Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Trades Are Brewing in the Bay Area

Batter Up July 15th, 2007
Many questions remain about the Giants and the A’s as the second half of the 2007 season begins its winding journey through the summer months.
What does the future hold for Mike Piazza and Rich Harden?
The A’s continue to struggle without an established bat in the lineup. Shannon Stewart’s month-long surge has been wonderful. The continued absence of meaningful hits from Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, Bobby Crosby, Jason Kendall, Mark Kotsay, Dan Johnson, and yes, even Jack Cust explains why the A’s are falling from contention as the July 31st trade deadline approaches.
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The A’s should keep Piazza. They should reinstate him as their cleanup hitter soon as possible. Piazza still commands respect from the opposition. Piazza’s mere presence will create some excitement in the lineup. Piazza’s two-month absence has reduced his trade value significantly. I’d let him play out the year in Oakland.
The A’s should do what it takes to trade Jason Kendall. Kendall would make a difference on the Cubs, a team in desperate need of a savvy backstop.
The team should offer Mark Kotsay to the Yankees. Johnny Damon’s days as a centerfielder are over. Melky Cabrera cannot carry Kotsay’s glove. Kotsay may still be a productive hitter. The Yankees can afford to gamble on Kotsay regaining his stroke, the A’s can’t.
Joe Kennedy is one of the league’s most effective pitchers versus lefthanded hitters. The Mets, Tigers, and Indians all need lefthanded relief help. One of those teams will gladly pay for Kennedy’s services.
The Mets are looking for outfield help. Recent call-up Lastings Milledge may or may not be ready. Stewart is having a terrific comeback season. Stewart can help the Mets now.
The Giants need a first baseman. Dan Johnson is feeling the heat from Sacramento’s Daric Barton. Johnson to the Giants makes sense.
No doubt Bobby Kielty can hit left handed pitching. It should be easy to trade Kielty for a mid level prospect.
Travis Buck is a keeper. Barton will get his chance. Injured outfielder Chris Denofria is in the A’s plans for ’08. Further, if the Giants don’t bring Barry Bonds back next season, the A’s should sign Bonds as their full time DH.

During the winter, the A’s should target free agent centerfielder Aaron Rowand. Rowand is a hard-nosed player. Centerfielders Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, and Mike Cameron will get the big bucks, Rowand could be a steal for the A’s.
[TH]Rich Harden? Don’t pick up a ball until ‘08. There is no reason to rush Harden back until he is pain free. If he isn’t completely pain free after a winter’s rest, then pitching in relief is the only answer for Harden.
[TH]The Giants have some valuable commodities to move. Matt Morris could help the Dodgers, Cubs, Mariners, Rockies, and Red Sox all teams in need of a veteran-starting pitcher.
Ray Durham can hit. He was an effective DH in ’02 when Oakland obtained him from the White Sox. Durham’s bat will help the Angels, Twins, or Mariners.
Steve Kline can get lefties out. See the Tigers, Mets, and Indians above.
[TH]The plum of the month is Ranger first baseman Mark Teixeira. No question he wants out of Texas and Texas wants him out of the clubhouse. The Dodgers, Yankees, Tigers, Angels, and Red Sox should pay the ransom and get the slugger who is under contract through the ’08 season.
[TH]Jermaine Dye and Troy Glaus are two hitters who should have new homes after July 31st. Both have starred in the postseason and are still productive hitters.

It’s time for Billy Beane and Brain Sabean to add some excitement to what looks like a long summer for Bay Area baseball.


1 Anonymous { 07.15.07 at 11:47 pm }
You’re short on good analysis and insight in your writing these days.  Must be a focusing on other areas of your career.

2 marty { 07.16.07 at 9:36 am }

I’m definitely interested in your analysis of Bay Area baseball. Might be helpful for future columns.

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