Urbina, Mesa drawing plenty of attention

The scarcity of starters might prompt several clubs to throw up their hands and go bullpen-shopping instead.

Originally Published: July 19, 2004
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
As baseball's designated seller of Kris Benson's future, Pittsburgh general manager Dave Littlefield has a firm grasp of what teams need, want and are willing to work the hardest to procure. It's starting pitching -- even the kind that comes with significant questions attached.

With Randy Johnson's future still a day-to-day proposition, Benson becomes a more attractive commodity leading up to the July 31 non-waiver deadline. That's a natural occurrence given that there are so few proven starters available.

Seattle apparently has no plans to move Jamie Moyer. It's hard to distill the reality from the speculation on Barry Zito. Tony Armas Jr. still has to prove he's healthy. Livan Hernandez comes with a three-year, $21 million price tag even if Montreal wanted to trade him, which isn't a certainty. And the consensus is that Shawn Estes won't put anyone over the top.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer