Saturday, January 11, 2003
Let me start with one of my semi-regular shout-outs to The Farm Report, for keeping me and everyone else in touch with all the news.
And now, the details of the Thunder-Corpus trade. It's still not clear what Memphis really gets (or got) out of it, but for Wichita, it's the equivalent of a baseball deadline-deal -- they're pretty much done, believe Nelson won't fit in under the vet rule next year and can now try out new players while looking forward to two more at season's end.
But one thing about the Rayz -- in October, Bill McDonald told me that in exchange for Cosmo DuPaul, he received both Mike Dawson and, as a future consideration, first crack at any player Corpus chose to move. Lubbock has been an incredibly stable team -- adding Luke Volk on December 21 is the only roster change they've made all year -- and thus they've passed on Chris Hollens, Shaun Fairweather, Byron Pool, Matt Sharuga, Jason Renard and now Cam Werfelman. I believe they could have taken a flyer on one of Giffin, Munro or Marks as well (Giffin would have come in handy now, but that's another story).
So the question is, if they don't cash in that chip during the season, does that mean they get to pluck someone from the Corpus unprotected list before the Thunder do?
Also, let's not forget, there'll be a two-team expansion draft this summer. Losing Nelson means losing a player Wichita could have exposed without a second thought.
One final clarification re: Bourque. This New Mexico press release says it was a straight-up trade for Currie, but that still doesn't change the four-team collusion theory, if you buy it (and FWIW, the CHL has the two transactions happening on different days, though that could just be down to paperwork).
Two sides of the same coin: "state of the team" articles about Tulsa and Amarillo... I wrote them off in my Faceoff article, but certainly, the Mudbugs could still salvage their season -- look at what the Blazers did to Tulsa. (Man, between that piece and the "Ugs," I bet Vernelis is getting great hate mail from the boosters. Hey, at least they've got coverage to complain about.)... El Paso will probably win 3-2 just because I'm gonna say this, but tonight would be a good time for the Bats to put up eight.