The long-anticipated transfer of Solomon Mercado to Barako Bull Energy is nearing realization.
A source told Spin.ph that Mercado is set to be shipped by GlobalPort to Barako Bull for Denok Miranda anytime soon to complete the rejigged trade-deadline deal that brought Alex Cabagnot back to the San Miguel Beer camp.
It will be recalled that Mercado, then with San Miguel, was supposed to be traded to GlobalPort for Cabagnot then shipped straight to Barako Bull in exchange for Miranda in a deal sealed last December 10.
However, the deal was shot down by PBA commissioner Chito Salud when the parties insisted on including rookie twins Anthony (GlobalPort) and David (SMB) Semerad in the transaction.
In the end, SMB and GlobalPort settled for the straight Cabagnot-Mercado swap.
That was the reason Miranda, who had already been informed about the trade the night before, was left stunned when he was told that he was staying put at Barako Bull.
Not for long, it turned out.
Spin.ph sources said GlobalPort and Barako Bull are ready to consummate the botched transaction before the start of the mid-season Commissioner's Cup.
“Parating na 'yun (trade). Hindi pa official. Tinatapos lang yung papeles. Mga in two weeks time yan,” said the source.
“Hindi pa sarado eh. Pero almost sure na 'yan. Inilabas niyo na rin naman yan dati. Tama 'yung tumbok niyo ng story noon,” he added.
While Cabagnot is now in the finals with San Miguel, Mercado found himself playing just one playoff game before the Batang Pier were bundled out of title contention.
Now the high-scoring Fil-American is set to be involved in his second trade in less than three weeks - and bound for his fifth team in a seven-year career that also included stops at Rain or Shine and Meralco.
Another information reached Spin.ph that the trade might be sealed as soon as the campaign of San Miguel in the ongoing Philippine Cup, where they are now waiting for an opponent in the finals, is completed.
“Pinapalamig pa. Hihintayin pa siguro na matapos yung laro ng San Miguel,” said another source.
The same informant, however, is not certain if other players will be thrown into the mix in the Mercado-Miranda trade.
“Hindi naman na siguro. Pero we’ll see,” said the source, who is privy to the negotiations.
“Yung Anthony Semerad kasi gustong makuha sa kabila (GlobalPort). Titimbangin pa kung kailangan pa ba o hindi na, depende sa campaign namin ngayon,” he added.
Another source bared that the transfer of Miranda to GlobalPort might signal a new beginning for Barako Bull, which may be taken over soon by Air21 Express and its flamboyant former team governor Lito Alvarez.
“Hindi ko alam pero pwedeng binabasyo na yung isa (Barako Bull). Nakikita niyo naman, read between the lines,” said a third source.
When asked what does he meant by binabasyo (being emptied), the source only let out a laugh.
“That’s for me to know and for you to find out,” he said.