Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Heck of a first trade, eh?

So Jack Zduriencik made his first big splash as a GM. Yeah, signing Branyan and giving Shelton (Branyan's potential platoon mate) a minor league deal happened first, but this move's obviously more recognizable to the common fan.

I'm not a huge fan of defensive metrics, and assigning individual dogmatic values to them, but I do really subscribe to the theory that an above-average defender with an ~average bat is a very valuable player. I'm excited to see what Gutierrez will bring to the table, defensively, and if he's got any sort of bat at all.

Of all these four:

...I think I'm most sad about losing Little Luis. That's not really an area of depth the M's have -- Valbuena was the most likely internal option to replace Lopez or Betancourt were one of those guys to be traded. Putz is my son's favorite player, but I've always been unfairly biased against him (anyone remember the Pützenbömber??? I do, and I'm sure marc w does...).

I do like this trade for the Mets and for the Mariners. And I'm really curious what the Indians see in Valbuena. The fact that they wanted him as sort of a centerpiece in their side of the deal somewhat confirms my affinity for Luis.

While it's a blockbuster, and a decent deal, it's certainly only barely earth-shattering. The M's pitching staff likely will have their ERAs drop somewhat noticably -- even if they pitch virtually the same way. That's not a bad thing. Now I wonder about the offense.

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At 12/11/2008 7:02 PM, Blogger Snave said...

I think Valbuena will be a decent major leaguer for Cleveland, Putz will do o.k. for the Mets if he is healthy, Green will do o.k. if the Mets don't overuse him, and Reed might stick around with NY as a 4th OF. I'll miss having all of them on the Mariners.

As for what the M's got, I don't mind this deal at all. They got a couple of good defensive outfielders in Gutierrez and Chavez, and maybe Gutierrez will develop into a decent hitter. Excellent outfield defense could well make the pitching at least seem better! Heilman had a few good seasons in a row until last year, and he and Green seem like a wash to me.

I am excited about the prospects the M's got. 1B Mike Carp hasn't played above AA yet, but he has been good in the minors. Maikl Cleto is only 19 and he strikes out a lot of batters. Ezequiel Carrera is a young OF with speed and a decent bat. Who knows if Jason Vargas will end up being any good... but the thing about these prospects is, they don't seem BAD.

The Rule V draft guys might also not be bad. The AAA pitcher from Milwaukee might have some control problems, but could end up being helpful in the bullpen, as might the Lugo kid who Zduriencik got from the Royals after they picked him. If Reegie Corona can hit at all, he sounds like he might be a good utility player at some point.

So Zduriencik went to the Winter Meetings and came back with seven minor league prospects and three major leaguers. Not bad!

I don't think Seattle is done. I think they will probably try to add a LH bat with some power, and that there will probably be some attempt to add an arm or two to the bullpen. But who knows, maybe one of those arms might be someone we don't expect, like Shawn Kelley, Justin Thomas or even Josh Fields.

Hot Stove time is so much fun!


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