The Baseball Notebook

July 31, 2010 7:47 AM

Will Milwaukee Make A Move?

Fielder2.jpgThe no-waiver trade deadline arrives at 4 PM ET this afternoon and there's still some possible names floating out there. The most prominent players that have been rumored, but not yet traded, are in Milwaukee. Prince Fielder has long been assumed likely to be playing elsewhere and rightfielder Corey Hart has been the subject of similar rumors. Both are still in Milwaukee and the organization does not appear desperate to deal them at any costs.

Fielder's value is limited because his best role would probably be to DH in the American League. Although "limited" is a relative word. It's only limited in terms of other hitters who routinely have OBPs touching .400 and slugging percentages over .500, as Fielder is on pace to do again this year in what's already a 24-home run season. But as one who would become a Type A free agent, the Brewers are in position to get two high compensatory picks in the amateur draft if they were to ever lose him, so any team bidding on him would have to exceed a package of two elite prospects to make it worthwhile. In the case of Hart, the Brewers don't have the same financial pressures on them, but he would make a good bargaining chip for the pitching they desperately have to have. But how many contenders are out there willing to deal pitching at this time of year, unless it's light-years removed from the major leagues? Fielder and Hart are two game-changing options on the board right now. I suspect Hart probably stays, with Fielder being the flip of a coin.

Now is the time that teams overpay for pitching. It's tough to say if the White Sox overpaid in their deal to get Edwin Jackson from Arizona, mainly because I don't know a lot about Daniel Hudson, the young arm they gave up. But Jackson is the kind of pitcher that gets thought of too highly at this time of year. He has not had a good year in Arizona, his no-hitter against Tampa notwithstanding and while he was good with Detroit in '09, there's no real track record of success. But with Jake Peavy gone for the year, Chicago had a hole in the back end of their rotation and a tough two-month fight with Minnesota and possibly still Detroit ahead of them. Jackson is nice as a #5 guy and I can see the point that those back-end spots might be the difference in the AL Central race. But Jackson isn't the kind of pitcher who will help you win in the playoffs and the White Sox are not a team that has to sell out to win the Central any time they get close. They can expect to be contenders every year if they play their cards right. If Hudson amounts to anything at all this deal will be a mistake.

The Yankees made a couple nice pickups, adding Lance Berkman and Austin Kearns. Berkman's a far cry from what he once was. Kearns has never become the star he was projected as when he first came up with Cincinnati. Berkman can't carry the Houston offense anymore. Kearns couldn't do it in Cleveland. What both guys do is draw walks consistently and have the ability to hit that short rightfield porch in Yankee Stadium. And in a typical New York deal, they didn't have to give up real talent to get either one, just be willing to take on their contracts.

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