Part of the problem is what we expect from trades. Fan-proposed trades usually have some severe flaws. Usually, they involve offering a guy with less than no value for a couple guys in a system's top ten. Or a guy with moderate value for a cost-controlled veteran with upside. Unfortunately for us, few MLB GMs are foolish schmucks.
I'll admit, I expected to see some deadline deals by now. Yeah, Dempster had something to do with it, and Garza's status as well, but I expected something by now
Think back to when the Sean Marshall trade was being finalized. While we knew Marshall-for-Wood-and-others, we didn't know who the others were. If you're like I am (tough break for you), you gleaned the Reds Top Prospects, probably understating their upside, and begging for Torreyes' keystone partner in Dayton. 'Guy with upside' is what we pegged.
If Theo can't get 'guy with upside' in a trade, I'm thinking he very well might pass. He doesn't need rotation filler in Daytona in a trade. He let go of Abner Abreu (who later signed elsewhere), as well as other 'old guard' types. If Theo pulls the trigger, it will be for something he wants.
Matt Garza will be very interesting. His might be a quick 'contingency deal'. If he passes your physical, here's what we get. If he doesn't, the deal can be off, or you get something back. Garza picked a bad time to be hurt.
If Ryan Dempster goes to Atlanta, I wouldn't be stunned if the return was somewhat small. While Demp infuriated Theo, Atlanta's GM sounded none-too-happy either. His comments took Theo 'off-the-hook' as it were. Theo couldn't save face and throw Dempster under the proverbial bus. Frank Wren did it for him, with comments that Braves players expected Dempster to be traded there. If Theo gets into heated discussions with Wren, I wouldn't be surprised if the discussion ends with Theo saying something like "Don't expect me to take it this easy on you next time."
Geovany Soto to the Nationals makes sense. Why? They picked up Koyie Hill as insurance. They are down two catchers since early in the year. I'm not an expert on their system, so I'm going to the Hagerstown Suns Low A affiliate page. Matthew Skole (3B) is crushing the ball, so it won't be him. Aaah, let's jump to pitching.
Christian Meza is a 6-0 lefty reliever. He's started a few times, but averages over two innings per outing. He's struck out 71 in 68 innings. He's surrendered 52 hits and walked 27. I'd consider him fair value (or a bit under) for Geo. Meza started in his last outing, fanning 6 and allowing a hit and two walks. He was a 25th Round Pick in 2010.
Paul Maholm and DDJ shouldn't go anywhere. I found it amusing seeing ChiSox fans wanting Maholm. I'm sure Kenny Williams tried, but I'm guessing Theo hung up first. If anyone were to offer 'impact talent', I'd change my mind. Darwin Barney fits in here as well.
Brian LaHair loses value as Soriano keeps his. LaHair for a pair of Christian Meza types seems fair. Otherwise, keep him until the spring. Soriano should stay into 2013. Might as well play him if he's representing being our best LF.
I hope Francisco Liriano loves Chicago, but struggles in The Cell. I wouldn't mind a flyer on him in the off-season. I'd also like a two-year deal (Who does two year deals?) at a touch over the going rate for Zack Greinke if the Angels don't keep him. (I saw NBF's eyes just bug out.) Why?
If he's a free agent, he doesn't cost a pick. On a two year deal (2/26 with a possible option year or two), we could sign a nice flip candidate. If he folds under media scrutiny, move him to whoever needs a pitcher in July of 2013. If healthy, he'll have talent. If he's good, he can bring even more. Or, he may actually pitch well here. Then, we could extend him. I don't think 2/26 or 2/30 brings him in, but never let it be said I'm not willing to let Theo spend Tom Ricketts' money on trade bait..... errrrr..... pitching.
And, by the way, look for another Rule 5 pitcher next year. He can pitch in some of the blowout wins Greinke creates.