After a sizzling, rumor-filled day of conversation and innuendo ahead of the league’s most intriguing trade deadline in some time, Yellow Springs Nine fans seem to be left to ponder whether it was all just a big show.
At one point there was some serious conversation focused on a starting pitcher, or was it two? The club was apparently interested in a veteran hitter, but no one could say who it was. The word from assistant GM Fred Morrison doesn’t match with that from full GM Ron Collins, and even when it seemed to jibe, the possible deal fodder wasn’t the same. In other words, listening to the YS9 front office was like a Washington press briefing in the days before the Trump administration put an end to them—hard to put it together, and even harder to believe once you’ve done so. Bottom line is that the deadline is slipping away, and the Nine have nothing to show for it.
“We’re still sitting by the phones,” Collins said. “But right now we’re mostly talking about internals.”
Of these, Mendoza is the most intriguing. The 18-year-old outfielder, a second-round pick in last year’s draft, has scattered 6.7 WAR in three stops through the organization in 2039. “We think he has a very long future,” Collins said. “Bringing him up now could be like trading for an All-Star without having to pay anything.
FAN REQUEST: CARLOS PINEDA TO SKIP AAA?
He’s one of those guys everyone is paying attention to, and though interest is high and the Nine could use another starter right now, Pineda has already seen 140 innings. It would be unusual for the team to stretch his young (and so-far healthy) arm much farther. In addition, the team’s pitching scouts still think he’s got development to finish. To back this idea, it’s understood Pineda will make his last AA start this week on a 30-pitch count. “We’ll want to keep him fresh, assuming he’ll get some innings in the AA playoffs,” said Morrison in an earlier briefing.
So, the bottom line here at Nine Central is that the time is ticking down, and no one seems particularly driven to make a last-minute deal.
That said: the chimes haven’t rung midnight yet, and you should never rule anything out.