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Break the Propaganda

The whole day there were trade winds bowing about a possible Jason Bartlett/Nolan Reimold swap between Baltimore and Tampa Bay, and my guess is that these winds were coming from Fangraphs. Yes, if this was to go down as is, this would be a heist on Andrew Freidman’s end. However this tweet from R.J. Anderson blew the lid off of this thing:

Reimold has nearly a 15% walk rate over his last 500 PA in Triple-A. Hold me.

Anderson, who writes for Fangraphs, also writes for DRaysBay, a website which is determined to raise enough money to purchase a one-page print ad in a St. Petersburg newspaper thanking Carl Crawford for his service as a Ray. Seeing any conflict of interest here? In either case, outside of Tampa, that aformentioned tweet is interpreted as the following to the rest of the nation:

Reimold FAP FAP FAP 15% walk rate FAP FAP FAP in Triple-A. FAP FAP FAP. FAP FAP FAP!!!

Thankfully ESPN’s Jayson Stark put the wooden stake through this superfulous rumor:

Trade that would have sent Jason Bartlett from #Rays to #Orioles for Nolan Reimold falling apart. “Not happening,” says one source.

The deal fell through since Freidman was clearly trying to fleece Andy MacPhail and the Orioles. A Bartlett/Reimold swamp would have been bad enough, however Friedman also requested (their one time closer) Alfredo Simon. Still not enough? How about Matt Weiters? FAP FAP FAP.

Yes the market for shortstops this winter is bleak, and the Rays do have some leverage with the negotiations here, however they do have a few things working against them:

  • Bartlett is four years older than Reimold and is a free agent after the 2011 season.
  • The Rays, unlike the Orioles, are under stringent payroll constraints, and Bartlett is expected to make north of $5MM in 2011.
  • The Rays want to find everyday playing time for another talented shortstop, Reid Brignac.
  • Bartlett’s 2009 season (a 5.0 WAR player according to FanGraphs) was fantastic, however his 2010 season was abysmal.
  • Bartlett was a non-tender candidate earlier.

The evidence is pointing to the notion that Baltimore has more leverage in this situation than the circle jerk of staff writers at FanGraphs would have you believe. Tampa Bay needs to move Bartlett, and Baltimore would be right to start a trade around the least valuable (or most replacable) of parts, middle relievers. That’s what they did with yesterday’s Mark Reynolds trade (and if Arizona is smart, they’d stretch David Hernandez out so that he’d be a starter. That’s my guess as to what they’ll do, but that’s another story.)

In either case, for all the Baltimore fans out there who were disheartened with the trade winds today, and the casual baseball fans who were easily depressed as thinking a heist was going to happen, don’t believe everything that you read on FanGraphs, or from Anderson, or even Tokyo Rose for that matter. If this was pre-MacPhail Baltimore, this trade might have went down. However looking back at Baltimore’s most-recent trades, they’ve usually worked out to be fair for both parties at worst.

Permalink12/07/10, 04:17:37 pm, by Mike Email , 769 views, Orioles, Rays Send feedback

MLBTR - FA Arbitration Offer Tracker

People have been asking me lately why posts here have been few and far between lately… long story short I’m a programmer and have been taking on a few side projects lately. One interesting project that I did (which went live today) was a pretty nifty tracker for MLB Trade Rumors which shows all of the 2010 free agents (ranked by Elias) and whether or not they’ll be offered arbitration by their previous teams.

Any ways check out this tracker here.

Permalink11/23/10, 12:07:26 pm, by Mike Email , 717 views, MLB Send feedback

So... how much will Koji get?

The market for oft-injured middle relievers “with upside” took a hike today. Joaquin Benoit signed a large deal with the Tigers: 3 years for 16.5MM (that compensation could go up to 19.5MM.) Everyone should know the story about Benoit by now… he was out all of 2009 with rotator cuff surgery, bounced back in 2010 as a minor league signing by the Rays, gave up 9 earned runs in 60.1 innings during the season, and just broke the bank with his signing.

Benoit has been on and off throughout his career, and while his ERA (1.35) and WHIP (0.68) were sparkling last season, there have been some signs that these numbers might be flukey, particularly his .201 BABIP. He missed bats, with over 11 K/9 while waking roughly 1.6 per nine. Again those numbers were bolstered by that BABIP… historically Benoit averages around 8 K9 and 3.5 BB/9.

But like any big contact for middle relievers, some risk is present. Joe Paw summed it up nicely:

Benoit might be good, but his injury history and unsustainable 2010 numbers suggest that the Tigers have overpaid.

So with this all said, this brings us to Koji Uehara, a Japanese import who signed a two year, 10MM deal with the Orioles back in January of 2009. He was brought in to start, but spent roughly one out of three days as an Oriole on this disabled list with a wide array of injuries (everything from heat fatigue.) The Orioles saw that and decided that he was best to serve out of the bullpen in 2010, and after Buck Showalter took over in August, he was the team’s dependable closer.

Enter the 2010 offseason, and with teams throwing around money pretty wildly (particularly the Tigers), Koji could be set to cash in this winter. His numbers were sparkling in 2010 too: 11.25 K.9, 1.0 BB/9. He had the best K/9 ratio of any pitcher over 40 IP last year, and had the best K/BB ratio as well (even besting Cliff Lee.) And unlike Benoit, these numbers are sustainable
, especially as buoyed by his .317 BABIP in 2010. It’s not like Koji walked anyone in Japan either.

So this brings us to the question… how much will he get this season? When the season ended, I predicted Koji grabbing a two year deal worth around 6MM. The Benoit deal upped this number somewhat. Factors will be involved in the next contract for him, such as whether he’ll close or how many years he’ll get. For total compensation, the highwater value was set by the White Sox with Scott Linebrink (4/19MM.) Brandon Lyon did ok last year too (3/15MM.) For a team in need of a dominant late innings reliever, Uehara is a much safer investment than Benoit. However thanks to the events that transpired today, his asking price just got a little higher.

Permalink11/17/10, 03:39:22 pm, by Mike Email , 677 views, Orioles, Tigers Send feedback

Beat with the Uggla Stick

People have been asking me to write stuff in this blog, and I’ll start doing that. Just need a good category…

News item: the Marlins trade All Star second baseman Dan Uggla to the Braves for All Star Omar Infante and reliever Mike Dunn.

I’ve been seeing the reactions from everyone, and there seems to be accord. This is for the most part an underwhelming return on the Marlins’ star second baseman, especially since the Marlins are trading within their division nonetheless. Uggla presumably would have been a Type A free agent after the 2011 season, and the Marlins (assuming they offered him arbitration) would have received some draft picks.

I’m not sure whether the fish are going through a fire sale right now or not, but the past few days they’ve decided to build their bullpen via acquisition:

And it’s not like they haven’t taken this route before:

So as a result of this dealing spree, the Marlins are incredibly weak up the middle, but should have a rock solid bullpen which should close out 35% of the games that they’ll win. The Braves get a great middle-of-the-order bat who should prosper in Turner Field. And the Padres get a (cheap, team-controlled) talented outfielder who should easily be an upgrade over Tony Gwynn Jr. And the Tigers still have Miguel Cabrera, who should garner a few votes in the MVP ballot (announced next week.)

I’m not really sure what’s going on in Florida, but I’m glad not to be a Marlins fan. And I wonder what the asking price is on Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez, not that I’m kicking tires or anything…

uggla
Grand Theft Second Baseman
Permalink11/16/10, 04:54:39 pm, by Mike Email , 793 views, Braves, Marlins Send feedback

This is Still Getting Search Traffic...

And I haven’t written anything in it in months…

I promise I’ll start using this more often for fun.

Lots of things on my mind I’d love to talk about, like Rich Lederer and his odd man-crush on Jered Weaver, and that super-cool statistic known as xFIP. I clearly want to do a comparison between Weaver and Ricky Romero, and give my $0.02 as to who should start the All Star game in Anaheim this year (and no, I’ll argue that it shouldn’t be Weaver since he hales from the host city.)

Yep.

–Mike

Permalink06/27/10, 11:10:27 pm, by Mike Email , 756 views, A's Send feedback

A New Year's Resolution

I know it’s been over three months since I’ve written anything of relevance in this blog… but I’m back wishing everyone a Happy New Year. I apologize for the hiatus; life gets in the way.

People have been emailing me for reactions to all the winter moves and trades, particularly the Cliff Lee and Carlos Silva trades in particular. Ha my opinions are along the same lines as the Craig Calcaterras and Dave Camerons of the world… it doesn’t take a degree in nuclear physics to analyze the trades that happen. But if I’ll write in here if something interests me, I promise.

Permalink01/01/10, 08:48:16 pm, by Mike Email , 816 views, MLB Send feedback

Scrap Value

So the Padres extended David Eckstein’s contract through 2010:

The Padres took another step toward the future yesterday by extending the contract of the second-oldest player on their active roster.

David Eckstein will return as the Padres’ second baseman in 2010.

The decision to extend Eckstein, who would have been a free agent at the end of the season, was announced before the Padres lost 7-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals before 38,156 at Petco Park.

He’ll make 1MM in 2010. I’ve made jokes about this before ad nauseum, especially in regards to the mainstream media’s infatuation towards him, but whomever covered the Saturday night shift at Rotoworld summed it up pretty nicely about baseball’s scrapiest player:

Eckstein somehow convinced Padres management that he deserved a raise, despite a lowly .255/.317/.325 batting line, one home run and only 38 RBI in 416 plate appearances. The little man earned just $850,000 in ‘09, but it appears grit and hustle still carry some value in the major leagues.

It’s a shame that we’re going to have to keep talking about Eck for another year, ugh…

Permalink08/23/09, 06:01:32 pm, by Mike Email , 887 views, Padres Send feedback

Taste the Rockies

Over the week, I read a few things about the Rockies as a team not having any real weaknesses… That claim is clearly viable, that is until Aaron Cook went on the DL. And Carlos Gonzalez is out for a week after cutting himself with a steak knife. The team just signed Jason Giambi and Russ Ortiz to add some veteran depth, and even with these moves I still really like this team.

Ubaldo Jimenez manhandled the Giants today. Granted everyone’s been talking about Tim Lincecum and Chris Carpenter for the NL Cy, but some consideration has to definitely be thrown to the Rockies’ ace.

Not to toot my own horn, but I wrote the following about Ubaldo back before the season started, declaring him my sleeper of the year:

I could also see Jimenez’s ERA in the 3.50 ballpark, with a ton of strikeouts.

I compared him to a poor man’s Oliver Perez, who at the time just signed a lucrative three year deal with the Mets. Yes it’s true that Jimenez is pitching very well, it’s a shame that Oliver is not. In case anyone watched the Mets game today, he got destroyed by Phillies hitting.

Permalink08/23/09, 05:50:47 pm, by Mike Email , 855 views, Rockies Send feedback

Negative Value

In case anyone’s interested, Aubrey Huff is currently a -0.4 WAR player. That means he’s costing the Orioles 1.6MM on top of his 8MM salary. With this news we have the following trade:

The Detroit Tigers bolstered their offense for a pennant drive by obtaining first baseman Aubrey Huff from the Baltimore Orioles on Monday for a minor leaguer.

“I’ve been in last place basically my whole career, so this is an exciting time for me,” Huff said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

The Tigers began Monday leading the Chicago White Sox by 2 1/2 games in the AL Central. The last-place Orioles obtained pitcher Brett Jacobson from Detroit and assigned the right-hander to Class A Frederick.

Jacobson is the Tigers’ 10th best prospect, being selected in the fourth round in last year’s draft. RotoWorld projects Jacobson as “an above average middle reliever and possible setup man.” For them to ship off a player with negative value for an intriguing talent, Andy MacPhail is clearly doing more than dumping salary here.

Permalink08/17/09, 04:21:07 pm, by Mike Email , 853 views, Orioles, Tigers Send feedback

The Bryce Harper Sweepstakes

With tonight’s deadline to sign players drafted in the June Amateur Draft approaching, I wanted to bring up the contenders for next year’s #1 Draft Pick in June 2010:

The Race is Getting Tight…
Team W L WPTG GB
Washington 43 75 0.364 –-
Kansas City 46 71 0.393 3.5
Pittsburgh 46 70 0.397 4.0
Baltimore 48 69 0.410 5.5
San Diego 49 70 0.412 6.0

I could have calculated the GB better, and I could also calculate Washington’s “magic number” to clinch this division, but then again it really doesn’t matter. The “Natinals” have been playing better, while Kansas City has been bad in the second half, Baltimore has yet to win a series since the All Star break happened. I’m not suggesting that Baltimore has a good chance at Harper, but if they continue to stink they’ll have this kid come next June.

Then again, as most people know, the key theme to the 2009 draft has been one word: signability. The top three draft picks, Steven Strasburg, Dustin Ackley and Donovan Tate are all represented by … Scott Boras. And that Harper kid is also represented by … (drum roll please) … Boras.

Boras has stated before that he wanted to “revolutionize” how the draft works. In other words he simply wants to have his clients paid more. As most people know, he wants 50MM for Strasburg. Tate’s about to sign for 6MM, but he wants over 10MM for Ackley, a solid outfielder but only projects as a 15/15 hitter. The first two picks would have “record” bonuses, eclipsing whatever was paid to Mark Prior when drafted by the Cubs.

This past draft is also chock full of high school pitchers who want Rick Porcello money, Ackley’s UNC teammate Alex White who wants to be paid like Adam Wainwright (someone should tell him that he needs a 90 MPH fastball before that happens), and Aaron Crow, drafted by the “Natinals” last year but couldn’t agree to terms (I think they offered something like 3.9MM.) Crow pitched a year in the independent leagues, and was redrafted by the Royals who in turn offered him 3MM, which he is scoffing at. If this pitcher has brains and also is as polished as his left-handed counterpart Brian Matusz, he would be in Washington pitching right now. Matusz already has three major league starts under his belt.

I don’t understand why these amateur picks turn down top dollars? Remember Matt Harrington, offered millions of dollars by the Cubs, etc. He’s now changing tires at Wal-Mart for a living. Now I’m not suggesting that Crow or Strasburg will go the way of Harrington, but they are foolish to think that some team is going to sign them for more money the following year, not with (a) the current draft structure and (b) the economy the way it is. Strasburg is clearly the closest thing to the real deal, but if he’s turning down “record” contracts, something’s clearly wrong with the draft.

Permalink08/17/09, 04:14:04 pm, by Mike Email , 1019 views, Nationals, Orioles, MLB Send feedback

The Dumbest Fans in Baseball

About a couple weeks ago, I wrote a glowing essay on why Baltimore fans should warm up to Felix Pie, their reserve outfielder who’s struggling in his first season as an Oriole. My argument was simple, look past the stats he put up during April. If you look at Pie from May 1st on to today, he’s a .308/.351/.495 hitter. No wonder he wouldn’t pass through waivers.

Up until last night’s blowout of the Angels, many fans would trash the Dave Trembley whenever Pie received an occasional spot start. Heck some fans were bitching that Andy MacPhail traded away Oscar Salazar instead of him. Sheesh.

I’m starting to see glowing support from many Orioles fans now for Pie, especially with struggles to Melvin Mora and Luke Scott, as well as injury concerns to Nolan Reimold. Hopefully last night’s cycle woke some fans up, Pie is (to paraphrase RotoWorld) “oozes” with talent. This kid should hopefully get more playing time now, and hopefully Baltimore will have their own King Felix soon. In the meantime however, my colleagues (the Orioles fans) aren’t getting any smarter.

Permalink08/15/09, 04:07:26 pm, by Mike Email , 970 views, Orioles Send feedback

Say it Ain't So Joe

I’ll cut right to the chase, I disagree with Joe Posnanski:

7. Alex Rios (Chicago White Sox). I originally had this as the second-worst contract in the game … but that was blowing this out of proportion. Several readers make the strong point that it really is not THAT bad, and I’m probably overreacting to the off-season he’s having now. Either way, this is the third deal where Ricciardi has hit the ejector button in the middle of the contract (B.J. Ryan and Frank Thomas coming first). At least this one, someone else picked up the tab — and yes, Kenny Williams will now be the one judged on how this contract turns out.

He makes a compelling case against J.P. Ricciardi and him doling out bad contracts. I agree wholehardedly with his claim, that is he handed out some bad deals, notably the Vernon Wells albatross of a contract. However Rios? I actually liked this move on behalf of the White Sox.

Rios has come a long way in his career. When he first came up, people thought that he’d never hit for power, based on the 1 HR that he hit in 2004 (over 426 AB!) His power eventually then started to climb, to the point where he hit 24 HR in 2007. His reward for that season, a seven year, 69MM contract extension, buying out the rest of his arbitration years, as well as some free agency years.

Wells is fast, on pace to steal 30 bases for two years in a row. While his defense is regressing, he might enjoy his move to Chicago. For one, he’ll have some protection in the lineup. And secondly, with him manning center all to himself for the next five years, this deal looks good for the White Sox. Erik Manning agrees.

Ken Williams is by far my favorite GM in all of baseball, simply due to the fact that he takes risks. His moves are always head scratchers (e.g. the Javier Vazquez trade, or the Jake Peavy deal), but this Rios deal is grand theft for the Pale Hoes. If Ricciardi made any mistake, it’s that he let Rios go for free. If the Jays wanted to dump salary, he should have sold him Wells instead.

So how about it, the White Sox get a 30-30 man in center for five years. What’s wrong with that? Yes his numbers are down this year, but I expect them to return. If Posnanski wanted to include a bad contract to his list, why didn’t he mention Torii Hunter? Speaking of aging center fielders with little upside, Hunter’s got 60MM coming to him over the next three years from the Angels. Coupled with his new injuries, it’s a shame that Bill Stoneman and company didn’t take out an insurance policy on their center fielder.

Permalink08/12/09, 06:08:48 pm, by Mike Email , 857 views, White Sox, MLB Send feedback

Bargain Huntin'

CNN’s Jon Heyman is at it again:

11. David Eckstein, Padres infielder: A bargain for 850 grand. Worth it for attitude alone.

Pull up the brakes. The great Heyman lists Eckstein as a great bargain who probably wouldn’t slip through waivers. To paraphrase Seth and Amy, really?!?

Using some nifty data from FanGraphs, we can produce the following chart:

eckgraph2
WAR data provided by FanGraphs.com.

Going from the above graph, Eck will hurt you with his glove and with his bat (as evidenced by his .269/.327/.344 line.) However given the fact that he plays shortstop, that keeps his value above water. Eckstein is currently a 1/2 win player, or is worth roughly 2MM this year. If he gets shifted to another position (outside of catcher), his value is shot.

Eckstein is currently making 800K, so as of right now, the Padres have a 1.5MM surplus value in their “scrappy” infielder. Is this solid, maybe? I can think of better bargains out there. How about the recently-traded Cliff Lee? How about Longoria, Lincecum, etc.? I can think of many. They’d sure as hell slip through waivers…

Heyman also speculates in the hit-and-run piece that Alex Rios is over-valued, and as Dave Cameron proves, our fun-loving author is full of shit. Man, what I would give to have Heyman’s job…

Permalink08/03/09, 04:42:34 pm, by Mike Email , 914 views, Padres Send feedback

Always Room for Pie

With the non-waiver trading deadline coming and going, we can now look forward to see what players could potentially be moved (through waivers) in August. Baltimore has a slew of potential players, from Aubrey Huff to Melvin Mora to some of the older bullpen arms. It shouldn’t take much to pull those players from the roster, heck after today’s rant Mora probably punched his ticket out of town. Mora’s defense albeit is solid, but his power evaporated, he is nothing more than a singles-hitter, when that does happen.

With the veterans coming off the roster, this will mean more playing time for their young rising stars. That is the usual suspects that people know: Matt Wieters, Nolan Reimold, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones. One player left out of the mix however is reserve outfielder Felix Pie.

fpie
Baltimore fans shouldn’t be too quick to run Pie out of Charm City.

Pie, acquired from the Cubs during the offseason for Garret Olson and a relief pitching prospect, won the starting outfield job after camp broke, however didn’t exactly hit the ground running, batting .157/.246./.216 in April. By that point Reimold took over the full-time job, and Pie was the subject of much scorn from Baltimore fans.

With Pie on the bench however, he was the subject of numerous trade rumors. Pie is out of options, and there’s no way that Andy MacPhail could slip him through waivers unexposed. The team dealt away Oscar Salazar for relief help to keep him on the roster. While many Baltimore fans have been calling for Pie’s head, his performance after his dreadful month of April has been clearly rewarding, as per Pinto, he’s been a very solid .300/.347/.457 since then.

Manager Dave Trembley has been struggling to find him at bats, but he’s been settling in nicely as the team’s #2 hitter, getting on base two more times in today’s slugfest. While people when thinking of young Orioles on the rise tend to forget that Pie is still around, he’s clearly starting to make more noise. He projects as a solid #2 hitter in the future… now the only problem is to figure out how to get enough at bats to him, Jones, Markakis, and Reimold. Also Luke Scott is still in the picture as well. For the Orioles, this problem is a good problem to have.

Permalink08/02/09, 04:43:19 pm, by Mike Email , 952 views, Orioles Send feedback

Grading the Trades

Yesterday at 4PM EST was the MLB non-waiver trading deadline. Big names like Roy Halladay, Adrian Gonzalez, and Heath Bell weren’t moved. However plenty of moves were made yesterday and days leading up to the deadline. Here’s my interesting analysis on the moves.

San Diego Padres traded Cla Meredith to Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore Orioles traded 1B Oscar Salazar to San Diego Padres.

This trade has me shaking my heads when it was made. Meredith is effective and induces ground ball outs, perfect for Baltimore. Salazar, while a solid hitter, is out of options. For Andy MacPhail to even be able to acquire something for Salazar, that alone is an accomplishment.

Edge: Baltimore

Indians get Minor leaguers – pitchers Jason Knapp and Carlos Carrasco, INF Jason Donald, C Lou Marson. Phillies get SP Cliff Lee and LF Ben Francisco.

This move had me scratching my head as well. Lee is effective, an ace. The haul the Indians for for him is weak. Marson and Donald are going to be servicable, as is Carrasco, and Knapp might be as good as Josh Johnson, someday. However with super-prospect Carlos Santana coming up, Marson won’t have much of a starting role. Lee will rake in Philly, and Francisco is a pretty-good fourth outfielder. Mark Shapiro did not get full value for the ace.

Edge: Philadelphia

clee
Cliff Lee is going to start paying off immediately for the Phillies. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Giants get 2B Freddy Sanchez, 1B Ryan Garko. Pirates get Minor league RHP Tim Alderson. Indians get Minor leaguer LHP Scott Barnes

I lumped these moves together, though they happened on separate days. The Giants surrendered good pitching prospects to redo the right side of their infield, with replacement-value players. The move of Alderson had me scratching my head, and Barnes should excel in Cleveland. Pittsburgh had to move Sanchez, albeit a solid player, but with a 8MM 2010 option that was causing trepidation amongst Pirate front office officials.

Edge: Cleveland and Pittsburgh

Mariners get SS Jack Wilson and RHP Ian Snell. Pirates get C Jeff Clement, SS Ronny Cedeno, and three minor league RHPs Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin and Nathan Adcock.

I’ve always been a big fan of Snell, and him going out to the pitching friendly confines of Safeco is huge. It also helps that he’ll have great defense behind him, with Wilson also being brought on board. Wilson is solid and worth his money, but as many people have pointed out, there are cheaper glove men out there, Adam Everett being one in particular.

The Pirates meanwhile get a nice haul. The arms are power arms. Cedeno is useful, but shouldn’t start. Clement is intriguing. He reminds me of Andy LaRoche, a former top prospect for the Dodgers who didn’t pan out, also acquired last summer by Neil Huntington. I thought this trade over deep and am not sure which side I fall on, I like it for both teams.

Edge: Even

Pirates get RHPs Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio and minor league infielder Josh Harrison. Cubs get LHP John Grabow and LHP Tom Gorzelanny.

Huntington was indeed busy, but this haul isn’t as solid as the group of players he got for his double-play tandem. Hart will be useful in their rotation, but I like the players the Cubs got. Garbow will be useful, and I’ve always been a Gorzelanny fan. Like Snell, he was raking at Triple A, and stashed at the back of the Cubs rotation could be good for him. He reminds me of Rich Hill, someone that had good success in 2007 and is trying to get his career back on track with another team.

Edge: Cubs

Rockies get LH/RP Joe Beimel. Nationals get Minor league prospects Ryan Mattheus and Robinson Fabian.

The Rockies upgraded their bullpen over the past few weeks, acquiring Betancourt from the Indians and recalling Chacin from Double A, and now acquiring Biemel from the Nats. However I feel that Mattheus is too big of a price for the solid lefty, due to be a free agent at the end of the year.

Edge: Nationals

Mariners get LHP Jarrod Washburn. Tigers get LHPs Luke French and minor leaguer Mauricio Robles.

This trade has been analyzed ad nauseum by many, and I agree with them entirely. The Tigers made this move out of desperation. Washburn’s ERA was helped out by a solid team defense, and he’s bound to regress in Detroit. I’m not saying he’s a bad pitcher, but he’s not an ace they’re expecting to receive. Six years of team control of French (plus a power arm) is a huge price to pay for the soon to be free agent starter. Good job Wayne Z.

Edge: Mariners

Twins get SS Orlando Cabrera. A’s get Minor league SS Tyler Ladendorf.

The Twins played the waiting game, not giving up Danny Valencia in the process. This move is huge, since the Twins are weak up the middle. I like this trade better than the one the Tigers made, since they gave up a fringe SS prospect. And Cabrera is starting to heat up too… hopefully this move will appease Mauer and Morneau.

Edge: Twins

ocab
The Twins made out well acquiring Cabrera. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Red Sox get C Victor Martinez. Indians get SPs Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price.

Martinez will be useful in Boston. He’ll be very helpful, and will hopefully wake up their dormant offense. He’s also under control and is affordable through 2010. The cost for him? Masterson will be useful in Cleveland, but Hagadone is the key to this trade. He has front line starter potential, and Price isn’t too bad himself. The Red Sox are trading from their surplus though, and Bard, Bowden, Tazawa, Buchholz and Anderson are staying put.

I’m curious to see what the Indians and Mariners rotations will look like come 2010.

Edge: Even

Marlins get 1B Nick Johnson. Nationals get Minor leaguer LH/SP Aaron Thompson.

The Marlins get a great OBP guy, with the Nationals throwing in the remainder of his salary to boot. They had to surrender a top pitching prospect though, but I like this move on both sides.

Edge: Even

Orioles get Minor leaguers 3B Josh Bell and RHP Steven Johnson. Dodgers get LH/RP George Sherrill.

Sherrill’s days of closing appear to be out-numbered, however he’s going back into his role when he was devastating in 2007 for the Mariners, as a specialist. He destroys left handed hitters, and if/when the Dodgers play the Phillies in the playoffs, he’ll be very useful. The cost for him though was a powerful and advanced third base prospect in Bell (especially that ISO above .200.) He could be a 30 HR threat soon. And Johnson isn’t too bad himself, having ties to Oriole broadcaster Dave Johnson.

I like this move for the Orioles, but it’s not as lopsided as many people say it is. If the Dodgers win the whole thing, then it’s worth it for them.

Edge: Baltimore

The Red Sox get Casey Kotchman. The Atlanta Braves get 1B Adam LaRoche.

The Braves have been playing well, and LaRoche’s bat will be useful. Kotchman’s glove is good, and he’s cheaper and under team control as well for some time, which is probably why the Red Sox were interested in him. Don’t expect him to start anytime soon however.

Edge: Even

Reds get 3B Scott Rolen. Blue Jays get 3B Edwin Encarnacion RH/RP Josh Roenicke, and RHP Zach Stewart.

I like this move on behalf of both teams. Rolen’s glove is outstanding, plus the Jays are paying the rest of his salary for the year. They’re on the hook for his 12MM salary next year though, but if he stays healthy he’s worth it. Encarnacion has a great bat, but shouldn’t be fielding the hot corner. He could be like Tony Bautista was for the Jays, a 30 HR threat.

Had the Reds traded Yonder Alonso, as originally was reported by FOX, this move would be grand theft by the Blue Jays.

Edge: Even

Padres get Pitchers Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Dexter Carter and Adam Russell. White Sox get SP Jake Peavy.

Honestly, when I first heard this trade announced on ESPN radio, I thought Jayson Stark was joking (especially since those idiots were taking steroids instead of trades, a big reason why I avoid ESPN radio.) Then the rumor came to fruition 30 minutes after the deadline, and Peavy and his agent confirmed the trade, by waiving his no-trade clause.

Peavy and Axelrod were shaking their heads, as was I. The White Sox are paying all of Peavy’s contract over the next three years, and they surrendered four prospects. I was a huge Poreda fan, and Richard should be useful.

The fact which made this trade strange is that Peavy is damaged goods. However when he’s healthy, he’s good. He’s very good. But I’m curious to see how he’ll do outside of Petco, since his home/away splits are different.

The most important part of this deal is that the Padres rid themselves of Peavy’s albatross of a contract, which admittedly looked like a bargain two years ago. The ace should be ready by September, and if the White Sox are still in the hunt, it might pay off for them. Ken Williams made a lot of moves that had me scratching my head, but many of those moves come back to make him look like a genius months later. I like this trade now for the Padres for the above reasons, but let’s see what happens a few months from now…

Edge: Padres

Any ways that’s all of the moves (I think.) Now it’s August, and we’ll hopefully see more trades, though these players will have to slip through waivers first.

Permalink08/01/09, 11:20:00 am, by Mike Email , 946 views, MLB Send feedback

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