Posted: Friday July 21, 2006 11:49AM; Updated: Saturday July 22, 2006 9:50AM
Several teams have expressed interest in Phillies outfielder Bobby Abreu as the trade deadline approaches.
Braves GM John Schuerholz was going for it even before they won seven of eight. Bob Wickman is a nice start to rebuild their nameless bullpen. As one competing GM said, "Who are all those guys?" Verdict: Contender.
Phillies They're maybe a day away from beginning baseball's best fire sale. Before GM Pat Gillick's done, either Bobby Abreu or Pat Burrell (or both), Mike Lieberthal and David Bell (if anyone will take them), plus Rheal Cormier, Arthur Rhodes, Tom Gordon, Cory Lidle and Jon Lieber could go. Verdict: Pretender.
Astros Something's amiss. But it's tough to count out any team that has a rotation featuring Roy Oswalt, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. Verdict: Contender.
Brewers Since Halley's Comet sightings are more common than Brewers playoff dates, it's hard to blame them for going for it. But eventually reality sets in. Verdict: Pretender.
Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes' mature instinct was to put off buying. But while they're awfully green (and not Jason Grimsley's kind of green, either), up-and-comers like Stephen Drew could juice them up. Verdict: Contender.
Dodgers They're playing like Dodger dogs lately. And yet there's still an awful lot of hitting, speed and youth there. Verdict: Contender.
Giants With Barry Bonds able to breathe, he may take off. Still, the Giants may be more suitable for AARP cards than October games. Verdict: Contender.
Rockies They're headed in the right direction and will eventually get there. But not yet. Verdict: Pretender.
D-Train driving tough deal
The Mets are willing to include highly prized outfielder Lastings Milledge in a deal with the Marlins for Dontrelle Willis but are under the impression that it would take their top two prospects, Milledge and right-handed pitcher Mike Pelfrey, to land Willis. And one Mets exec said, "Pelfrey isn't going anywhere.''
While there's been some talk about Phillies outfielder Bobby Abreu, Mets officials are focused on pitching (Miguel Batista is another target) and are pessimistic that the Phillies would agree to pay part of the $23 million remaining on Abreu's contract through 2007 (to say nothing of the $16 million '08 option he'd want picked up). The White Sox are another team that's recently made a run at Willis, offering what one executive termed "an impressive package.'' They, too, were rebuffed.