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Trade Deadline Talk with Bob Nightengale


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As you all know by now, I co-host a totally commercial-free, no one makes a dime from it, Long Island Sports Talk radio show. Sports Weekly's national baseball writer Bob Nightengale was our guest the other night.


The interview is 30 commercial-free minutes and can be found at



Here's a mini-transcript:


--“Soriano definitely being traded.” “No doubt about it.”


--Tigers are the best bet, but the White Sox and Angels are in on him.


--“The White Sox were never close to him, despite those reports from the other day.”


--All the players in the deal would be minor leaguers, with the exception of Podsednik. Zumaya would not be in the deal.


--“Smoltz not going anywhere, never was.”


--Soriano will definitely test the free agent market.


--Odds are “very strong” that Carlos Lee will be traded


--Bob spoke with Brewers GM Doug Melvin who said that he won’t do anything “before Thursday”


--“could be a Dodger by Sunday or Monday” The deal would be mainly minor leaguers, but could include Kemp


--Mets not in on Carlos Lee


--“Mets need a power pitcher for the Playoffs….Livan Hernandez does not throw hard anymore.”


--“Not having a power pitcher always cost the Braves, and the Mets will be subject to the same problem.”


--The A’s need Zito right now. Will deal him, “only if blown away.”


--Dontrelle Willis not being moved right now, maybe in the offseason. “But, they’re gonna be contenders in a year and he’s a bargaining chip for a new stadium.”


--Arod not going anywhere, never even considered.


--Yankees not worried about OF right now because Sheffield and Matsui are coming back.


--Yankees “gonna let their pitching go” and see what it does


--“They’re ready to trade Chacon”


--“They’re gonna piecemeal a starting rotation.”


--David Wells coming back will help the Red Sox


--“There is no 1 starter out there to help teams. No #1 prize guy.”


--Most Pirates are available, “not sure about lefty Mike Gonzalez, though.”


--Bob thought Casey would be good for SF before they got Hillenbrand.


--There is some talk about Casey and Oakland.


--Jason Schmidt is staying put.


--The Giants will be unloading a lot in the offseason.


--Bob doesn’t think that Barry Bonds and the other $47M-making guys are coming back.


--Through all the indictment talk, Bond has been calm, treating it like a parking ticket.


--“The Giants have no inclination to bring Bonds back.”


--The A’s and Angels are the only teams where Bonds is open to playing as a DH. But, neither team has shown any interest in him.


--No one’s going to give him $15M-18M, which he wants.


--Bob thinks that Bonds will fade away this Winter like Sammy Sosa because he has too much pride to take a pay cut.


--Jason Grimsley showed that just as many—if not more—pitchers were on steroids as hitters.


--“HR’s are up because elite pitchers are not throwing as hard as they used to.”


--Amphetamine testing is done right before batting practice (like 3PM or 4PM). As a result, it hasn’t been that big a deal this year as amphetamines leave your system in 8-10 hours. “So, even if you load up, you’re clean the next day.”


--“Everyone needs relief help this year, because guys are not throwing like they used to.”


--“There will be a big run on relievers, with 10-12 traded before the Deadline.”


--White Sox will only make 1 starter available. “They would only move Vazquez for Tom Gordon.”


--“Because White Sox pitching has not been lights out like last year, they’ll go for a Latroy Hawkins or someone else.”


--Padres want to do better than Joe Randa in a deal for a 3B.


--Padres GM Kevin Towers told Bob that he turned down Wilson Betemit for Scott Linebrink.


--Towers asked about Morgan Ensberg, but he’s hurt.


--“The Padres will probably go the cheap route with a Russell Branyan.”


--Regarding Lastings Milledge for Barry Zito, Bob said, “Go for it.”


--“The Mets are going to win the division anyway. It’s a matter of how far they go.”


--“Since the NL is so weak this year, who’s to say that they (the Mets) can’t make the World Series the way the team is comprised now. But, I don’t see them getting back the AL. You have to have a hard thrower to compete.”


--Bob says that Milledge is thought of as an All-Star caliber OF, and not Alex Escobar.


--“The Mets have to think hard about Zito. Since he was successful in the AL, he might be lights out in the NL.”


--“The question is “Can you re-sign Zito? The Mets would not make the trade if they don’t have assurances from Zito and Boras.”


--“Zito does not need to go to a big market, but he can handle New York, unlike a lot of guys who can’t.”


--Phillies would love to have Abreu and Burrell taken off their hands.


--No one wants to pick up Abreu’s option.


--Burrell makes too much money to move.


--“Yankees were willing to take on Abreu’s contract for nothing, but the Phillies wouldn’t bite.”


--“Phillip Hughes is untouchable for the Yankees. I don’t think they would even move him for Zito now.”


--“As far as minor leaguers go, Hughes is as close to untouchable as there are.”


--Sidney Ponson is a waste. “If you can’t cut it in St. Louis in the NL, then you won’t cut it in the AL East.”


--Bob thinks that Jeff Weaver can do well in St. Louis, as he just can’t pitch in the AL.

--Dusty Baker stays ‘til the end of the year. Chris Speier’s DUI on a motorcycle “helped” Dusty as he would have been the interim manager.


--Unless Dusty really turns things around, the Cubs will look for a replacement in the offseason.


--Bob doesn’t think that Dusty is responsible for Wood’s and Prior’s injury troubles.


--While a “great guy” and “fiery competitor,” Bob thinks that Kerry Wood is one of the most overrated guys in baseball.


--Wood is out of Chicago after the season, as they’re not bringing him back next year.


--“Wood’s future is closing.”


--Tom Hicks could sell tickets by signing Wood, and it would “only take 3 or 4 million.”


--The most prevalent “steroid-related injuries” are lower back strains, biceps being torn off of the body and calf muscles being blown out.


--Bob’s surprised that Nomar has stayed healthy, but said that he doesn’t have the power of old.


--Bob confirmed that Harold Reynolds was fired (the interview was conducted on the day that the firing was reported by the New York Post).


--Bob spoke to Reynolds just that day. The reason won’t be made public by Harold, but Bob thinks it’s a “shame.” He called HR “a great ambassador for the game” saying “he’ll resurface” and that “he already has a couple of job offers.” “He’ll be back in the next few weeks.” “Players respected him, and the Commissioner’s Office, too.”


--“Peter Gammons is much, much better. Doctors have told his wife that they don’t think that there will be any brain damage.”


--There wouldn’t have been that erroneous White Sox Soriano report if Gammons was there.


--Peter Gammons invented the Sunday notes column.


--“There are so many good rookies this year (Liriano, Verlander, Papelbon, etc.)”


--“Papelbon could win the Cy Young and come in 3rd in Rookie of the Year.”


--Liriano wants to learn so much that he will sit and watch Santana’s bullpen sessions.


--“Liriano was part of the best trade in Twins history, worst trade in Giants history.”


--“It’s different if Pierzynski stays, but you have to seriously think that it’s the worst trade in baseball history.” (Bonser, Nathan and Liriano for Pierzynski) It was a “complete disaster,” as AJ is a catcher who hits .300, is an All Star and the Giants “got to watch him win a World Series with someone else.”


--Cubs GM Jim Hendry said that if the Twins had picked Mark Prior #1, they would have taken Joe Mauer at 2.


--Joe Mauer struck out only once in 4 years of high school baseball


--“At one point the Twins looked like definite sellers. Now as the hottest team in baseball, they could throw their hat in the Carlos Lee Derby.”


As always, thanks for listening. And, I hope you enjoy.

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