Sweeps week is coming for McCovey Chronicles. It's been a hectic time for the whole staff. All of the suits are driving us nuts, trying to boost the site's ratings for a final push.
McCovey Chronicles Executive #2: That's a little extreme, don't you think? I was thinking there could be a post about Noah Lowry trade speculation. That's always good for the ratings.
Exec #1: C'mon, baby, that's old hat. We've done a "what-if-Lowry's-traded"-post at least three times in the past year. The people want something new.
Exec #2: We're not getting an 8-year-old-boy. Those things are expensive. Clothes, food, kennels - it's not just a matter of hiring one and sitting back. And there's still some juice left in this Lowry thing. Let's run with that.
Exec #1: Tell you what, I'm going to go on Craigslist and check some prices, and you do what you have to do.
What I'd want back for Lowry: Two position players with a chance to crack the 2008 starting lineup. Wladimir Balentien and Jeff Clement. Andy Marte and Asdrubal Cabrera. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Scott Thorman (with Klesko going the other way). These aren't exactly fair trades for Lowry; at this very second, there's a Mariners fan clutching his stomach and rolling around in pain for no apparent reason. But if you're holding on to a pitcher who is locked up for the next few years, you'd be silly to cut fair trades. "Two almost-ready and young hitters. Too much for you? We'll just move on to the next team then, `cause we really don't have to trade this guy. K.I.T. See ya next summer."
The conventional wisdom is that Matt Morris is probably the pitcher who'll be traded, with an outside shot that it could be Lowry. If you could get two position players for Lowry and one for Morris, though, would you trade 40% of the starting rotation at the same time? That's a pretty dicey proposition. Cain, Lincecum, Zito, Misch, and Ortiz or Sanchez still wouldn't be a bad collection of starters, but depth would be sacrificed for a couple of years. If one or two of those pitchers go down with an injury, you might be watching a rotation with Travis Blackley and Matt Kinney every fifth day. Kaboom.
The next wave of pitching prospects - Clayton Tanner, Ben Snyder, and Henry Sosa - are still a couple of years away, at least. It'd be a huge, huge gamble to trade both Lowry and Morris, but it isn't like any of the solutions to this roster mess come without risk. And if you trade Lowry, Morris will only buy you one more (expensive) season. If the Giants could get back three young question marks to replace three of the exclamation-points-after-naughty-words that currently taint the lineup, it would be worth that risk.
Comment starters: Would you trade Lowry and Morris at the same time? What would it take for you now to give up the cost certainty of Noah Lowry?
Comment deadener: Could you really see Sabean build a team around three hand-picked prospects and the Fred Lewis-types already in the system, or would you expect him to trade for limited upside guys like Ben Broussard and Horacio Ramirez and fill the rest of the team by giving bloated contracts to David Eckstein, Eric Byrnes, and Mike Lowell? Yeah, me too.