Monday, March 17, 2008

Breaking down the deadline deals


With the race for the postseason heating up, several teams made moves at the trading deadline to try to put them in position to make some noise in the playoffs. Arizona in the NL and Milwaukee in the AL were particularly busy. Let's examine the bigger deals that were made.
(Note: If a level is not given for a player he is in the majors)

Arizona Diamondbacks and Durham Entombed Spiders
- Arizona gets: C/DH Davey Barrios
- Durham gets: RF Jacob Hill, LF/1B Bob Lansing (Hi A), SP Daniel Jones (Hi A)

-Analysis: Big-time deal for Arizona. Barrios is a big-time hitter who put up huge numbers in Durham and hopes to help lead Arizona to the playoffs. As it stands now, they're in a dogfight for a wild-card spot and this acquisition helps solidify the lineup. On Durham's end, they get 2 solid minor leaguers- I particularly like Jones as a future ML starter if he continues to develop. Lansing is a young power hitter who could contribute in the majors someday. Hill is a throw-in.

Impact: 5/5

Arizona and Boise Buckskins

-Arizona gets: CF R.J. Figueroa
-Boise gets: RP Ralph Reitz, RP J.R. Ankiel, SP Melvin Robinson (AAA)

-Analysis: Not as big a deal as getting Barrios, but could still potentially be significant. Figueroa is a speedy center fielder who steals bases and plays defense quite well. He strikes out too much and doesn't get on base enough to be a prototypical leadoff hitter but can still contribute. Arizona gave up very little to get Figueroa- Reitz and Ankiel are not impact players at all. Robinson is by far the best of the bunch. He put up good numbers in AA for the D-Backs and seems to be able to handle AAA in Boise, but could be inconsistent on the ML roster.

-Impact: 3/5

Milwaukee Manic Maulers and New Orleans Voodoo

-Milwaukee gets: RP Buddy Titan, RP Glen Kelly, C John Stevenson (unassigned)
- New Orleans gets: RP Don Wang (AA), 2B Matty Clement (Hi A)

-Analysis: Milwaukee felt they needed bullpen help and got a double shot of it in this deal. Titan had been pursued by at least one other team; he and Kelly should be able to give uber-closer Quinton Hughes some help. Stevenson is a minor league catcher who is a great pitch-caller and should help Milwaukee's minor leauge pitchers develop. For New Orleans, Wang projects as a solid set-up man in the majors and Clement is a slap-hitting middle infielder who can run. It's possible New Orleans could have got more but if they had held out and nothing better came, they risked getting nothing for Titan, a free-agent after the year.

-Impact: 3.5/5

Milwaukee Manic Maulers and Vancouver Fighting Moose

Milwaukee gets: C Red Small
Vancouver gets: 1B Woody Waltman (Hi A)

Analysis: It's a tough choice for Milwaukee. They have the classic dilemma of having to choose between the offensive catcher (Small) and the defensive catcher (Victor Gonzalez) and seem to have chosen defense. Gonzalez can't play every game, of course, and you find backup catchers far worse than Small. Waltman seems like a high price to pay for a backup catcher- he's a quality overall hitter. Vancouver is willing to wait for him to develop and I think eventually will be rewarded.

-Impact: 2/5

Trenton Traffic and Boise Buckskins

Trenton gets: RP Jim Bell
Boise gets: SS Omar Garza (AA)

-Analysis: Trenton takes a flyer on a guy who has stuggled somewhat during the season. Bell has been awful since joining the Traffic, not providing the bullpen help GM Gumbercules was hoping to add to bridge the gap from the surprising starters to Fireman of the Year candidate Justin Beverlin. Garza is a very good defensive player who could stick on a ML roster as a defensive replacement in late innigs someday.

-Impact: 1/5

Montreal Maroons and Durham Entombed Spiders

-Montreal gets: SP Horatio Lecuona
-Durham gets: RP Arnold Hill, RP Josh Drese (AA)

-Analysis: This could be another deal that doesn't really help the contending team as much as they would have hoped. Lecuona is a fairly average starting pitcher who hasn't put up great numbers this year for either team. Hill is a decent major league relief pitcher who has pitched much better in Durham than he did north of the border and Drese is a future setup (maybe closer) in the ML. Not a bad haul for a 5th starter.

Impact: 1.5/5

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