there had been rumors circulating the blogosphere to the effect that korey patterson was to be offered arbitration per jim hendry's comments only to prevent him from being scooped up on the cheap by teams which would pay for his services more dearly -- including players helpful to the cubs -- if they were forced to. one of the central rumors to that theory was the notion that either los angeles or arizona (both needing a centerfielder) would be interested, and there is only one kenny lofton to go around between them.
that rumor, which seemed vaguely specious to this page from the start, has now essentially evaporated.
arizona got their centerfielder of the future in the vazquez trade with chris young, and they now look set to ink kenny lofton as his placeholder for 2006. shawn green, often mentioned in this rumor as a salary dump onto the cubs to play right at wrigley, is 99% sure not to leave the southwestern us, thanks to a limited no-trade clause inserted into his contract at the behest of his loving, southern california wife. luis gonzalez, also often mentioned, is not a major league rightfielder due to a lack of arm strength -- he hasn't played the position since 1995 -- and matt murton isn't going to cut it over there either.
that was supposed to put the dodgers at the forefront of the patterson bidding (and i use the word 'bidding' loosely).
but it apparently won't. the dodgers are close to signing nomar to play outfield -- they already have jose cruz jr and j.d. drew under contract, one of whom will patrol center with nomar in left. jason werth will be in right, pending injury issues -- but drew in right if he can't go.
another rumored possibility was the florida marlins, but they've gone deep into talks about tampa's joey gathright, a very similar player to juan pierre. their primary opposition in these talks was the dodgers -- but, obviously, in signing nomar they will probably drop out.
so -- who else has an idea for dumping the klown? because this page is about out. one remaining destination might be the texas rangers, where gary matthews jr. patrols center, maybe as part of a deal for not-good-but-better-than-korey kevin mench. the only problem is that matthews -- even gary goddamn matthews junior -- is significantly better than patterson and quite a bit cheaper as well. not sure why texas would bother.
one would hope that the evaporation of these avenues would provoke hendry to reconsider offering patterson arbitration -- particularly considering the unimaginable but definite possibility that korey would actually win. but this page speculates that hendry is going to offer him arbitration -- not to enhance a non-existent trade value -- but because he can't land a good rightfielder at a price he can consider and is genuinely entertaining the thought of running an outfield of murton, pierre and patterson out there on opening day.
and that, folks, would invite legitimate comparisons to last year's contender for worst overall national league outfield.