This thing is on again, off again like a well priced dancer on the Vegas strip.
Reports had Jones on a plane to Baltimore to take a physical as part of a blockbuster trade for the M's, and now it seems that he's still in Venezuela and the whole thing might have been terrible translation between the club and the Venezuelan press. If so, that's pretty funny.
Regardless, there's obviously some teeth to this thing beyond the typical aluminum-hat 'net speculation. By most accounts, it looks like the O's are due to receive Jones, Sherrill, and Tillman plus a "fourth player" (when is the last time a PTNL turned out to be any good?) and the only thing holding it up is Peter Angelos himself (which is one giant ego roadblock). Reports have Angelos out of town Monday, so maybe we'll get nibbles of news about what he's thinking tomorrow or Wednesday. If you ask the great underbite himself, Ken Rosenthal, Angelos has or is likely to kill the deal anyway.
So around and around we go. Where's the waitress? Another 8 dollar Heineken!
Assuming it DOES happen, however - let me just go on the record: I started out in favor of this deal a couple months ago. Since when do the M's get to deal prospects for one of the top 5 starters in the AL? But it seemed every day a new reason NOT to do this deal would pop up. They include, in no particular order:
- M's offense was terrible in the 2nd half of 2007. Can they afford to make it worse?
- Dealing for Bedard after giving Silva a huge pile of cash will prove one of two things: 1. M's didn't have a cohesive strategy this off season. No way Bavasi would deal for another starter after spending a pile of cash on a guy who may be worse than Morrow. 2. M's don't believe Morrow is ready to start.
- Why deal Jones, who we have no replacement for, instead of Morrow who would be pushed into the bullpen by a deal anyway? (No clue if Baltimore had any interest in a deal headlined by Morrow...)
- Morrow's development as a player is being damaged by the M's. Why spend months in winter ball getting acclimated to becoming a starter to only be throw into what is likely a setup role for Putzer?
- Ibanez and Wilkerson in the same outfield is going to make the M's pitching worse.
- Pitchers hurt all the time. Hitters hurt some of the time.
- Bedard has a couple of good years, and only one great year. However, if he had 2 great years there is no way the O's would deal him just for prospects.
- Is there ANY way we can toss Lopez and Clement into the deal and get Brian Roberts? How great would that be?
If Jones has a mediocre rookie season, and Bedard has an average "Bedard" season in 2009, Bavasi is a genius who sold high. If Bedard gets hurt and Jones puts up a Rookie of the Year quality campaign, this one will go next to Soriano for HoRam as another Bavasi blunder. Tough call.
This deal is not an obvious stinker like the Soriano deal (Congrats to the Braves by the way for resigning Soriano for 2-years, $9 million just as they are about to hand him the ball in the 9th inning. 35+ saves later that deal will look like a bargain.) But it is a risk. So I tip my cap to Bavasi and hope Bedard retires a Mariner great. Hopefully sometime after 2010.
Ahem, that is - if it happens.