Number One in the Booth 

Peter Gammons' latest ESPN.com column examines the early summer trade market and asserts there may be far fewer players available this year. The usual patsies -- Brewers, Pirates, Tigers, etc -- are building momentum, not trying to trade it away. Funny, though, that Gammons doesn't mention the Giants at all. I worry that the G's are not only flat dreadful, but that their upcoming free-agent veterans have zero trade value. If you were a GM with a team in contention, would you give up anything for Brett Tomko and the $1-million-plus on his 2005 contract, or Rueter and his $3-million-plus, even to fill a 4th or 5th slot in your rotation? Wouldn't you rather take your chances with a guy you call up from triple-A?

We've already seen grumblings that Sabean's asking too much for Jason Schmidt. His best hope at jettisoning the aging vets might be to package them with young players whose value may be as high as it's ever going to be. In other words, Ray Durham AND Jason Ellison for practically nothing in return -- just the relief of clearing Durham's '06 salary off the books. That may not be exactly how it shakes out -- as Sabean has already poisoned Ellison's well with comments about his lack of everday stamina -- but I wouldn't be surprised to see at least one move of that sort between now and July 31.

One bright spot in Gammons's report: he mentions Kruk and Kuip as the best of a small group of local announcers who are "analytical and balanced."


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