MLB’s non-contenders continue to live up to their yearly obligation to replenish the New York Yankees roster, the receipts being somewhat dubious. Will the last Pirate on the ship turn the lights out? Pittsburgh are sending Craig Wilson (above, center) to the Bronx in exchange for P Shawn Chacon.

In a somewhat less splashy transaction, Braves P Jorge Sosa —- designated for assignment yesterdayis bound for St. Louis, having been traded for Rich Scalamandre.

El Birdos welcomes Sosa with wings spread wide :

He’s no good. had a fluke season last year, but a bad player overall. he has yielded 20 homers in 90 innings this season . . . . . i’m not sure what the point was; whose spot on the pitching staff does he take? maybe this is the prelude to another trade — marquis for somebody.

My earlier claim that the Mets were sending Oliver Perez and Heath Bell to the Padres for Scott Linebrink is apparently, 101% bullshit. First person to write in with a joke about how long it will take Rick Peterson to sort out Perez wins a free copy of “The Making Of MLB2K6” on VHS.

From this jaundiced perspective, Jim Bowden’s inability to get anything more out of Alfonso Soriano than a pair of draft picks in ’07 (presuming the 2B-turned-leftfielder doesn’t sign a new pact in DC) ranks as a fireable offense. Even more so than DUI. Capitol Punishment’s Chris Needham on Soriano Staying Put :

From day one, Bowden said that he wanted each team’s best prospect. Nobody was willing to give that up, which, I suppose, is understandable. But that doesn’t mean that Bowden should’ve lowered his price. He knew what he had in Soriano: Two months of prodcution + 2 first-round draft picks.

Look at it as a reserve price auction. Let’s say that you’re selling an engagement ring because your fiancee hated your leather pants, and there was an ugly incident where she was beating and scratching you in front of a cop. When you’re selling it on Ebay, you’re probably going to set a reserve price. You don’t want some schlub like Billy Beane coming in and paying $1.75 for a ring you just laid several thousand rubles for.

I guess the only concern I have is whether Bowden’s obsession with Soriano and the accompanying trade talk prevented him from making deals for Ortiz, Armas or Hernandez, but given how crappy they’ve been pitching, it’s unlikely the Nats would’ve received anything useful anyway. (And there’s a chance that Armas and Ortiz could return draft picks at the end of the season anyway).