Waiver-wire trade bait, deadline winners and losers and more (cont.)
Around the majors
The Phillies' deal for Lee more than anything is what killed the chances for a Halladay trade. That was the best match for the Jays. Once that happened, it now appears that the chances for a deal decreased dramatically. It seems that GM J.P. Ricciardi's bosses weren't anxious to upset the fan base unless something spectacular emerged, and in their minds it did not.
Texas probably matched up second best with Toronto. But as reported by T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, Halladay's reluctance to go to Texas was a stumbling block for the Rangers, who tried hard for Halladay. Top slugger Justin Smoak was discussed in those talks, and Toronto talked about sending $5 million to Texas toward Halladay's 2009 $14.25 million salary. But the Rangers also were reluctant to part with young pitcher Derek Holland, so there never was an agreement. Ricciardi denied to the Boston Globe that Halladay didn't want to go to Texas, but word is that Ricciardi informed the Rangers he didn't believe Halladay would go there. Halladay has a 6.14 lifetime ERA in Rangers Ballpark, the highest of any existing park with at least 10 innings logged (it's slightly higher at old Shea Stadium, and new Yankee Stadium)
The discussed Dodgers-Padres blockbuster involving Adrian Gonzalez and James Loney was interesting. In one scenario, Heath Bell would have been included, and the Dodgers would have sent shortstop prospect Ivan DeJesus, young pitcher James McDonald, young infielder Blake DeWitt and others to San Diego.
There was talk of a Bell-to-the-Angels deal in which San Diego would have received reliever Jose Arredondo, starter Sean O'Sullivan and infielder Sean Rodriguez.
The Red Sox talked abut top prospect Buchholz in a couple deals (for Halladay or Gonzalez) but are happy to keep him. With a dynamic breaking ball and athleticism, he's seen as a potential No. 2 starter.
Jerry Hairston Jr. isn't a typical Yankee pickup, but he fits them. They certainly could use a versatile guy like him, and will.
Omar Minaya may have had a journalistic point when he called out Adam Rubin, who sought career advice from Mets higher-ups. But Minaya hurt his job security with his ad-libbed shot at the beat writer (though, with three years to go on his contract, the Mets don't especially want to fire him). If he is let go, the replacement isn't likely to be a big-name GM but rather his assistant John Ricco, a trusted adviser who is Minaya's opposite in many ways. He's much more reserved.
One quote not worth getting. Gary Sheffield told papers he favored Minaya over Rubin in the credibility battle. Of course, Sheffield probably couldn't pick Rubin out of a lineup. Plus, he's surely hoping to get an extension from Minaya. In any case, Sheffield is the last one who should be judging anyone's credibility.
Two coveted free agents this winter could be Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd and Dodgers GM Ned Colletti. Colletti's contract calls for a mutual option, meaning if he declines, he's free. Both have done an excellent job this year.
Either man could become a candidate for Nationals GM. Other worthy candidates may include White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, Marlins exec Dan Jennings, Red Sox assistant Jed Hoyer and Rays exec Gerry Hunsicker -- though Hahn's turned down some GM chances before, and Hunsicker, in particular, likes his current situation in Tampa. Acting GM Mike Rizzo is another candidate.
My Branch Rickey Award ballot: 1. Billy Pierce, ex-White Sox star whose Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities has raised $11 million since he founded the organization in 1971; 2. Cliff Lee, who's heavily involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation and whose son, Jaxon, is a leukemia survivor; and 3. Vernon Wells, who donated $1 million to the Jays Care Foundation upon signing his contract.
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