Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Here we are at week 18 of our Hot Stove series and the heat is on Phillies' GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. one more time.  According to ESPN, Amaro tells us that "All pitchers can get hurt. All players can get hurt. It can happen any time. That has nothing to do with the way we go about our business, [by] planning for a player to get hurt. That doesn't make any sense." He is referring to the potential career-ending injury Phillies' ace Cliff Lee is suffering from a tear in his common flexor tendon near his left elbow and the very healthy Cole Hamels who is still up for sale.  It sounds to me that Amaro wants to trade Hamels before he gets hurt- well, isn't that just terrific  According to ESPN, "So trading Cole Hamels is the best, potentially franchise-changing card remaining in Amaro's deck. If he plays it now, he won't get that A-plus or A-double-plus deal he's been looking for. But he might get an A-minus deal." Folks something is going to happen soon and it all sounds like dirty money to me.

The Toronto Sun is reporting that there is interest from the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers in Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro.  Navarro who is slated to miss a couple of starts, is open to the ideas because he, like our third baseman, Chase Headley, wants to play everyday.  According to The Sun, "Everyone in baseball knows that the Jays need relief help ... just as everyone knows the Diamondbacks need someone to go behind the plate."  So, a trade with the D'Backs for a couple of relief pitchers like Addison Reed or Brad Ziegler could happen.  Or, maybe Navarro stays in Toronto and is the everyday DH since Russell Martin will likely take on the starting role behind the plate. Toronto will be lethal this year, anyway you slice it, so my guess is picking up some relief pitching is essential for Toronto to be at the top of the East come late September.

The San Diego Padres strike again. Yahoo Sports is reporting that "The San Diego Padres are positioning themselves as a favorite to land Cuban infielder Hector Olivera, showing a willingness to spend significant money after strong-but-failed attempts to sign Cubans Yasmany Tomas and Yoan Moncada earlier this offseason, sources told Yahoo Sports.  The market for Olivera heated up Tuesday, with the Padres considering an offer upwards of $50 million, according to sources. The Atlanta Braves, Oakland A's and Los Angeles Dodgers remain in the mix."  Who would have thought that the Padres would ever be this aggressive.  But having a weak infield could hurt the club, hence this big push toward Olivera.  The Padres need to make their off season spending worthwhile- no weak links will be tolerated by new GM A.J. Preller.

(In Photo: Jason Hayward)
Last up, The New York Daily News is reporting that "According to two major league sources, the Yankees and Atlanta Braves were talking more than we knew over the winter, in addition to swapping Manny Banuelos and David Carpenter. The Yanks were interested in what would have been a blockbuster acquisition of outfielder Jason Heyward and shortstop Andrelton Simmons." What? Really?  Yep! "Before the Yanks acquired shortstop Didi Gregorius, they asked Atlanta about Heyward and Simmons. It is not clear what the Braves would have wanted in return, and it is possible that talks never progressed to the concrete offer phase."  What a difference that would have made.

That's all for Hot Stove Volume XVIII.  We will keep our eye out for the latest on Hamels and the rest of the trade talks across MLB. 

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer

BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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