Monday, November 13, 2006

No Drew + No Aramis + No Daisuke + No Zito + No Schmidt = Say Yes to A-Rod

As we breathlessly anticipate which team has won the privilege of haggling with Saddam Boras over a multi-year contract for an MLB-untested pitcher, John Heyman in his "Daily Scoop" column notes:

What about Zito and Schmidt?

Boras said "12 to 15 teams" are showing interest in Zito, not surprising considering the incredible lack of quality pitching available. Besides Matsuzaka and Zito, the only other starter who could genuinely be called a No. 1 or 2 and who's widely available and sure to play is Jason Schmidt....

But while many more teams are involved, the most likely landing spots for Zito are all the losers in the Matsuzaka derby....

While the Yankees were originally thought to be "lukewarm" on Zito, that could change in a hurry. Zito's handlers insist his acting and music are sidelights and won't cause him to focus only on the New York and Los Angeles teams....

Meanwhile, Schmidt's agents have been fighting the perception that he is a West Coast-only guy who's likely to sign with the Mariners, though people around the game definitely view Seattle as the favorite to land him.

"12 to 15 teams"? (deep breath) Okay, assume Boras is lying because his lips are moving. Unfortunately, that means there are still, say, eight to 10 legitimately Zito-centric teams. The seven to nine teams who don't sign Pretty-Boy Barry will vie for Schmidt. What happens if the Dodgers fail to sign either pitcher?

After trading Jaret Wright, the Yankees still need pitching, even if they win the Matsuzaka Bowl. The Dodgers need power; what would it take to land A-Rod? For starters, perhaps a young power arm, like Brad Penny. And maybe a starting pitching prospect or established middle reliever. Also possibly a major league-ready corner infielder, like Andy LaRoche. If necessary, toss in Rick Monday. Add a squeeze of lemon and serve.

If the Dodgers could cook up such a trade and re-sign Greg Maddux, then the pitching rotation (Lowe, Maddux, Billingsley, Kuo) would require a middle-of-the-order starter (with middle relievers Tomko and/or Hendrickson available for spot starts) and J.D. Drew becomes J.D. Who?