I'm trying to put together all the pieces of the various Prior for Tejada rumors. It seems clear that the O's want a front of the rotation starter as a start in return for Tejada. According to the Rosenthal rumor that got this ball rolling, the main hangup is the Cubs demand that Eric Bedard come in return, and their refusal to give back Pie or a pitching prospect to get Bedard. There have also been grumblings that Prior is going to an AL West team, and many have speculatted that team is the A's in a deal that would send Zito to the O's. However, given Zito's regression the last few seasons, and the fact that he only has one year left on his contract, i doubt the O's would prefer him to Prior (i could be wrong), and instead this is what i think Hendry may be plotting...
What if Hendry, master of the multi-team deal, is trying to maneuver into obtaining Tejada and Zito? If we gave Prior (and perhaps Cedeno) to the O's for Bedard and Tejada (which is the deal Hendry seems insistent on), Hendry could then move Bedard in a deal to get Zito. This deal would have Zito coming to the Cubs in exchange for Bedard, Pie, and Williams or Hill. This is also why Hendry is refusing to throw Pie, Hill, or Williams into the O's part of the deal - he's already planning on turning two of the 3 into Zito, and using the other one in this year's rotation. The net trade would be:
O's get: Prior
A's get: Bedard, Pie, and Williams or Hill
Cubs get: Tejada and Zito
I realize this trade is slanted in the Cubs favor, but i think that is why the deal is just a rumor and not yet a transaction. Maybe the Cubs would have to send Murton, a classic money-ball player, to the A's in order to get more production going the O's way. Who knows... i certainly don't. I would love this deal if the Cubs could swing it. The question is if its too good to be more than just... see title. Update [2005-12-23 0:42:20 by shawndgoldman]:This isn't really an update in anything that transpired outside my own head, but i'll call it that anyways. I remember once upon a time when one of Al's sources had told him a Zito deal to the Cubs was a possibility. This adds a little creedence to my proposed scenario, as the Cubs have shown interest in Zito in the past.