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Jaret Wright headed to Baltimore?

The Associated Press is reporting the latest rumors and free-agent ramblings:

Yanks discuss trading right-hander Wright to Orioles

NEW YORK -- The Yankees and Orioles were discussing a deal Saturday that would send Jaret Wright to Baltimore for prospects.

Wright and Yankees teammate Mike Mussina filed provisionally for free agency Saturday, awaiting decisions on team options for 2007.

New York had until Sunday to exercise a $7 million option on Wright, a deal that carries a $4 million buyout. While the Yankees have until Wednesday to decide on Mussina's $17 million option, which has a $1.5 million buyout, the team and the pitcher's agent have been discussing a new two-year contract in the $20 million to $25 million range.

Wright, a right-hander who turns 31 next month, has been a disappointment in two seasons with the Yankees. He was 5-5 with a 6.08 ERA in 2005, when he injured a shoulder and was limited to 13 starts, then went 11-7 with a 4.49 ERA this year, only rarely lasting past the sixth inning.

A trade would leave Chien-Ming Wang and Randy Johnson, coming off back surgery, as the only definite returning starting pitchers for the Yankees, likely to be joined by Mussina. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman admitted Thursday that the team can't count on Carl Pavano, who hasn't pitched for the Yankees since June 2005 because of shoulder, backs, buttocks, elbow and rib injuries.

It was not clear which players the Orioles would send to the Yankees if a deal was struck.

Colorado third baseman Vinny Castilla also filed for free agency Saturday, the last possible day, raising the total to 178. Free agents could start negotiating money with all teams starting Sunday.

The Los Angeles Angels' Tim Salmon was the only player eligible for free agency who didn't file.

Update [2006-11-12 5:30:28 by anaconda]: Peter Abraham of LoHud has an update on the rumored deal for Wright:

The deal looks to be RHP Chris Britton for Wright and cash. Britton is a reliever, more or less their eighth inning guy. He would theoretically take some pressure off Scott Proctor. If Britton is on the way, all the Yankees would need is a LHP to complete their pen.

Here is a question that I think is worth asking.

Why would Cashman simply trade away a very cheap insurance policy in Jaret Wright (one that would essentially only cost them an extra $3 million next season) if he really thought the Yanks were OUT of the Matsuzaka sweepstakes and knowing full well that they have a clear deficiency of arms and a lot of question marks in the rotation as it stands right now?

Do you get the feeling that Cashman knows something the rest of us don't?

There is no question that Jaret Wright is nothing more than an average pitcher.  However, he did win 11 games for this ballclub last season primarily from the #5 slot in the rotation and still finished with an ERA that was a half-run better than Randy Johnson (4.49 to 5.00).

Something tells me that the Matsuzaka sweepstakes isn't a done deal as some members of the media has portrayed it the last couple of days. I don't understand why the Seibu Lions would be dragging this thing out if they were blown away with a $40 million bid from the Red Sox.

That doesn't make sense to me because conventional wisdom suggests that the Lions would be tripping all over themselves to accept such an enormous offer.

What say you?