It isn't often, here at International Rumblings Headquarters, that we launch our very own reality show. But we've done it this week, in a spectacular, one-week-only blitz of inspiration that we're calling:
"So You Think You Can Be a GM. Huh?"
(Hey, it beats "My Big Fat Obnoxious GM Wannabe.")
Yes, in case you missed it, earlier this week, ESPN.com invited you loyal readers to play general manager and send in your most inspired trade proposals. And our advice to many of you, after perusing the 1,500 brainstorms that arrived, would be:
Hang onto your day jobs -- at least until Hank Steinbrenner announces he's accepting applications for the position of Special Fan Assistant to the Heavily Quoted Son of the Principal Owner.
But lucky for us, not all of your ideas were completely insane. So we assembled some of the most intriguing, most thoughtful and (because we're always interested in providing massive entertainment) most hilarious proposals we received.
Then we consulted with several great minds in the baseball business. And now we're going to let you know exactly how you did, in this very special one-and-done edition of "So You Think You Can Be a GM, Huh?"
Here they come, our four favorite suggestions from you amateur GMs to the Minnesota Twins on exactly where they should send their soon-to-be-former ace:
1. Twins-Yankees (from Vincent in St. George's, Grenada): Santana for Melky Cabrera, Ian Kennedy, Eric Duncan and Shelley Duncan.
2. Twins-Red Sox (from Mark in Romania): Santana for Coco Crisp, Jon Lester and Craig Hansen.
3. Twins-Blue Jays (from Chase in Long Island, N.Y.): Santana for Alex Rios and Dustin McGowan.
4. Twins-Mets (from Mike in Louisville, Ky.): Santana for Lastings Milledge, Mike Pelfrey and Philip Humber.
Let's do these in reverse order of feasibility. That Mets swap can't happen because none of those three is regarded as a sure-thing future star, and Humber is viewed by other clubs as just an interchangeable part. The Toronto deal has no shot because the Blue Jays couldn't afford to pay Santana and he wouldn't sign there anyway.
The Red Sox package has the right framework but the wrong pieces. Substitute Jacoby Ellsbury for Crisp, and the Twins would almost certainly think about it. But the Red Sox don't want to deal Ellsbury, period, and especially if the rest of the package has to include pieces like Lester.
And here's the problem with that Yankees idea: excellent quantity. But Shelley and Eric Duncan don't represent enough quality for the Twins. "You're not going to 'volume' them in this deal," says an official of one team that has spoken with the Twins. "They're not going to take five average players. They're going to get star-caliber guys back, or it's not going to happen."
Your onslaught of Cabrera deals also caused our inbox to overflow its banks. (Alert FEMA.) Here are four highlights from that deluge:
1. Marlins-Angels (from Adam in Albany, N.Y.): Cabrera for Howie Kendrick, Ervin Santana and Reggie Willits.
2. Marlins-Dodgers (from Jeff S.): Cabrera for hot pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw and third baseman Andy LaRoche.
3. Marlins-Giants (from Red in Monterey, Calif.): Cabrera for Noah Lowry, Jonathan Sanchez and Fred Lewis.
4. Marlins-Indians (from John in Cleveland): Cabrera for Jeremy Sowers, Andy Marte and Ben Francisco.