Now Tallet a Trade Target
Bullpens in Disarray article identifies all the teams who are potential candidates for one of our surplus of relievers. Jason Frasor is mentioned most often not only because of his experience as a closer as well as setup man but also because of his contract. However, Brian Tallet is now being mentioned often for those teams who are looking for a starter and that includes the Diamondbacks and now the Mariners with Cliff Lee on the shelf.
A deal could happen before the season opens but is more likely to happen sometime in May after a few weeks of reality settling in especially for the teams with dreams of contending like the Cubs, Twins, and Phillies. An outstanding start to the season by Frasor and Tallet could elevate their value in the eyes of the teams in need and get us maximum value in return, perhaps more than we might expect to receive at any other time. I have no doubt that AA has our bevy of new scouts working overtime becoming familiar with the prospects of each team.
My Changes to Projected Lineup
I love yesterday’s debate by Jordan Bastian about the opening day lineup. It is nice to have so many question marks with potential positive outcomes such as the McCoy vs. Reed debate for the last bench spot or having so much pitching that it’s hard to make decisions. With Dana Eveland and Merkin Valdez out of options and showing so well in camp I would hate to lose either of them without getting something of value in return. With so many teams short on pitching, I would keep them both in the lineup and send others who, though may be deserving, to Las Vegas for more fine tuning.
Bastian picks Starters: RHP Shaun Marcum, LHP Ricky Romero, RHP Brandon Morrow, LHP Brian Tallet, LHP Marc Rzepczynski with a potential flip/flop between Rzep and Cecil. Though Rzep and Cecil both continue to show flashes of brilliance, they have also been inconsistent and are also working on new pitches. It wouldn’t hurt either one to start the year in AAA to continue working on both. A starting staff of Marcum, Romero, Morrow, Eveland, and Tallet doesn’t change much considering Eveland’s performance this spring and his previous major league experience.
Bastian picks Relievers: RHP Jason Frasor (closer), LHP Scott Downs, RHP Kevin Gregg, RHP Shawn Camp, LHP Dana Eveland, RHP Casey Janssen, LHP Jesse Carlson. With Eveland now in the starting rotation, you can insert Valdez in place of Eveland in this list and not reduce the effectiveness of our bullpen much. That leaves Purcey to hone his relieving skills in AAA and be ready for call up in case of trade or injury.
The Rays manager, Joe Maddon has been quoted on multiple locations that he loves the Jays pitching and it not for decimation by serious injuries (Marcum, Litsch, McGowan) we would have had a very competitive team last year. This from a man managing a team with a pretty strong rotation of his own!
I too like the prospects for this year better than last even without Doc at the #1 spot and it will only get better as the year goes on and the young starters in particular gain more experience. In addition, the potential replacements in case of injury – starters Rzep, Cecil, later in the season Litsch, McGowan and in the bullpen – Accardo, Purcey, Roenicke make us very deep compared to previous seasons.
Mark my words, this team will look very different by end of season. Having see AA in action already, the man has a plan and he will be jumping on every opportunity to turn this current surplus of pitching into some ripe talent on the farm. Now add to that the large number of draft picks we have this June and our farm system should move up to at least the middle of the pack this year.