TB trades Andy Sonnanstine to NYM; NYM trades SS Reese Havens and CF
Ezequiel Carrera to SF; SF trades Randy Winn, RHP Keiichi Yabu, and LHP Geno
Espineli to TB
So this is a three-team deal.
And yes, the Rays trade away one of their starters in the playoffs Andy
Sonnanstine. Still, this trade
makes sense for every team involved.
The Rays predictably will use their starting pitcher depth to acquire a
bona-fide starter in right field. In
this case it would be Randy Winn.
It’s true, the Rays have a lot of players
who play right field. Eric Hinske, Gabe Gross, Ben Zobrist, Fernando Perez,
Ruggiano all are capable. But
Hinske and Gross are not exactly the type of guys you want starting every day
on a team that is expected to compete for the championship again next
year. Zobrist and Perez are bright,
young players but at least at this point are most valuable being on the bench
because of Perez’s ability to play every OF position, and his blazing
speed. Zobrist also is very versatile
and is a valuable guy off the bench. He
might even have a reasonable chance to overtake Iwamura
as the Rays starting second baseman. Ruggiano
has done everything you could ask from him in AAA. Yet he just can’t seem to bring the same game to the majors. He had a .911 OPS in 66 AAA games versus
.576 with the Rays. So, with Winn
coming up, in it can put all of the right field questions to rest while adding
a veteran presence that can fill the #2 spot in the Rays order. That way Iwamura can move down in the order
where he should be. If Crawford
continues to struggle, Iwamura could easily come back to the top instead of a
guy like Upton having to be taken out of the heart of the order.
Although Winn will obviously make a huge mark on
the Rays, I think Andy Sonnanstine is the biggest impact player involved in
this deal. Simply put, to have a
Sonnanstine in the Mets rotation would be fantastic for them. Even if, at his best, Sonnanstine is only as
good as a #3 starter, his ability to eat up innings without eating payroll is a
quality invaluable to the Mets at this point.
This way the Mets can afford not resigning Oliver Perez. In my opinion, Jon Niese is
ready to be the Mets’ 5th starter next year. However, if the Mets do re-sign Perez their
rotation would be dynamite. Whether or
not Perez comes back, the Mets would have, for the first time in a while, a
young rotation that can last a long time.
To have a rotation where every pitcher in under control until 2012 is a
huge advantage over the other NL East clubs.
Of course since Sonnanstine is that
valuable, New York will have to give up a lot.
The big sacrifice that the Mets will have to make is their second pick
of the 2008 draft, slugging infielder Reese Havens.
Havens (left) was drafted 22nd overall
as a shortstop but is expected to wind up as third or second baseman by the
time he gets to the majors. Ezequiel
Carrera, a High-A outfielder, didn’t put up great numbers this year but if
you start thinking about his age (21) and the fact that he completely skipped
A-ball, his .344 OBP, 28 steals, and seven dingers are pretty impressive. The Giants have a fair amount of outfielders
like Fred Lewis,
Schierholtz and some nice prospects like Antoan
Richardson, Ben Copeland,
Martinez-Esteve. And yet, with the
decent chance that Rowand and Lewis could get traded in the near future,
Copeland’s and Richardson’s non-overwhelmingness, and Martinez-Esteve’s and
Schierholtz’s sudden lack of power, there is a reason to why the Giants might
want to add another outfield prospect.
Now when you think about it, Tampa Bay would be
trading Sonnanstine straight up for Winn, and that obviously wouldn’t favor
them. But if you add Yabu and Espineli to
the deal, it evens out. Those two will
add depth to the bullpen. And although
Espineli (right) probably will find himself spending some time in Durham, he provides a
lefty arm and the credentials of 2.66 in Triple-A last year in the hitter-friendly
Pacific Coast League. Yabu (below) is pretty old but if he can be effective when he’s 40 (3.57 ERA), how much much worse can he be at 41?
SO, when it’s all said and done, here’s how it
would work out for each team:
Receive Give Up
Randy Winn Andy Sonnanstine
Receive Give Up
Reese Havens Randy Winn
Ezequiel Carrera Keiichi
Receive Give Up
Andy Sonnanstine Reese
So, what do you think? Fair all around?
I guess since Monday marks the beginning of
baseball’s hardware week, I will give you my picks for each major award (with the
runner-up in parentheses):
Again, these are my picks for who deserves each
award, not my predictions for who will win:
Rookie of the Year
AL – Evan Longoria — (Jose Arredondo)
NL – Geovany Soto — (Joey Votto)
AL – Cliff Lee — (Roy Halladay)
NL – Johan Santana — (CC Sabathia)
AL – Kevin Youkilis — (Mark Teixeira)
NL – Wily Mo Pe, I
mean, Albert Pujols — (Manny
Manager of the Year
AL – Joe Maddon — (Ron Gardenhire)
NL – Cecil Cooper — (Charlie Manuel)
Leave Gregg Zaun and Rod Barajas alone; promote Brian Jeroloman and Curtis
The Jays should do neither,
and move on with new catchers. If I
were Cito Gaston, Brian
Jeroloman (24) and Curtis Thigpen
(26) would be the two catchers that would start the regular season. I’m aware of the awful season Thigpen
experienced, but it’s better to let Thigpen rebound, than paying Barajas $2.5
million next year. Jeroloman (right) doesn’t
offer that much power, but he can certainly hit, as he had a .396 OBP in New
Hampshire (AA), and a .421 OBP with Class A Advanced Dunedin in 2007.
As for Thigpen , he had a
solid year at Syracuse in 2007, with 3 dingers, and a .348 OBP in 50
games. He got called up to Toronto
where he struggled (.294 OBP, 0 HR), but was expected to make a serious contribution
in 2008. Unfortunately, it was a
different story. He started back in
Syracuse, and he only managed a measly .267 OBP with three homers in 361
at-bats. I still believe Thigpen can
turn out to be a solid backup catcher in the major leagues. So, if given a chance to play behind
Jeroloman, Curtis will be able to either prove me wrong or right next
year. I’m confident he can rebound
from his tough 08 campaign.
Trade Shawn Camp to the Red Sox for Zak Farkes
Trade Jason Frasor to the Angels for Sean Rodriguez
The 09 pen is going to consist of B.J. Ryan,
Jeremy Accardo, Brandon League, Scott Downs, Jesse Carlson, Brian Tallet, and
Brian Wolfe. I truthfully have no idea
what will become of Casey
Janssen. It’s just my gut intuition
that tells me they should hang onto him.
And also because, well, he’s really good.
Anyway, unless someone
gets injured, the Jays are going to need to trade Camp and Frasor, as they are
both too good for AAA. Frasor has a
much higher trade value than Camp, but both are going to fetch prospects of a
I think the perfect
trade involving Camp would be going to the Red Sox for third base prospect Zak Farkes. Farkes (right) isn’t that big of a prospect, but he
plays a position that Toronto doesn’t have a lot of depth in, plus he provides
some power. I’d say Farkes has the
potential to at 20 home runs a year, and maintain an acceptable .OBP, although
it will never to be above average. Farkes
isn’t a huge acquisition, but remember, it’s Shawn Camp he’s getting traded for.
The Frasor trade is a much
higher impact deal. Frasor (left) can fill the
role of the 6th inning set-up man/middle reliever, similar to his
role with Toronto. If K-Rod actually
stays in LA, then Frasor’s role will lessen, but seeing the small odds of that
possibility, Frasor should only be behind Scot Shields, Jose Arredondo, and
ex-teammate Justin Speier in the bullpen pyramid.
If this deal is made, the
Jays suddenly have their 2009 starting shortstop. Sean Rodriguez
crushed the ball in his 66-game stint with AAA Salt Lake. Here his stats:
G OBP AB HR RBI SB BB SO SLG OPS
.397 248 21 52
45 .645 1.042
Yes, he struggled mightily
with the Angels:
G OBP AB HR RBI SB BB SO SLG OPS
59 .276 167 3 10 3 14 55 .317 .593
Yet, he’s still only 24
years old and has a very high upside.
In fact, the more I look at Rodriguez (below), the more I think about how much
better he is than Jason Frasor. I
still consider this an even trade for both clubs involved, though. The Angels could use one more arm in the
bullpen; an arm just like Jason Frasor.
With former first rounder Kevin Ahrens
moving to third base permanently (he had a bad
first season anyway), the Jays have zero shortstop prospects. With Rodriguez at short, the Jays wouldn’t
have to play John
McDonald or Marco
Scutaro everyday and let the new
acquisition play up to his full potential in the majors. I’m sure that the Pacific Coast League
helped his power numbers a little, yet Rodriguez still has 20-homer power. If demoted, I would have been slightly
interesting to how Rodriguez’s power numbers held up in the more pitcher
friendly International League. That
small thought was shot down when the Blue Jays moved their Triple-A affiliate
from Syracuse to Las Vegas, but that’s no big deal. Rodriguez should, without a doubt, be the starting shortstop in
Toronto. That it is of course, if this
trade actually happens.