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MLB BOOTLEG: Rolen to Seattle?

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foxsports admin

 
   
 
M's in running for Rolen?
(Trenton Times) Little has happened on the front lately, but things are quietly crystallizing. Nothing's imminent, but the and appear to be the teams most serious about Rolen, although their interest may be "serious" only in the most relative of terms. Well, now the TT reports that the are sending out the feelers. With 19 days left before the deadline, virtually anything could happen, but, as things stand now, these are the three teams with at least a modicum of interest in trading for Rolen.

Some time ago, Rolen had floated that he preferred to be traded to a team near his family home in Indiana. Many losses and a megadose of Larry Bowa later, he may be less discriminating. Rolen has no control over where Philly trades him, but since he's eligible for free agency at season's end, his willingness — or lack thereof — to sign a long-term deal with whatever team is after him could serve as something close to a de facto no-trade clause. The and plainly fail the Midwest litmus, but Seattle, I'm told, has its charms. So long as there's nothing for the body-odor crowd to show up and protest. As for the , after Rolen's experience in Philly, he may be permanently soured on East Coast boorishness. But the , despite their geographic charms for Rolen, remain, well, the . So who gets him?

— As pointed out, the have the built-in advantage of being within driving distance of Indiana, but a strike against them is that they lose about as often as the Catholic high school basketball team that hasn't yet caved in and trolled the 'hood for some talent to import. And while such an undemanding, laughing-gas happy fan base makes things easy on the marketing department, it doesn't really give the team reason to improve itself. Nonetheless, the recently ascended Jim Hendry may have the stones for such a deal, and he's certainly got the prospects to deal.

— They're patently unhappy with the performance of current three-sack (639 OPS). Combine that with the fact that they don't have nearly the breathing room they enjoyed in '01, and it's clear that Seattle will do something at the deadline. As I see it, the M's will probably focus on adding a starting pitcher ( perhaps) and perhaps joust with the A's over . Failing both of those, they may turn to Rolen. Injuries have drastically thinned the ranks of tradable talent for Seattle, and that will probably mean only one major trade for them this month. They've apparently had recent discussions with Philly about Rolen, but I don't see him as Pat Gillick's top priority right now.

— The are the team least in need of help right now (They're out of contention. Cope), most in need of help in the future (Young talent base is definitely ... young) and least likely to sign Rolen long term. It only follows that they're the ones most serious about him. The and Phils have talked about a deal that would send Rolen to New York in exchange for and someone else. It's that "someone else" who's mucking things up. The Phils want , but the don't want to part with him. Now there's word that Philly will settle for , but that would require Steve Phillips to get over his perfectly bizarre attachment to the crappy center fielder. Depending on who's blowing air, talks are either dead, dying or ongoing. Split the difference and go with dying. The are saying they're unwilling to increase payroll, which is an odd stance for a team that this past off-season hunted down overpaid stiffs with such cool efficiency.

At this point, the most likely outcome is that the hang on to Rolen, win the PR battle and let him walk for nothing more than compensatory draft picks. But if there is a deal, the , M's and look like the only possibilities. Until I say something different next week. You heard me.

Distillery

  • minor-league right-hander may need Tommy John surgery on his elbow. If a second opinion agrees with the one put forth by the ' medical staff, Christensen will undergo season-ending surgery for a second consecutive year. Good. Don't waste your sympathies on this slime. Why the vitriol? Well, three years ago, while pitching for Wichita State, Christensen perpetrated one of the most vile acts ever seen on a baseball diamond. Christensen, convinced that his pitches were being timed by the opposition, decided to send a message. He threw a fastball at the head of Evansville second baseman Anthony Molina and struck him in the face, shattering his eye socket, damaging his eye and crushing several facial bones. That's heinous enough in and of itself, but Christensen threw at Molina while he was in the on-deck circle. That's right. Molina wasn't at bat, and he didn't even see the pitch coming at him. Months later, after the had drafted him, Christensen lamely justified his actions: "It's not right what I did. But it's also part of the game. The people around baseball understand that, and it's sad the people not around baseball don't." If that "explanation" isn't galling enough, consider that once Molina filed a lawsuit against Christensen, the latter claimed that he didn't throw at Molina on purpose. Christensen should've been arrested and prosecuted for felony assault. His lack of contrition afterward and then his outright lying about it later make Christensen nothing but a coward. Here's hoping his elbow is torn to ribbons, and he never throws another pitch again. And shame on the for ever drafting him.
  • is now the ' starting center fielder. Why not, right?
  • Right-hander should be back in the rotation by the end of the month.
  • The M's will activate on Monday in time to start against the . That means bullpen time for .
  • could be the shortstop of the future in Toronto.
  • Tagged: Brewers, Mariners, Cubs, Mets, Phillies

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