There is a very strange rumor that has been making the rounds involving the Rays in a three-team deal. We have seen it various forms, but the deal would look something like this…
- Rays receive: Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez
- Seattle receives: Reid Brignac and Scott Kazmir
- Cleveland receives: Brandon Morrow and Jeff Clement
Brignac and Kazmir for Lee and Martinez?!?! Who wouldn’t do that? The Indians wouldn’t do that. Not even close (Ed. note: there is another version out there that has Wade Davis also going to Cleveland, which makes the deal a little more palatable). The deal is so lopsided that it is laughable.
So why are we commenting on it here? Because for some strange reason, the Seattle press keeps writing about it. And yet, best we can tell, this rumored three-way deal was just made up on some message board or comments section of a blog.
Well, Brignac’s strange Saturday didn’t help.
To recap: Brignac was pulled from the first game of a double-header in the third inning. There was no apparent injury. This led to mini firestorm of rumors that Brignac was being included in the rumored three-way deal.
We later heard that Brignac was pulled for not hustling on a first inning pop-up, which is strange because he played the second inning in the field. We later heard that Brignac was pulled with a sore leg, which is strange because he played in the second game of the double-header.
No matter what the real reason, it was apparent that Brignac was not pulled because of a pending trade. Apparent to everybody except Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times.
Here’s something to think about, completely my speculation right now, but showing you how this stuff works. Let’s say there really was a three-way deal in the works between Tampa Bay, Cleveland…Maybe the M’s were all set to pull the trigger and that’s why Brignac was pulled…But maybe, as well, before finalizing a deal, Zduriencik wanted to see what Erik Bedard and company could do today. And then, after Bedard pulled a three-and-flee and the team fell behind 10-0, the M’s got on the phone and screamed “Hold everything!” and that’s why Brignac is back in there right now.
Basically Baker is suggesting that the deal was agreed to by all parties, but because the M’s fell behind in their Saturday game, the M’s called off the trade. Umm, ok. Wow.
Meanwhile, on the more sensible front, Peter Gammons writes about what the Rays may do between now and next season.
If you are the Rays, because you have a terrible stadium that’s hard for the fans to reach, you have hugely disappointing attendance and cannot trade Wade Davis and two other prospects for Victor Martinez and his $7 million salary next season. Not when your $63 million payroll will already jump for 2010, as Jason Bartlett is a four-year arbitration case and as B.J. Upton and Matt Garza will be super twos. “If we didn’t talk on everyone and explore every possibility, we’d be fools,” says Andrew Friedman, the Rays’ executive VP of baseball operations. So they’d deal Scott Kazmir, who to most clubs looks like a shadow of what he was two years ago, and at the end of the season they will likely see what they can get for Carl Crawford. And they’ll hold on to the prospects they consider keepers.
We know it is not as glamorous as adding Lee and/or Martinez, but you have to admit, it makes MUCH more sense. This team needs to cut payroll. They cannot maintain and they definitely cannot add.