Will C.C. be traded? (cont.)
Here's a rundown of the top starting pitchers who could be available for trade at the deadline ...
1. Sabathia. See above.
2. Rich Harden. A's GM Billy Beane is always willing to shake things up, and Harden, whom one GM calls "high risk/high reward'' is his most interesting case. At his healthiest, he's "one of the top five pitchers in baseball.'' But how often is he even healthy?
3. Erik Bedard, Mariners. He's exacerbated his rep as soft and prickly in his half season in Seattle. Even worse, he's not throwing nearly as well as he did in Baltimore.
4. A.J. Burnett, Blue Jays. Ultra-talented perennial disappointed already has declared he'd welcome a trade to the Cubs with "open arms.'' Could be great for a stretch run or he could be his usual injured or disappointing self. A total crapshoot.
5. Freddy Garcia, free agent. Working hard to come back and just began letting it loose. He's a big-game pitcher, and if his shoulder is fit, he'll help somebody by August or September.
6. Randy Wolf, Padres. Solid guy but another of the brittle bunch. "He seems to expire at 125 innings,'' one GM said.
7. Greg Maddux, Padres. He can still pitch, but he loves it in San Diego, and one person close to him said he doubted he would accept a trade elsewhere (and that apparently includes even his beloved Cubs or Braves, or the convenient Dodgers, the three other teams he's pitched for in his illustrious career).
8. Kevin Millwood, Rangers. He's getting toward the end of his big deal, and Texas has a host of young pitchers coming. Vicente Padilla is another possibility to go.
9. Joe Blanton, A's. Beane might have waited too long on this one. He's viewed as no better than an "innings eater'' at this point.
10. Jarrod Washburn, Mariners. One of many tainted to be part of the Mariner debacle, he's better than his 2-7 record would indicate.
11. Bronson Arroyo, Reds. Ten runs in one inning against Toronto in last start won't help his value.
1. Huston Street, A's. Considering the utter paucity of available relievers, Beane could turn this into a bonanza if he still adheres to the theory that he can always find a closer.
2. Kevin Gregg, Marlins. Eligibility for arbitration could make him expendable to the penny-conscious Marlins.
3. George Sherrill, Orioles. Has proven to have the guts to close in his new home in Baltimore.
4. Damaso Marte, Pirates. Yankees have eyed a return for the talented lefty they let get away in a 2001 trade for Enrique Wilson.
5. Brian Fuentes, Rockies. Barring another miracle run by Colorado, he'll be out there.
6. Joe Borowski, Indians. All guts, no stuff. Good luck.
7. Chad Bradford, Orioles. Different (OK, odd) look makes submariner effective.
8. Jamie Walker, Orioles. Overpaid but could still be marketable considering the short supply.
M's overhaul: No easy task
The Mariners have suggested that interim GM Lee Pelekoudas will guide them through the trading period and into the winter. And while they will interview Pelekoudas, a trusty 29-year veteran of the organization, it's hard to imagine they won't go outside to find the GM who will direct their much-needed overhaul. Best of luck to anyone who takes it. "It's going to be a long haul back,'' one Mariners-connected person said.
Here are some candidates for them to consider:
1. Al Avila, Tigers. Dave Dombrowksi's right-hand man was a finalist last time.
2. Mike Port, MLB. Smart and experienced former Angels and Red Sox GM who's taken over Sandy Alderson's old role to monitor umpires was considered last time.
3. Jed Hoyer, Red Sox. One of a quarter of Theo Epstein's excellent assistants (Ben Cherrington, Allard Baird and Craig Shipley are the others), he's a hot name.
4. Jack Zduriencik, Brewers. His amateur selections have turned the Brewers into a young dynamo (Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and others).
5. Rick Hahn, White Sox. Ken Williams' top assistant has such strong Chicago ties he's told them he wouldn't leave unless he found the perfect job; this may not be it.
6. Chris Antonetti, Indians. Shapiro's assistant will probably ascend to the head job once Shapiro is promoted to president; already turned down the Cardinals.
7. Tony Bernazard, Mets. Smart baseball man with a variety of experiences, including as a player and union exec before joining Omar Minaya -- though he probably isn't on Willie Randolph's Christmas card list.
8. Mike Rizzo, Nationals. Drafted superbly for the Diamondbacks before going to Washington.
9. DeJon Watson, Dodgers. L.A. has an All-Star stable, with Logan White, too. Kim Ng has been mentioned in Seattle also.
10. Peter Woodfork, Diamondbacks. He and Jerry DiPoto, the former pitcher, are part of Arizona's well-run machine under Josh Byrnes.
11. David Forst, A's. Harvard-educated exec is learning under the best, but Beane already has him doing many GM duties in Oakland.
12. Kevin Towers, Padres. Longtime San Diego GM has been mentioned to make a possible move. Beane's Moneyball disciple Paul DePodesta is also there.
Of Dunn, and done
Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi should leave the radio hosting world to professional broadcasters. It's dangerous to try to do that job while also being a GM because, given enough airtime, a radio person is bound to say something interesting.
Ricciardi's rip of Adam Dunn, where he said Dunn didn't really like baseball, was wrong anyway. What he should have said was that baseball doesn't love Dunn (the Reds haven't won since he's been there, and he's a .220 career hitter with RISP).
The whole thing turned into a mess when Ricciardi received a prank call from someone claiming to be Dunn, and Ricciardi apologized to the wrong guy. On the plus side, the way the Jays are going, maybe Ricciardi can become a full time radio host by next year.
Around the Majors
Shawn Chacon revealed quite a bit when he told Houston reporters his indefinite suspension from the Astros came after he threw down GM Ed Wade. What he said also didn't make Wade look too good. While it's understandable Chacon's suspended, Chacon said Wade cursed at him, telling him he had better "(bleeping) look in the mirror,'' in front of his teammates. That apparently came before the throwdown. With all those great names above, it's still a mystery why the Astros hired Wade, a guy who didn't get the Phillies to the playoffs in eight years as their GM from 1998 through 2005.
People close to great Phillies GM Pat Gillick believe he means it when he says he'll retire this time. They believe either of two trusted assistants, Ruben Amaro or Mike Arbuckle, will ascend to that job next year.
The Pirates have a shot to make it to .500 for the first time since Barry Bonds left town (yes, it's been awhile), but wisely, they say that will not deter them if they have the right deal for one of their prized veterans. Jason Bay and Xavier Nady should be highly coveted, and I can imagine the Mets calling every other day to try to bring back Nady, whom they dealt to the Bucs for Oliver Perez in 2006.