Early news for your day includes an article by Ken Rosenthal in which the Rockies give some details of their intentions with certain trades. Obtaining Paul Loduca would require $4.5 million from the Marlins (a "longshot" according to the Post,) although apparently according to the Rosenthal article we might be willing to part with one of our better prospects for him. Like I noticed yesterday, a Ryan Shealy for Josh Bard trade makes no sense (the Post finally figured that out too, according to their story), and the Rockies will only trade him for "a potential everyday catcher, late inning reliever, or starting pitcher." The Dodgers are cutting payroll, and Brian Giles' potential replacement in San Diego next season is Jeromy Burnitz. Seriously? Dang, we have to be competitive next year.
After that, who knows? The potential move of Florida to Portland or Las Vegas could introduce a new divisional rival in a couple of years, and with the young talent they are generating they should be a tough addition to the mix. I still think our talent stacks up, but look to the NL West to bounce back by 2008. Mark at TGTB&TB is all bitter about this news, seeing it as another money grab by greedy owners -which it is- but really, which would you rather have, a loved and cherished franchise in the Northwest which has a chance to be competitive year in or year out because of your cushy stadium deal, or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays? The Marlins have given the city of Miami ample time to work something out, their lease is up, their fair weather fan base (with the exception of those good souls at Fish Stripes and maverickball) are likely to be alienated further by this latest salary purge, and the team will subsequently be streamlined and set for a quick cross country jaunt. Moving the team is not the nice thing to do certainly, but it is fair, legal and it makes the most sense economically. I can't blame the fans for being bitter, but I can't blame Jeffrey Loria for making this decision with the team either -especially considering his deal with MLB which knocks off the interest completely on the loan they gave him to purchase the team if a stadium deal wasn't done by 2008. Of course, it once again proves him to be the least fan friendly and most greedy owner in all of sports. It's a weasel move, but he really holds all the chips here.
In prospect news, Franklin Morales was staked to a four to nothing lead early in last night's game for the Leones, but he let the Magellans scratch their way back into it due to some control issues (one of the runs he allowed was on a wild pitch). He left with one out in the fifth, and a group of relievers, including Manuel Corpas, salvaged the victory. It was interesting to me to note Jorge Julio's nickname in Caracas means "Mudwall".