Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Trade Deadline Comes and Goes 

Well, the blogosphere has covered this pretty well, with USSM and LL both ecstatic that Bavasi at least did nothing to hurt the team, while Dr. Detecto laments that no moves were made during a playoff push.

I tend to side with the "glad nothin happened" group, as the cost of pitching seemed way to extreme when contrasted with our needs. To give up a top prospect for 20 innings of Al Reyes seems the equivalent as the offseason gaffe of giving up Rafael Soriano for HoRam.

And its not like out relief pitching has been the problem this year. Heck, as inconsistent as the starting pitching has been, they have been solid for the past two months, with mostly postitive outings.

I would contend that the M's are going to live or die, make the playoffs or not, based on the strength of their bats in August and September. Right now, it is apparent that this improvement will have to come from within. And the M's brass seems to agree as the apparent platoon of Ben Broussard with Richie Sexson begins tonight, and Bavasi mentioned yesterday that Adam Jones is "in play". And this is right in line with the drums the blogosphere have been beating for months. Jones for Ibanez in left, make platoon mates of Broussard and Sexson, Ibanez and Guillen, and give Vidro less playing time.

But what was MOST interesting for the trade deadline is that our last minute efforts were spent trying to add a middle infielder, in the form of Mark Loretta. This shows the glaring offensive hole that has been our young middle infield, and that Bavasi wants to provide at least a non-Bloomquist option for the middle infield as well. The indications seem to be that the Astros pulled Loretta back at the last minute, probably because they realized how low the market on hitters had fallen.

Too me, this attempt to get Loretta hints that the callup of Adam Jones may NOT be imminent. If the team acquired Loretta, then who gets released? Jason Ellison seems to be the logical choice. But then who gets released for Jones? Unless the M's are ready to give up on Vidro or go to a 6-man bench.

I'd like to think that the plan would have been to still call up Jones (tomorrow?) and go to a longer bench, while exposing Vidro (or Sexson) to waivers to see if they can shed one of those contracts in an August deal. But I'm guessing this would have even further delayed the arrival of Jones.

Or would it have meant a demotion for Yuni or Jose?

If done properly, I think it would have been a good move for this team. We have little depth in middle infield as Vidro shouldn't be playing 2B anymore, and I'd much rather Willie B stick to pinch-running. Yuni and Jose could use something to push them, and better depth behind them in case of injury or slump.

And Loretta could easily be available in August, so this move may only be delayed for now. Hopefully Lopez and Betancourt use this to motivate themselves to a stronger stretch run. We could use more run-scoring from the bottom of the lineup!

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