ShareThis Page
Suppan trade seems imminent |

Suppan trade seems imminent

Rob Biertempfel
| Wednesday, July 30, 2003 12:00 a.m

The Pirates are close to trading pitcher Jeff Suppan, and a deal could be done as soon as today.

The bidding appears to be down to three teams: the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox.

The Pirates contacted the Phillies yesterday to let them know Suppan and outfielder Brian Giles are available. The Phillies are interested in Suppan, but no formal offer was exchanged.

“We’ve had discussions with the Phillies,” Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield said Tuesday. “But at this time of year, you’re almost talking with every team, every day — or a couple times a day, in some instances.”

The trading deadline is 4 p.m. tomorrow. After that, players must clear waivers before teams can complete deals.

“There is quite a bit of interest in Jeff,” Littlefield said. “It’s natural, with his status as a veteran, someone who’s really been a workhorse, that teams in the upper division, if you will, would be interested in someone like that.”

Suppan is 10-7 with a 3.57 ERA. On Monday, he tossed his third complete game of the season, a 3-0 victory against the Cardinals. Scouts from the Giants and Red Sox were at the game.

“St. Louis should kidnap him in the Marriott (across the street from Busch Stadium) because they need him more than anyone,” an American League scout said.

The fact that the Cardinals and Pirates are division rivals would not deter Littlefield from making a trade.

“We’ve got to look at where the best deal is, moreso than who we’re trading a guy to,” Littlefield said.

The Cardinals went into last night’s action three games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the NL Central. St. Louis is interested in Suppan but also has inquired about Kelvim Escobar of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Suppan, Escobar and Baltimore’s Sidney Ponson are considered the top three pitchers available. The Atlanta Braves are believed to be actively seeking either Ponson or Escobar.

The Braves have all but wrapped up the NL East and the Giants have a healthy lead in the NL West.

The Phillies have lost six of their past 10 games, including four in a row heading into yesterday. Their lead in the NL wild card race was whittled to one game over the surging Florida Marlins.

Philadelphia is not afraid to spend to get what it wants — as evidenced by the $85 million contract it gave free agent Jim Thome in the offseason. However, the Phillies would not have to break the bank for Suppan.

The right-hander signed with the Pirates for $500,000, although incentive clauses will push his total earnings closer to $1.3 million. His contract calls for $4 million next season with a buyout option of $500,000.

The Pirates would like to get a pitching prospect for Suppan. Right-hander Ryan Madson, who is 11-5 at Class AAA Scranton, is one possibility. But a more likely option is Class AA righty Keith Bucktrot and a position player such as infielder Anderson Machado.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.