My friend Murray directed me to this Tony Massarotti article in The Boston Herald regarding the Duque-Colon trade rumor.
He reports that a) the Yankees would receive Antonio "Don't Call Me Al" Osuna not prospects, and that b) the Yankees, not the White Sox, would help defray El Duque's salary.
This one may actually happen because it is a good trade for all involved:
- The Expos pare down their payroll but get a reliable starter to fill in for Colon, and they get some young talent from the ChiSox.
- The Sox get a quality starter and that may be enough to make them a contender in the AL Central. They also get to thumb their collective nose at the division-rival Indians, Colon's old team.
- The Bombers help pare down their 8-man rotation. They cut payroll slightly, depending on how much of El Duque's salary they take on (Osuna made $2.2 M in 2002 in the first year of a two-year deal). Osuna is a proven reliever, but he has been plagued with injuries and has lost almost all of two entire seasons out of the last four. One wonders if El Duque wouldn't be as reliable out of the pen. But that may cause unneeded stress and besides the Yankees seem to have soured on Hernandez since his subpar 2001 season and 2001 ALCS start.
- Perhaps the biggest benefit to the Yankees, and the article mentions this, is that the Red Sox would no longer be able to acquire a starting pitcher from the Expos. Omar Minaya has been trying to get the Yanks and the Red Sox in a bidding war for Colon this entire offseason. He overplayed his hand, however, and apparently hadn't bargained for the Jose Contreras sweepstakes. It will be interesting to see if the BoSox fold or up the ante.