Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Blog Rumors 

Kazuhiro Sasaki has been waived and will never pitch in MLB again, and the bloggers are circling to guess how Bavasi and company will spend this new windfall. USS Mariner is of two minds on the subject (but I wanted to thank them here for adding Mariner Optimist to their M's blogosphere links). Much conjecture is around acquiring Ivan Rodriguez, and trading Ben Davis to make room.

Wondering who we might deal Ben Davis to? PhilliesInsider.com has a column, "Thinking Out Loud" that describes what a good fit Big Ben would be for the Phillies. It is a long article, with four or five paragraphs on this conjecture:

Although the Phils have not openly announced that they are looking to trade either (Jason) Michaels or (Chase) Utley, they have casually mentioned the possibility. It was even speculated that the Phils might dangle the pair in hopes of acquiring a solid young catcher to back up and someday replace the veteran Mike Lieberthal.

This was an interesting revelation, especially with word out of Seattle that the Mariners might be close to signing World Series hero, Pudge Rodgriguez, to a free agent contract. The Mariners have made no secret of their interest in Pudge, but acknowledge that they would first have to trade one of their two catchers, veteran Dan Wilson or youngster Ben Davis.

The mention of Davis might bring forth more than a passing interest among Phillie officials. Only 27 years of age, Davis is a local player, with roots to Philadelphia, and a solid lefty bat to support Lieberthal. It does not take a vivid imagination to picture the Phils potential interest in Davis, given the dirth of catching prospects in the organization, and Davis’s potential long-term future as a Phil.

Would a Jason Michaels, or Chase Utley be enough to interest the Mariners in a trade? Perhaps. Davis has a contract for 1.4 million dollars this year, and a Michaels/Utley duo might be enough to entice the Mariners to say yes. Would the Phils be interested? While difficult to say, they seem to be going out of their way to indicate that Michaels and Utley are far from guaranteed employment in Philadelphia this year.

Add to this conjecture the fact that Arbuckle said that it was “highly unlikely” that either Michaels or Utley would be sent to the minors, and a Davis for Michaels/Utley trade makes perfect sense. Stay tuned.

Stay tuned, indeed.

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