July 28, 2006

Is Wily Mo Sox Biggest Trading Chip?

Jayson Stark's Stark Market:
The Red Sox might lead the league in phone calls this week. But for all the indications that they're trying to do something creative, clubs that have spoken with them say they're not close to anything on any front. Still, they're hunting for a starting pitcher who would allow them to stop counting on Tim Wakefield and David Wells to return to perfect health. And from all accounts, it's the hulking Wily Mo who is most out there for somebody to scarf up.

We've heard the same rumblings that Buster Olney has, about the Sox trying to cook up all sorts of complicated multi-team deals. So we've chased down rumors about Dontrelle Willis, Jake Peavy, Jake Westbrook, Chris Young, Miguel Cabrera, Miguel Batista and all sorts of other fun, but even more far-fetched, names. But they all seem to be nothing more than items you can file under the umbrella of typical pre-deadline brainstorming. We've also heard surprising names off their own roster that are said by various clubs to be available. But we sense no appetite on their part to deal those names -- not unless they're faced with an offer too juicy to turn down.

So check that list of seven available starting pitchers a couple of notches up on this list [Cory Lidle, Livan Hernandez, Rodrigo Lopez, Jon Lieber, Tony Armas Jr., Mark Redman, Ramon Ortiz]. Then look at the photo of the guy pictured with this item and practice waving goodbye -- because, in the words of one front-office man who has spoken with the Red Sox, "I'd be very surprised if Wily Mo Pena is on their team come Monday night."
Earlier this week, Pena acknowledged the rumours, but hopes he stays in Boston:
For the first time, I feel like this is home. ... I want to stay. I like it here. I like the city, the people. The fans love baseball. They get crazy. In that field [Fenway], I love seeing all the people every night. I love the big crowd. I feel good and comfortable here.
Other AL East rumors: The Blue Jays want Julio Lugo but are unwilling to give Tampa two top pitching prospects. ... Similarly, the Yankees would like Bobby Abreu, but will not trade pitching prospect Philip Hughes. ... At Over The Monster, "SweSox" comments on "reports that the sox are talking about a massive three-team deal for dontrelle ... it might be, and in fact seems likely to be, bullshit. if it's not though, i'll throw a happy-fit that lasts a full week."

And speaking of 5th starters, Jason Johnson allowed only two hits in seven shutout innings last night for Pawtucket. In his last two starts (14 innings), Johnson has allowed one run and six hits.

It looks like we'll be seeing Andy Marte on Monday.

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