J-Mike's Cleveland Flight In Holding Pattern

While some were reporting the deal between the Phillies and the Cleveland Indians a done deal, PBN knew better. The fact is that the deal was contingent on Guillermo Mota's physical and is now contingent on Boston and Cleveland reworking their part of the deal.

You have to wonder what Jason Michaels is thinking. He's had off the field issues in Philadelphia and is growing impatient for a chance to be an everyday player. For a while, it looked like he may get his shot in the Phillies outfield when Bobby Abreu was a major piece of trade bait. Now, Michaels is the bait, but the fish isn't hooked - yet.

The proposed deal would send Jason Michaels to Cleveland for veteran reliever Arthur Rhodes. That deal will only take place if another deal between the Red Sox and Indians goes through and that's not a definite. Word is that Guillermo Mota, who would move from Boston to Cleveland in the deal, failed a physical with the Indians, throwing a monkey wrench into the whole thing. Mota would move to the Indians along with Kelly Shoppach and Andy Marte for outfielder Coco Crisp, pitcher David Riske and catcher Josh Bard to Boston.

The part where Mota had to pass a physical was always in question because he missed nearly a month early in the season with right elbow inflammation and then missed a couple of weeks in September with right shoulder tendinitis in 2005. The Indians have concerns after giving the physical and are now attempting to resolve the problems with the Red Sox so their portion of the deal can go through.

Michaels exit to Cleveland would give him the chance to play everyday in the Indians outfield and would give the Phillies the veteran reliever that they're looking for in the back end of the bullpen. The deal would also give Michaels an escape from the bad publicity that he's received after punching a Philadelphia police officer outside a nightclub last July. Michaels received probation and community service for the incident, but there have been numerous reports that the Phillies offices have been flooded with complaints from Philadelphia police officers and fans threatening to boycott the team if Michaels were to remain in Philadelphia.

One potential substitute in the deal is Manny Delcarmen, a right-hander who pitched in 10 games for the Red Sox and posted a 3.00 ERA. The Indians could accept him instead of Mota, especially since they are anxious to get Shoppach and Marte, who are both considered top-notch prospects.

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