In the midst of persistent Mets and Dodgers rumors, Trib writer Phil Rogers suggests the Arizona Diamondbacks might be closer to consummating a deal for one of the Sox starters than anyone else. MLB sources believe the Diamondbacks played first baseman Conor Jackson in left field last night to showcase him for a possible deal to
The 25-year-old Jackson, highly-touted last year, is hitting only .262 with 5 HRs with the Diamondbacks, but has excellent plate discipline resulting in more walks (37) than strikeouts (26), which is no easy feat. The Diamondbacks have scouted Jose Contreras lately, but would prefer to land Jon Garlandâ€¦shocker. Still, the presence of Livan Hernandez, El Duqueâ€™s brother, might make Contreras comfortable.
So itâ€™s going to be Contreras, Vazquez or
But there are so many teams in the hunt for Contreras/Vazquez/Garland that the optimist in me believes mere supply and demand could net the Sox a surprisingly good deal for the Cuban. Then again, we did say the same thing about Freddy Garcia last winter and the return on that trade was astoundingly low.
The Diamondbacks do have a plethora of your infield and outfield talent, some of which the Sox have already tapped into: second baseman Danny Richar, acquired from Arizona last month, is hitting .358 in 23 games at Triple-A since joining the Sox. Contreras might not net the Sox too much, but if Williams decides to part with
Along with this Diamondbacks development, the Mets are still among the front runner to land Contreras. With that in mind, the Mets called up trade bait outfielder Lastings Milledge, who was on the shelf with a foot injury. In his first five games back in
â€œMilledge was the Metsâ€™ top prospect when he made his major league debut in May 2006. In his first month, he showed off the considerable talent that made him such a highly coveted player, but also made his share of missteps on and off the field. He was reprimanded for not running hard on the bases and also arrived late to the clubhouse for a game. Near the end of the season, a sign was posted in his locker at
Maybe heâ€™s been humbled a bit in the past few months and has rededicated himself on the field. Otherwise, this is not exactly the guy I want to rejuvenate this Sox team. Either way, the Sox need to sell the Mets on Jermaine Dye, whoâ€™s been heating up the past few days, or Tadahito Iguchi in addition to Contreras to get anything of value in return.
The other hot spot for a Contreras/Dye or Garland package is Los Angeles, where the prospect-loaded Dodgers are a tweak away from heading to their first World Series in nearly 20 years. The Dodgers are busting with prospects, several major-league ready, that the Sox could scoop up. Outfielders Matt Kemp, James Loney and Andre Ethier and minor league shortstop Chin-Lung Hu are the crown jewels; acquiring even one of them for Contreras and Dye would be a major coup for Williams.
If a package centered around
In any case, getting the Diamondbacks, Mets and Dodgersâ€”three of most prospect-rich teams in baseballâ€”to compete with each other in trade offers, along with wildcard teams like the Brewers, Rockies or Mariners, can only lead to a better 2008 for the Sox. Exactly two weeks until the trade deadline, what will happen next?