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Rangers not happy with new skipper
Ozzie Guillen's latest controversy
More news and notes
There are still two months to go before the trade deadline. But I'm already envisioning some deals that need to be made. Here are a few that come to mind:
1. Scott Rolen to the Dodgers
Los Angeles is desperately seeking additional power, and Rolen fits the bill. Ned Colletti, one of the game's more aggressive GMs, has looked just about everywhere for power, which is the glaring weakness on an otherwise well-balanced team. Colletti recently said he wasn't going after Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus. But he hasn't denied interest in Rolen.
The Cardinals have not yet signaled they're ready to throw in the towel, but if things continue to go south, it would make sense to trade Rolen, who has an uneasy relationship with manager Tony La Russa and would have some market value despite his awful start (.215). (Rolen has three years and $36 million remaining on his contract after this season.) The Dodgers have prospects to trade, including a third baseman, Andy LaRoche, plus young pitchers.
2. Garrett Atkins and Todd Helton to the Angels
Owner Arte Moreno is still itching to do something "major'' and this would qualify, especially with Helton recapturing his swing early this year (.360 batting average, .472 on-base percentage). Reports indicate the Angels have inquired about Atkins, who isn't as untouchable as one might think. The Rockies' top minor-league prospect is third baseman Ian Stewart.
Rockies people always liked the idea of dealing with the Angels regarding Helton because LA of A has plenty of prospects. The Rockies would have to offset the $87 million remaining on Helton's contract by about $35 million or so, but they'd be happy to consider Casey Kotchman, Erick Aybar, Jeff Mathis or any number of Angels prospects in exchange. Helton has a no-trade clause, but the chance to win in Anaheim is probably enough to entice him to waive his veto powers, as he did when Boston showed interest this winter.
3. Chad Cordero to the Indians
Cleveland looks like it has a decent shot at a playoff spot, even from the ultra-tough AL Central. But to get there, they'll need a closer better than Joe Borowski, who's toting an 8.44 ERA (though he does have 13 saves in 15 tries). The Indians revamped their bullpen this winter, but other AL contenders have much more established and dominating ninth-inning men (i.e. Francisco Rodriguez, Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan and even Bobby Jenks). Cordero has a lot of guts, but there's some concern as to whether his stuff would be short in the AL. It doesn't help that he's off to a slow start, with only five saves in nine opportunities. Nationals GM Jim Bowden likely will ask for the moon, anyway, so Cleveland may have to look elsewhere. But it does need to look somewhere.
4. Ken Griffey Jr. to the White Sox
Griffey hasn't shown any willingness to go to New York when the opportunity has arisen. But maybe Chicago's more to his liking. It's a nice city with a nice team that still should have a chance, something that has eluded the Reds regularly. It's finally time to thrown in the towel on the great Griffey trade to his hometown team, an annual albatross for the also-running Reds.
The White Sox have been hurt by the injury to Jim Thome and could use the left-handed power Griffey provides. Griffey (eight homers, 26 RBIs, .297) is having a fine year. But he'd be much better off having the DH option, which could limit his own well-known propensity for pain.
5. Troy Glaus to the Tigers
Helton would also be a natural fit for Detroit, which isn't getting much from first base, where the beloved Sean Casey (winner of SI's poll for Friendliest Player) has struggled. Helton might be a better fit as a left-handed hitter and natural first baseman, but Glaus (eight homers, 21 RBIs, .307) would help, as well.
6. Al Reyes to the Brewers
Milwaukee would like some bullpen fortification, and this ex-Brewer certainly would do the trick. He's come out of nowhere to go 12 for 12 in saves with a 1.31 ERA. A far cry from his mop-up days in Milwaukee, when the Brewers were an AL also ran, not an NL Central contender.
7. Jon Rauch to the Red Sox
Boston's bullpen can't be this good, can it? Rauch, a solid setup man (2-0. 3.70), is wasted in Washington, and the 6-foot-11 right-hander would enhance the Red Sox's relief crew.