July 31, 2010

Deadline Day Arrives

Internet sites were atwitter with Paul Maholm trade discussion Friday as multiple teams still want to add a starter before today's 4 p.m. trade deadline.

Maholm's losing effort Thursday dropped his record to 6-9 and raised his ERA to 4.52. Yet NL West contenders, anxious to match Philadelphia's Roy Oswalt acquisition, were apparently nonplussed. If the Oswalt trade lifts the Phillies to the NL wild card, that leaves only one remaining playoff spot among the Padres (60-40), Giants (58-45), Dodgers (54-48) and Rockies (52-50). Maholm is the second best pitcher still available after Ted Lilly.

Pittsburgh's asking price is said to be an MLB-ready starter. Unless the Pirates are blown away, I don't see the wisdom in such a move. I am not interested in a Haren for Saunders-type lateral move which essentially exchanges a superior starting pitcher for an inferior one.

Yahoo's Tim Brown claimed the Padres and Pirates are close to a deal. The Dodgers also covet Maholm and the Mets are in the game as well. I'll believe it when I see it.

A New Catcher?
Meanwhile, there are also rumors that the Diamondbacks are considering a deal which would send catcher Chris Snyder to Pittsburgh. This is more intriguing to me because it seems like a deal to build for - rather than sacrifice - 2011.

Snyder is hitting .231/.352/.426 this year which makes him a plus offensive catcher even without my love of low average/high walk guys. He's throwing out only 20% of runners this year but has the reputation of an average defensive catcher.

Snyder is signed for $5.75 million for 2011 with a $6.75 million option for 2012. If this is another salary dump trade for the Diamondbacks, count me in. He's a better option than Ryan Doumit both at the plate and defensively. Additionally Doumit has been on and off the disabled list to the point where it's questionable that he can be counted on as an everyday catcher going forward.

Still No News On Dotel, Lopez
Conspicuously absent from trade rumors are Octavio Dotel and Javier Lopez. I still wouldn't be surprised if a potential Lopez move flew under the radar. But it seems like Dotel is likely here for the rest of this year and, if his option is picked up, 2011. A big closer move would have probably generated at least some buzz by now.

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