Well, it’s possible that today is going to be Milestone Tuesday.
Milestones as in Barry Bonds possibly tying Henry Aaron’s home run record. Milestones such as Alex Rodriguez hitting home run number 500. Milestones such as Tom Glavine getting his 300th victory. Milestones such as Tim Purpura once again displaying his incompetence.
The Texas Rangers traded Mark Teixeira to the Atlanta Braves yesterday. Teixeira will be a free agent after 2008. He’d made it clear that he wants to play with his hometown team, the Baltimore Orioles, when he becomes a free agent. And yet the Rangers were able to pull off a trade that netted them Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a power-hitting catcher who can also play first base.
And then there’s Dayton Moore, the general manager of the woebegone Kansas City Royals. There are numerous teams seeking a relief pitcher. Or further relief help in the bullpen. Octavio Dotel’s not the world’s greatest pitcher – as any Astro fan can attest – but Moore’s got teams like the Braves, Indians and Mariners interested.
The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were seeking help at second base after injuries to Jose Valentin and Chase Utley. The Mets acquired Luis Castillo from the Twins last night, and the Phillies obtained Tadihito Iguchi from the White Sox on Saturday.
The Astros possess several players that could have been traded to these teams. Mike Lamb can play first base. He wants to play every day. He’s got power and can hit for average. He would’ve been a good fit for the Braves. Numerous teams have asked about Chad Qualls, Dan Wheeler and Brad Lidge. It’s hard to believe the Astros couldn’t have pulled off a deal with the Braves where for Lamb and Lidge they could’ve gotten Saltalamacchia. But it didn’t happen. And Mark Loretta’s a second baseman who a decent fielder and can hit. And the Mets and Phillies asked about him.
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But nothing happened.
Well, something did happen. The Astros got Ty Wigginton, who plays third, second, first and outfield.
Now, it’s possible that come the trading deadline this afternoon, Purpura’s going to shock us all and make a big deal that will help set the Astros for the future. But with Purpura’s track record, I think it’s more possible that Bonds will get a standing ovation in Los Angeles.
In other words, I don’t think it will happen. And, frankly, seeing how well Purpura’s trades for Aubrey Huff and Jason Jennings have turned out, it’ll probably be for the best if nothing happens. – John Royal