Monday, August 02, 2004

Transaction Wire

I'm doing things a little differently this week. The trade deadline was last Saturday, so I'm taking care of that on Monday night. Wednesday marks one month until FOOTBALL, so I'm looking to do an ND preview that night (which most of you will read Thursday morning).

Mets 1) trade C Justin Huber for INF Jose Bautista. Bautista is then involved in the exchange of 2) Ty Wigginton and Matt Peterson for Kris Benson and Jeff Keppinger. But we're not done yet. 3) trade Scott Kazmir and P Jose Diaz for Victor Zambrano and INF Jeff Keppinger. Unless Peterson is on pace to become a star, the Wigginton/Benson deal was a steal. Kazmir/Zambrano, however, was far from one. Wigginton for Zambrano, with throw-ins of similar value would have been a good deal. Kazmir and a throw-in for Benson and a prospect would have been good, but only if Benson resigns next year. Since they did the opposite, does this mean the two trades equalled out? I don't know. Plus, the Mets are 7 games out right now. I know the division sucks and all, but if I were in Queens right now, I'd be calling Kazmir up to prepare him for the next two seasons, instead of trading him away to win it this year. If you want Baseball Primer's opinion, check the link above (I highly suggest it, Dave).

Philles 1) trade Ricky Ledee and P Alfredo Simon for Felix Rodriguez (F-Rod, technically, is Francisco Rodriguez of Anaheim). The Phils needed bullpen help, but they made their center field situation worse. Ledee couldn't field CF, and Doug Glanville couldn't hit well enough to start there. There only hope now is that Marlon Byrd figures himself out and can get back to the Show. 2) acquire Todd Jones from the Reds for a few minor leaguers. Another good move for the bullpen, as long as their are no gays on the team.

Dodgers screw themselves over by 1) trading away Paul Lo Duca, Juan Encarnacion, and Guillermo Mota for Brad Penny and Hee Seop Choi. Well, apparently Eric Gagne is very upset about losing his catcher and his best setup man. The Dodgers needed to make room for Steve Finley, but giving up Encarnacion was a terrible idea. Penny and Choi are good pick-ups, especially for a team in need of a first baseman, but they game up way too much. 2) to replace Lo Duca, the Dodgers were supposed to get Charles Johson from the Rockies, but he turned that down. So, instead they 3) got Brent Mayne, along with Steve Finley, in exchange for three minor leaguers. Interesting. And those are just the major deals.

Yankees trade Jose Contreras for Esteban Loaiza. Um, OK. Name two guys not named Tom Gordon who didn't belong in this year's All-Star game. Yeah.

Quasi-blockbuster sends Nomar and a minor league OF to the Cubs, and Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera to the Red Sox; the Twins get P Justin Jones (the best prosepect in the bunch), and the Expos get Francis Beltran and Alex Gonzalez. Let's see here:
1) The Cubs upgrade at SS, and give an unhappy guy a change of scenery. The Cubs fans will be good to him, and he'll do well. Does this, and the A-Job trade, now make Derek Jeter the best SS in the AL? Well, I have a feeling the fan support may get him in the Hall some day (think Don Mattingly), but my answer to the best SS question is no. Cabrera is decent, but not great. Right now, it's Miguel Tehada, Michael Young and - surprise - Carlos Guillen (well, Guillen's having a great 2004 at least). Look out, though, because Bobby Crosby and BJ Upton of Tampa Bay (who just got his first Major League hit as I was typing this) are right on their heels.
2) Theo Epstein wins an award for being the first Moneyballer to realize that you also need defense and baserunning to win. Mientkiewicz, Cabrera, and Pokey Reese won't put up huge numbers. But, Mientkiewicz has the potential to put up big numbers when he's motivated to. The year before he hit .306 in 2001, he said he would be happy to stay at AAA Toledo (his hometown) for life. His hitting's struggled as of late (even though his D is still tops), but I don't blame him with influences such as Torii "I'll get a pitcher thrown out not for hitting me in my huge elbow guard, but just by yelling at him for throwing inside" Hunter, Jacque "Boo hoo, now that we're in first, everyone plays really hard against us" Jones, and AJ "I hate everyone not wearing the same uniform as me" Pierzynski. Another good change of scenery. Cabrera won't put up huge numbers, but he has the potential to put up good ones. Plus, the BoSox still have Millar, Ortiz, and Manny to do the heavy hitting. As for baserunning? Well, Cabrera and Reese aren't fat messes. Plus, in a minor deal, the Sox also picked up Dave Roberts from the Dodgers (yes, LA basically gave up a mediocre team's starting OF to make room for Steve Finley). Roberts, even though his average isn't too high, has kept his steal and steal percentage near the top of the league thanks to the tutelage of Maury Wills. Not a bad teacher.
3) The Twins win on addition by subtraction. Not only is Jones supposedly a good one, but the Twins can finally make room at first for the big-hitting Justin Morneau, who's been tearing up AAA for the past few years.
4) The Expos? Well, they'll be Peter Angelos's problem soon.

Finally, it turns out the Yankees are close to signing John Olerud, instead of Fred McGriff. Olerud reportedly would start over Tony Clark. Too bad this deal didn't happen during one of the 12 times Rickey Henderson was on the Yanks.

Bonus Ramblings

  • Thursday morning, I had a dentist's appointment. Now, the dentist's office always has the Classical radio station playing in the background. I walk into the room and sit down, and all of a sudden, Sabre Dance starts playing. Great. Now I'm expecting the dentist to walk out with a circular saw or a ridiculously oversized power drill (a la Pee Wee's Big Adventure, I believe). Of course, next was a very soothing rendition of Canon in D, which almost put me to sleep right there on the chair.

  • Later that day, I was talking to someone on the phone, and needed to be put on hold. The music that played? A trombone absolutely belting out Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." Best hold music ever. I strongly considered asking the guy I was talking to where they get their hold music from.

  • For those of you who missed it (including me), here's the reason why Garron Bible transferred to Delaware. Apparently, after Bible's shoulder surgery, the ND medical staff didn't believe Bible would be able to play this year. So, Bible went around until he found a team doctor who would clear him to play. Delaware's team doctor did, so that's where he chose to play.

  • So, Kellen Winslow Jr. was been offered a deal that would make him the highest paid TE in the NFL without even playing a down! The problem? Too many incentive clauses, not enough guaranteed money. Gee, why would you need to prove you're a good player, when you can get paid to tell us that? The sad thing is that, with what the Postons have done, Kellen Sr. is starting to look like a jerk. I've officially lost all respect for the man. While we're on the subject, I'll post">this cartoon again. It has sound, so you may want to wait until you get home to view it.

  • Just saw a commercial for Madden 2005. Apparently, since Ray Lewis is the cover boy, Tiburon made the decision to throw out all their textbook form-tackle animations, and instead go with Lewis's shoulder bumps and arm slaps (yes, I said arm slaps, as in those things that were made illegal due to Deacon Jones). Great thing to teach young footballers. No one can be proud of this one.

On that note, see you Wednesday for the football preview.