Saturday, January 3, 2009

1/3/09: Is Gaven Draft Bait?

Alot of Crew fans are completely ignoring the draft and are (perhaps rightfully so) talking about keeping what we have together. I haven't heard many or rather any discussions of trading up in what appears to be the best MLS draft in years. But, I think we might see some surprising moves come draft time.

I think the Crew may want to get rid of Gaven's salary just north of $200,000 K. This thought keeps popping up in my head since the Crew left Gaven unprotected in the expansion draft, an act worrysome for a starter and for Gaven's Crew future. Think about it, the Crew left Gaven unprotected while protecting Ekpo.

Ekpo plays right wing. So, the Crew trades Gaven to Seattle or Toronto who either could use a known commodity (for Seattle's 1st or Toronto's 2nd or 4th pick). The Crew starts Ekpo at right wing, they pick up a generation adidas player like Zakuani or Husidic who wouldn't count against the cap. Then they have Gaven's $200,000 K plus probably around the $150,000 they have now to go after Palermo and give him a similiar deal to Schelotto's first year deal.

If the Crew doesn't decide to go after Palermo (perhaps rightfully so), they still have $350,000 or so to go after another big player or buy 2 or 3 less flashy players.

I know some people may say no way, but I think right in the expansion draft the Crew showed their cards that Ekpo was their future out on the right wing.

I may be wrong and wouldn't be opposed to being wrong. I think Gaven was one of our best players down the stretch. But, I could see the Crew going with the latter as it gives them more options for depth and I wouldn't be terribly opposed to it as Ekpo has to get on the field more somehow as well.

I wouldn't be opposed to the Crew keeping ahold of Gaven either as I think he had a great season and has a great future. But, his mediocre first 2 and a half years may overcast the what he has done lately. Just like in a way it did the same with Sigi's contract negotations.


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