Friday, July 30, 2004

New Rumors

Since I have this blog now and the upcoming Kris Benson trade will be a very important one for the Pirates, I've been paying more attention than usual to trade rumors this year. I'm struck by how little the press actually knows - reporters either simply make things up (probably not likely), or executives from front offices lie to them constantly in order to confuse other teams (very likely). In the last week, the Pirates have reportedly either finished or been close to finishing deals with both the Twins and the Mets for Benson. I would be shocked if the Pirates didn't trade Benson, but I wouldn't be shocked at all if he went to some team besides the Twins or Mets.

In any case, the most recent rumors have Benson heading to the Mets for Ty Wigginton, Class AA pitching prospect Matt Peterson, and perhaps something else. Neither Wigginton nor Peterson is anything special; Wigginton will provide versatility and average offense for a couple years, while Peterson may become a functional starter if everything breaks right.

It's the "something else" that's important here. One name that's been mentioned is Class A+ outfield prospect Lastings Milledge. He has no plate discipline at all at this point and he may be some sort of sexual predator (he's had multiple, er, incidents with, er, pubescent girls). Other than those two pretty huge problems, he's about as good as a prospect his age can be. He's only 19, he's a first round draft pick, he can run, he can play center, and he hit very well against older competition for Class A Capital City before being promoted to St. Lucie of the Florida State League.

Another name that's been mentioned as a possible Pirate prize is White Sox prospect Ryan Sweeney, another 19 year old. He's been playing pretty well for Class A+ Winston Salem this year. Apparently, the White Sox would be giving Sweeney in order to keep the Pirates from trading Benson to the White Sox's divisional rivals in Minnesota. I haven't heard what, if anything, the White Sox would get - perhaps an organizational soldier from the Pirates or Mets, or maybe a little bit of cash.

The rumored inclusion of Wigginton in this rumored deal is interesting, especially since the Beaver County Times is reporting that the Red Sox may be interested in Rob Mackowiak, who's a very similar player to Wigginton.


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