Saturday, January 14, 2006

Ahhh...a trade

Thank you for returning after my little "who was born on January 13th" stunt yesterday. That was a low point for us all. It seems the baseball gods were less than pleased with that post, because they decided to give us a trade to discuss today to avoid a repeat of that. And now it seems that God is less than pleased, because I just referred to a group of pagan baseball gods controlling things. So let's talk about the trade before I anger any other possible deities.

The Devil Rays send Danys Baez, Lance Carter, and a minor leaguer to be named to the Dodgers for professional prospect Edwin Jackson and prospect Chuck Tiffany. So despite the criticisms that Andrew Steinberg has been doing his best Schmuck LaMar impression since getting hired and being difficult to deal with, he got a decent return in this trade. (You know this is the first time, in 8 years of bashing LaMar, that I thought to call him that fairly obvious nickname. Guess there are a number of schmucks here.) Edwin Jackson, to this point, has excelled at two things - he's very good at being a prospect and quite good at being labeled a roto "sleeper." So far he's been rather poor at doing anything in the majors. But he's 22, so he's far from over the hill, and part of his lack of success has been LA's reluctance to pitch him in the majors. The Devil Rays, whose yearly ambition is to lose no greater than 105 games, will probably give him a full shot. But I swear, I just know I'm going to once again draft Jackson in one of the last rounds of my drafts and then read a quote on April 2nd to the effect of, "Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon has opted not to go with Edwin Jackson in the starting rotation when the team breaks camp. 'We like Edwin,' said Maddon, 'but Mark Hendrickson has really shown us a lot, and we think that his 5.21 career ERA isn't indicative of just how much he can help our club." I don't doubt this outcome.

It's a good move for the Devil Rays. They were obviously trying to deal Baez, and with good reason, as they don't really need him right now. They brought in two solid prospects who can help as they rebuild with an eye towards 2008. Good move, and it seems that the waiting game paid off for Steinberg and Hunsicker. For the roto people among us, TB's new closer vacancy strikes me as a situation that won't be settled until right before opening day, and who knows if even then it will stay settled. Definitely needs close watching.

So is this a good move for LA? Baez and Carter certainly help their pen. Well, Baez certainly helps their pen. Lance Carter, an all star in the tradition of Ron Coomer (1999), certainly will log innings in a relief capacity. With Gagne not necessarily perfectly healthy, the Dodgers wanted closing insurance. But just a second, didn't this team just trade away some closing insurance to the Mets last week? Yes, I believe they did. So let's look at the two trades together. Old Dogers: Duaner Sanchez, Steve Accountant, Edwin Jackson, and Chuck Tiffany. New Dodgers: Danys Baez, Lance Carter, Jae Seo, Tim Hamulack. I don't love that. It's an upgrade for the pen, but not a huge one. Sanchez was very capable last year. Carter's ok, Schmoll was worse, but Schmoll's younger. Then you've essentially got 2 good pitching prospects for Jae Seo, who's 29, has a good month on his resume, and is coming in to be the 5 starter for a team that lost 91 games last year. That's a lousy move, and is not offset by the relatively modest bullpen upgrade. Jae, what's the thought in Dodgerland on this? Because I think it's pretty iffy for LA. Maybe the minor leaguer to be named going to LA is a higher level prospect than I'm assuming, which could make a difference. But as of now, I don't love what Ned Colletti has done here. I know they still have Broxton and this Scott Elbert, and Greg Miller if he's still alive - but the more pitching prospects the better. This is a Dodger team that has a number of positions that might need to be filled again very soon (may I remind you that they are currently starting Jose Cruz and Kenny Lofton), and who knows how a fuller compliment of organization prospects might help them make a later deal.

Now wasn't that nice? Talking about an actual development? It worked out well, because of all the players born on January 14th, the only guy I'd even ever heard of was Terry Forster, and what could I say about him besides that Letterman referred to him as a "tub of goo" 2o years ago?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Basically I agree with everything Eric said. The end... well from a guy that was supposedly going to get traded for Tim Hudson last fall, Edwin Jackson sure has fallen a long way. But yes, the end outcome, unless the Dodgers expect Seo to morph into a 18 game winner, isn't all that great.

Granted the Dodgers still have a bunch of prospects (yes we still have Billingsley and Miller) and a bunch of starting pitchers under contract for the next 2-3 years (Penny, Lowe, Perez). But Baez? Screw Lance Carter, he's gonna eat innings in the 5th and 6th; the best the Dodgers could get for 2 of their highly coveted prospects is Baez???

I suspect Yhency may be the next to go; perhaps package with Baez for a left fielder. But this let's make our team as old as possible so we can win 90 games and make the playoffs seems to have gone a bit too far.

All that said, if Gagne comes back healthy, the Dodgers should win the NL West. Assuming furcal is ok, kent doesn't get old fast, Nomar plays more than 135 games and JD Drew plays more than 80. But as crappy as the rest of the division is, 85 wins may be enough to win it and this team as currently constructed should be able to do that.

4:43 PM  
Blogger adam20ss said...

Nomar and Kent will not contribute anything this year. They both fall into the mysterious category of those who happened to get old at the same time as Baseball started testing their urine.

2:07 AM  
Blogger adam20ss said...

I was wrong about Kent. I take back my steroids comment. But he still is going to be 38 years old, so he's still a question mark for production this year.

2:21 PM  

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