Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Betemit Gone; Prospects to Follow?

Trader Ned has already sent Wilson Betemit away for Scott Proctor. But now, ESPN.com reports that the Dodgers are chasing Joe Blanton of the A's (insider only, so no link). The cost, though, would be much worse than a seldom-used third baseman with a ~.200 BA:

Jul 30 - The Athletics engaged in serious negotiations with the Dodgers on Monday about pitcher Joe Blanton, a 26-year-old right-hander who would help fill in the injury-ravaged L.A. rotation if the deal is completed, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark and ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney report.

However, according to one baseball man who spoke with both sides, the Dodgers thought Oakland's asking price was too steep and moved on. Nevertheless, the teams are still talking, and there were indications Monday the deal wasn't totally dead.

The Dodgers are believed to have initiated the discussions, and the two teams talked about a package of three frontline prospects for Blanton. Blanton makes just $380,000 this year, and will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter.

If any of our key prospects are sent away for anything less than a quality starting pitcher, I'm gonna go nuts (and even then, I might still go nuts, given how much future upside we've got in Loney, Kemp, Ethier, Broxton, LaRoche, Hu, etc.). Getting Proctor aleady demonstrates that Colletti is trying to patch our gaping holes in the rotation using scotch tape and a piece of cloth. But since Colletti is no MacGyver, it seems ridiculous to leverage the future just to get a small bandaid that can't even try to staunch the bleeding.

Three hours to go before the Dodgers as you know them could disappear...

UPDATE: From the ESPN chat (more insider goodness!), here's what the ESPN talking heads have to say about the Dodgers:

Matt (Texas): Any chance of the A's trading Blanton to the dodgers, or the Dodgers making a run at Arroyo? Thanks Mr. Keri!

[Page 2 Pundit] Jonah Keri: (10:49 AM ET): Matt, the latest I've heard is that the Dodgers aren't willing to offer any MLB-ready or nearly ready SP in return for Blanton, so the A's have cooled on the idea a bit. You have to figure they're after apackage similar to the danny Haren-Kiko Calero-Daric Barton for Mark Mulder deal, which has proven to be one of the biggest steals of the decade. And don't forget, Blanton is younger and much cheaper than Mulder was at the time of that deal. So I don't blame the A's for aiming high (I also don't blame the Dodgers for not wanting to give up someone like Billingsley).

Patrick(Denver, CO): Mr. Morgan, Do you think the Dodgers need to make any significant moves? I am interested to hear your opinion.

Joe Morgan: (11:17 AM ET): They need some more offense, and like everyone else, they could use another starter, but that's the nature of the game right now. Starting pitching and one more bat would obviously help them a lot, but what would you have to give up to get that one impact player?

Jason (Ventura, CA): Why would the Dodgers trade a mildly promising, young 3B (which is the position at which they are most lacking) for a decent, yet unspectacular middle reliever? Couldn't they have just promoted internally (Meloan, Greg Miller) and held on to a potential impact bat in Betemit?

Rob Neyer: (12:49 PM ET): Perhaps, except you're forgetting the Dodgers still have Andy LaRoche, who's going to be a fine major league third baseman. I generally don't think trading young hitters for middle-aged middle relievers is a good idea, but Betemit's not exactly a good bet for stardom.