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How the other half....

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As the deadline approaches, it's interesting to see how the other half of a trade rumor lives. There were two different threads going on here about the rumored Brandon McCarthy/Brian Anderson for Jason Schmidt deal that was nothing but fiction to begin with. The general feeling on this site, as represented by made-up quotes:

"Not enough."
"No way."
"Figure out a way to swing David Wright in a three-way deal, and that's a good start."
The general consensus: Not interested. Which is funny, because over at this South Side Sox thread the rumor was held in a different light. More made-up quotes to exaggerate my point:
"Too much."
"No way."
"If Kenny Williams does that deal, I will dress up like Glenn Close, go over to his house, and boil one of his pets."
Ah. There seems to be a bit of a disconnect here. Everyone's aware of the inherent biases fans have when they're talking about the trade value of their own players, but this certainly seems like an extreme case on both sides. So here's my guess as to how each group is evaluating the players involved. I don't necessarily want to overanalyze this particular rumor to death, but I think something like this should go through our heads when we analyze any potential deal.

How the Giants Fans See Brian Anderson:

A sub-.200 hitter in the present, with no guarantees as to his future success. He could end up being nothing more than Todd Linden with better range.

How the Sox Fans See Brian Anderson:

A can't-miss prospect suffering through some understandable growing pains. He's so fast in the outfield, the first person to scout him was Professor Xavier. One of the brightest young outfield stars in the game.

How the Giants Fans See Brandon McCarthy:

A talented arm that's about as rare as a goldfish, which is also the average lifespan of a young pitcher. He gives up a ton of homers and his control needs some work.

How the Sox Fans See Brandon McCarthy:

A talented arm that doesn't come around so often. The Sox love his stuff, and want to bring him along the Johan Santana career path to build up his strength. He's still only 22, and has as much potential as any young pitcher in the game. Well, except for Francisco Liriano. Have you seen that guy? Man alive, is he special. That might be the best stuff I've ever seen, and...oh, right. Sorry.

How the Giants Fans See Jason Schmidt:

Our former ace back with a vengeance, and again one of the better pitchers in the league. The fastball's hopping again, which allows any questions regarding his health to be brushed off. There are just a handful of pitchers in the game that'd be better positioned to start the first game of a playoff series.

How the Sox Fans See Jason Schmidt:

Injury-prone pitcher in his walk year. He'd be an improvement, for sure, but not enough to toss away the future. Would you be interested in this cardboard cutout of Rocky Biddle? We could get Joe Borchard back and throw him in, if you'd like.

The two biggest differences in the evaluation gap:

  1. The Sox fans are looking at what they'd give up in a vacuum. If there were a five-team bidding war, Schmidt would not come cheap at all. There is a noticeable dearth of pitchers on the trade market right now.
  2. The Giants are just 3.5 games out. That's probably the biggest complaint about this trade from the Giants perspective. If the white flag is to be raised, there had better be some top, top prospects coming back. An Upton or three, with a young pitcher to boot.
If the Giants fell out of contention, I'd think a McCarthy/Anderson trade would be one of the more attractive deals out there, and I can see why the White Sox fans would be apoplectic about it. That really is a lot of their future going away for a rent-a-player. But it's worth keeping the biases in mind as the deadline gets closer, because they aren't the exclusive domain of fans. GM's think the same way.

Disclaimer: This trade rumor is obviously bogus. All discussion regarding the trade of Jason Schmidt assumes the Giants come out of the break and lose 12 in a row. We love contending. Hooray for contending! Just in case the team does start to slide, it is interesting to think of what we could get for possibly the only ace available on July 31st.

Is it five different posts worth of interesting? Hey, back off pal. There hasn't been a game in two days, and....

*rimshot*

...what in the heck? That was supposed to go after the "Professor Xavier" line, dang it. Forget this. I don't have to answer to you.