24 Hours, A ‘Puddle' of Hitters, and One Big Unit

It's July 30th, the eve of the trading deadline, and the biggest name on the market, Randy Johnson, may just end up in the Giants' lap.

Wire reports are indicating that the Yankees have pulled out of the bidding for Randy Johnson. One must use the word ‘bidding' lightly, as there was no other team seriously in competition for him. The problem is, there's been a lot of words said between the Diamondbacks and Johnson this past month, and not all of them were all that nice. So Arizona would more than prefer to get rid of him…they're very interested in doing it. And so they've opened the last remaining trade blocks: they're letting the NL West bid on him.

With that comes another twist: the team that would most likely be able to afford Randy Johnson has already been very publicly denied by the Big Unit: Los Angeles. And while that leaves San Francisco and San Diego, it also shows that the Unit has quite a bit of control over where he goes. Long before this came to fruition, there had been quiet and unofficial rumors of Johnson talking about playing in the Bay Area. Though Randy Johnson lives in the Phoenix area, he is a Livermore native. But reportedly, Johnson has also told San Diego's Mark Loretta that he'd approve a trade to San Diego, as well. And Anaheim could still be in contention. But it's likely the serious offers are limited to those three.

It's all about the rumors, folks.

Then there's the other guy who is pulling for a trade to the Giants, a certain left fielder. Barry Bonds recently told the Chronicle, "Things happen. "You can't assume they'll let him go. I hope they'll let him go to us. He'd help us win, no matter what. He wants to go out a winner like any of us do. He deserves that, too, like any good player deserves to. If the Diamondbacks are going to rebuild, give him a chance to win. Give us a chance."

So, was the image of Randy Johnson wearing a Giants cap after mistakenly picking it up after a donnybrook a couple of years ago truly portentious?

The Giants will have to consider the consequences. Randy Johnson is 40 years old, and not exactly injury free. He is also making $16 million this year and next, which would effectively handcuff the Giants from making any other big moves for next season, unless they moved one of their current big contracts in Edgardo Alfonzo or Ray Durham. The Giants will have to fill, amongst other needs, shortstop, first baseman, and outfielder, not to mention find a solution to the bullpen problems. And then there's the distasteful prospect of trading away blue chip young players and facing them for years to come on a division rival team.

Is it worth it?

I'll tell you what…I'm already making plans to attend the Giants FanFest on Saturday: it starts an hour after the trading deadline.

OTHER QUICK RUMOR HITS:

  • Count the Giants out of the other NL West race to pick the bones of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Steve Finley is likely headed to Los Angeles or San Diego.
  • Ned Colletti called this year's ‘pool' of hitters available in trade a puddle. The last drop may be Colorado's Preston Wilson, though.
  • The Giants have recently been mentioned to have interest in Cleveland reliever Rick White and Baltimore reliever Jorge Julio.
  • Ugeth Urbina rumors persist despite Sabean having soured on him after seeing how little velocity Urbina throws with live. A deal is still possible, but Detroit won't get what they wanted.
  • Houston still insists that Carlos Beltran is not back on the market. The fact they're doing so is kind of like Courtney Love saying she's not back on drugs everyday. You get the feeling it's just a matter of time until the story changes.
  • Merkin Valdez picked up his first ever professional save in Norwich on Thursday. And Dave Aardsma's ears must be burning more and more. At this point, it's hard not to see a situation in which Aardsma wouldn't be traded.
  • The Giants may also trade Yorvit Torrealba, but seem intent on holding onto Pedro Feliz.
  • The Giants are still considered a dark horse for Montreal shortstop Orlando Cabrera, but with 3 shortstops on the roster, that is the least of the Giants priorities.
  • Don't believe anyone telling you the Brewers will trade Geoff Jenkins to the Giants. Keep an eye on the Brewers' Luis Vizcaino, though.



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