Mike L: Kyle Davies-Pitcher-Atlanta Braves
The M's staff is 20th in the league in ERA, and dead last in strikeouts. After adding to the offense in 2004 with the trade for Jeremy Reed, and the Sexson and Beltre signings, it's time to think about the future of the pitching staff. Assuming Moyer and Sele will be gone, that leaves Meche, Pineiro, and Franklin in the current rotation for 2006. Um...they need another starter.
Baseball America ranks Davies as the 53rd best prospect overall, and the 15th best right hander. He is the Braves top pitching prospect, and has pitched well so far in his first 4 starts for the Braves this year (2-1, 0.77 ERA, 1.9 K/BB, 1.41 WHIP), which included an impressive debut win over Boston. He strikes batters out (9.1 K/9 in 2003 in A ball, 10.9 K/9 in 2004 over three levels). Oh, and he's 21.
How can they get him? The Braves are having closer issues. Danny Kolb has lost the job. The M's should take the Billy Beane approach here and move their "stud" closer to a contending team that needs one. I'd love if the M's could pull off Guardado straight up for Davies. The Braves traded their top pitching prospect for a closer last winter when they moved Jose Capellen to the Brewers for Kolb, which may cause them to be a little reluctant. But they do have other good prospects, and Leo Mazzone works wonders with every pitcher that comes his way. The M's could agree to part of Eddie's $6 million contract (say $2 million), which would still free up another $4 million this offseason to go after a top pitcher, on top of the money freed up with Boone ($9 mil), Moyer ($8 mil), and Shiggy's ($3.2 mil) contracts coming off the books. The 2006 rotation would then look something like this: Free Agent, Davies, Pineiro, Meche, Felix. I like it. Let's do it! There is a chance the Braves would want more than Eddie, ie Randy Winn. I love Randy Winn and would hate to see him go, but Snelling and Choo are waiting in the wings and it may be a necessary sacrifice to improve the pitching staff.
Travis: Zack Greinke-Pitcher-Kansas City Royals
Key Stats: IP = 66.0; W-L = 1-7; ERA = 4.91; Ks = 40; BB = 16
Here is a nice link about him: Greinke
First off the guy is 21 years old. He is a converted SS to pitcher and seems to have a really good grasp of the game. His record this year is awful however take into account who he plays for. He receives little run support and 5 of his 7 losses were "Quality starts". This means his record on a decent team could easily be a winning record, possibly a dominant record.
Reports say he throws form the high 80's to low 90's with great control. The guy has a lights out slider and a above average change. He is working on a curve that we saw him throw a few times this spring when Mike and I were both at spring training. Greinke has a tremendous upside and I think putting him with Brian Price and Jamie Moyer would do wonders for his pitching education.
The rotation with him in it would be really young, which I think is a good thing. Pinero, Meche, Madritch, Felix the cat, Greinke. I like that a lot. Franky move to pen, I love the guy but he is a great long reliever and he could hang around the game for years and years if he would embrace that roll.
So how do we get him? That’s the tough thing. What don't the Royals need? Well your going to have to give up a lot to get him and that probably means prospects. I think you package a major leaguer i.e. Randy Winn along with Olivo and a prospect. In return you will receive Greinke and a prospect from KC. Deal them Olivo because he has Major League time and the Royals are struggling with John Buck. Money to sign Greinke comes available this off season.
One other option would be to get involved in a three team trade in which the mariners receive Greinke and the Royals gain prospects while loosing Sweeny and Greinke. I don't know how to even start theorizing who the third team is but Sweeny is out there and I would think Boone is too. Hmmm interesting thought, there has to be a contender that would want those two......