Friday, March 23, 2007

Spring Trading

Jayson Stark makes a good point over at ESPN.com in that the spring training trading market is often over-hyped and under-realized. This is due in large part to the fact that nobody really knows what they have yet, as well as the fact that many reporters have bar bills that they are running expense accounts on (thank you, Mike Shropshire). I also suspect there's a fair bit of "let's see what the other guy is getting for his overpriced former closer before we make a deal", because nobody wants to make a Brock-for-Broglio deal, even when the potential Brock is actually Jorge Julio.

The injury reports are finally starting to mount, though this has been a relatively light year as far as medical catastrophes go. Kerry Wood and Mark Prior aren't ready, and General Franco is still dead. Joe Mauer busted up his leg, but may be back for Opening Day. Really, it's only been a bad spring health-wise if you're a Cleveland pitcher.

My expectation is that the first time a team that's supposed to contend blows a couple of saves in a row, there's going to be a sudden, savage burst of overpaying for relief help, and then you'll see the Benitezes, Julios, and Cormiers of the world flying everywhere. One guy I don't think will be going anywhere is Scott Linebrink, despite all of the rumors. Yes, I know that Trevor Hoffman is actually Gandalf and will never die, but one of these years he's going to cross the line between "changeup" and "batting practice fastball", and the fall will be swift and ugly. I'm not saying his spring training was an indicator that this will be the year, but, to quote Joaquin Andujar, "youneverknow".
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