Derrick Turnbow has looked good this spring training so far. Of course, it's a ridiculously small sample size--two innings means nothing in the grand scheme of things. But it's enough to get us thinking.
Turnbow is not going to be our closer in April, and unless Francisco Cordero melts down like he did last April (and Ned Yost has a twitchy trigger finger), Derrick probably won't be our closer at any point this year. An injury to Coco is all that would make it happen.
But, obviously Turnbow can close. There are plenty of teams out there that believe no one can pitch the ninth inning except for guys with ninth inning experience, and plenty more who desperately need a better setup man. In other words, a few more outings like this for D-Bow, and Doug Melvin's phone will start ringing again.
So, do we trade him? If so, for what?
I suppose the first question depends more on how the other guys in the bullpen look. It would be great to have a guy like good-Turnbow pitching the 8th inning, but if Matt Wise looks like the '05 version of himself, and if this is the year Jose Capellan figures things out, we don't need all those guys. Turnbow's the most expensive, and he's the one we'd be likely to get the most for in return.
Those are a lot of if's, but let's say Melvin does explore trade options for Derrick. The tough part about having a team like we have is that, aside from third base right now, there's no clear place where we need an upgrade. Sure, we don't have an all-star at every position, but there's no glaring hole that must be filled. Maybe Derrick could get us a third baseman better than Todd Walker; on the other hand, I don't know who that guy is that would be available.
I wouldn't mind trading for yet another starter; if the Phillies decided were willing to even up the money (or get closer, anyway), I'd do Lieber for Turnbow. That would knock Vargas to a swingman role until somebody got hurt, but it would give us a remarkably good (and deep) starting rotation.
The other alternative, as always, is to trade for a prospect. I don't think any team is going to give up a big-name AA or AAA guy in exchange for Derrick, no matter how good he looks this spring. But a back-end rotation guy whose team doesn't have room for him right now, maybe like Dustin Nippert or Scott Baker, would suit me just fine. They could be stashed in AAA until we used them in another trade or called upon them in case of injury.
What do you guys think?