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MLB Trade Rumors: Wagner, Weaver, Burnett revisited

Billy Wagner to the White Sox?  A.J. Burnett to the Red Sox?  Jeff Weaver to the Orioles?

The trade winds are now gusting fiercely, as we now have 9 days, 5 hours, 38 minutes, and 26 seconds until the deadline as of this writing.  The Roto Authority has the scoop on the latest MLB trade rumors and their fantasy ramifications.

Let's start with Billy Wagner.  The Phillies have been playing well lately, and they just traded Tim Worrell to the Diamondbacks.  Worrell has been no prize this year, but this still weakens the Phillies' pen.  Ugueth Urbina would be a bit shaky as a closer, despite his success in Detroit this year.  So a deal seems unlikely. 

However, White Sox GM Kenny Williams seems determined to make some noise, even if it doesn't really help his club.  His bullpen and starting pitching have been excellent - it's the hitting that's lacking.  If Williams does pry Wagner away from the Phillies, the price will be steep.  Because of that price and regardless of 2005 performance, Dustin Hermanson would become a setup man and Cliff Politte would move a notch down the depth chart.  Ozzie Guillen has shown a willingness to use a closer-by-commitee approach in the past, but a high-profile acquisition like Wagner would negate that.

What's the latest on the A.J. Burnett saga?  Blogger Chad Finn loves the fit for Burnett in Boston.  Various sources make the Red Sox the current front runner for two reasons:  they'll take on the dead weight of Mike Lowell's contract, and they don't require Burnett to sign a contract extension to make the deal.  The fantasy effects of a Burnett trade to the AL East have been discussed previously.

Baltimore's Plan B might be to make a deal for Jeff Weaver from the Dodgers.  The Dodgers may not view Weaver as a necessary part of the team for 2006, and could be willing to ship him off.  Weaver makes $9 million and will be a free agent after the season. 

It's not out of the question that Weaver could be moved to the Angels, another team hunting for some starting pitching for the playoff drive.  Weaver would join his younger brother in the Angels' rotation of the near future.  This wouldn't rival the 1934 49-win combo of Dizzy and Daffy Dean, but it would be formidable. 

As a fantasy baseball owner of Weaver, you simply don't want to see him dealt.  He's pitching in one of the best pitching environments in baseball, and a move to the AL will certainly have a negative effect on his numbers.  Weaver's ERA sits at 4.26 at the moment - moving to a high pressure environment again won't help.  If a deal comes through before the trading deadline, ship Weaver off for something better than average. 

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