Pioneer Press floats Boone-for-Lohse trial balloon
If you’ve noticed a wealth of posts about potential trades over the last few days, that’s because it’s more interesting than continually bemoaning the cruel fate of backing a losing team.
Usually, I’m loath to speculate about what the Mariners might get in a deal. The market fluctuates naturally, GMs have different perceptions of player value, and I have no inside information to speak of. Most of what you see bandied about in these stories is more chaff than wheat. Today affords us a perfect example.
Minnesota, which had been hinted as a suitor, said it had no interest. Although Luis Rivas is having an off-year, the Twins reportedly are placing their faith in Nick Punto, whose lead asset is hustle.
From the Pioneer Press:
If three-time all-star Bret Boone isn’t the Twins’ starting second baseman next week, it won’t be for lack of making a run at the suddenly available Gold Glove infielder.
The Twins appear to be in the middle of the pursuit of Boone … “I’m not going to deny anything right now,” said Terry Ryan, the Twins’ typically tight-lipped general manager, when asked about pursuing Boone. “I’ve got to keep everything going.”
Maybe Finnigan’s statement that Minnesota said it had no interest refers to the state, not the ball club.
These two disparate reports should serve as enough of a caveat. Believe rumors at your own risk.
Still, the Pioneer Press story is enough to get an M’s fan’s blood percolating, in a good way. It says that if the Mariners will pick up the tab for the rest about Boone’s season (about $4.5 million), the Twins might be willing to deal a pitcher or an outfield prospect.
Specifically, the article floats the possibility of Kyle Lohse. This is a deal that I would do in a heartbeat.
Lohse is no world-beater — he has career numbers similar to Gil Meche’s, and we’ve seen how frustrating Meche can be — but he’s durable, is going to be 27 in December and would fill a hole in the 2006 Grand Canyon of a rotation the M’s are looking at.
The only current starter virtually guaranteed to be on the club is Joel Pineiro, and he’s at serious risk of getting injured or being bad. I’d bet Franklin will be back, but that means right now we’re looking at Franklin, Pineiro and Felix, with maybe Madritsch if he gets healthy. Lohse’s strikeout rate has dipped a bit, but he’s also walking fewer batters. His 2.44 K/BB this year beats any current Mariners starter.
For the price — a player you’re going to cut loose anyway, and money you’re not going to put back in the club next year — I think this is a move you make if it’s on the table. That’s especially true given a dearth of free agent pitchers to get excited about in the coming offseason.