Nationals trade Austin Kearns to the Phillies for LHP Moises Melendez
a lot of “ifs” in this trade. This deal
only makes sense if the Phillies fail to re-sign Pat Burrell, and if
Washington eats up most, if not all, of Kearns’ salary for next year (last year of his contract). Kearns is
owed $8 million next year, about six million more than he is worth.
the Nationals are willing to pay that six million, then it makes sense for the
Phillies, with their need of right-handed outfielders, to acquire Kearns as
part of the solution to Burrell leaving.
I am not saying that Kearns is worthy of being the Phillies starting
left fielder. He’s only as good as
a fourth outfielder, but he is a good guy to provide power off the bench, and be a
back-up in case of injury.
team interested in acquiring Kearns (actually Detroit and Toronto are
the others I can think of) should understand they have all the leverage in the
world. The Nationals need to get rid of
Kearns no matter how much salary they have to eat, and no matter how bad a
prospect they get. The Nats have Roger
Milledge, and Elijah Dukes
set to start with Willie Harris,
and Wily Mo
Pena behind them. Kearns doesn’t
deserve to be in AAA, but he has no place with the Nationals.
I said, the Nationals hardly have any leverage even though they have the player
with the bigger name. Therefore they have to
take it easy on their asking price. The
important negotiation process will not be what prospect they get, but rather
how much they will pay of Kearns’ salary.
I think 75% is enough. Obviously
the more money the Nationals eat, the better prospect they get but they can’t
get carried away. Moises
Melendez is not trash. True, he’s
not a high profile prospect (like Kearns once was) and probably projects as
a middle reliever or lefty specialist, but hey, that’s the type of pitcher the
Nats need more of. Melendez wasn’t used
as a lefty specialist this year in Class-A Lakewood, but being a left-handed
middle reliever without dominating stuff makes it a likely future
scenario. Melendez would go to Potomac
(A+), and maybe get a taste of Double-A before the season ends.
matter how much salary they he will have to eat, Jim Bowden (who apparently
thinks he a Jedi)
needs to trade Kearns. End of
story. I hope Jimmy B can put Kearns’ “glory”
years with the Reds behind him, and move on to younger, more talented, less
Rockies trade 1B Joe Koshansky to the Nationals for RHP Saul Rivera
very sad (Saul
is my favorite player), but the truth is, if this deal were made, it would
benefit both teams.
Saul is extremely
nice to fans, but he’s 31 years old entering next season. That’s just slightly too old for the
rebuilding Nationals. Plus, Rivera is a
perfect fit for the Rockies who need bullpen help. After the Holliday deal, they acquired Street, but he will
probably be flipped over to another team.
I also doubt they will pick up Matt Herges‘
option for next year considering his poor season and his age (39). If you add Rivera to the Colorado ‘pen, it
will most likely look like this:
you noticed there were no lefties in the pen.
That’s because the only left-handed reliever the Rockies have right now
Rusch, and he had a 5.30 ERA last year as a reliever, and lefties have a
.334 OBP against him in his career. A
.334 OBP is not bad but to make a team as a lefty specialist, you need to be
better than that.
Todd Helton, Garrett Atkins,
and Jeff Baker
in Colorado, so the Rockies need to trade him.
He has shown enough talent and put up good enough numbers in the minors
to have legitimate trade value. There
will be other teams interested like the Giants and Mariners or maybe even the
Yankees. Ultimately, I think Saul
Rivera will win the Rockies over.
the Nationals have Kory Casto, Nick Johnson,
Willingham. All that doesn’t mean
much though. First off, the Nationals
need to trade away Willingham; he just doesn’t fit with the team. Plus, there is little chance Johnson or
Young can return completely healthy.
And if they are healthy, GM Jim Bowden should trade them for whatever he
can get, and that won’t be much. If
they manage to start next season healthy, they better be traded quickly because
it won’t be long before they go back on the DL.
There is almost as little hope as
Johnson and Young both staying healthy as there is a chance Kory Casto can
finally start producing in the bigs. In
82 career games, he’s had 14 extra base hits and a measly .264 OBP. It’s worth noting that Casto’s horrendous
MLB stint in 2007 really drowned his career numbers, but even though he
improved greatly in 2008, he still wasn’t all that impressive. This last spring I had faith in Casto. I truly thought it was not too late for him
to turn his career around. But now it’s
time to move on and try something else.
That means it is time to finally give Koshansky a full-time major league
Casto can still make the team next year.
After all, he can play left field and both corner positions. Who knows, maybe Casto can capture some of his
minor league power and bring it to the bigs.
Koshansky doesn’t mean Washington is lacking future first base options. Chris
Marrero has dealt with injuries and slumps since he was drafted in the
first round two years ago but he still has big power potential. Bill Rhinehart
doesn’t have the same big upside as Marrero but he put together a good 2008 and
should next year in Double-A Harrisburg.
Nationals trade 2B Ronnie Belliard to the D-Backs for RHP Josh Ellis
me first start off by saying that I don’t think Anderson
Hernandez will ever develop into an adequate starting major league second
baseman. But with the way things are
for the Nationals, they need to at least give him a chance. Despite his AAA .262 OBP he did hit .407
after joining the Nats. He also seems
to have brought his hot bat to the Dominican Winter League as he holds a 1.055 OPS
he is one of the oldest players in the team and needs to be traded this
I’ll give Bowden credit for
signing Belliard. Ronnie was the
starting second baseman for St. Louis when they
won the World Series in 2006.
Weirdly enough (well, he only had a .297 OBP with St. Louis), Belliard
wasn’t signed until February 18th to a minor league contract by the Nats. That was only five days before spring
training started. Belliard has done
everything Washington could have imagined and more. The reality is the only way the Belliard signing can truly help
the Nationals is if Bowden trades him for some prospects. Despite
landing on the DL and missing almost 40% of the season, Belliard’s trade value
absolutely soared this season. Not only
did he have his best offensive season of his career, but also he increased his
versatility by playing both corner positions as well as his natural position at
second. The Mets, Brewers, and Dodgers
may hold some interest in Belliard as well, but Arizona appears to be the best
fit for Belliard and the Nats.
Ojeda didn’t have good enough years to warrant consideration for a
full-time gig at 2B. Jesus Merchan
had a nice year at Triple-A and holds a good spot to take over Chris Burke’s
spot on next year’s 25-man roster. That
will allow Burke to gather up some time at Triple-A at bats after his
Josh Ellis is
the prospect that makes the most sense for this specific deal. The two main needs the Nationals have in
their system are middle infielders and relievers. Since the Arizona system is weak on middle infielders, relief
pitchers are the best way to go. Ellis
had a 2.40 ERA this year in Visalia (A+) in his first professional season.
You can see, he pitches sort of like Brian Shouse or Cla Meredith. Too bad the Diamondbacks are moving their AAA affiliate to Reno
(the Reno Aces) because Ellis could have had a chance to be a sidewinder on the
Tucson Sidewinders. The Diamondbacks
are stocked with young relievers, so if pitchers like Abe Woody, A.J. Shappi, Kyler Newby, Jeff Dietz,
Maine were offered for Belliard, it would be a fair and beneficial trade
Although it is time for Belliard to leave Washington, he will always be remembered becuase of
other baseball news, the iconic Oriole Bird has quit his diet. He has gone from this:
To this (maybe it’s just perspective):
The diet obviously wasn’t working because ever since
the Bird started the diet in 1998, the team is 98 games below .500. Ouch.
They need change. And that
change should come in the form of the logo and mascot getting a beer belly like
Wild Bill Hagy. Thumps up to the Orioles front office. This is their first sign of intelligence since they designed Camden Yards.
Orioles need to trade George Sherrill now!
I respect Andy MacPhail and what he has done so far as GM, but the
Orioles have a reliever who is as the top of his career, and ultimate peak of
Sherrill was impressive in
the AS game and has proven he is capable of closing. But Sherrill(pictured) is 31 years old, and by the time the Orioles are at
a championship level will be way past his prime. I think 2013 is the absolute earliest the Orioles could plan for
winning the World Series. If that prediction
is right, then Sherrill will be 36 years old.
The Orioles need to trade him at this year’s deadline. Why not wait until next year? Because the Orioles will not be good next
year either, and every year Sherrill gets older his value will go down. I know the Orioles have a currently unstable
bullpen, but they have some nice future pieces like Randor Bierd, Lance
Cormier, Jim Hoey, Cory Doyne, Jim Johnson, Dennis Sarfate, Matt Albers, Chris
Ray, and Bob McCrory.
Ray, of course is the future closer, while Doyne was named Closer of the Year in
the International League (AAA). Sarfate
will be a good set-up man for years to come and Bierd has been a nice Rule 5
Lance Cormier has broken out
in Baltimore as reliever, and the same thing can be said about Matt
Albers. Hoey just needs consistency
and he will be dominant. Jim Johnson
has been the best reliever this year for the O’s, while McCrory is mowing them down
in Norfolk. Fernando Cabrera(pictured) is a big
question mark. He was the
Indians future closer at one time, but has struggled for the past two
years. He’s doing a fine job in
Baltimore so far and has the chance to post a huge comeback season. It’s weird to say that a 26 year old could have a comeback season, but it certainly would apply to Cabrera.
Sherrill should go to any team that could use bullpen
help like the Brewers, Cardinals, Angels, Twins, and even Yankees or Mets. The Orioles could, and should ask for some
prospects in return. I don’t care what
position the minor leaguers play because the Orioles need help everywhere. They could trade Brian Roberts in the
future, so second base depth will be important if that occurs. The only areas I would shy away from, is the
outfield (Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold, Luke Scott, Nick Markakis), and catcher
(Wieters). Any infield players, or
starting pitchers should be the main targets for the O’s.
- Outman is starting games again
in Midland! The A’s are seeing clearly
now. Maybe some Oakland official read
this blog. Or maybe they just don’t care
about what the Phillies think.
- Adam Loewen and Brian Bogusevic
are both abandoning pitching and becoming a first baseman and outfielder,
respectively. Boy, the Orioles just
can’t catch a break. Bogusevic, on the
other hand, has the opportunity to contribute something to the Astros. He was a bust as a pitcher, being drafted in
the first round in 2005. They could
have drafted guys like Matt Garza, Clay Buchholz, Colby Rasmus, or Michael
Bowden. The chance of Bogusevic ever
being as good as any of those players is still extremely slim. They are trying the exact opposite of what
Matt Bush(pictured) is attempting. If you don’t
know about Bush already, he was the first overall pick in 2004. He never did squat in the minors, and at the
end of last season he switched to pitching.
He only pitched in 7.2 innings with a 1.17 ERA, before getting
injured. He had TJS, and will be out
all of this season likely. Of the 7
games he appeared in, six of them were in rookie ball. His last outing was in A-ball. By the way, isn’t it weird that Bush had a
brother named Jeremy, while so does Tim Beckham. Both were high school shortstops drafted first overall. Jeremy (17th round), Tim’s
brother has already been promoted to A- before his bro. Tim has .247 OBP with no homers in 23 games
for Princeton (R). In Tim’s defense,
Jeremy was drafted out of college.
the way, the Randy Wolf for Chad Reineke deal makes no sense at all for the
Astros. Does Ed Wade actually believe
the Astros could make the playoffs? Not
that Reineke is anything special, but I’m starting to think that Wade makes
trades just for the heck of it.
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With the treading deadline coming, and rumors swirling, I’ve
just put together some trades that could make sense for both teams, or maybe
what a team should ask for a specific player on the block. Take Brian
Fuentes for example. I think the Rockies need to trade him.
The Rox need pitching too much to beat out the D-Backs or Dodgers for the NL
West. The Rays have so many young pitchers in their system, that’s a
great match for the Rockies and Rays to trade with each other.
Rays, seriously, are absolutely stocked with young pitching. I know the
saying “you can never have enough pitching” but if the
Rays want another player, they can afford to give up a pitcher. Brian
Fuentes can make any bullpen a lot better, and for the Rays, the boost would be
huge. The Rays have SO many young starting pitchers: Scott Kazmir, Andy
Sonnanstine, Edwin Jackson, James Shields, Jeff Niemann, David Price,
Chris Mason, Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson, and Jacob McGee. If the
Rays would never trade any of these pitchers, there would be some talented pitchers
not in the Rays rotation.
That where the Rockies come in. If
Chris Mason wasn’t having such a bad year in Durham, I’d propose a Mason for
Fuentes trade, straight up. But Mason’s value is greatly diminished, so I
think the Rockies should focus on Jeff Niemann(pictured).
In no way am I saying
that Niemann is a better prospect than Wade Davis, David Price, Jeremy
Hellickson, or Jacob McGee, but all of the names I just mentioned are not worth
giving up for just Brian Fuentes. Niemann seems right. He’s a big
guy, 6’10, who has been hampered by injuries early in his career, but over the
past two seasons at AAA he’s been healthy. He’s expendable for the Rays,
but would be considered a large part of the future of the Rockies
rotation. I had Niemann down to make the Rays rotation this spring over
Edwin Jackson and Jason Hammel. Jackson has done a fairly good job this year, so
I’ve been proven wrong, but Niemann is probably ready for the Majors now.
OK, so here is the list of trades I would make if I were the
GM of the Rockies, Rays or Nationals.
Brian Fuentes for Jeff Niemann
Tim Redding for Nick Stavinhoa and Mitchell Boggs
Odalis Perez Tyler Herron, Jaret Hoffpauier, and
Skip Schumaker and Daryl Jones
(Many different combinations involving these Cardinal prospects could be used, but these combos seem evenly balanced.)
Christian Guzman for James
Victor Garate, and Ivan De Jesus
Adolfo Gonzalez, Chin-lung Hu, and
It may be a stretch to say the Nationals could get McDonald
for letting the Dodgers rent Guzman for half a year.
McDonald(pictured) is the best Dodgers pitching prospect behind Clayton Kershaw,
and most likely will hold that title after this year. But because the N.L. West is so open for any team to break out,
the Dodgers may feel they need Guzman (which they do), so if the Nationals
could capitalize on the N.L. West situation and get a pitcher like James
McDonald that would be huge for the Nats future.
The Nationals also need some middle
infield prospects, so Hu, Gonzalez and De Jesus could be huge assets. The only legitimate
middle infield prospect in the Nats system is Esmailyn “Smilin” Gonzalez and he
is 18 years old playing in rookie ball. Who will play shortstop if Guzman goes? Either Pete Orr(I’m fine with that), or Yurendell De Caster. De Caster has been good in Columbus and deserves a first shot at the bigs.
Speaking of the Nationals, why do they have four catchers?
They just placed Wily Mo Pena on the DL, and reinstated Johnny Estrada to the
active roster. That means they have
Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves, Paul Lo Duca, and Johnny Estrada: all catchers. I’m fine with a team having three catchers
as long as one of them is can play other positions. But four!? I mean, Lo
Duca can play left, and first base, I suppose, but he plays below average in
all of those positions, including catcher.
Estrada has no upside whatsoever in my mind. He has no power, no speed and is a very below average
defender. I have no idea why the
Nationals didn’t do the sensible thing and call up an outfielder, since they
just put one on the DL. Just call up
Mike Daniel! I already talked about the
whole situation in this post. https://mlblogsdistrictboy.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/nelsoncruz-thumb-274×4111.jpgarchives/2008/07/the_nationals_report_part_2.html
On the Blanton deal, I like how Outman(awesome name!) and Cardenas look for
the future, but the Phillies really needed someone like Blanton in their
rotation and they finally realized that if you are going to be a
championship team, Adam Eaton isn’t in your rotation. One question I have is about Josh Outman. The Phillies were grooming him as a reliever
when the trade occurred.
I really don’t know why Outman(pictured above) stopped starting. His career was progressing very smoothly and
he ended the season with a successful call-up to AA. But after five starts in AA this year, the Phillies moved Outman to the
bullpen. His five starts were good and
he didn’t have trouble giving Reading innings but I guess the Phillies thought
in the long run Outman would be better as a reliever. I’ll just let you see the numbers for yourself. I just don’t get it. Here are Outman’s stats.
How bout some more random thoughts? How about the job Eric Stults
has done since being moved to the rotation?
It shows that not everyone is better suited as a reliever.
And lastly, a little chatter from the farm. I have attended some minor league games
recently and David Hernandez of the Baysox looked dominant. I’ll be keeping an eye on his career, but
the last minor leaguer who I followed after being impressed at a game hasn’t been
doing so well, Rodolfo Encarnacion.
Collin Cowgill has cooled down since being promoted to Class
A South Bend(ARI) and Mike Loree(SF) has, for one start, not been pitching like
Superman. Loree truly was incredible
and now matter what he does in his career, he already is guaranteed as the
topic for a “Cracked Bats” article in seventy years. Whenever I talk about the minors in general I have to give a
shout-out to my favorite MILB team. GO
I know this was a really messy blog topic-wise but hey, that what the title said – “Notes, Thoughts, and Trades”
P.S. Doesn’t seem
like a crime that Terry Tiffee, Brian Myrow(now a back-up in SD), John Lindsey, and Nelson Cruz are
still in AAA? Especially Nelson
Cruz. Those are SICK, SICK, SICK
numbers. Oh please Jon Daniels, trade
him to a team that isn’t stocked with outfielders. Anywhere. San Diego. Perfect.
Cruz to San Diego for some pitcher.
Jeez I don’t know maybe Enrique Gonzalez? It probably won’t happen.
Silly me. I’m just a dumb kid
who thought Texas could use some pitching….
“Stuck in Oklahoma”
Well, I was in the middle of writing a long post about the Phillies transaction of bringing R.J. Swindle up, Brett Myers down and Chad Durbin coming into the rotation. But of course, perhaps the Phillies read my mind and are keeping Durbin in the pen. They also sent R.J. Swindle down, and recalled J.A. Happ.
The post I was writing was basically why the Phillies need to send up either Happ or Brian Mazone from AAA, so Chad Durbin could remain a reliever, where he has shined.
The Phillies did what I thought they should do, except for one thing. In the “Lost Post” I mentioned (before I stopped writing) that I thought that Swindle actually deserved a call-up, and I was going to discuss why he was way better than other Phillies relievers that are still in the majors.
As of Saturday, this is the Phillies bullpen along with their age and ERA this year:
Brad Lidge, 31, 0.77, Dominant closer who’s 19 for 19 in saves.
Chad Durbin, 30, 1.50, You don’t mess with something that’s finally fixed.
Ryan Madson, 27, 3.07, Nucleus of the bullpen, just as valuable as Lidge.
J.C. Romero, 32, Way more than a lefty specialist, although he is great in that role.
Rudy Seanez, 39, Having an unbelievably great year, perhaps will stay around another year or two.
Tom Gordon, 40, I don’t care about how much experience he has, he’s been bad since the end of May.
Clay Condrey, 31, He’s not dominant, but can play many different roles.
Explain to me why R.J. Swindle is back in on the farm, while Tom Gordon is 40 years old and has 6.48 ERA in last ten appearances is still with the Phillies.
Let’s compare how they have done this year:
R.J. Swindle Age:25 Salary:390,000
AA 11 0.54 1 0 16.2 1 16
AAA 19 2.19 1 1 24.2 5 34
Swindle has been awesome, and just take a look at those BB/K ratio. Nasty. Plus he has a 55 MPH curveball. All hail the ephus!
Tom Gordon Age: 40 Salary: 5,500,000
Level G ERA W L IP BB K
MLB 34 5.16 5 4 29.2 17 26
Explain to me why Gordon, who hasn’t been good the past two years, is still considered better than Swindle. I actually know why; because teams just can’t get over a player’s reputation even if truthfully they know another player can do better than him. It’s hard to explain exactly, but it happens.
If the Phillies would release Gordon, they would still have to pay a large portion of his salary. They could send him down, although I’m not sure his current contract would allow it. Truthfully to be respectful, I think you trade him for a low to mid level minor-leaguer. That would relieve the Phillies of the of a larger portion of Gordon’s salary, depending of the specifics of the trade. If the other team is smart, they make the Phillies pay up to 50% of Gordon’s salary.
Just trade Gordon to any team that needs bullpen depth. I’m thinking maybe the Tigers, Dodgers, or Brewers.
Of any trade involving Gordon, the most important aspect would be how much each team pays of that 5 and a half million. Still, hear are some minor-leaguers that could be involved in deals.
Delwyn Young Age: 26 Left Fielder
Level G AB H .OBP HR RBI SB BB SO
MLB 57 94 25 .330 1 5 0 9 23
He’s hammered at every level in the minors, and is blocked in LA. If Geoff Jenkins and Pat Burrell both leave after this year, he could play a big role in 2009.
Yorman Bazardo Age:24 Pitcher
AAA 14 11 6.47 2 5 65.1 88 26 44
I see the bad numbers, but Bazardo is extremely young and had a very good year in Toledo last year. He’s a ahead of his age, but Yorman and Detroit don’t quite click. The Phillies need more young starters after Kendrick and Hamels. Bazardo looks like he could use a change of scenery.
Cole Gillespie Age: 24 Left Field
Level G AB H .OBP HR RBI SB BB SO
AA 84 304
; 84 .375 12 55 9 48 70
Gillespie is very similar to Young as a player and the position he’s in. He blocked in the outfield in Milwaukee, but has done well in the Minors. Young is more experienced than him, but Gillespie may have more power potential.
Michael Brantley Age:21 Center Field
Level G AB H .OBP HR RBI SB BB SO
AA 74 306 62 .405 4 34 25 39 18
Brantley has been very consistent in his career so far, and has a huge amount of speed. His .OBP is great and has over twice as many walks as strikeouts! He looks to be ready for the majors by, at the most, age 24, but, like Gillespie, is blocked in Milwaukie. He could move Victorino over to right if the Phils make a deal for him.
James Skelton Age: 22 Catcher
Level G AB H .OBP HR RBI SB BB SO
A+ 42 145 42 .429 2 13 10 36 36
I know about Lou Marson, but the Phillies still really need catching depth, and Skelton is a solid player. He doesn’t have much power, but he is a fast catcher and knows how to get on base. He may be like a Jason Kendall-type player. I’m a Carlos Ruiz non-believer. Sorry
Carlos Santana Age: 22 Catcher
A+ 81 284 89 .421 12 80 5 55 46
Every catcher in the Dodgers system should hope to get traded unless they want to be a back-up. Russell Martin will be there for a long time, so Santana could be future trade bait. Santana had a bad year last year in the Midwest League(A), so it would be a reasonable thing to say that the high altitude of the California League is helping him. But hey, he’s putting up some sweet numbers. I’d jump at the oppurtunity to acquire Santana for Gordon.
Any of these players I’d trade straight up for Tom Gordon. Of course that would never happen considering Gordon’s salary, but the Phillies should try to gripe (is that a word?) away some of these players. Heck, include Mike Zagurski in the deal.
Well, I plan on talking about the Nationals, Mariners, and Giants in the near future. See ya.