It seems like many people have already solidified their opinion of the Freddy Sanchez / Jack Wilson situation and I'm not sure that I understand why. As far as I'm concerned, coming to a conclusion on whether they should deal the duo hinges on a few very big factors, specifically what the return on such a deal would merit and what replacements will "cost." Most of the "don't trade" anyone crowd seems a little extreme and unrealistic in general while the "rebuild" guys seem to want to deal at all costs. While I agree with mostly and appreciate the enthusiam of the "rebuilders" to be a good team one day, I think that keeping both guys could still fit into the overall plan.
Despite some random speculation, I haven't heard anything REAL and I assume that means that nobody is knocking down the door for either of these guys. Let's just say, I don't see the names Sanchez/Wilson on ESPN 1/100th of the time that I see Roy Halladay. Could be wrong on that but all rumors seem like far-fetched speculation. I totally understand that's fun to do, but reality is that we usually overestimate what our players will return and we end up being disappointed with the results. Take Nate McClouth for example: when the word leaked that he was dealt, everyone immediately started mentioning Hanson or Heyward. Maybe the Braves offered either of these guys in isolation but I'd be willing to bet they never entered the discussion. Teams just aren't willing to give up their premier prospects any longer. If you need evidence, look at how Philly is hesitant to trade Drabek for one of the top 3 pitchers in the game!
Additionally, I'm not sure if other teams value Jack in accordance with what he means to the Bucs. The overall cost to the team may be greater than what a trade will return. A lot of the people that fall into the "rebuild" mode aren't taking into account what a Bixler led infield would look like. A lot of current outs will turn into runs. ERAs of an improving but young staff will go up. Many say that we just need to trade for a major league ready SS - right... since lots of contending teams are willing to trade away major league ready talent at SS as they acquire a SS.
Finally, if Neal can't deal either guy for prospects that have a real chance of being impact players in the future, why mess with a good thing? If the only option is to follow the quantity over quality strategy and fill these spots internally (Neal's preferred method it seems), I'm not sure this one will be a good move. The middle infield has been a positive for the pitching staff, as a combo they would be priced about league average, the trade market for guys with their talents doesn't seem to be overwhelming, and they're about average offensively when viewed as a combo. While this team won't be good, it probably won't be horrific - for as much as it doesn't matter, it really does. I'm all for dealing away players for prospects that have a good chance of being contributors but I'm not sure that dealing for the sake of dealing in this situation is the way to go. Just my thoughts.
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