The biggest trade rumor to date that did not involve a starting pitcher is the one reported by Peter Gammons of ESPN. Offered by the Atlanta Braves to the Boston Red Sox was free-agent-to-be 1B Mark Teixeira for 1B Kevin Youkilis and AAA reliever Craig Hansen. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Red Sox Gm Theo Epstein denied it.
In the current trade market where soon-to-be free agents have their minimum value set against the potential draft picks the team would receive if the player was offered arbitration and signed with another team, this offer makes sense from the Braves point-of-view. Kevin Youkilis is a Gold Glove caliber player at 1B and better than avergae at 3B. He is a patient hitter with power. Some could say if he switch hit, he'd be Mark Teixeira. As a second-year arbitration player, the Braves have multiple seasons of control over Youkilis. He is worth two draft picks
For the Red Sox, though, this offer falls painfully short. Teixeira is a free agent and a client of Scott Boras. He will test the market and cost the team that signs him $100MM plus their first round pick (assuming it is not in the Top 15 of the first round.)
The question is whether a 29-year-old switch-hitting 1B at $100MM for six years is a better investment than a 30-year-old 1B under control for two more years and $20MM? (All salaries are guesses and ages are for the 2009 season.)
In other parts of the trade rumor arena:
Nick Piecoro of Arizona Republic:
"Is Raul Ibanez really the answer here? Is he really that much better than Tracy? Because, in the end, thatʼs what weʼre talking about, thatʼs the question youʼre balancing with what you have to give up here in the heart of trading season. If the Diamondbacks go out and get Ibanez, it means Conor Jackson goes from left field back to first base and it means Tracy goes back to the bench on most days."
Rocky Mountain News:
"Teams that have approached the Rockies about Holliday's availability have said the asking price is steep - a position player and pitcher who would help at the big-league level right now and a top prospect."
Geoff Baker of Seattle Times:
"Here's how I would rank the M's players most likely to be traded:
1. Arthur Rhodes
2. Erik Bedard
3. Jarrod Washburn
4. Raul Ibanez
5. Adrian Beltre"