchers Jose Contreras and Javier Vazquez can also be acquired.
Yesterday, a report had the Red Sox stated as the “front-runners” to acquire Buehrle. This morning, a report had the Mets kicking up their attempt to acquire Buehrle or Contreras or both. For Buehrle and/or Contreras to be dealt to the Mets, you’d have to think Lastings Milledge would have to be included in any deal. Are the Mets deciding to try and go after Contreras b/c they believe it would take less to acquire him instead of Buehrle? It is believed that the Yanks and Brewers have also inquired about Buehrle, who will be a free agent after this season. A dark horse still wanting to see if they can make a deal happen is the St. Louis Cardinals. Many believe Buehrle will sign with his hometown Cardinals in free agency this winter anyway, so why not push to acquire him now to help this season and sign him before he can test free agency? It is believed that Williams could deal Buehrle (if not others) as early as this week. No matter which player he gives up or who to, the asking price will be a lot.
Editor’s note: Gawd I LOVE this time of year.
Just a quick post before I head to bed… Today, when asked if there were plans to trade free agent to be Mark Buerhle to the Boston Red Sox, White Sox GM Ken Williams said "not today." I’ll have more tomorrow on the plethora of trade rumors surrounding the suddenly pathetic pale hose but I’d expect something to happen fairly quickly as the frustration mounts in the north side of chi-town.
Updated 3:51 pm: Reports out of Detroit are that the Cardinals have given up "a player to be named later." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said it was for "players to be named later" (notice the plural). I believe the proverbial player to be named later is chosen from a list of players the team makes available. So, in this case, the Cardinals would provide a list and the Tigers would pick a player or players depending on the agreement. I’m not 100% on this so if some of our readers can fill us in on the process I’d be grateful.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com is reporting that the Cardinals have acquired left handed pitcher Mike Maroth.
"Seeking to bolster their rotation, the Cardinals have acquired left-handed pitcher Mike Maroth from the Tigers, FOXSports.com has learned.
The trade is the Tigers’ second in three days as they prepare for the returns of left-handers Kenny Rogers and Nate Robertson from the disabled list. On Wednesday, Detroit sent left-hander Wil Ledezma to the Braves for left-hander Macay McBride, in part because McBride can be sent to the minors without restriction while Ledezma would need to clear waivers before getting demoted.
The Cardinals have also been actively dealing this week. Maroth becomes the second pitcher St. Louis has added, after they signed right-hander Tomo Ohka to a minor-league contract on Tuesday."
No word yet on who the Cardinals gave up, although this winter a rumored deal between the Cardinals and Tigers had Encarnacion and Looper headed to Detroit for Maroth and Thames. I’ll keep you updated as the information comes in.
Guest Blogged by J.P. Maxwell
According to the Oakland Athletics team site (now also in the San Francisco Chronicle), the team designated OF Milton Bradley for assignment yesterday. The team now has ten days to either trade or release Bradley. This is a surprising move, considering how well Bradley can play at times and it seemed the A’s worked very hard to acquire him a couple of years ago. Bradley can hit for power and average, runs pretty well, and has played well on defense. He has had some trouble with injuries over his career and some “character” issues in the past as well. To me, those two things had to be major factors for his designation. He is due to make $4 million this year, a little bit more than half of that should be remaining for the rest of this season. A few teams who need help in the outfield are believed to have interest including the Padres, Marlins, Cardinals, and maybe even the Pirates. It is believed that it would not take much talent to acquire Bradley in a trade. If Bradley is not traded after the ten days, the A’s then have to release Bradley and “eat” the remaining money on the contract.
Apparently J.P. and I think a lot alike as I was working on a post about Bradley being linked to the New York Mets (and team officials shooting it down) when he sent this post in. Personally I think Bradley would be a great pickup for whichever team gets him. He’s been very injury prone and has a reputation for being tough to get along with in the dugout but as J.P. mention, I can’t imagine it would take much to get him. However, the interested parties could very well wait it out until the A’s are forced to release him (see the Cardinals persuit of Ohka) in order further minimize their risk.
While the Yankees have been mentioned as potential suitors in countless trades, the Start Tribune put forward a "logical trade" that I hadn’t seen mentioned yet. The trade would "send Hunter to the Yankees for outfielder Melky Cabrera and prospectssuch as pitcher Tyler Clippard and third baseman Eric Duncan (who has
to hit some day after all those rave reviews)."
I’m still not confident the Twins won’t try to resign Hunter in the offseason since he’s been the face of the franchise for quite some time. When you throw in the fact that the Twinkies are still in the mix in the AL Central (5.5 games back) and I wouldn’t suggest Yankee fans hold their breath. However, should the Twins slide out of contention before the trade deadline, I guess the deal could make sense.
I’d like to introduce a new Rumor MIll site sponsor: Ticket City!
If you can’t tell, they sell sports tickets of all sorts but of course, being a baseball fan writing on a baseball site, I’ll be using the banner you see above at the end of posts. I’ll try to keep it from getting annoying and maybe keep it on every other post after the first few days. Anyway, be sure to click over and check out their site.
The AP is reporting that the Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers traded unusually named lefty relievers. Macay McBride will be heading to the Tigers while Wilfredo Ledezma is on his way to the Braves.
Ledezma is 3-1 with a 4.79 ERA in 23 games out ofthe bullpen this year. The 26-year-old went 15-18 with a 5.15 ERA in 33
starts and 73 relief appearances during five seasons with the Tigers.
24-year-old McBride, selected by the Braves in the first-round of the
2001 amateur draft, was 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 18 relief appearances
with Atlanta this season. He also went 1-2 with a 3.13 ERA in five
starts and two relief appearances for Triple-A Richmond.
It’s definitely not a blockbuster but I can always use a few warmups before the frantic posting of trade deadline starts up in the middle of July.