Miami Vice

Three Fish in the barrel . . .

It it possible to make anything resembling sense of the Miami Marlins’ latest l’affaire d’absurd? It is, though not even Edmund Burke (who conjugated the strategic mischief of the French Revolution), Martin Buber (who conjugated the spiritual foundation of dialogue), or Red Smith (whose conjugation of official baseball mischief in his time was second to none) themselves would find it easy to do without reaching first for their preferred distilled spirits.

Ethically, of course, the deal reeks like the dead Fish conventional wisdom claims it to be, particularly in view of:

The Dempster Backstory, and other heads and tales . . .

Turns out the Chicago Cubs got a pair of A-level minor leaguers, Christian Vilanueva (3B) and Kyle Hendricks (RHP), from the Texas Rangers for Ryan Dempster . . . decent prospects but not necessarily blue chips. For the most part, few no-questions-asked blue chip prospects moved in the non-waiver trade period, Jean Segura (SS) possibly having been the bluest of the chips when he went to Milwaukee in the Zack Greinke deal.

How and why did the Rangers—hungering for rotation help with Colby Lewis gone for the year (entering the final fortnight, his was the hole they needed to fill)—end up settling for Dempster when all was said and done? According to Fox’s Ken Rosenthal:

. . . and down the stretch the traders come . . .

Further details to come, but the final hour before the non-waiver trade deadline has been rather brisk:

* The Miami Marlins have sent Gaby Sanchez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive-balance pick. However, one Fox Sports commentator says the Fish aren’t going to move Josh Johnson (P) . . . yet.

* The Boston Red Sox, needing pitching desperately enough, have picked up lefthanded relief pitcher Craig Breslow (who pitched for the Red Sox in 2006 before they waived him) from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a deal for reliever/starter Matt Albers and veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik. The Snakes are also said to be talking to the Cincinnati Reds about a Lyle Overbay trade.

The Trade Winds, Continued, and Other Sobrieties

Don’t look for Justin Upton to move at the non-waiver trade deadline . . . or any other time this season, say the Arizona Diamondbacks. “Close to a 100 percent chance nothing happens,” as team president Derrick Hall phrases it.


Among the clubs thought to be interested in landing the talented outfielder—who hit 31 bombs, landed an .898 OPS, and placed fourth in the National League’s MVP voting in 2011 but broke slow out of the proverbial box this season—were the Toronto Blue Jays, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Atlanta Braves, the Detroit Tigers, and the Texas Rangers. For his part, Upton has a no-trade clause that lists the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, and the Cleveland Indians as destinations he can block.