Joel Sherman of the New York Post appears to be the only local writer who can see the needs of the New York teams (outfielders and relievers) and think to report information about what either team will need to pay in the trade market. He runs down several right-handed hitters who can play the outfield and are current residents of Traderumorville, USA.
Unmentioned is Barry Bonds, the one player Yankees' GM Brian Cashman and Mets' GM Omar Minaya have been forced to comment upon. The Yankees appear in a better situation to resist the temptation given their deep reservoir of pitching prospects to use to address the outfield. The Mets don't have that and may be forced to seriously consider adding Barry Bonds.
Jason Bay and Xavier Nady, Pittsburgh Pirates:
Mr. Sherman confirms what Buster Olney said yesterday. The Pirates want a ton for either OF - each garnering two premium prospects and Bay fetching a third B-level one. At that price, I would be very surprised to see either dealt unless the Pirates' definition of "premium prospect" is different from my own.
To me a "premium prospect" is Matt LaPorta. The Yankees would have to include AA OF Austin Jackson, the team's current #1 overall prospect according to Jim Callis of Baseball America. The Mets would have to include OF Fernando Martinez. I don't see either team dealing either player.
Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies:
Until Bay or Nady set the market, the Rockies will wait according to Mr. Sherman's source. More likely would be a trade of 3B Garrett Atkins. Within this, he mentions the price the Rockies have on LHP Brian Fuentes - Ian Kennedy from the Yankees and John Niese for the Mets.
I don't see the Yankees dealing their young pitching for a 2.5 month rental. Maybe for Holliday who will be under the team's control through 2009. As a matter of fact, the Yankees should consider a three pitcher package.
Milton Bradley, Texas Rangers:
I am torn on this one. Bradley has thrived in Texas, and I wonder if that won't have a major impact on his performance if he is dealt - if Texas can find another organization that believes the 2008 version of Bradley is what they will get. At the same time, Bradley has been a winning lottery ticket for the Rangers, and they should cash in.
Juan Rivera, Los Angeles Angels:
The Angels need thump. Rivera isn't a prototypical HR hitter, but a team that starts Chone Figgans, Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick, Jeff MAthis and Garrett Anderson sees Rivera as a power upgrade on those five regulars. Plus, the team acts as if Rivera isn't a free agent at season's end or that he was buried on the bench for the first three months of the season.
Casey Blake, Cleveland Indians:
The Tribe risks the 35-year-old accepting arbitration if offered and losing the draft pick compensation (two if Type A, none if Type B). Given the Indians have no obvious 3B candidate, this is a straw man. The only question for either team is whether he can be acquired cheaply - C level prospect.