It confuses me when well-run teams do dumb things. Like the Brewers paying Jason Kendall $4 million - why? The Delmon Young - Matt Garza I wrote about yesterday actually did happen. Unlike what was reported yesterday, Juan Rincon isn't in the deal - instead he's replaced by minor-league reliever Eduardo Morlan. Morlan's numbers are just ridonkulous, and he has a filthy fastball and breaking ball, too. He's about as interesting as a minor-league reliever can possibly be, but even if the Rays plan on moving him back to the rotation (which seems unlikely, given that his mechanics aren't great and he doesn't have a good offspeed pitch), I still don't understand this deal. It makes me wonder whether Young is an even more difficult guy than has been reported.
-P- Unsurprisingly, the Bucs are interested in dealing Matt Morris and guesses (?) that the Cardinals may be interested, and that Anthony Reyes might be available in the right deal. If the Bucs could get Reyes, especially for a chump like Morris, that'd be a coup. Reyes has fallen out of favor in St. Louis, but he was a well-regarded prospect until fairly recently, and he's worth taking a flyer on. It seems his problem is pitching with runners in scoring position, and the reason he has that problem seems to be that he tends to throw a four-seamer rather than a two-seamer with men on, and as a result he leaves too many fastballs up in the zone with men on. In other words, a good pitching coach - well, one who isn't Dave Duncan - might be able to fix him, and if that happens, there's no reason he can't be an above-average starter.
Also, as Bryan pointed out in the diaries, the Cards may be interested in Jack Wilson. Even Dave Littlefield managed to be offered real prospects for Jack, so I see no reason to expect anything different now. The Cardinals don't have a great system, but it isn't completely barren. Top outfield prospect Colby Rasmus is almost certainly out of the question, but their other prospects might not be. Catcher Bryan Anderson is a guy I might ask about, given the lack of catching depth in the Pirates' system.
-P- I also want to mention the Xavier Nady-and-Nate McLouth-for-Chase Headley rumor, which has already been posted in the diaries and which Greg wrote to me about a couple days ago. Headley's a good third base prospect who has more upside than McLouth, and I think this trade would be a great idea. I've seen some message-board fretting about Neil Walker already being at third, but Walker's a long way from the big leagues, and if both Walker and Headley end up being good big league players, that's a good problem to have. I'd like Headley even more if he were a middle infielder or a catcher - since we don't have a top prospect at those positions - but I care far more about the fact that he can hit.