Earlier this month I offered this notion: that a trade of Chris Parmelee for James Shields was a possibility.
Now I have my doubts about that's a realistic exchange.
Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk on Tuesday, in the context of critiquing some ESPN Insiders takes on the pending free agent crop, listed 20 teams he thought would be in the market for a $10-million-a-year starting pitcher. His list does not include the Twins.
Call it a conservative list on his part. I think the Twins payroll could handle such a pitcher -- they're shedding something in the vicinity of $18 million in starting pitcher salary at the end of the season (Carl Pavano, Scott Baker, most of Jason Marquis, a sizable share of Francisco Liriano). They certainly have the need for such a starter.
Even if you include the Twins on the list of teams looking to add a pricey pitcher, Pouliot's point remains: Lots of potential buyers with darn few pitchers to actually spend the money on. The free agent crop has Zach Greinke, with Edwin Jackson as the next best, in Pouliot's estimation.
In my estimation, Shields is a far better, and (at least in terms of salary) cheaper, pitcher than Jackson. Which means Tampa Bay is likely to have a multitude of suitors if Shields is to be auctioned off. And Parmelee may not be sufficient to land him.
It may be a difficult offseason in which to acquire established pitching talent.