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Beat Me In St. Louis

[Someone on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's message board posted a link to here, albeit describing it as a "not very good" Diamondbacks blog. Man, those are fighting words. :-) So I decided to register and post a reality check from an Arizona perspective... We'll see what kind of reaction it gets!]

Unfortunately, I haven't seen any significant/serious discussion of such a deal outside of St. Louis. I can understand why such rumours would start, after Burnett decided to play for Toronto instead: naturally, you'd want the next-best pitcher on the market. But I can't see the appeal of any trade involving Quentin from the Arizona side. In another thread, someone says, "The incentive for Arizona is to unload Vasquez's contract and deal a player asking for a trade, they get cheap quality pitching in return." [The trade as listed, saw us getting Marquis and 2 "top pitching prospects" in Wainright and Lambert, which is as Viva El Birdos stated last week, so there was nothing new there.] By all neutral accounts those prospects are far from "top": they have potential, sure, but they're raw, and probably no better than the best prospects we have in the system already. Certainly not RotY candidates like Quentin.

Interestingly enough though, nicton says, "On the Arz board, the Cards are sending Marquis and Reyes and the Cards are getting Vazquez ( all $24 mil in salary ) and Terrero...." Apart from pointing to here as the source for this - the idea of trading Terrero has never even been mentioned on AZ SnakePit - this would seem a somewhat more credible deal from Arizona's point of view. Indeed, it's probably skewed towards AZ, since Terrero has failed to establish himself at all, while Reyes is supposedly a bit of a stud. And given that'd leave us with no natural CF at all, it seems unlikely. Perhaps Marquis + Reyes for Vazquez + Quentin? That might be doable.

However, I think there are a lot more plausible scenarios that don't involve the Cardinals. Vazquez going to the Mets, for one. Glaus being traded is another: then Tracy moves back to 3B, opening RF up for Quentin. Hey, presto: no more logjam, and a lot of salary room to make sure Upton gets signed and we've got money to spend in next year's free-agent market, which will certainly be a lot better than this one. Speculate all you want, but the chances of Quentin ending up in St. Louis seem very, very slim to me...

World Baseball Classic tickets go on sale here, at least in the strips which mean you've got to go to a game at each venue. Given I probably aim only to take in one game in Scottsdale and one at Chase Field, I guess I'm going to have to wait a little bit longer to get seats. But more on that later in the week.

As Andrew sarcastically notes, we've invited Kevin Jarvis to spring training. It's hard to work out why, but does indicate how sparse the pitching prospects are in our system, who might have got an invite instead. But a man with a career ERA almost at 6.00 over an 11-year career? I'd say his best years were behind him, except that'd imply he had good years.

Still, no need to panic yet: remember these names from last year's spring training? Jose Jimenez, Donovan Osborne, Juan Acevedo? Exactly. No, the time to panic is when Jarvis manages to post a 0.50 ERA in March, and Brandon Webb falls off his truck...

Finally, a quick note on the contract extension to which Tony Clark was signed. Discovered some of the details, through this fascinating site. It's quite some deal:

2-year EXTENSION thru 2007 season worth 2.068M on 8/5/05. As part of the extension, he receives a complete NO-TRADE clause for the remainder of the 2005 season and all of 2006, but not in 2007 - he receives 250K assignment bonus in 2007 if traded. As part of the contract,

  • A charity will have: use of the owner's suite at BOB for 4 home games and a total of 1,000 tickets to regular-season home games

  • The D-Backs will issue $10 food vouchers for 34 underprivileged children at 34 regular-season games

  • Two scholarships of $7,500 each in Clark's name will be given out for the club's annual scholarship program

  • 2,000 tickets to regular season games will be distributed for use by families of military personnel serving overseas from Luke Air Force Base

  • The D-Backs will make a $5,000 donation to a Little League in Arizona and working with MLB's annual equipment drive; will also work to develop other community charitable projects such as those involving the police and fire departments

  • If Clark is traded, the above charitable obligations still must be completed by the D-Backs Agent.

Regardless of how he plays, at least it looks like a significant chunk of the money we pay him will come back to Arizona. Credit to Tony for putting these clauses in, and spreading the benefits from his excellent 2005 performance around the community.