If you’ve been a (relatively) long-time reader, you’ll note that I discussed the Cardinals getting Prior back about a month ago. That scenario, though, assumed that the Cubs would non-tender Prior, making him a free agent and costing the Cardinals only cash.
If you start talking about trading, though, that brings in another set of issues. I mean, it’s the Cubs. A divisional rival at best, a hated enemy at worst. Do you really want to trade a player that might be useful to Chicago in exchange for the unreliability and potential disaster that Prior could be?
In my mind, it depends on what the Cubs want in exchange. If they are likely to non-tender and they are just looking for a warm body or someone a little cheaper, giving them a AA player or two for him wouldn’t bother me any. Sure, it’s possible they’d pan out, but the odds would be against them. Now, if the Cubs were holding out for MLB-ready talent, people like Bryan Anderson or Jamie Garcia, I’d say have a nice day.
I can’t see them doing that. Right now Prior’s value is about as low as it gets. He won’t be ready until mid-season at best, he’s a free agent at the end of the year, there’s just not much people would give for him, I don’t think. I understand that the Padres may be interested, so you don’t want to get into a bidding war, but if you were ever going to jump on a potential reclamation project, this is the time. You have to figure that ’08 will be a struggle anyway, but imagine the second half if a healthy Carpenter and Prior joined the rotation with Wainwright. If the team could stay close at the All-Star Break, they could make a run.
Something to keep an eye on, at any rate. The ownership discussion will continue tomorrow.