Beware The Dusk of July

Open your ears, for which of you will stop
The vent of hearing when loud Rumor speaks?
I, from the orient to the drooping west,
Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
The acts commenced on this ball of earth.
Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
The which in every language I pronounce,
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
—-Henry IV, Part 2


People like to pretend they are baseball GMs this time of year.  I guess they consider it fun.  It’s not my thing, because I am not arrogant enough to believe that I know what players are worth on the trade market.  So I won’t propose my own trades, but I do believe I know when someone else proposes a stinker, or a trade that is just unrealistic.  The thing about trades is that you can’t use the trade market to get rid of the players you don’t want, unless you are willing to get mostly nothing back for them.  If you want to get value, you have to give up value.

Want to get Giancarlo Stanton, Troy Tulowitzki or David Price?  Be prepared to give up Oscar Taveras, just for starters.  Unproven prospects, no matter how much they are hyped, are not worth as much as elite, proven major leaguers.  So you start with Taveras, and add on.

Now if you are going for something less than the Stantons and Tulowitzkis of the world, then you don’t have to give up your best prospect.  So if you are not willing to part with Taveras, better set your sights lower.  Pitchers like Cliff Lee or Ian Kennedy can be had for lesser prospects than Taveras.  You could get Ben Zobrist without Taveras in the mix as well.  There are a number of other targets that are more realistic, while keeping Taveras.

While I wouldn’t completely rule out Mozeliak going for broke in a trade, I think it is highly unlikely Taveras gets moved.  I could see Mozeliak going after Ian Kennedy, for instance, if starting pitching is his goal.  The Padres are essentially in rebuilding mode, so any number of the Cardinals’ B or C prospects could be attractive to them.

As for current major leaguers in the trade mix, that would more likely occur with a team that is on the edges of contending, and are looking for someone to give them a boost.  Players like Daniel Descalso, and Mark Ellis aren’t going to be sought after by these clubs.  Peter Bourjos has some trade value for defensive purposes, but not a whole lot, and is not likely to garner a worthwhile return.  Allen Craig has low trade value right now, but a team that believes he still has something left in the tank might be interested.  The contract is pretty team friendly, but selling low on Craig is not something I see Mozeliak doing.  Jon Jay has trade value, but only to a team that is looking for a bat and doesn’t care about power coming with it.  Matt Holliday has a no trade clause, and a waiver by him is not likely.  That leaves Matt Carpenter, Matt Adams, Kolten Wong and Jhonny Peralta with the highest trade value, and I don’t see Mozeliak trading any of them, without a strong option to replace them.  Infield prospect pickings in the minors are pretty slim.

So what, if any deal do I see Mozeliak doing?  I don’t know, quite frankly.  There have been rumors and speculations abound, but none with any kind of substance to them.  It may depend on whether Mozeliak is looking for starting pitching, or offense.  If it’s starting pitching, again, I think Ian Kennedy is a target to look at.  I am not particularly sold on the idea of Cliff Lee.  Lee is 35 years old and is starting to show signs of decline, not to mention the contract the Cardinals would be taking on if they can’t get the Phillies to eat a portion of it.  I would be interested in Cole Hamels, but the word is the Phillies are not interested in trading him.

I plan to just wait and see what happens.  There may be circumstances at play that we are not aware of.  Without knowing what Mozeliak is looking for, I can only speculate, and as I said, that is not something I care to do.  I do know that getting worked up about unsubstantiated rumors is a waste of time.  GMs say and do all kind of things during trade time that need to be taken with a grain of salt.  Posturing during trade season is as common as breathing, so don’t be so easily fooled.  Do not fall for the unsubstantiated rumors that abound at this time of year.

What happens, happens, and when it does, we can all opine about it to our heart’s content.


Thank you for reading.

Leave a comment


  1. laura

     /  July 18, 2014

    Jon Jay would be a HUGE star here in San Diego! The fans would love him. Kennedy for Jay?



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