The latest from the rumor mill, and a note on some rumor stuff I won’t be discussing (for now) …
- Apropos of the Cubs and Red Sox squaring off tonight, will they be squaring off all month in the trade arena? Michael Silverman argues that the Red Sox, currently six games out of first in the AL East, should trade impending-free agent Jon Lester this month. If the Red Sox do decide to shop Lester, that obviously puts a significant dent in the market for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel (especially the latter, given that he, too, is a rental). The Cubs would still likely have the other AL East teams mostly to themselves, which is good, but Lester would be an attractive get for a contender.
- (There’s also the side matter of Lester’s then ineligibility for a qualifying offer. I’m getting way ahead of myself here, but, if the Cubs wanted to pursue Lester in the offseason, then it would be better for them – relatively to the rest of the league – if Lester had been made a qualifying offer. That’s because the Cubs project to be in the bottom ten this year, thus protecting their first round pick in next year’s draft. In turn, the “price” for signing Lester would then be less for the Cubs than for about 20 other teams (most of them large-market contenders). Just sayin’.)
- Whether the Red Sox decide to keep Lester or not, they might trade fellow free-agent-to-be Jake Peavy in July, giving his spot to one of their young arms. Peavy’s value on the market is a little unclear right now, given his rough performance this year. In other words, even on the rental market, I’m not sure he’s a quality alternative to Jason Hammel.
- We discussed the Blue Jays’ reported interest in Darwin Barney earlier today, but Jon Heyman suggests that their preferred approach might be picking up Chase Headley from the Padres, and moving Brett Lawrie, when he’s healthy, to second base. Despite his down year and a half, Headley still would probably cost a significant prospect or two to acquire, and I wonder how deep the Blue Jays would be willing to go on pitching if they give up some assets to get a player like Headley. Of course, the flip side of that argument is that the Blue Jays would be nuts to add a pricey rental on the positional side and not improve their rotation/bullpen, too.
- Not that there was too much concern about it at this point, but the Royals are giving every indication that they will not be selling off in July – they just signed 42-year-old outfielder Raul Ibanez to a Major League contract. To me, that smacks of a team trying everything they can in the short-term to win. Maybe the next move is making a significant trade – the Royals have been connected in rumors to both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.
META: I’m in a bit of a no-win spot, as I don’t want anyone to think I’m shirking my responsibilities here to share with you any and all interesting baseball rumor-y things out there. At the same time, I’m just not sure I (yet) see the propriety in sharing information that appears to have been obtained by illegal means (i.e., hacking) from a certain MLB team. I’m not trying to moralize here, because, obviously, this site trades in rumors that emanate from sources sharing things they probably shouldn’t be sharing. But there’s something, to me, bigger at play here, and until it’s more clear how this information got out there, I’m not comfortable rewarding people for doing things that I sure wouldn’t want them doing to my site/server/databases. I don’t have much of a platform, but I don’t think I should be using the one I have to say, “Hey, there’s this information that was obtained in a reprehensible way … but it’s already out there, so I’m going to share it and let’s discuss it!” If we believe that hacking/stealing is wrong, then we shouldn’t go around enjoying the fruits of hacking/stealing (if that’s what happened).
I can understand why others are writing about this information today, and, if you can believe me in light of the preceding paragraph, I don’t judge them for it. I get it. I also don’t judge any of you for discussing it in the comments. For me, this is just a personal choice. I’m not going to do it. If the situation changes and more information comes to light, then maybe I’ll re-evaluate and discuss (I’m also open to the idea that I could just flat be wrong).
Mostly, I just wanted you fine folks to know that I wasn’t sleeping on the job. I’m very much aware of what’s out there.