Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trades of the Past Few Days - All In One Place!

Figured I'd throw a Wladimir Balentien picture up, since you're all probably sick of Roy Halladay. And hey, for a lot of you, this may be your first picture you've seen of Wladimir Balentien!

Anyways, I wanted to put all the trades from the past few days in one place. MLBTradeRumors is a better place to go for all this, but I wanted to address four specific trade notes from my viewpoint. So here you are:


1. The Pirates Trade Half Their Roster...and get actual talent back? WTF?!?

7/29/09 - Pirates trade SS Jack Wilson, SP Ian Snell and cash to Mariners for C/1B Jeff Clement, MI Ronny Cedeno, RHP Aaron Pribanic, RHP Brett Lorin, and RHP Nathan Adcock.

7/29/09 - Pirates trade All Star 2B Freddy Sanchez to the Giants for AA SP Tim Alderson.

7/30/09 - Pirates trade LHRP John Grabow and SP Tom Gorzelanny to the Cubs for minor leaguers SP Kevin Hart, SP Jose Ascanio, and 3B Josh Harrison.

So the Pirates dealt their starting middle infield, one of two lefty relievers at the major league level, and two former top prospect starting pitchers. In return, we've got six minor league pitchers, two corner infielders, and a utility guy hitting .167 (Cedeno).

But it's really not that bad. Wilson is a lot of hustle and defense, Sanchez bats an empty .320 every year and gets hurt a lot, Snell is a head case, Gorzelanny has seen better days, and Grabow is a lefty who can't get out lefties. Now given the Pirates record, you have to assume that few of their players are perfect. But three to four of these guys have already peaked, so it's good to get prospects when you can.

And the prospects aren't bad. Clement was a former "can't miss" for the Mariners, and could certainly still make it, if so at the expense of fellow 1B prospect Steven Pearce. Harrison has power. Hart and Ascanio have been dominant in the minors this year. And Tim Alderson supposedly could be the best of them all, having ranked 26th this offseason in a ranking of all minor league prospects. It's always tempting to say that it may not be long before the Pirates turn it around. But with Andrew McCutchen, red hot Garrett Jones and Zack Duke, as well as all these rooks, maybe that time is a coming. Til then, however, I guess these Pirates will be No Names to most.


2. The Indians trade their Ace and pieces...and fans cry foul!
7/27/09 - Indians trade 1B Ryan Garko to Giants for SP Scott Barnes.

7/29/09 - Indians trade SP Cliff Lee and OF Ben Francisco to Phillies for SP Carlos Carrasco, SP Jason Knapp, SS Jason Donald, and C Lou Marson.

Victor Martinez still may go, so this is incomplete. But after two deals, many Indians fans are pulling their hair out...somewhat questionably. First of all, Knapp, Carrasco and McDonald were all Top 5 prospects in the Phillies system, and that's not too shabby. Many have Carrasco as the centerpiece of this deal, and I have to say I did too despite his AAA struggles. But this guy makes a pretty good argument for Knapp being the steal of the deal, and also notes that apparently this Marson kid can play. Barnes is a little confusing to me, as the Indians already have a thousand okay young left handers, but if the worst they did was a 4th or 5th starter lefty and a SS who may only end up a middle infield type, then that's not terrible (plus Garko isn't gonna get any better anyways). But as the article notes, this stuff hinges on Knapp. If he doesn't make it, it's a fail, and likely a huge one at that. Phillies staff becomes even more amazing...so that's good for them.


3. 7/30/09 - Orioles trade Closer George Sherrill to Dodgers for 3B Josh Bell and P Steve Johnson.

I kept begging this dude in my fantasy league to trade Sherrill. He didn't. Jokes on him now that Sherrill is a setup man. I'm interested in how that might affect his psyche, but otherwise he'll probably be solid. Decent stuff back for the Orioles, but I'm suprised they couldn't get more for Sherrill. Lucky for them they have a DH spot in case Bell needs it. Kid sure can mash against righties though.


4. 7/29/09 - Mariners trade OF Wladimir Balentien to Reds for RP Robert Manuel.

When Clement couldn't miss, Wladimir was right behind him. They both "missed" (Wladwith more at bats), but now the Reds are hoping that this former Mariners can't miss OF will work out better for them (Griffey didn't, but he was also a lot older than Wlad at the time).

Manuel was the AA Minor League Relief Pitcher of the year last year. That's all well and good, but I'll take the potentially 4-5 tool outfielder with a change of scenery over a great 8th inning guy. Hey, it worked pretty well for the Mariners this year with Franklin Guitierrez.

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