What’s All This Now?

Looks like there’s some doings transpiring in the Jon Garland/probably Tony Abreu deal…

When the Diamondbacks agreed Monday to send pitcher Jon Garland and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named, they expected that player to be Tony Abreu, whom they believed could be their second baseman of the future.

They also expected that Abreu would make close to the major-league salary minimum for two seasons and be eligible for salary arbitration the next three years.

What they did not know – and what the Diamondbacks believe they had no way of knowing, according to sources – was that Abreu and the Dodgers were nearing a settlement on a grievance filed in 2007 that would award him extra days of service time and could make him arbitration eligible in 2011 instead of 2012.

According to sources, the Diamondbacks believe the Dodgers did not act in good faith during the trade negotiations by failing to disclose the settlement, which could allow Abreu to earn millions of dollars more before he becomes a free agent.

Nothing like a good old intra-divisional slapfight, is there? So basically, if this settlement happens, the Dbacks would have to let Abreu go to arbitration a year earlier, which would cost them (probably) about $1-2m dollars.

But since I could care less about whether the Dbacks are whining, what could happen to the Dodgers here? The trade can’t really be undone, since Garland’s already pitched for the Dodgers (against the Dbacks, no less), so if Arizona files a grievance with MLB – which they haven’t yet – the most likely outcome is that the Dodgers might have to kick back some extra money to cover Abreu’s service time.

However, Arizona could also ask for a different player in return. So while there’s a slight hope that we might not yet lose Abreu (as you might remember, I thought he was far too much to give up) the downside of that is that it’s not likely they’d just be taking Mark Loretta back, and in fact the prospect might even be better. Something to keep an eye on…

In other news – Hiroki Kuroda returns tonight! And it’s on ESPN2! And Peter Gammons finally gives the NL West the respect it deserves! In part, he writes:

Two years ago, four of the five teams in the NL West had better than .500 records, and the Rockies and Diamondbacks played in the NLCS. This season, the Dodgers went into Saturday tied with the Cardinals for the best record in the National League and either the Rockies or Giants appear headed for the wild-card role in the National League playoffs.

On Saturday morning, only the Cardinals, Dodgers and Phillies had won more games than the Rockies and Giants. Yet, there is this the perception that somehow the National League West is some remote wilderness somewhere between the Pacific Coast League and the Alaskan League.

Damn straight!

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