I don't see why the sooner isn't better to make moves regarding positon players. I strongly believe that advancing pitchers
should be avoided as much as possible, yet fans and the club tolerate it without qualms. (In other words at the minor league levels you can manage pitch counts and days between appearances because those are barely disguised exhibition games).
Fans take no time to get excited about Robby Hammock & accept Shea Hillenbrand (including me
). If we can get maximal trade value from contenders who think they "need" Steve Finley, Curt Schilling
, Byung-Hyun Kim (oh he's gone), Tony Womack, Randy Johnson
, etc. why wait? Similarly, why wait to try Chad Tracy or Junior Spivey in the OF, Shea Hillenbrand at 1B (he played first plenty for Boston). Again, let's take advantage of Mark Grace's "mentoring" with Shea at 1B, Robby at 3B vs. lefties.
Seriously, I think it's a joke not to give Chad Tracy a shot at hitting MLB pitching. He was out-hitting Robby Hammock at Tucson. If I were GM, I'd try to trade T-Wo and see what the market was even if we picked up the tab to save face. If it's "thanks, but nope", I'd designate Tony for assignment, let him find out how lonely it is out there. Maybe another team would pick him up for free as opposed to "trading" for him (like the Cubs "traded" for Damian Miller).
Whatever. Their loss/gain.
Depending on the timing (re: CC's return), I'd call up Chad Tracy and designate Quinton McCracken who's been useless THIS YEAR. I'd hope that Q would accept the assignment to Tucson (as opposed to Tony), because Q could turn it around in the next 2 years. I'd sit down and schmooze him first (explain what we were trying to do--that's the problem with disrespecting Matty), and hope he'd stay, but tell him it would be his right to go.
It would be riskier because Q has a 2-year contract to go. But geez, look at his lack of protection. That's why his contraction was such a hamstringing waste.