My all-time favorite Crazy East Coast Media Trade Scenario was in 2000, when the Giants were about ten games over .500. The team had not yet run away with the division, but were obvious contenders. Some goof at Newsday, apparently trying to beat a deadline, reported a rumor that had Rich Aurilia and Robb Nen going to the Mets, with the equivalent of Tim Teufel coming back to the Giants. The rumor had to have been entirely concocted from the ether around the reporter. It sorta reeked of, "Aww, how cute! You're a wittle contender! Tell you what, why don't you do us all a favor and just let the grown-ups have the good team. That's right. Just give us Nen. We'll need him more than you."
This isn't to indict a region for sloppy journalism, as that anecdote comes courtesy of one Mac jockey in Bergen, but it explains why I'm skeptical about the Jason Schmidt rumors. This is comparing apples to rutabagas as the 2000 Giants had a good team, and the 2005 Giants...less so. Schmidt is mentioned in hypothetical trade scenarios with the Yankees in this article, and is a definite possibility for the Red Sox in this one. Hrmm.
The Red Sox article mentions names like Jon Papelbon, Jon Lester, Manny Delcarmen and Anibal Sanchez. That ain't going to cut it. The Yankees article mentions the one player the Giants should realistically hope to get, Robinson Cano, only to confirm there is no chance of the Giants getting him. That ain't going to cut it. If Schmidt is going to be traded, there should be one hard and fast rule:
1. The Giants should get back one rotation-ready young pitcher.
That means Brandon McCarthy from the White Sox, or Chien-Ming Wang from the Yankees. It does not include a collection of Merkinesque talent from AA, no matter how good a season they all might be having. Call this the Beane rule. He received a rotation-ready starter from the Cardinals (Dan Haren), and Braves (Dan Meyer) in the Mulder/Hudson deals. One worked out as planned, the other was not a factor this year. That should be the blueprint, however. Get someone in who will start, and start quickly.
Comment starter: What kind of haul are you expecting if Schmidt is traded?