An interesting rumor has come from Yankee-land. No, not Marte to the Yankees. There are multiple reports the Giants are in discussions, at least inquired about, with the Yankees on the availability of Hideki Matsui. Depending on the source, Noah Lowry is the likely return. I would assume some minor leaguers would be involved as well. Here is one link to the story.
Why would this deal interest any black blooded Pirates fan? Well, the Yankees would be in the market for a veteran outfielder, possibly a left fielder. Maybe a Pirates left fielder. This actually has some merit, not just idle speculation. The Indians deny having had resumed talks about acquiring Bay, this would indicate that a second bidder could be on the horizon with the Indians not willing to improve their offer. Someone in pinstripes possibly?
With the Yankees being interested in Marte and Grabow, a package could be improved with Bay in the mix. Ok, this is all speculation here, Matsui would have to become a Giant first for any wheels to start turning. I just would not be surprised to see Melky a Pirate after all in 2008. He has been on the teams radar way too long, not enough of the front office has changed to change the mind set of targeting one list of players consistently.
The Blue Jays are interested or are not interested (depending on the publication) in sending Alex Rios to the Giants for Linceum or Cain. If that deal happens, the Blue Jays could become another suitor for the Canadian born Jason Bay. Try saying "J. Bay a Jay" 10 times real fast. Trust me it hurts. Truth is, he is the type of player Toronto would target if they had a need. How better to get the country to support you than have a native son playing for you? I am sure Bay would love to have the chance. Now the Jays have a chance to create the need by trading Rios.
Gomez should ink his deal Tuesday, pending his physicals results. The results should be available Monday.
The Pirates are now one of ten teams interested in Japanese reliever Kazuo Fukumori, Fukumori is said to be whittling the list down in the coming week. I would expect the return of Kuwata-mania could have an impact on his decision. With Kuwata being iconic to so many in the Japanese leagues, Fukumori may keep interest in the Pirates to have an opportunity to pitch with a legend. Let's see what comes of Kuwata's session on Saturday.
Some random trade thoughts....
-Nady and Bay both being traded would make the middle of the lineup pretty thin and no outfield position would be locked down at that point. We might even see one last chance for Eldred to prove his worth in 2008 as an outfielder.
-The Marlins could have a payroll 1/5 that of the Pirates. Their highest paid player will be their closer at just over $500k.
-The Pirates should find out if a package of Wilson, Morris and a prospect would interest the Cards in a deal for Rolen. It wouldn't hurt to ask. The money would be the nearly the same, which seems to be the sticking point in the trade talks with other teams involving Rolen. Really, how comfortable could the Cards be with the no hitting all glove Izturis as their everyday shortstop? Wilson would at least give them a better bat in the order than Ceasar and an equivalent glove. The only way the Cards take that deal is if Rolen refuses to play for LaRusa again and all other suitors bail on them. But it doesn't hurt to ask.