Not that I ever believe anything he writes, but Ray Ratto, in his latest pessimistic column, predicts that the A's, "are likely to also dispatch their winningest pitcher, Joe Blanton, to New York as part of a deal that would fetch one of Billy Beane's longest-held desirables, outfielder Lastings Milledge."
This deal has long been speculated. Presumably, the swap would be Blanton for Milledge and one of Heilman/Pelfrey/Maine/Humber.
I like this deal a lot, but as I've written before, I don't understand why New York wouldn't be more interested in Loaiza rather than Blanton. Maybe because Blanton is younger and cheaper?
Loaiza is an inconsistent pitcher, yes, but as recently as a 1 year and a half ago, did pretty well in the NL East. And just from obervation, when he's on (see August 2006) he is a much better picher than Blanton with much better stuff, and is probably a lot more athletic on the mound and with the bat.
And as we've predicted all along, Loaiza's contract now looks like a good deal.
So, if you're Minaya, and you have this pretty solid team, and what you need is an affordable mid-rotation starter for the next year or two while your window for winning it all is still open, don't you look for the best possible pitcher?
I would argue that would be Loaiza. Regardless, I hope the deal happens.