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Rocky Road to Rocco:

Colorado is pining for Tampa Bay CF Rocco Baldelli, but need a third party to get involved. The deal that makes the most sense: Tampa Bay gets pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Taylor Buchholz and shortstop Clint Barmes, the Marlins get Willy Taveras and the Rockies receive Baldelli.

Maybe on planet Renck this makes sense, but if Florida can get Rocco Baldelli themselves with Nolasco and another pitcher (of which they have plenty) why would they want Taveras?

Still, I wouldn't count out Florida from trying to get Taveras, even if it isn't the pre-cursor to a Baldelli deal. Florida right now is considering noted PED offender and notoriously weak hitting Alex Sanchez to fill their centerfield void.

Anyway, there were more supposed Willy T suitors (and what they'd presumably be offering) from the Renck article:

Chicago Cubs: Marmol or Marshall or Angel Guzman, I suppose.

Washington: Ryan Church and/or Felipe Lopez

What's sad is that I've been trying to figure out where to go with this all morning. Tampa Bay clearly has to deal somebody this offseason, the signing of Iwamura brought that point home even further. The reason Tampa seems willing to shop Baldelli is because they figure they can get a huge return for him. What they've wanted is a young and cheap top of the rotation starter and another upper minor prospect or two. They've also asked for two young and cheap mid-rotation starters from Florida as an alternative.

Nolasco plus Buchholz is almost there, but there are too many questions about both pitchers' health and neither seems to have quite the ceiling Tampa's after. If you're not sure how throwing Barmes into the deal helps, note that Zobrist and Cantu are terrible defensively, probably among the worst double play combos in the majors. A defensive sub at shortstop would probably be welcome in Tampa, but I still don't see how that will make this deal acceptable to the Rays. Still, if O'Dowd can pull it off, then he's my early favorite for Executive of the Year and we should probably lock him into an extension.