=== Fearless Forecast Dept. ===
The word out of San Diego is that the Padres want to see what they have, in 2010, before moving Gonzalez for 1.7 years before free agency.
Supposing that you're in Capt Jack's shoes, and you've talked with the Pads about AGone, the Brew about Fielder, etc. And the GM's just haven't been willing to deal, not in any sort of reasonable scenario.
Suppose again that you do forecast that the Pads (or whoever) are going to have a rough ride in April and May -- maybe June at the latest. And that those teams, with 1+ years before FA, will then deal.
It would be weird, but your Grand Plan would revolve around trading for a franchise 1B -- midsummer.
That being the case, Mike Carp becomes a nonissue, and you might as well get a bridge MLB(TM) player for the first few months of 2010. SSI cheerfully concedes that Casey Kotchman's age-27 season figures to help the club more than would Mike Carp's rookie season.
The Kotchman move, to me, "represents" A-K suited in the hole: a franchise 1B shortly to be obtained. Between two pro players, the second player would "put Jack on the hand" of preparing himself to trade in the short term.
Being as the two guys assume logical play from each other.
=== Hall Pass Dept. ===
Bill Hall definitely figured to be on the 25-man roster, as an IF/OF, so now the door's opened for another player. Matt Tuiasosopo, maybe.
My man Earl never had anything against calling up hotshot AAA players and, says Earl, "I tell him I don't know how much he'll play. If the kid goes 2-for-his-first-50, you're out of a job."
I dunno when the idea began, that you have to give a blue-chipper 550 AB's or you're wrecking his career. A lot of ML stars began their careers as benchies. When I was a kid, George Foster cooled his heels for a while with the Reds and then when he couldn't be held back any longer, stepped into the lineup and outhit all the other Reds.
Could Tui hold his own in the majors already? Probably. His 2009 was already a lot better than his 2008 -- in 2008 he fanned every 3rd time he went to the plate, whereas in 2009, he battled pitchers to an Obi-Wan vs Anakin backpedalling draw.
As you know, I love the way Tui's swing gives him an extra two feet at the plate. So if there's a guy who can defend himself, from a style point of view, he'd be it.
For me, Tui looked quite comfortable last September, and he did SLG .400+ in short AB's. So it looks feasible to me.
But, Tui is a football player, a bit of a late bloomer, and hasn't conquered AAA yet. Not in the sense that a 1st-round draft pick should trash AAA before he takes on the majors.
Would prefer another year in AAA for him, but wouldn't be afraid to let him learn in the majors, as the 4th infielder and 5th OF.