– MLB – Stark: Rumblings & Grumblings

They’re delightfully insane. They won’t give up Kris Benson for anything less than top prospects, even though Benson (despite what happened earlier this week) isn’t very good. But now they’re topping themselves:

The Pirates aren’t just trying to wangle a big payoff on Kris Benson. They’re being almost as demanding for their 38-year-old closer, Jose Mesa.

The Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, A’s, Yankees and Braves (among others) have all inquired about Mesa. But Pirates GM Dave Littlefield has been telling them that Mesa works cheap ($800,000, plus another $465,000 in reachable incentives). And that the Pirates have no other prospective closers on the roster. And that they might just keep him and try to finish with a winning record.

So it’s possible the Pirates won’t trade Mesa this month at all. They’re thinking about hanging onto him for a while to see how they play over the next few weeks. Then they’d mull pushing him through waivers and trading him in August.

“If this guy were making $4 million-$5 million, they’d be ready to trade him tomorrow,” said an official of one club. “But at under $1 million, they feel like there’s no pressure to do it unless it’s a hell of a deal.”

I wouldn’t take Joe Table if you paid me. If they’re really going around insisting on top prospects for a poor man’s Roberto Hernandez, they’re even more delusional than I thought.

Anyway, the Braves are more interested in a lefty, as they should be. Stark says that they’re trying to talk Graeme Lloyd out of retirement, if you can imagine. They really are desperate.

Also: – MLB – Magglio back to DL; year over?

Good thing we didn’t make that deal, huh?