gnick55 already started this discussion a bit by relaying/starting a WMP for Matt Morris rumor.
What do we need people? Starting Pitching? Relievers? Bench players? ...replace someone IN the starting lineup?
Let's start with the starters likely(sorry Roy Oswalt and Dontrelle Willis, but thanks for playing) to be available:
He could certainly be available for a corner player with power potential, like WMP, Brandon Moss or similar. Not worth a Lars Anderson, and young SPs are not really a need (Lincecum, Lowry, Cain, Zito, and no, Zito's not young, but they're stuck with him anyway).For: He's almost the definition of a League Average Innings Muncher (LAIMer), holding opponents to exactly a 100 OPS+ through his last start and averaging almost 6 2/3 IP per game. His performance and peripherals haven't matched well until recently. (read: corrected by two pretty poor starts in a row) He's not exactly a rental, as he'd be under contract for next season with a reasonable-for-this-market team option worth 9M-11M (based upon reaching incentives) for 2009.
Against: He's pitched in the NL for his entire career, weaker league, blah blah blah. You all know that drill. He's not particularly good at limiting hits or striking hitters out. 33 years old in a few weeks.
Not sure how well we and the 'Stros match up as trading partners. Of the chips we have (and should be willing to give up), they have no need for WMP, Captain Murphy (As an aside, any Sealab fans here?), or any of our MiL relievers. There's a possibility they could see Moss as a younger and possibly more consistent option than Luke Scott in RF. Jed Lowrie might interest them as a MIF option, especially if they've soured on Chris Burke.
For: Younger than Morris, and he being a rental would (or should) both cost less and would not block any of our young guys who might be ready next season. Decent K rate. Um. Has a RoY award?
Against: Career 1.539 WHIP. Has not been terrific this season, to say the least. NL to AL adjustments.
Kenny Williams would probably be interested in most of our OF prospects. (I'm not sure that Captain Murphy projects as a whole hell of a lot in the AL, btw). Lowrie could be of interest, and based on his peripherals, KW would actually be justified in asking for an actual bone-fide pitching prospect in return for Vazquez, who KW is for some reason more willing to unload than Garland.
For: Garland and Vazquez are youngish, and signed to reasonable contracts (Garland through '08 and Vazquez through 2010) . If Vazquez has tamed his maddening inconsistency, he could actually slot in as a third ace-ish with Beckett and Daisuke.
Against: Asking price in prospects, especially for Vazquez. Contreras looking every bit of age 45 rather than 35. Garland's ERA this season doesn't look terribly sustainable with a decent 1.258 WHIP and not-as-decent 53 Ks in 121 2/3 IP.
- ...this probably isn't all the names being bandied about, but the ones who are probably most likely to change teams. The Astros should get something for Jennings at least.
- Don't worry, I merely included Contreras for completion purposes, though again, I probably missed one or two.
- The A's would've done well to trade Kennedy before his inevitable regression.
- The problem with the Pirates again being out of contention, and certainly sellers if anything, is that there's no reason for them to trade any of their starting pitchers. It'd be selling low on Maholm and Duke, and why the heck would you give up Gorzelanny or Snell for anything other than a top position prospect at a premium defensive position. Ellsbury is the only one of ours who fits the bill, and I don't think he's worth either of them.
- We may not have a slot open (should Gabbard keep his walk rate low) anyway, if Schilling returns strongly.