Those Philadelphia Rumors
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But don’t be fooled by smoke and mirrors.
These two warring cliches apply directly to recent trade rumors involving the M’s and Phillies. When multiple sources are emitting similar signals, as is the case here, there’s usually something to it. Whether that something is wheat or chaff can be tougher to determine.
The Philadelphia Daily News claims that there is mutual interest in a swap of Pineiro or Moyer. The Times’ Michael Ko bolsters this with a notebook report of the Phillies scouting Pineiro. The Philadelphia Inquirer says there have been discussions on Gil Meche, too.
The Phillies are pretty open about wanting to acquire a starter. From the Daily News:
Pineiro is an intriguing name. The Phillies made inquiries about him at the 2001 winter meetings, partly on the recommendation of new manager Larry Bowa, who had been Seattle’s third-base coach the year before. Pineiro appeared to be on the verge of stardom when he went 14-7 with a 3.24 earned run average in 2002 and followed that up by going 16-11, 3.78 in 2003.
This is exactly the type of line the Mariners should be pushing on Pineiro. He was on the verge of stardom, and golly, we don’t know why he regressed … maybe he just needs a league switch and/or a change of scenery to, say, your team.
That’s the easy part. Everybody’s looking for pitching, especially with the offseason free agent market so thin.
Who are the M’s asking for? We don’t know for sure, but these articles say they’re primarily looking for young pitchers that are close to major-league ready. The Inky reports that when the Phils try to add an arm teams have been asking for Ryan Madson, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Gavin Floyd or Dave’s personal anti-white whale.
The Phillies are loath to give up any of these players, with good reason. To give up any of them (the latter aside, perhaps) for Joel Pineiro would not just be folly, it would be off-the-meds level shenanigans. Don’t get your hopes up, and watch those mirrors.
If only to save salary next year, though Pineiro should be moved. There is a history of teams doing foolish things at the deadline, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they’ll get a useful piece back — but that should be the icing, not the cake.
The team should leverage Pineiro’s reputation from years past to maximize any potential return. With less than 100 hours to go before the non-waiver deadline, it’s time to watch for those smoldering fires to heat up.