With the first day of July upon us, there are just a few weeks left before the most exciting time in major-league baseball.
The trade deadline.
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It’s the day when baseball fans monitor Twitter, and every other piece of social media we can get our hands on, to keep track of what our teams are going to do and what trades they will make.
If you listened to Thursday’s podcast, Dan McLellan of CBS Sports talked about what it would take for any team to be able to make a deal the Padres would agree to. For example, a player in triple-A who has a chance to crack the 40-man roster and a player who can hit for average and has “big league pop.” Not only that, but a minor-league pitcher or two who are in the development stages but are only a year or two away from being major-league pitchers.
The Rangers could possibly entice San Diego with a package of players that starts with the likes of David Murphy or Craig Gentry and then includes minor-league pitchers to see who might be a fit without having to give up someone such as Tanner Scheppers.
If that’s too expensive for the Rangers’ blood, they will have to move on to other players who might be available. We’ve talked about Pittsburgh Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan and Oakland A’s reliever Grant Balfour.
Other names I’ve brought up in the past are Chicago Cubs reliever Kerry Wood and starter Matt Garza. Before Ranger fans get excited about either of those players, Clark Addison of CubHub.net says not so fast.
“No way he gets moved,” Addison said of Wood. “He signed a deal at about a quarter of what he could have made on the open market so he can return to the Cubs where he will likely reap a lifetime of personal services revenue. He’s not just another athlete in Chicago, he is special. Being a Cub fan favorite affords a guy lots of opportunity after retirement from playing.”
Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times echoed those thoughts in his column Friday morning after Wood met with the media and talked about the trade rumors swirling around.
“I know the [trade] talks are going to come,” Wood said. “I’ve already been hearing it. So we can address it now. I doubt it. We’re committed here. We’ve got a [charity bowling] event in September. I don’t see it happening.”
“Obviously, Sarah and I will talk about it, and we have a little bit,” Kerry went on to say. “But it would have to be ideal for both, something that is definitely going to help the organization down the road and something that’s going to fit for us, which right now is here. So it would be tough.”
So while Wood himself isn’t ruling out a deal is possible, the way he worded his response would make anyone think he wouldn’t be willing to waive his full no-trade clause unless it was the absolute right situation and gave him a chance at a World Series championship.
As for Garza, a young right-hander, Addison says while it might be more likely a deal could be struck at the deadline, he still doesn’t think it’s likely.
“The comment I kept hearing from [Jim] Hendry and [Tom] Ricketts when he became a Cub is that he would be under club control for several more years,” Addison said. “I think Garza is viewed as something to build around.”
Don’t take this as there is absolutely no chance that the Rangers could make a serious play for one of both of these players. But with Wood holding a no-trade clause, and Garza still having another four to five good years in front of him, maybe we should call this for what it is.