Saturday, March 1, 2008

Zobrist, Hu, Cedeno On Market?

The Giants, Reds, and Orioles are in desperate need for shortstops and are looking around the Spring Training camps to find a replacement. Let's start with the Giants, who recently lost Omar Vizquel. I doubt they would trade for Chin-Lung Hu of the Dodgers, but it is possible they would go after Rays shortstop Ben Zobrist, who lost his job to Jason Bartlett. Zobrist has a pretty solid minor league track record, but has yet to prove himself at the major league record. However, he is very fast and a switch to a slightly easier division might do him well. He is still developing, and one scout told me has the potential to hit .270-.280. If he were traded to the Giants, the scout went on to say it would take someone like Pat Misch, or slightly better.

Reds shortstop Alex Gonzalez has a slight knee fracture and is expected to be out for at least a month. These injuries do take time, and I would say he should be ready to play everyday by mid-April, barring a major setback. At this point, it just seems like he needs to keep pressure off it. Then it will take time to get back in shape. I think the Reds will go with Jeff Keppinger for the time being, mostly because he hit .332 with 5 HR in 67 games last season, but we could see a trade. I doubt they would trade for young shortstop Chin-Lung Hu, but we could see him come in if Keppinger fails to repeat on his numbers. I think Hu is a better candidate to wind up in Minnesota, but we'll see. If Gonzalez does suffer a setback, we could see the Reds approach the White Sox about Juan Uribe.

Cubs shortstop Ronny Cedeno has been the subject of several trades, mostly because of his solid showing in Winter Ball. Cedeno had a very good 2005 hitting .300 in 41 games, but has struggled to make significant adjustments since then. Yet, he is pretty quick and has improved his fielding in the past two years. According to one AL GM, the Giants have discussed bringing in Cedeno as a utility infielder, but nothing seems brewing. The Orioles are currently working on a trade that would send Brian Roberts to the Cubs for at least four players, and we saw a major breakthrough in trade talks today. According to ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Orioles owner Peter Angelos gave Andy McPhail the green light to make a trade. It is believed that Sean Gallagher, Ronny Cedeno, and at least two other players will be in a deal for Roberts.

Let me know who you think is most likely to be traded.


Anonymous said...

i think cedeno is the most likely to be traded because he is the only one that has been named in a possible trade

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

The Giants seem to be pretty committed to Frandsen at SS until Vizquel returns, and would only need Zobrist if Velez doesn't pan out or Vizquel has any setbacks, as I think most feel that Frandsen would be exposed in extended play at SS.

If Velez is doing well, he looks to have the MI utility role sewn up at the start of the season, though what happens after Vizquel returns is still up in the air, depending on what Durham and Frandsen does in spring training, both are competing for 2B, plus the Giants appear to be leaving open 3B so that Frandsen would have a place to start if both do well. They touted him as 3B-worthy during the off-season.

I like Zobrist too, and I think I suggested him as a possible trade pickup, but Misch would be too high a price for my tastes. I can see a couple of relievers like Randy Messenger, Steve Kline, maybe Vinnie Chulk (they have a potential surplus of relievers, a number of them are out of options and have some value), plus maybe an OF prospect like Timpner or a DH type like Brian Horwitz or a wild card like Eddy Martinez-Esteve, who I think came from Florida. Don't think that would be enough to pry Zobrist out of Tampa's hands, though, but I think that's all that the Giants can really offer right now.

I don't see Hu being traded unless the Dodgers resign Furcal. Given his very off-year in 2007, they might wait until late in the season to decide whether to sign him or not, but he's really being overpaid for what he has done the past couple of years, not sure how he warranted the high contract he got with the stats he put up with the Braves. Plus, Hu had a breakout year in minors in 2007, if he continues to do well, they might just decide to promote him rather than resign Furcal.

Given that the Roberts trade has been smoldering for a while, clearly both sides want it done, the devil has been in the details I guess. I think Cedeno is probably gone in that trade once they finally agree on the deal.

Anonymous said...

It's starting to look like a pkg. of Cedeno,Gallagher,Marshall and Veal will be needed to get Roberts to the Cubs.Cub scout Kravec in O's camp checking out Roberts and McPhailure already knows the prospects Cubs are sending from his days as Cubs President/GM