Jayson Stark's Rumblings & Grumblings:
Now that the Brewers have dealt Richie Sexson, their next project is to trade Geoff Jenkins, who will make $8.25 million next year. Despite speculation that no one would take on Jenkins' money after all his injury problems, an official of one club that has spoken with the Brewers says they already have two teams actively interested.
One of them is almost certainly the Mets, who also are believed to have interest in Magglio Ordonez, despite his $14-million salary next year.
How well did the Brewers do in that Sexson deal? Baseball people we've surveyed have given them mixed reviews.
There was general agreement that Junior Spivey will bounce back. And scouts who have seen Jorge De La Rosa (once described by former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette as "the Mexican John Rocker") think he can be either a power left-handed bullpen force or a middle-of-the-rotation starter.
But there was major disagreement about Lyle Overbay, who some scouts love but others see as a guy with too little power to be "that classic corner bat you look for." There was division on whether Chad Moeller is "just a No. 2 catcher" or an underrated receiver with "great athleticism" who didn't mesh with Arizona manager Bob Brenly. And while Chris Capuano has a breaking ball that chews up left-handed hitters, one scout says Arizona had "a half-dozen pitching prospects who were ahead of him."
At least, says one AL executive, the Brewers got players -- in Craig Counsell and Spivey -- they can still turn around and move in July. And it isn't easy to trade for six players who are all legitimate big-league talents. But ultimately, says one NL scout, "I just don't like their lineup, without that power bat in the middle."
Then there's Arizona's side of this. The Diamondbacks have never had a right-handed hitter hit 40 home runs in a season. But you can bet the 2001 World Series trophy that Sexson will end that streak.
The only right-handed hitters with more homers than him over the last three years are A-Rod and Sammy Sosa. Sexson has put up huge numbers in Bank One Ballpark (.378, six HR, 16 RBI in 12 career games). And he was one of those rare Brewers who was actually better on the road (.393 on-base, .574 slugging) than at home (.364 on-base, .521 slugging) last year.
And by including Spivey ($2.37 million next year) and Counsell ($3.15 million) in the deal, Arizona still comes away with a $9-million savings between the Curt Schilling and Sexson deals.
But they're now depending on Randy Johnson to come all the way back, at age 40, and on Brandon Webb to take another step up to No. 2 starter, after just 28 career starts.
"They're putting a lot of weight on Brandon Webb in his second year," says one scout. But another scout says of Webb: "I'd bet on him. He's got good stuff and great makeup. This guy is a winner."
I wasn't even aware of Sexson's numbers @ BOB.