Ok, well, yeah. I admit, it will take a miracle...or maybe not a miracle but a highly unlikely set of circumstances. Still, I can't divorce myself from the willingness to believe in magic. I mean, when does it get better than Scott Richmond's story, right? Sure, he might get pounded a few times and become a footnote in history, but maybe - just maybe - the Hollywood screenplay is only in Act II.
How Disney would it be if Richmond steps into the rotation and takes up the mantle of the injured Golden Boy and helps shoulder this team through a resurgent stretch run that puts the hated Yankees and the upstart Rays in the rear view?
So, the question niggles at the edges of your mind..."buyers or sellers?" Why not take a page from Billy Beane and do both? I present here, for your consideration, three deals which, were they to be completed, would both shuffle off some excess and add key components. They are based on two different reports from MLBTR and I take no responsibility if the rumors are false.
#1 Trade David Eckstein. I'm not really so much worried about where, but I have to wonder if maybe the Cardinals would be that adverse to having him back, the Dodgers took a look, Baltimore is reportedly still asking about shortstops in return for Sherrill, the Mets had the idea of playing him at 2B before signing Castillo. The point is...the man ought to have a chance to start somewhere if he can. He's been a good soldier here and did what was asked of him professionally. If Cito isn't going to play him, then get something in return. I presume you get a B list prospect for him.
#2 the Marlins were reported to be willing to discuss Cody Ross for an upgrade. The Marlins desperately need a good catcher and are interested in bullpen help. so I propose this:
Gregg Zaun or Rod Barajas and Jason Frasor and Cuban prospect Kenny Rodriguez (or someone of similar value) for Colby Ross. Ross mashes lefties (and 1.008 OPS over the previous three years in 176 ABs) and is competent (better than Wilkerson et al) against righties. As a platoon mate for Stairs, he could be a great addition for a low cost. I make this suggestion with the acknowledgment that if you could make the same deal for McPherson you'd have to do that too, but I'm holding back on assuming he's available.
#3 This is the trickiest one. There have been some reports that the White Sox and Orlando Cabrera are not getting along. Now, OC isn't the hitter he was a few years ago, in fact his OPS this year is little different than Scutaro's. But he's a much better defender, and he's considerably faster on the bases. Reportedly the White Sox have kicked around the idea of acquiring a 2B and moving Alexi Ramirez to SS. Now, assuming that they do not find a deal for Brian Roberts or someone, how about trading Scutaro (or Eckstein if they are willing to try him at 2B or even SS) and a throw in someone like Thigpen for Cabrera?
This depends, of course, on how much the Sox are really interested in getting OC out of town, but if they recognize that his value is relatively low and don't get stupid and ask for Cecil or somebody, we might be able to do some good here.
Marginal upgrades, to be sure, but with the return of Wells, the emergence of Lind, the reawakening of Rios, and the coming reawakening of Rolen, it just might be enough.
IF the rotation can come through.