Renewed talks about a trade in which the Rockies would send first baseman Todd Helton to the Boston Red Sox hit another snag Sunday as the Rockies remained firm in their demand that one of the elite prospects in the Boston system be included if a deal is made.
The two teams have scheduled a conference call this morning to see if they can find common ground according to a source close to the situation.
The hold up? The prospects, of course.
Boston has offered right-handed pitcher Julian Tavarez, who is guaranteed $3.1 million in 2007, and third baseman Mike Lowell, who is guaranteed $9 million, money to help make up the difference between those two salaries and the $16.6 million that Helton will make this season.
In addition, the Rockies gave the Red Sox a list that includes five prime prospects — center fielder Jacob Ellsbury, and right-handed pitchers Daniel Bard, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen and Clay Buchholz — and have said one of them would have to be in the deal. They did indicate they would consider substituting Jon Lester, who underwent chemotherapy for a non-hodgkins lymphoma last year, pending medical approval. Boston general manager Theo Epstein has refused to expand his offer past Lowell and Tavarez.
Yeah, so um… Not Ellsbury, not Bard, not Buccholz. I could stomach either of Hansen or Delcarmen. But just to make it a bit more interesting, the Larry-Theo rift rears its head once again:
There were indications in Boston that the trade possibility is developing into another power battle between Lucchino and general manager Theo Epstein, who is reluctant to give up young players after trades in the past year in which he sent shortstop Hanley Ramirez and left-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez in a package to Florida, and right-handed pitcher Cla Meredith to San Diego.
Remember what I said about interesting off-seasons? Yeesh. Careful what you wish for.
If the Rockies are really OK with taking Tavarez and Lowell while paying half of Helton’s salary, and only want one of Hansen/Delcarmen, I have a hard time seeing why this deal shouldn’t get done.