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.
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.
OK, this is a really short post, and I’m sure 99.5% of anyone reading this post will not care the slightest but I had to vent my thoughts on the transaction the Tigers made Wednesday. Okay, so Brandon Inge was placed on the 15-day DL by the Tigers. Inge was platooning with Pudge Rodriguez at catcher for the Tigers and also playing third base and left field. Inge was not a full-fledged starter but was getting a good number of at-bats. So, with Inge hurt, the Tigers had to call up somebody, obviously that somebody was going to be a catcher to at least back-up Rodriguez behind the plate. This is what AAA is used for. When somebody gets injured for two weeks and you need a back up just make a call down to AAA and get somebody the manager recommends. So in this case, the starter in Toledo got the call – Dane Sardinha. Only one thing, Sardinha has .242 .OBP!!! Are you kidding me? Are you telling me that you chose Dane Sardinha, who has .242 .OBP and a .255 .OBP last year, over Max St. Pierre who has a modest .333 .OBP, but heck, way better than Sardinha. And the Tigers can’t use “power” as an excuse. St. Pierre has the same numbers of home runs than Sardinha in less at-bats. I said it at the beginning on the post, who really cares?, but hey this was a stupid move and I have to let everyone (the three people who will ever read this) know.
Max St. Pierre