Holy Long-Rumored-Trade-Finally-Happening, Batman...

Um'kay, what I'm hearing from 'round the 'net is that it's Brent Lillibridge who's the other guy we're getting from Pittsuburgh. He's a collegiate shortstop with mad plate discipline and above average speed. He would be about to reach the double-A to triple-A level next year and hoping to increase his power output. The refreshing 'toid about him is what John Sickles said when he ranked him the "third" best prospect in the Pirates organization:

Brent Lillibridge, SS, B (Watch this guy, he could be really good)

Neat! We give up Jamie Romak apparently, no big whoop there - although a lot of you's guy's who have seen him play like him, but he's a poor man's Craig Wilson at best. (Or, Jamie Romak = Matt Young + Carl Loadenthal - Tony Pena Jr.) Bottom line, we have plenty of these kinds of guys.

The end-all-be-all of this trade, I have always said, is what happens with the second trade after we acquire Gonzalez and whomever. Are we acquiring Gonzalez to keep him or are we acquiring him to flip him or the "whomever" to another team. If the "whomever" was one of the young starters then we would definitely be looking at sending the "whomever" to Tampa or Baltimore for Rocco Baldelli or Nick Markakis immediately following this. But since this Lillihammer guy might be the guy we're getting, then it will more than likely be Gonzalez moving on to another team...and that team is most likely the Yankees.

With the Randy Johnson trade the Yankees got another bullpen arm in Luis Vizcaino, and that makes Scott Proctor somewhat expendable. So a Proctor/Melky Cabrera trade for Gonzalez (and maybe someone else) seems more likely by the minute. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but the rumors all along have been to the effect that Mike Gonzalez would have a short stay in Atlanta before being moved for other needs.

Now don't get me wrong, if we keep Gonzalez I'm as happy as can be. All the Braves fans and all of baseball will be talking about how good the Braves bullpen will be next year with three "closers" in the pen, but the Braves have already improved their bullpen drastically from the start of last season with the additions of Bob Wickman and Rafael Soriano - so that is why I keep insisting that Gonzo is just a piece which we are acquiring to get even more pieces.

We'll have to see the official statement and outcome, but I'm pretty excited about this trade - Scott Thorman takes the reins at first, our bullpen gets better, or we engineer another trade for more of the pieces we're missing. Win, win.

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