Trade deadline! When you are bombarded with frantic messages about your favorite players being unceremoniously kicked off the team. Will the next few hours begin another legendarily awful deal for a general manager to live down? Who knows! But probably.
So, our own John Stolnis sat down with ESPN and MLB.com’s Peter Gammons to discuss the shriveling corn crop prices.
No, of course not. They’re discussing who is going where and how immediately. Peter’s guess? Shane Victorino is a goner.
This and other uplifting Phillies news here, in our Peter Gammons Interview.
And if you’re having ear problems, here is the interview.
It’s already been a busy few days. Francisco Liriano to the White Sox, Zack Greinke to Anaheim, Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers and Wandy Rodriguez to the Pirates. So, who’s the next big name that you think is going to go?
Peter Gammons: I don’t think Tampa is going to trade [James] Shields. He almost went tot he Angels before the Geinke deal got finished, I don’t see that being a match with Texas. I think Victorino is going to be the biggest name to go in the next 24 hours. The Phillies have got to start changing over, they just got swept by the Braves again, and I think they can get a good enough prospect for him so that it’ll be better than getting a number one pick next year and then having to wait for that guy for four years to make the big leagues.
I think Jonathan Broxton’s going to get traded by Kansas City and Brandon League will get traded out of Seattle, but I don’t think there’s anybody as big as Hanley or Greinke.
We’re hearing a lot about the Boston Red Sox possibly trading Josh Beckett, do you think that could happen?
PG: He does make over $30 million the next two years and that’s an issue, but Josh Beckett is not a bum. He’s extremely competitive and he’s transformed himself. He’s changed his whole style and I still think he’s a pretty good pitcher, 11 out of 16 quality starts, but he is a 10-5, and the only place that had any interest is Texas. But the Red Sox are still technically in the penant race, and if they trade him, they have to get at least a fourth starter back, and Texas isn’t going to trade any one of their left-handers. So I think he’s going to stay in Boston. He’s expressed the desire to stay there and, contrary to the image, Josh really cares and would like to rectify what’s happened in Boston.
You mentioned Texas. They were hard after Hamels and Greinke and every starting pitcher not nailed down. Are they looking at Cliff Lee or are they looking at the bullpen now and will put Alexi Ogando back into the rotation?
PG: I’m not sure Nolan Ryan would bring Cliff Lee back. I don’t know everything that went into his departure, but I’m told by people close to Nolan that he won’t be going back to Texas. But they’ve been in on Broxton, League and Rafael Betancourt of the Rockies, trying to find a reliever or two. If their offense gets straightened out, and it’s been a problem; Hamilton hasn’t hit for a month and YOung and Kinsler are down, and Cruz has been down, but if they get better, they can win those 8-6 games.
The Phillies, from 102 wins to last place, are in full-on sell mode. It seems like Victorino and Pence are going to go, yes?
PG: I think Victorino will go, he’s a free agent at the end of the year anyway. I’m told they’re having trouble moving Pence, who’s due to make $14 million after the season. It may be difficult for them to make a deal with him, which would be too bad, Hunter is a great guy, but they’ve clearly decided they want to go in a different direction.
But if you look at the Phillies, they’ve got $80 million tied up in Lee, Hamels, Halladay and Papelbon. And they figure, we’ve got four prime pitchers, we can build a team around that. And Howard and Utley will be healthy, and Rollins is coming back. I think there’s a lot more optimism on the Phillies than this season would indicate.
How hard is it for General Managers at the July 31 deadline, now with a second wild card team in each league?
PG: This weekend has been like a see-saw for a lot of general managers. The Indians thought they were in, but then they lost three in a row, and they’re down. Ben Cherrington, Red Sox GM, thought they were out, then won two in a row against the Yankees and he’s got people above him saying “we’re still in this thing.”
It’s really hard, the trading deadline is terribly difficult. The Red Sox have five teams in front of them for the wild card, it’s very unlikely they’ll get there with their schedule, but, like the Phillies, when you sell out every game, it’s very hard to say to your fans, “oh by the way, come back and see us in 2015 and keep buying the season tickets until then.”