Thursday afternoon’s Brewers-Cubs showdown was a mixed bag for the kid.
A diehard fan of the beermakers, it stung like Stadium Sauce in a paper cut to not only see Cream City Crew lose their first I-90 series at Miller Park since 2010, but also see the Cubs leapfrog them in the standings.
Not to worry, though. These teams’ battle of futility is bound to entertain us gluttons for punishment for months to come.
On the flip side, Matt Garza spun a second consecutive gem, striking out 10 over seven innings. That in and of itself has its pros and cons for Garza owners in NL-only leagues like me.
While it was a nice boon for my struggling club, it also brought us one step closer to him being traded. I have a sinking feeling he’s headed to an AL team. Hunch aside, the 50-50 chance of that happening means I’d be silly to not shop him.
Here’s where negotiating becomes an art. Whoever I pitch him to will likely dock his value for the very reason I just described.
But my counter-argument will be the following:
Should Garza go to another NL team, it’s going to be a contender. That means more wins and a better defense behind him for ERA and WHIP purposes. After all, who has worse defense than the Cubs? Well, maybe the Brewers. Or White Sox.
Ugh, is it almost football season? Unless you’re a Cardinals fan, this reality baseball season is the stinking pits, man.
Here are a few other players who will likely be shopped, for those of you who play in -only leagues and would like to get some value back before your player vanishes into the ether when he’s involved in an interleague transaction.
Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins OF: Nobody wants Stanton moved more than Stanton. With Logan Morrison back out of the lineup (crazy, I know), the Fish provide the worst protection in the bigs. And mashing the ball all the way to that eyesore in left center is a tough feat even for the Herculean artist formerly known as Mike.
Imagine how intimidating the Texas Rangers’ lineup would be if they parted ways with top prospect Jurickson Profar – who they can’t get in the lineup everyday, anyway, to get Stanton.
Josh Willingham, Twins OF: And Stanton thinks it’s hard to hit a ball out at Marlins Park. Target Field makes Miami’s venue look like a band box.
With Angel Pagan about to undergo surgery and be out until early September, I could see the Giants making yet another smart move and bringing Willingham into the fold. The Twins are going nowhere fast, and would like to do what they used to do so well: snag another team’s prospect just as they’ve soured on him.
I’m looking at speedy outfielder Gary Brown. Maybe the Twins are, too.
Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies closer: Imagine the beautiful music in Motown, if Tigers fans got one of the steadiest closers of the past decade.
Just about every other scenario Detroit – otherwise built to win it all – has tried has failed. Perhaps the Tigers, rather than roll the dice with closer of the future Bruce Rondon, would swap the hard-thrower and pick(s) for a proven commodity.
If the Tigers don’t act, their stiffest competition in the AL, Boston, will. Especially after Andrew Bailey reiterated that he’s not the guy.
Aramis Ramirez, Brewers 3B: Please. I love the guy, but I get a little ill when I think about the lack of delivery from the pitchers the Brewers have drafted and (failed to) develop(ed).
If the Crew and Cubs both send Rami and Garza to the AL, that would put the nail in my season’s coffin. So, just for fun, let’s look at an NL team that’s a third baseman away from greatness. The Atlanta Braves jump out at me, and I think southpaw Alex Wood would look just smashing in a Brewers jersey.