Thursday, July 28, 2011

Baseball Trade Reactions

In the sea of football free-agency, baseball had 5 seconds of air time because there was not one, but two trades!

San Francisco Giants Strike Deal for Mets Outfielder Carlos Beltran:
The blockbuster of the day saw one New York baseball club strike a deal with a former New York baseball club.

Giants Received: Mets Received:
Carlos Beltran Zack Wheeler
$4 million cash

Analysis: The World Series champion Giants filled a huge void with Beltran's bat and speed by giving up its top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. Additionally, the Mets agreed to cover $4 million of the $6.5 million still owed to Beltran. If this was any other team, I would be screaming about how you should never trade a top pitching prospect for a rental player, but the Giants are littered with good pitching. In fact, when Johnathan Sanchez comes back, the Giants will have four starting pitchers in their rotation under the age of 30 (Lincecum, Cain, Bumbarner, and Sanchez). San Francisco will now have an abundance of outfielders (five for three spots) and will have to dole out playing time creatively. Look for the Giants to make another move involving one of the outfielders not named Carlos Beltran. As for the Mets, the firesale is on and SHOULD include the trade of Jose Reyes, but probably won't. Wheeler was a good bounty for a declining star who never truly lived up to his Houston and Kansas City days. The two big questions that remain for the Mets are: do they trade Jose Reyes and/or David Wright?

Blue Jays Strike Deal For Cardinals' Rasmus in Three-Team Deal:
The St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays worked out an eleven-player deal highlighted by Colby Rasmus, Edwin Jackson, and Corey Patterson changing addresses.

Cardinals Received: White Sox Received: Blue Jays Received:
Edwin Jackson Jason Frasier Colby Rasmus
Octavio Dotel Zach Stewart Mark Teahen
Marc Rzepczynski P.J. Walters
Corey Patterson Trever Miller
Brian Tallet

Analysis: The Cardinals are taking a huge risk that Rasmus, the best hitting prospect to come out of St. Louis since Albert Pujols, doesn't achieve his potential in Toronto. Whenever a team gives up the best player in a deal, there's always a risk involved, but St. Louis has a track record of trading hitting for pitching (Ryan Ludwick for Jake Westbrook in last year's three-team deal). However, the deal does bolster the Cardinals rotation that lost its ace Adam Wainwright, and bolsters the bullpen with Octavio Dotel and Kyle McClellan being forced out of the rotation witht he addition of Edwin Jackson. Toronto has no downside in this trade because they didn't give up much, prospect-wise, to acquire one of the best five-tool talents in the outfield with Rasmus, but they did take on some financial dead-weight in Teahen. Overall, the risk is well worth the potential reward for Toronto. As far as the White Sox are concerned, this smells like a preliminary deal to trim some salary before general manager Kenny Williams strikes his big deal, perhaps for Mariners pitcher Jason Vargas or Erik Bedard. Time will tell on whether the White Sox are sellers or making room to be buyers.

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