Saturday, December 26, 2009

Deadline Deals

The non-waiver trade deadline saw a handful of deals take place; none of them were nearly as big as the Washington-Milwaukee deal, but a few teams did add some important pieces to try and help fuel a deep playoff run. Seattle was by far the busiest team near the deadline.

Seattle Killer Whales and New York New York

Seattle gets: RP Freddie Hampton
New York gets: CF Albert Dale, RP Jim Vogelsong (AA)

Anaylsis: Seattle gets a former closer to set up Quilvio Sanchez in Hampton, who is especially tough from the left side. If he's limited to mostly left handed hitters, he'll be dominating-even if not, he's a solid arm out of the bullpen. As for New York's haul, Dale is a bit of a question mark- he's got the defensive ability to play a good centerfield, but scouts are divided on whether he'll hit at the ML level, although he has hit well in the minors thus far. He'll get his shot quickly on a rebuilding New York team. Vogelsong is a throw-in who could be a right-handed specialist someday, but probably not anything more than that.

Seattle Killer Whales and Atlanta Bandits

Seattle gets: SP/RP Rico Mangual
Atlanta gets: 3B Tony Burnitz

Analysis: Seattle continues to grab depth in the bullpen in Mangual, another former closer (with Washington) who had settled into a long relief/swingman role with both of Atlanta's title teams. He might be a bit overpaid at $6.5 million, but his contract is up at the end of the season and adds even more depth to the Seattle pen. Atlanta gets Burnitz, a 3B who has taken a while to develop (he's already 25) and hasn't proven much in the majors (has never driven in more than 63 runs in a big-league season) and who has had some injury issues, but does have talent.

Seattle Killer Whales and Chicago Snake Tamers

Seattle gets: SP Slash Ruffin
Chicago gets: SP Murray Crane, RP Lance Leyritz, SP Osvaldo Colon (Lo-A)

Analysis: A bit of a head-scratcher for me, as Chicago trades a talented, 23-year-old starter and takes back salary to do it. Ruffin returns for his second tour with Seattle (he made his ML debut with the Killer Whales before being dealt to Chicago) to help with the stretch run. He won 13 games as a rookie last season between the two cities and is still developing- he's got a big upside. Chicago opted for quantity here, as they get Murray Crane, a 24 year old pitcher who couldn't get out of Seattle's minor league system- scouts say he won't develop much further, and Colon, whose ceiling looks like a poor man's Ruffin. Leyritz is a 12th man on the staff type on a good team, and an innings eater on a mediocre team.

Austin City Limits and Houston Riverdogs

Austin gets: SP Matt Skinner
Houston gets: LF Yorvit Terrero (AA)

Another head scratcher, although not for the same reason as the Seattle/Chicago deal. Houston parts with a lights-out closer although they are still in the race- they are tied with Trenton as of this post for the last wild-card spot in the NL. Austin saw an opportunity to upgrade from Matty Eusebio, and they did- Austin has as good a shot as anyone in the NL to get to the World Series. Houston did get good value for their closer- Terrero has yet to put it together in the minors, but he is only 20 and scouts have touted him as a unique (not rare, unique) blend of speed and power.

No comments: