It is again that time of year when rumors of free agent interest and potential trades dominate baseball headlines. Unfortunately, it is usually difficult – if not impossible – to determine the original source and the credibility of the news.
In some cases, members of the media may come up with ideas that appear to be their very own. The only difference between them and random proposals floated on countless message boards is the size of the writer’s platform.
Two weeks ago, Joel Sherman of the New York Post floated an idea that the New York Yankees should probe the potential availability of former New York Met and current St. Louis Cardinal Carlos Beltran.
Despite the fact that no one connected with St. Louis has suggested that Beltran would be traded with a year remaining on his contract, Sherman was not deterred. The logic is driven by the availability of the designated hitter in the American League, allowing Beltran to rest his sore knees more often.
After all, the Yankees always get their target, right? They could very well lose outfielder Nick Swisher to free agency and Beltran would look good in pinstripes as a switch-hitting replacement, Sherman opines.
The writer didn’t stop there, however. He presumes the Cardinals are in the market for “an offensive second baseman,” offering up a Double-A player who turns 26 in May, David Adams.
I have to wonder why the Cardinals would want another Kolten Wong, let alone one who has a lower ceiling, is 3 ½ years older and no closer to the majors than the real thing.
Having just come from the Arizona Fall League where I saw both Adams and Wong play, I can honestly say that I’d much rather have Wong. I am pretty sure most impartial prospect-watchers would agree.
But wait, there’s more!
Sherman super-sized his proposed two-for-one deal – shipping and handling extra – by throwing in Joba Chamberlain. The hard-throwing pitcher may have been baseball’s most overhyped player in recent years, and that says something. The hefty hurler had one below-average year as a starter in 2009, then was returned to the pen.
In August, rumors out of the Big Apple had the Yanks considering demoting the ineffective Chamberlain to the minors. ESPN New York noted the now-27-year-old was “consistently hittable and increasingly disappointing.”
I am hard-pressed to come up with anything that the Cardinals currently need less than another right-handed reliever – especially an underachiever who has had trouble staying healthy and went through some off-field problems to boot.
Rather than letting his fantasy trade die there, Sherman used last week’s General Managers Meetings in California to test drive his not-so-grand idea. It tanked.
“The Cardinals say they would not consider trading Carlos Beltran…,” was the writer’s definitive finding.
That should not be surprising to anyone except Sherman, perhaps.