|Casey Kotchman is on the comeback trail, playing winter ball in Puerto Rico.|
This ‘n that …
Los Angeles Times staff writer Bill Shaikin reports that
the Angels are discussing a trade with the White Sox that would send Ervin Santana and Chone Figgins to the White
Sox for Joe Crede and Freddy Garcia. Crede comes with lower back damage, which puts him in the same
boat as Dallas McPherson, but Crede has a track record of success at the major league level. Garcia is
an established starting pitcher but can be a free agent after 2007.
Garcia is my Exhibit A in response to the instant gratification crowd who always demand the
Angels empty the farm system to rent some fading veteran who will supposedly “guarantee”
a World Series championship. On July 31, 1998, the Houston Astros traded Garcia, Carlos Guillen
and John Halama to the Seattle Mariners for Randy Johnson. The Astros got eleven regular season
starts out of Johnson, no World Series, and poof he was gone to free agency. Meanwhile, all three
players traded by Houston went on to successful major league careers.
The Texas Rangers may have made a similarly stupid deal this year when on July 28 they acquired
Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz from Milwaukee for Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench, Laynce Nix and minor
league lefty Julian Cordero. Lee is gone to free agency, and all that young talent will now
wear Brewers jerseys.
Meanwhile, the 83-78 St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series over the AL Wild Card team. So
much for “guarantees.”
Riverside Press-Enterprise scribe Matt Hurst reports that
Casey Kotchman is in Puerto Rico playing winter ball, starting the road back to the big leagues. Some
of the self-proclaimed experts on the MLB.com Angels board only last week were insisting that Kotchman
was still ill and would never play again, despite media reports to the contrary. Which once again
proves that people shouldn’t believe baseless rumors that show up on Internet chat boards —
but as the saying goes, a ****** is born every minute.
My annual Top 10 prospects report is almost done. You should see it on-line later this week.