Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Prince Fielder a Ranger?

Recently on ESPN it was proposed the Rangers try and acquire Brewers 1B Prince Fielder. With a core of Fielder, Vladimir Guerrero, Josh Hamilton, and Nelson Cruz anchoring their lineup, Texas would become a serious contender in the AL. Money would be this deal's largest roadblock—Fielder's owed another $4.34m this year—due to Texas' undecided future ownership. Factoring in that money and figuring they would have to move a sizeable contract or take back cash (as in the Cliff Lee and Bengie Molina deals), let's take a look at what a possible deal could look like.

RANGERS: 1B Fielder, C/OF Angel Salome
BREWERS: P Wilmer Font, 1B/OF Mitch Moreland, P Robbie Ross, C Max Ramirez, OF Michael Saunders, 1B Casey Kotchman (Seattle to pay rest of 2010 contract), P Brandon League
MARINERS: IF Brett Lawrie, P Rich Harden ($3.10m left on contract; TEX to pay $1m 2011 option buyout)

Alright, a little analysis and explanation for why the Brewers would OK this deal and how the Mariners figure into this. First of all, we know that M's GM Jack Zduriencik loves to get in on deals and knows how to satisfy three teams. He covets the Brewers' prospect Lawrie. He also can take on money, thus absorbing Harden's deal and allowing Texas to get Prince. Brewers can stay competitive in 2011 by adding League, Saunders, and non-tender candidate Kotchman. With him, Milwaukee could have a trial first baseman to finish 2010 for free. Ramirez would provide catching depth needed after Gregg Zaun's surgery and Salome's on- and off-the-field struggles. Font, Moreland, and Ross are three top 10 Texas prospects that deepen their system for years to come. Despite losing those three prospects, yet again Texas would not have to part with their top blue chip pitching prospects and could also perhaps keep Chris Davis (though he could be easily substituted into this deal for Moreland). Now paging these three teams' GMs...pull the trigger on this deal!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Transaction Tracker: Seattle Mariners

Let's take a look at...more than a handful of trades by Seattle. I'll combine all players involved in these trades into two lists, to show who they (really) gave up and who they (really) now have, plus those who they received that did not leave again via trade. After this long list I'll review how all the trades interact and affect one another. (Note: all these players are in some way or another linked to at least other.)

Mike Campell, P Mark Langston, OF Ken Griffey Jr., JJ Putz, C/1B Jeff Clement, IF Luis Valbuena, IF Ramon Vazquez, SS Juan Diaz, Aaron Taylor, Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin, Nathan Adcock

OF Franklin Gutierrez, 1B Russell Branyan, SS Jack Wilson, OF Franklin Gutierrez, 1B Mike Carp, OF Ryan Langerhans, Jason Vargas, Ian Snell, Garrett Olson, Maikel Cleto, *OF Mike Cameron, *OF Endy Chavez, *IF Ramon Santiago, *C Tom Lampkin, *C Miguel Ojeda, *IF Alex Arias, *P John Halama, *P Jesse Foppert, *P Brian Holman, *P Wascar Serrano, *P Jake Meyer, *P Nathanel Mateo, *P Jose De La Cruz, *OF Will Taylor, *OF Juan Gonzalez (not the one you think)

*no longer with team

OK, this will be a big post. In 1989 the Expos' Randy Johnson was traded to the Mariners along with Holman and Gene Harris (Will Taylor) for pitchers Campbell and Langston. In 1998, Johnson netted the M's Freddy Garcia, Halama, and Carlos Guillen. Guillen was traded to Detroit in 2004 for Santiago and the not-so-famous Gonzalez. Garcia was flipped along with Ben Davis (acquired along with Arias and Serrano from the Padres for Lampkin, Vazquez, and Brett Tomko—who we'll talk about again in a bit) to the ChiSox for Mike Morse (Langerhans), Miguel Olivo (Ojeda and Mateo), and Jeremy Reed. Reed was included in GM Jack Zduriencik's three team trade that brought in Ezequiel Carrera (who along with Diaz reacquired Branyan), Cleto, Carp, Vargas, Gutierrez, Chavez, and Aaron Heilman (quickly exchanged for Ronny Cedeno and Olson). A player lost in this specific deal, Sean Green, was acquired four years earlier for Aaron Taylor. Speaking previously of Cedeno, he was part of the M's five-player package built around Clement dealt to the Pirates for Wilson and Snell. The other three players were minor league pitchers Pribanic, Lorin, and Adcock. Now back to Tomko. He came to Seattle in the infamous Griffey trade from the Reds along with Cameron, Meyer, and Antonio Perez. Perez was then shipped to the then Devil Rays for Randy Winn, later traded for Foppert and Yorvit Torrealba. Torrealba was sent to the Rockies for Marcos Carvajal, who eventually landed in Tampa for De La Cruz. So in hindsight...very, very far-off hindsight...and considering the multiple GMs that facilitated these trades...how has this organization fared? There current roster is largely affected by these trades. Though it has struggled in 2010, it still has a bright future.

Transaction Tracker: San Diego Padres

Let's take a look at a handful of trades by the San Diego, which eventually netted them their All-Star first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez. I'll combine all players involved in these trades into two lists, to show who they (really) gave up and who they (really) now have.

Andy Ashby
P Akinori Otsuka
Billy Killian

1B Gonzalez
Chris Young
*OF Terrmel Sledge

*no longer with team

I decided to post this trade mainly because it links two trades—7 years apart—showing how the Padres got Adrian Gonzalez. Ashby netted the Padres multiple pieces, one of which was Adam Eaton, who along with Otsuka and Killian, enabled San Diego to make an organization-changing trade with Texas.

Transaction Tracker: Minnesota Twins

Let's take a look at a handful of trades by the Minnesota Twins from the last couple of seasons. I'll combine them all into two lists, to show who they (really) gave up and who they (really) now have.

Jared Camp

Deolis Guerra
SS JJ Hardy
Jon Rauch
*P Philip Humber

*no longer with team

These acquisitions look really, really good for the Twins. One name is missing, but that all starts with Mr. Camp. He was traded to the Florida Marlins in December of 1999 for a certain Johan Santana and cash. Greatest trade ever? Perhaps so. He pitched brilliantly for the Twins for 8 seasons before his cost forced them to trade him to the Mets for Guerra, Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Carlos Gomez. This proved within a year to be a steal for New York. That is for sure, especially considering the deals for Santana Twins GM Bill Smith previously turned down. Smith has, however, somewhat redeemed himself in the recent past. Mulvey was shipped to Arizona for current Twins closer Rauch right before September 2009. Gomez was dealt to Milwaukee for current Twins starting shortstop Hardy. Regardless of stats, I call that a win since that means less at-bats for Nick Punto. So we salute former Minnesota GM Terry Ryan and Camp for bringing to their team a Cy Young winner. We also acknowledge GM Smith for somewhat correcting an awful deal when he sent Santana to the Mets.

Transaction Tracker: Oakland Athletics

Let's take a look at a handful of trades by the Oakland A's from the last couple of seasons. I'll combine them all into two lists, to show who they (really) gave up and who they (really) now have.

P Rich Harden
OF Dustin Majewski
P Ryan Webb
P Craig Italiano
OF Aaron Cunningham

C Josh Donaldson
UT Corey Wimberly
P Fabian Williamson
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
IF Eric Sogard

Harden was traded along with Chad Gaudin (previously acquired from Toronto for Majewski) to the Cubs for Donaldson, Eric PattersonMatt Murton, and Sean Gallagher. Patterson was DFA'd, then acquired by Boston for Williamson. Murton swapped organizations with Wimberly (Colorado). Gallagher was included with Italiano and Webb to acquire Scott Hairston from San Diego. Half a season later Hairston was returned to the Padres along with Cunningham for Kouzmanoff and Sogard. It's fascinating to see how these trades evolve and link with one another. This set of acquisitions started with the Majewski for Gaudin trade back in December 2005.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Trade in Review: 7/14/10

BLUE JAYS: SS Yunel Escobar, P Jo-Jo Reyes
BRAVES: SS Alex Gonzalez, two prospects

I decided to occasionally include in these posts actual trades and provide some thoughts and commentary on them. I like this trade for both teams, but unlike most others, especially the Braves. Alex will help them a lot more than Yunel will in this final playoff push during Bobby Cox's send off. His affordable option for 2011 and the two prospects included make me really like this trade for Atlanta. As for the Blue Jays, I commend their GM for getting good talent for Gonzalez. I'm sure many had their doubts about whether they could. Another great, interesting trade to kick off this year's trade deadline.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trade of the Day: 7/14/10

PHILLIES: P Scott Downs
Manny Banuelos (from NYY)

Why? Why not?! I'm texting this post in, and have limited characters!

ROYALS: P Andy Sonnastine
RAYS: OF José Guillen, $ for rest of contract

Why? KC's reason is obvious...no way Jose. The Rays get a DH and can now bring up Jeremy Hellickson to be a long reliever and get some major league experience.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trade of the Day: 7/13/10

ANGELS: IF Jhonny Peralta, P Kerry Wood, and $2.5m from CLE
INDIANS: P Pil Joon Jang, OF Michael Ryan, IF Brandon Wood

Why? Peralta provides depth and some pop for the Halos, replacing the fading Kevin Frandsen at third. Kerry Wood helps shore up the back of their bullpen, and is no longer at risk of vesting his 2011 option. Indians kick in some cash while receiving Brandon Wood to serve as an experimental option along with Jared Goedert at the hot corner finisihing up 2010 and heading into 2011. Ryan provides a little outfield depth with Austin Kearns on his way out and Grady Sizemore and Shin Soo Choo on the DL. And Joon Jang? He's Korean, as is Choo, and that's just cool and makes sense for the prospect the Tribe might ask for in this deal.

ANGELS: 1B Lance Berkman, $.5m
ASTROS: P Trevor Reckling, IF Jean Segura

The Angels want a rental first baseman. The Astros want to dump the Lance...or does Lance want to ditch them? ...Either way, this deal accomplishes that, while in turn netting the 'Stros decent talent that at the same time will not kill the Halos on the farm. Hence Berkman slides in as LA of A's first baseman, and at a good time as his bat is starting to getting hot.

Trade of the Day: 7/12/10

In the upcoming weeks leading to MLB's trading deadline July 31, I figured I would post each day two trades that should happen...on that very day. Here's today's deals that need to get done:

RANGERS: OF/1B Xavier Nady
CUBS: OF B.J. Upton
RAYS: P Ted Lilly, P Omar Beltre, P John Gaub

Why? Chris Davis is destined for a platoon position. Ryan Garko already failed at being his sidekick. Nady is a better option and a cheap one at that. Tampa Bay is just dying to run Upton out of town, so trading him for a second-half stud in Lilly will help shore their pitching for the second half and could provide draft picks after the season. Beltre and Gaub provide depth. With Upton, Chicago shifts Marlon Byrd to right, trades Kosuke Fukudome, and with Tyler Colvin now have a decent four-man outfield rotation. Without Upton, the Rays can call up Desmond Jennings. Finally. Finally.


YANKEES: P Roy Oswalt, OF Jayson Werth, $3m from HOU
ASTROS: IF Greg Dobbs, C Jesus Montero, P Zach McAllister, 1B Jonathan Singleton
PHILLIES: P Javier Vazquez, IF Pedro Feliz, P Manuel Banuelos, IF Corban Joseph

Why? Yankees do not want to take any chance of letting any team in baseball have any chance of winning the World Series. Not this year. Not next year. Oswalt and Werth will see to that. Yankees have to give up big talent for these acquisitions, but doing so at least forces Houston to take on a little of their ace's contract. I would too for Montero, McAllister, and the Phil's Singleton. Dobbs for Feliz is a neutral swap, though the 'Stros control Dobbs through 2011 in case a first base is vacant that year...see tomorrow's post! Montero can go to Round Rock until September's call-ups and work at some first base. With Singleton so young, Houston can experiment with where they want to position him, Montero, and Jason Castro for their foreseeable future. McAllister should slide into a rotation spot by the end of the summer. Now the Phillies. Why do this? Well, they know Werth is gone. Dominic Brown is ready and waiting in AAA. Feliz is depth and a defensive bench option while Chase Utley and Placido Polanco recover from injuries. Banuelos and Joseph are good prospects for their system, which GM Ruben Amaro is errantly obsessed with. Still, with Ryan Howard's new mammoth contract, Singleton is a prospect easy to part with. Vazquez is better than Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer and still leaves the Phillies the option of bringing back Pedro Martinez. Again, to Amaro's delight, Vazquez, a Type A free agent after the season, will net them two first round picks, just as Werth would have done.