Major Rumor Quick Reactions 7/30

We're closing in on crunch time. It's time for guys like Kenny Williams and Mike Rizzo to find their inner-Kobe, and come up with something before the trade deadline clock runs out. As of writing this, we're looking at t-minus 1 day, 3 hours and 37 minutes until players must pass through waivers in order to be traded. 

Yesterday was pretty eventful in the baseball world. We saw the biggest name left on the market move in Roy Oswalt, as well as a couple of other well-known players in Miguel Tejada, Matt Capps, J.A. Happ and Jorge Cantu. Prospects were flying all over the place, as Brett Wallace, Anthony Gose, Jonathan Villar, Wilson Ramos, Wynn Pelzer, Alexi Ogando Omar Poveda and Evan Reed all have new homes this morning. 

Basically, there's no time to dwell on the past. Those posts can come another day, I suppose. Right now let's dive into today's rumors. Commentary on a potential Lilly-to-LA deal, the Edwin Jackson trade, and Chicago's interest in Brett Myers and Lance Berkman is below the jump.

We'll start a new thread on this one, but the other Jackson-to-Chicago commentary is below. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the White Sox are including Edwin Jackson in their offer to the Nationals for Adam Dunn. And if they do manage to finalize that deal, they plan to continue their chase for Houston starter Brett Myers. Dunn and Myers are due to hit free agency after the season, while Jackson is signed through 2011. (MLBTR link)

I wouldn't be totally surprised if the White Sox and Nationals end up figuring something out. The White Sox could really use an impact bat like Dunn, while Washington's interest in adding Jackson has been widely reported.

Obviously, the White Sox could use an arm for the rotation, too. So presumably Chicago would be perfectly fine with keeping Jackson and seeing if pitching coach Don Cooper can make things click, although I doubt that the White Sox have the ammunition to trade for Myers without leaving their farm system essentially bare. 

I don't love the price that Chicago paid for Jackson, but he definitely makes the team better. And if they can land Adam Dunn, that's a huge addition for the team's offense. In terms of value, these moves wouldn't be any great shakes, as Hudson's under team control through 2016 and projects to be pretty useful. But Chicago has certainly made themselves better for 2010, and 2011 if they keep Jackson, so it's hard not to blame them for trying to win this year.

The Blue Jays have acquired first baseman Mike Jacobs from the Mets in exchange for a player to be named later, according to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger. Jacobs has spent most of the season in Triple-A. (MLBTR link)

It's not clear what role Jacobs will fill in Toronto. He could possibly come up and offer some help against right-handers, or he could merely be the organization's Triple-A replacement for Brett Wallace.

The 29-year-old has always had big raw power, but a lack of plate discipline and high strikeout totals have preventing him from totally taking advantage of it. With all of that said, though, Jacobs could probably actually help some teams against right-handers.

He's always had a huge platoon split, and things have been no different in 2010. For his MLB career, he has a .262/.325/.503 line in 1667 PA against right-handers. This season in Triple-A, he's batting .279/.335/.525 in 246 PA against right-handed pitchers. Plus, he's been quite hot in July, posting a .299/.368/.627 line with 6 homers in 67 at-bats despite a .262 BABIP. He'll always be limited by his complete lack of defensive value, impatience and inability to hit lefties, but Jacobs can actually be a somewhat useful hitter against RHP.

It looks like we're having an All-Chicago afternoon. Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that the White Sox are only focused on acquiring Adam Dunn, and not Prince Fielder or Lance Berkman. This comes after Ed Price's tweet that there was buzz about Chicago pursuing Berkman. (MLBTR link)

This shouldn't be too surprising. Dunn is a superior option to Berkman and he'll come much cheaper than Fielder.

Presumably Chicago will make another push for Dunn now that they have Edwin Jackson in tow, a player that Washington reportedly has serious interest in. The White Sox could desperately use an upgrade in the DH spot, where they've primarily used Mark Kotsay and Andruw Jones this season, and Dunn would certainly provide that.

It's not clear whether Washington has any interest in a Jackson-for-Dunn swap, but reports were swirling about a possible three-way deal that would send Dunn to Chicago, Jackson to D.C. and prospects to Arizona before the White Sox and Diamondbacks agreed to a Jackson trade of their own.

 

Rumors about the White Sox acquiring Arizona starter Edwin Jackson are flying all over the Internet right now. It was first reported by Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the White Sox were trying to acquire Jackson. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported this morning that the White Sox are trying to make a big move, while USA Today's Bob Nightengale added that the White Sox would assume all of the money owed to Jackson. Reports also mention the possibility that Chicago could add Jackson only to trade him to D.C. for Adam Dunn, although apparently Chicago is fine with slotting the right-hander into their rotation. Right-hander pitcher Dan Hudson, currently the No. 5 starter in Chicago, is expected to be the centerpiece of any deal. He's currently in line to start tonight, but Cowley doesn't believe that it will happen given the advancing trade talks. UPDATE: Yahoo's Tim Brown reports that Jackson has been told that he's been dealt to the White Sox. No word about a potential Jackson-Dunn deal. UPDATE II: Arizona has announced that they've traded Jackson to the White Sox for Hudson and pitching prospect David Holmberg. (MLBTR link)

Well, this trade is definitely going to need its own post.

Jackson's inconsistency and lack of command will always hold him back, it seems. But right now he's flashing a strong 51% groundball rate along with good whiff and contact rates, so there's a lot to like about Jackson beyond one of the hardest fastballs among starters in all of baseball. 

Jackson gives the White Sox a small upgrade over Hudson through 2011, although I'm not convinced that it's enough to forfeit Hudson's extra years of team control. ZiPS projects Hudson to put up a 4.06 FIP for the rest of the season, compared to a 4.16 FIP for Jackson. I think that alone says a lot about how close these guys are in terms of performance. And when one guy is owed about $10M through 2011 before hitting free agency and the other guy isn't even arbitration-eligible yet, I think you need a lot more than a slight upgrade to justify making that kind of deal.

I don't really like this deal for the White Sox. Holmberg's nothing special, really, but I'm not really convinced that Jackson is some sort of big upgrade on Hudson. It just feels like the White Sox just committed to spending around $10M through 2011 on a pitcher that's not much better than the one he's replacing. 

As for Arizona, it's a solid deal. They get another young starter to slot into their rotation, although the lack of top-of-the-rotation upside there is fairly worrisome. I'm not too sure how exciting, or productive, a 1-2-3 of Joe Saunders, Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson is going to be. Hopefully they use all that money they've saved the right way.

 

Apparently we're looking at a busy deadline in Chicago. According to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Cubs are discussing a deal with the Dodgers that would send left-hander Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot to LA. Lilly is owed $4.3M before hitting free agency after the season, while Theriot is owed $933K and is under team control through 2012. The Cubs would include money in the deal to offset the two salaries. Theriot was Chicago's everyday shortstop before losing his job to Starlin Castro. UPDATE: Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets that the Dodgers are waiting on Lilly, hoping that his trade price will come down. UPDATE II: ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that the Tigers are still in on Lilly and that a mystery team is still in the mix. Additionally, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports that the Dodgers are talking to the Cubs about a multi-player deal that would send Lilly and a position player to LA, but Hernandez doesn't believe the position player is Theriot. Rosenthal added that LA would prefer to get Lilly rather than Lilly and another player. (MLBTR link)

These are guys that most people have expected Chicago to try to move all summer. Lilly is now arguably the biggest pitching name on the trade market, while Theriot has been considered a trade candidate since losing his shortstop job to Castro. 

But frankly, I'm not sure why the Dodgers are so interested in Lilly and Theriot. Lilly's numbers aren't better than any of LA's top-four pitchers, Kershaw, Billingsley, Kuroda and Padilla, and John Ely's numbers were pretty strong before the team decided to send him to Triple-A. Meanwhile, incumbent second baseman Blake DeWitt is actually out-playing Theriot by a sizable margin this season, although Theriot's been better in the past and is considered a better defender than DeWitt. 

LA should be careful, because I think that they consider Lilly and Theriot to be larger upgrades than they actually are. Depending on what the Cubs want and how much money they're willing to chip in, it could still potentially be a good deal for LA. But Lilly and Theriot aren't clearly difference-makers on that roster.

As for interest from Detroit and a mystery team, I wonder about how Lilly would do with a move back to the AL. He's pitched really well since moving to the Cubs and the NL.

Clearly, the White Sox are trying to make their move. According to Bob Nightengale, the White Sox are quietly looking at ways to acquire Houston's Brett Myers. Additionally, AOL FanHouse's Ed Price tweets of talk about the White Sox added Myers' teammate Lance Berkman for the stretch run. Berkman is owed roughly $5.5M through the end of the season, has a $15M club option for 2011 with a $2M buyout, and wields a no-trade clause. Myers is owed just $1.9M through the end of the season, with a $6M mutual option for 2011 that's likely to be declined. (MLBTR link)

I find Houston's lack of interest in dealing Myers to be somewhat puzzling. I know that they don't want to become an embarrassment after dealing away one of the greatest players in franchise history, but Myers would seem to provide the team with a legitimate opportunity to acquire another good prospect.

Myers is exactly the kind of player that Houston should be shopping: he's on a relatively cheap one-year deal, he's performing quite strongly, and his team is going no where. Myers' 2.8 WAR so far ties him for 8th in the NL among pitchers, and he would provide a legitimately huge upgrade to multiple contenders.

Maybe Houston isn't excited to shop another pitcher in a market where guys like Haren and Oswalt return guys like Saunders and Happ. But keeping Myers won't do them much good, so why not at least see if someone, like say the Mets or Dodgers, is willing to give up a good prospect for a cheap starter.

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