Sunday, July 15, 2007

Lofton said to be on Tribe's wish list

Talk you may be hearing about Kenny Lofton coming back to the Tribe before the trade deadline is apparently more than wistful longing for the salad days of the '90s.

The Dallas Morning News reports today that Lofton is being scouted this weekend by the Indians (as well as the Brewers). The Morning News reports several teams are interested in Lofton.

I'm not sure about the fit between Lofton and the Indians. In Cleveland he wouldn't be the leadoff hitter, or the centerfielder. More likely he'd bat second. With his pop gun arm, left field would be his most likely position. Lofton could be a good fit in the No. 2 spot in the order. He's a good bunter, makes contact and can spread the ball around. I don't love him in left field but his offense, in a platoon with Jason Michaels, would be a plus. Casey Blake could bat lower in the line-up, but I'm not sure that would be a plus, given his BA with runners in scoring position (still well below the Mendoza line).

I also wonder whether the moody Lofton would be happy about playing second-fiddle, with Grady Sizemore roaming Lofton's former fiefdom. Would having one last chance to win, and to do it where it all began for Lofton, be enough to salve his ego? Depending on the asking price, it might be worth taking the chance. If the Tribe could pull off a deal that would add one of Texas' attractive relievers, all the better.

Speaking of the Texas bullpen, The Detroit Free Press is reporting today that the Indians have also talked to Texas about right-hander Akinori Otsuka - a player the Tigers are also looking at. Otsuka had some "tightness" in his right arm and missed a week leading into the All Star Game, so we'd like to see him give that arm a workout in some games before any move is made here. Texas' Eric Gagne wants to close and has a no-trade clause to use as a club to prevent a trade to a team that would use his as a set-up man. Joe Borowski has been Wickmanesque this year, but I'm not sure he should be tossed overboard.

The Pirates have a few pitchers who would be nice pickups for the Tribe, Salomon Torres, Matt Capps and Damaso Marte. But, the Pirates (believe it or not) may be buyers rather than sellers at the trade deadline, at least according to a story in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Will Dave Littlefield be a buyer for the first time in his tenure?

He threw strong hints about being a seller again when the Pirates were swept June 24 in Anaheim, Calif., but they have played their best baseball of the season since then. It is possible the stance could change, if it has not already.

And what effect might it have on the process that Littlefield will enter his lame-duck year in 2008? With principal owner Bob Nutting searching for a new CEO, someone whose primary task will be to evaluate Littlefield, perhaps Littlefield will feel compelled to make trades aimed at short-term benefits. -Excerpt from Dejan Kovacevic's column today in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
For more intriguing trade possibilities, check out The DiaTribe, which talks trade in another of its always well-reasoned posts last night.


Anonymous said...

Damaso Marte? Do not wish for that; it might come true.

moose said...

solomon torres - that is the resurrection of ernie camacho - no no no

garko is playing pretty good first base dont you think

capps would be great - but why would pittsburgh dump him - he is good and cheap

lofton I think would OK - he mighr help sizemore -

Ron Vallo said...

I don't watch the Pirates much on the dish, for obvious reasons, but marte's numbers look pretty good. numbers can lie, especially for relievers but it souonds like fultz is going to be questiuonable even after he gets back. nice to have another lefty to go with the rookie perez if fultz comes back less than healthy.

torres has been hurt and ticked off. he's not my top choice but he is an experienced arm.

we have to remember this about trade-deadline guys. we aren't marrying them, just hoping they take us to the prom.

moose said...

as Isaid watch out for the twins

Paul said...

I have a vivid recollection of Marte's White Sox days, when he would routinely walk the lefty hitter he was brought in to retire and then give up the big hit to the next batter. If you have to pay more than the proverbial bag of balls for Marte, you're paying too much.