It's Flag Day...Start Your Trade Rumors
There are certain days on the calendar that you used to have a lot of meaning in the sports world. For example, it used to be that Alabama would play Tennessee in football every third Saturday in October. You could set your watch by it. But ever since the SEC expanded (another reason to dislike mega college expansion) the Vols and Tide rarely play on that mid-October Saturday. The NBA Finals always ended in May and baseball in November was unheard of.
So it's reassuring to me that every June 14 you can count on one thing: the start of the Major League Baseball Trade Rumor Season. Oh sure, there's always talk about buyers and sellers prior to June 14 but that's just idle chatter. It isn't until you're halfway through June and about seven weeks from the trading deadline that you have a real sense of who is in it or not.
That being said the two biggest names that will be kicked about will be Seattle's Cliff Lee and Houston's Roy Oswalt. Who wouldn't want quality starting pitching as summer heats up? But it is, as usual, a seller's market and the price will be steep for either starter. Both the Mariners and Astros have been disappointing but they aren't the only ones. The Chicago White Sox are 7 1/2 games back of Minnesota in the AL Central and even farther back in the wild card race. A.J. Pierzynski might dangle out there but he's got no-trade rights. The Baltimore Orioles have been out of since since, well I guess the first week of the season, and perhaps Kevin Millwood will be moved but the righty has really fallen off in 2010.
And of course any trade talk now has to involve the Brewers but as sellers not as buyers. We've been hearing Prince Fielder rumors since the end of last season. Do the Brewers move Fielder for prospects? Can they make a blockbuster move with a team like the Red Sox like my co-host Greg Matzek suggested? Like the Brewers Boston may be in need of a shake-up to jump start the year. However, that possibility declines as the Red Sox pile up wins. If Fielder is traded, who starts at first? Also to be considered is who will be the backup? It is sometimes taken for granted that Fielder shows up for all 162 games. What will the public reaction be? Once again the Brewers proved over the weekend that just as they're about to turn a corner they lay an egg. Inconsistency is not the trait of a playoff team. Maybe the fans will understand.
It's the speculation that makes the Trade Rumor Season fun and the Brewers will be front and center with not just Fielder but a bevy of young arms that could help other teams. I really don't know what direction the Brewers will go in, if any at all but I do know it's June 14 so Happy Flag Day and start your trade rumors.