Itching For Trade 

Spring training has reached the halfway point, and we're starting to see teams with needs. Sure, we've all got needs, but not all of us need pitching. And that's what interests me, because that's what the Giants have to give. Besides love.

I agitate, because all of us amateur wanna-be GMs have been starved of deal fodder since Scott Boras flew home in his private 777 from the Magglio Ordonez press conference. We need trades to discuss.

And now there's even more urgency -- Barry Bonds is having a "typical" exam on his knee. When I hear a baseball executive say, "Relax, it's a typical exam," I run out to Trader Joe's and buy another case of Two-Buck Chuck because I have a sneaky feeling there will be a lot of pain to dull this year, and you never know when TJ's will raise the price to Two-Buck-and-Fitty-Cent Chuck. It's a long season. (Memo to recovering alcoholics: don't take this seriously. I much prefer Bushmill's and a couple Sominex. It's a little something Eddie Money taught me.)

OK, so what if the Giants soon need a bat, not to mention someone big and scary to swing it? They'll have to trade pitching. As we've noted, that's what they have to offer.

And who needs pitching? With the events of recent days, we can hazard a few guesses:

The Cubs might, and not just a Cory Lidle-type rotation filler. Both Kerry Wood and Mark Prior are hurting, and Cubs fans are not feeling their freshest.

The Mets may need a starter. Steve Trachsel has a herniated disc.

The Devil Rays are willing to deal for young pitching.

Seattle could use help in the bullpen and rotation.

Texas could always use a good young pitcher and has lots of good young hitters to part with. (Jerome Williams for Kevin Mench?)

If Bonds is reduced to part-time status in April, as reports suggest, they can probably get by. If he's completely out for a month or more, we're going to see a lot of heds 'n' deks like these:

Mariners stymie Giants
Meche and Madritsch are virtually unhittable

Now, substitute "Rockies" for "Mariners," "Aaron Cook" for "Meche," and "Shawn Chacon" for "Madritsch."


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