I'm aware that I and others have posted and talked about this before, but I felt that since Spring Training is fully underway we'd look at it again.
At this point the Os have an overwhelming amount of pitchers at camp that are out of options/might "benefit from a change of scenery"/should just be traded to clear space on the pay roll. Yeah, I'm talking about Pauley, Penn, Brian Bass, Danys Baez, and others. So, the question is which pitchers (or position players) can/should be traded or packaged together and what kind of opportunities are out there.
My #1 target is Kyle Blanks, a blocked 1B prospect in the Padres system that Sickels has at a B+ prospect that "I don’t know where he fits except as trade bait, but I’m convinced that the bat is real. Considered Grade B, but that’s what I gave him last year and he improved in ’08." Here's my thinking:
- There's no way the Padres are going to trade Adrian Gonzalez. He's a hometown guy who hits the ball like a mad man, and doesn't cost much. So, it stands to reason that Towers would ship Blanks off for some help with fielding a reasonable team this season. Because, at this point they look like an affiliate with four major leaguers rehabbing. They need pitching, and maybe some help in the outfield (Justin Christian?)
- The Orioles need more young options at corner infield spots. At this point it's down to Brandon Synder, Scott Moore, and Billy Rowell, and Synder and Rowell are, for all intents and purposes, DHs. In Blanks the Orioles would have a power hitting first baseman with decent defense.
- I can't think of any other teams with blocked prospects at first or third.
MacPhail has continued to trade away or release dead wood and focus on both "failed" and current prospects, helping the team get younger, cheaper, and better. So, what other possibilities are there?