With the return of Mike Lowell’s hitting form…it’s time to send him back to the National League? From the Boston Globe’s Gordon Edes.
It flies in the face of Terry Francona telling third baseman Mike Lowell last week on the West Coast that he would not be traded, but according to a major league executive who said he spoke directly with one of the three teams involved, the Red Sox are working on a three-way deal with Tampa Bay and San Diego in which they would end up with Devil Rays infielder Julio Lugo and Padres setup man Scott Linebrink, with Lowell going to the Padres. The Devil Rays presumably would end up with prospects from one or both clubs.
Though SI.com’s Jon Heyman claims the Mets are showing late interest in Houston’s Roy Oswalt, the Newark Star-Ledger has Wilpon Inc. chasing after another premiere NL starter.
Late last night, the Mets were in negotiations with the Giants in an effort to acquire right-hander Jason Schmidt. The deal is a long shot, but it was intriguing enough to both sides that they were exchanging names. Interestingly, Lastings Milledge, who’d been the key name in the Mets’ murky efforts to land Barry Zito from Oakland, is not one of the names involved in talks with the Giants. San Francisco, according to a person close to the talks, would rather make Aaron Heilman the centerpiece of a Schmidt deal, adding a prospect or two around him.
The Mets likely would be willing to deal Heilman, especially for a pitcher with Schmidt’s resume, but if they did so they’d look to make another deal for a relief pitcher, possibly from the Roberto Hernandez/Salomon Torres/John Grabow group of available Pittsburgh Pirates. There are plenty of middle relievers on the market, and the Mets believe they could find someone to replace Heilman as their seventh-inning man.
Finally, for a guy who receives zero consideration when his club needs a 5th starter, Aaron Heilman has crazy trade value. The Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll has another scenario for the Mets’ middle reliever.
The Mets haven’t made the most of Aaron Heilman. Once expected to be a rotation fixture, the pitcher has instead found a home in the bullpen. He could find a home closer to his midwest roots if the information I got from a Mets official pans out. I’m told that the Mets are discussing shipping Heilman to the Cardinals in return for free-agent-to-be Jason Marquis. The Mets would need to fill the bullpen slot, possibly reaching out for Roberto Hernandez or shifting Brian Bannister to the pen.
The Mets have nothing working with Lastings Milledge (quick trivia question: Why is he named “Lastings”?) He was ejected, not removed, from his Triple-A game today after arguing balls and strikes. Any suggestion that this was indicative of an impending deal didn’t do the homework. It didn’t take good sources on this one, it took checking the boxscore.