Friday, July 27, 2007

Buyer Beware

It’s tempting to turn this site into OTRMC (Obsessive Trade Rumor Mongering Central) this weekend, but the longer I’ve been studying this stuff, the less convinced I am of anything I read. We count on the beat writers and corporate media to use their access to bring us some hints, but I wonder if 99% of their rumors are any more credible than a bunch of sports radio callers suggesting outlandish trade ideas.

For instance, how much have we heard about Tampa Bay corner infielder Ty Wiggington? He’s ‘rumored’ to be going to the Twins or Yankees, but the more I look at the initial reports, the less convinced I am that he’s even on the market. Locally, his name is mentioned because of conversations with members of the team. Like who? Does this mean La Velle E Neal heard Torii Hunter mention his name? And is that based mostly on last year’s Wigginton rumors which, oh yeah, didn’t amount to anything?

He’s also been mentioned several times in the New York papers, usually linked to a trade involving reliever Scott Proctor. But the only time I see him mentioned as a trade candidate in the Tampa Bay papers is when they’re quoting the New York or the Minneapolis papers. Where exactly is this coming from?

And I’ll give an example the other way. Did you know that the Twins were talking trade for Philadelphia Phillies slugging outfielder Pat Burrel? No? Didn’t hear anything about that? Well, they did in Philly. They were going to get Kevin Slowey. But (surprise!) it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

Here’s a few tidbits that you might find interesting about Burrel. First, his career batting average is .258. Second, he’s never had a season where he’s struck out less than 130 times (and he only played in 127 games that year). Third, he’s under contract for $12 million next year. Lastly, he has a full no-trade clause, which means that he could use it to negotiate an extension beyond that.

Oh yeah. He looks like exactly the kind of guy Terry Ryan would target.

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