Rumor Of The Day
From Chico Harlan of the Washington Post, discussing the Nationals bullpen problems:
OK, so who’s next in line if the Nats are looking for (more) replacements? Trades are always a possibility, but a tough one. This season, for reasons that only smarter people can explain, relief pitching has been brutal across baseball. In 2008, MLB bullpens had a combined 4.08 ERA. This year, it’s 4.39. When you’re talking about averages spread across so many teams, that’s an incredible jump. Which is one of the reasons why the trade market isn’t so hot. The other reason, of course, is what the Nats have to offer. They could presumably trade one bad contract for another — say, Austin Kearns ($8 mil) for Seattle reliever Miguel Batista ($9 mil); this trade possibility has been discussed — but that’s the extent of it. Mostly, help will have to come from within the system.
Kearns is right-handed and the M’s don’t exactly need another right-handed hitting outfielder, but still, this is one of those say-yes-as-fast-as-possible type moves. Why the Nationals would even consider swapping Kearns (who is hitting .261/.414/.522 right now) for Batista is beyond me.