Results tagged ‘ MLB Trades ’
The Washington Nationals acquired LHP Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland A’s on Thursday, sending four prospects to Oakland in return for the 26-year-old starter. Gonzalez has been a pretty solid starter for the A’s, compiling a 38-32 record and 3.93 ERA in 89 starts since 2008, including a 31-21 record and 3.17 ERA over his last 55 starts (2010-2011). Gonzalez can still be wild, posting a league-leading 91 walks in 2011, but he makes up for it with solid strikeout rate, including 197 in 202 IP last season. You may wonder if he’ll be a superstar outside of pitcher-friendly Overstock.com Stadium (where Oakland plays for those of you who don’t follow terrible marketing ploys). The last two seasons, these are his home/road splits:
Home: 18-8 record, 212 IP, 2.63 ERA, 189/95 K/BB
Road: 13-13 record, 190 2/3 IP, 3.78 ERA, 179/88 K/BB
Gonzalez is moving to what has been a pitcher’s park in Washington and it’s not like a 3.78 ERA isn’t solid, but he had a much better split at home in Oakland.
In return, the A’s received these four Minor Leaguers, with career stats shown:
These four are truly a great return on Gonzalez by A’s GM Billy Beane. Peacock (#2), Cole (#4) and Norris (#10) were all ranked in the top 10 prospects list of the Nationals organization by Baseball America. Peacock and Milone both saw some starts in D.C. last year and are Major League ready. Norris is an intriguing prospect at catcher, looking like a Mike Napoli-lite with his big powerful swing and low average (pre-2011 Napoli, of course). Cole is very young but he has a huge ceiling. His K-rate last year was very good and he’ll probably be tested by the A’s to see what they have. At 6’4″, 180, he has a nice frame and his already solid results and ability could continue to improve. It’s a lot to give up, as these four are truly tremendous prospects, but after the Mat Latos deal, it looks like this will be the cost of cost-controlled, young starting pitchers this offseason.
This deal solidifies the Nationals rotation, creating three aces at the top in Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman and Gio Gonzalez. With John Lannon and Chien-Ming Wang rounding out the rotation and Matt Purke and Alex Meyer on the way still in the prospect wing, the Nationals are suddenly a team to be reckoned with. It will be interesting to see if this acquisition will lead to a push to sign Prince Fielder, which would put the Nats into a contending role in a suddenly exciting NL East, with the Nats, Phillies, Braves and Marlins developing nice rosters to compete. They still have the Mets to point and laugh at, though.
Wow. When I saw that the Reds acquired Mat Latos, I was pretty pumped. He’s a front-end of the rotation type with some pretty good stuff. Latos is under team control until the end of the 2015 season and will be arbitration-eligible next year. He just turned 24 and holds a career 27-29 record with a 3.37 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 429 2/3 IP. While I saw one Reds fan react that he “has a losing record, what a horrible deal,” the peripherals on Latos’ stats show that he has great skills and probably just suffered from that fact that the Padres suck and they can’t score runs in Petco Park. With that being said, this deal was an absolute fleecing by new Padres GM Josh Byrnes, who bent over Walt Jocketty and stole the old man’s decency without any KY Jelly. This deal was DREADFUL for Cincinnati on so many levels.
Level One: Cincinnati uses the “small-market” card more than Al Sharpton uses the “race” card. You worry about how you’re going to move on or be able to function when you’re paying Joey Votto $17 million in 2013? Well, who are you going to replace him with now? Yonder Alonso may have been a horrible outfielder, we know this from the 24 chances he had to field in 16 games there in 2011. That’s a great use of judgment. That would have been like saying Hitler had good ideas in when he appointed chancellor of Germany in 1933 before seeing what he actually became…ok, so not that drastic but give me a break! Alonso isn’t arbitration-eligible until 2015, he can’t become a Free Agent until 2018, and you give him up in the deal? Sure, he could have bombed since he struggles against lefties and “can’t field”, but who plays first when your “small-market” team can’t afford to re-sign Votto?
Level Two: Edinson Volquez won 17 games in 2008, had elbow issues and was shut down in 2009, more elbow issues in 2010 followed by Tommy John surgery and came back in 2011. Elbow issues followed by Tommy John surgery result in a pitcher taking 12-18 months after surgery to regain their form, and, especially, their control. Volquez’s control never came back last year, but it was due to. The fact that he was tossed in based on his most recent results was absolutely asinine. Volquez’s fastball was 93.6 mph on average in 2008 and was sitting at 93.4 last year. While his ERA and WHIP has increased, he was still a work in progress. The Reds did a good thing by not locking him up long-term, but they shouldn’t have given up on him for nothing.
Level Three: Yasmani Grandal just turned 23 in November. He played at three levels in 2011, posting a .305/.401/.500 slash, ripping 31 2B and 16 homers. He wasn’t in the Reds plans due to the presence of Ryan Hanigan (who is signed on the cheap) and Devin Mesoraco, another slugging catching prospect who just arrived in Cincinnati late last season. Grandal and Alonso alone for Latos is pushing it. They are both top prospects, having been honored by Baseball America as the #3 and #4 prospects in the Reds system this season. The Reds aren’t the Rangers, Rays or Jays as far as the strength of their system, but they have elite-level talent in Mesoraco, Billy Hamilton, Alonso and Grandal.
Level Four: Who is your closer next year? Nick Masset? Bill Bray? Maybe it could have been the kid who will be 24 next May and posted a 93/28 K/BB and 2.03 ERA over 62 IP last year between Double-A and Triple-A…Brad Boxberger. Young guys can sometimes dominate as closers. Need examples? Neftali Feliz and Craig Kimbrel. BAM! No more evidence needed. You want to build a solid bullpen with a “small-market” payroll? You give opportunities to guys like this and you don’t give someone like Francisco Cordero a four-year, $45 million deal like the Reds did in 2008. You could have signed Votto and Bruce to a Ryan Braun (8-year, $45 million) or Evan Longoria (6-year, $17.5 million) lockdown, long-term deal to avoid the arbitration process and keep them on your roster. Unfortunately, the ultra-conservative nature of the city and folks of Cincinnati would have probably flipped out at such a notion.
Mat Latos is good and has the potential to be an ace. Unfortunately, the Reds got railroaded in the ace in this deal. Their aces will be sore and fans want to hunt down the ace of Walt Jocketty when Votto leaves and they have a journey-man first baseman because the team traded their future for an short-term answer. If you have such a problem locking up Free Agents, do you think you should be mortgaging the future on those short-term solutions. I don’t believe so. However, I am a lowly blogger and someone with white hair is in charge of the Reds, ruining the franchise by listening to Dusty Baker and making decisions based on his expertise. Horrible trade.
James Shields could be moved this offseason due to the $7 million 2012 price tag and the Tampa Rays financial restraints. Andrew Friedman, GM and VP of Baseball Operations for the Rays, could get another affordable piece for a team that could continue to win in a tough situation for years to come. He could deal Shields to the Florida Marlins for Logan Morrison.
The trade would do three things:
1) Open up a rotation spot for Matt Moore, who combined to go 13-3 with a 1.97 ERA in 164 1/3 IP and a 225/49 K/BB between the Minors and Majors this season.
2) Get a cornerstone first baseman who is just 24 and won’t be a Free Agent until 2017. He also has 25 HR, 45 2B, a .351 OBP and an .811 OPS in just 185 games, showing solid on-base skills and power. He has fallen out of favor in the Marlins organization, even getting demoted for unannounced reasons earlier this season.
3) It will give the Marlins a staff ace heading into a new stadium. At 30, Shields will be a nice fit with Josh Johnson (if he can stay healthy), Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco in the Marlins rotation for the next few seasons. His contract is reasonable, escalating to $7 million in 2012, $9 million in 2013, and $12 million in 2014. After posting a 2.82 ERA, a league leading 11 complete games and career highs in innings pitched (249 1/3) and strikeouts (225), Shields will be coveted by many teams as the Rays look for new ways to pinch pennies.
The Hot Stove League will start after the World Series and provide numerous rumors and exciting deals for the next few months. As the Packers roll to another Super Bowl Championship, why not focus on a league with more equality in their teams, MLB.