LONG BEACH— Major League Baseball is in Dana Point this week to begin what should be an exciting off season. The big talk will center around trades, with the Tigers and Padres looking reduce payroll and build for the future.
Crazy isn’t it? The Tigers proved last year that a team on paper is nothing more than paper. They had what looked to be the makings of one of the most dominate teams in history. And then the season started and they couldn’t even buy a “W”.
The Padres were a flop after doing reasonably well in the NL West for several seasons. But that came to a griding hault and the team is now looking to change directions. Or at least get younger and cheaper. That means Jake Peavy is on the block. And everyone will be interested in what happens with him as he almost certainly improves any teams rotation, assuming of course, the team acquiring him doesn’t butcher their rotation to get him.
Maglio Ordonez could be dealt as well. He has a hefty contract, $18 million next season alone, and moving him would certainly go a long way towards reducing the Tiger payroll. The Tigers have already let Edgar Renteria walk freeing up some $11 million (not counting the buy-out money).
For my Braves, they have some work to do as has been discussed on this site. I would love to see them acquire both Maglio and Peavy, but the price must be right. I will be disappointed if they trade Tommy Hanson, the most promissing pitching prospect in the Braves system, and in the minors. Tommy lead all the minor leagues last season in ERA. It helped that he threw a no-hitter along the way as well. Jason Heyward is another kid I’d like the team to hold on to.
As for acquiring Ordonez, this might be a little “cheaper” on the prospect side. The Braves have the financial room to absorb the entire contract. Doing so, I would think, would put the team in a better bargaining position to not need to trade the best player in the orginization under the age of 30.
This will indeed be a very interesting off-season.