Daily Archives: November 26, 2006

November 26, 2006

Brewers Swing 6-Player Trade With Diamondbacks

Yesterday the Brewers pulled off a six-player trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks:

Milwaukee received former All-Star catcher Johnny Estrada, right-handed starter Claudio Vargas and right-handed reliever Greg Aquino for steady left-handed starter Doug Davis and a pair of prospects, lefty Dana Eveland and outfielder David Krynzel.

I can't say I'm sorry to see Doug Davis leaving the division. I can say I'm sorry that it's Johnny Estrada and not Erik Estrada coming to town. Hubba hubba.

November 26, 2006

Before You Vote for "Lack of LaRue"

Before you cast your vote for “Lack of LaRue” in the Red Hot Mama poll that you'll notice in the right sidebar, you might be interested in this tidbit. When Jason LaRue was traded to the Royals for a PTBNL, several people lauded the move for freeing up salary. LaRue made $5.45 million, they said, and dumping that obligation would more than pay for the first year of Alex Gonzalez's 3-year, $14 million contract.

However, this was based on initial reports that the Reds hadn't sent any cash to Kansas City. Later clarification indicated that there was cash involved, but didn't specify the amount. But in his Reds Insider column in the Cincinnati Enquirer this morning, John Fay reveals that the Reds are sending $3 million along with LaRue.

But for the sake of argument, let's say the Reds' payroll will be $70 million. The club already has $49.225 million committed to 11 players: Ken Griffey Jr. ($12.5 million), Adam Dunn ($10.5 million), Eric Milton ($9 million), Bronson Arroyo ($3.8 million), Gonzalez ($3.5 million), Rheal Cormier ($2.25 million), Stanton ($2 million), Ryan Freel ($1.7 million), Scott Hatteberg ($1.65 million), Javier Valentin ($1.325 million) and Juan Castro ($1 million).

Add the $3 million the Reds are paying toward the salary of the departed LaRue, and you're at $52.225 million.

Suddenly, shipping our long-time catcher to the breadbasket isn't doing such a great job at freeing up payroll. Saving less than $2.5 million? That will barely cover Rheal Cormier next season, let alone Gonzalez. Not to mention the dearth of John Deere hats we're going to suffer from now.

November 26, 2006

The Pirates and Adam Dunn

Dave LittlefieldIn a story in this morning's Post-Gazette.com, Inflated market could benefit Pirates, Pirates' GM Dave Littlefield talks about how he thinks that the out-of-control free agent market will help the Pirates in the trade market.

To the contrary, Littlefield points out -- and it is a difficult view to dispute -- that the players he can trade are made more valuable with each signing that sends the free-agent market deeper into orbit.

“Sure, it's going to help us,” Littlefield said. “You've got to go someplace to get players. If the free-agent market gets expensive, you would think, in general, that the trade market would increase, as well, as far as value.”

This strikes me as a delusional idea. There's going to be the same number of holes and the same number of free agents regardless of how much the free agents get for filling those holes. If anything, I think that the high prices would just incent more free agents who would otherwise contemplate retirement to stay in the game, meaning less need for the trade market.

Though I suppose you could contend that the smallest teams won't be able to participate in the free-agent market at all. Awesome for the Pirates: they can trade with all the other teams just as cheap as they are.

Adam DunnIn this article, the author also floats the idea of the Pirates trading for Adam Dunn:

One slugger they have discussed internally is the Cincinnati Reds' Adam Dunn, who owns one of the game's most potent bats when he makes contact. Despite a .234 average and 194 strikeouts, Dunn, 26, had 40 home runs -- his third season in a row of 40-plus -- along with 92 RBIs.

But it appears unlikely that the Pirates will go this route, partly because Dunn would make $10.5 million next season, partly because they sound reluctant to add strikeouts to a team that ranked fourth in the National League in that category last season.

Littlefield was asked how heavily strikeouts will be weighed in his choice and replied: “I'd say we have a fair amount of strikeouts in our lineup, and I'd like to have someone with less strikeouts who gets on base, ideally. But you have to deal with what's available.”

Not that I hate the idea of trading Dunn for some good pitching, if a good offer is out there. But I'd be wary of anyone who took the attitude of settling for the slugger because he was “what's available.” If the Reds are going to contemplate trading Dunn within the division, we'd better not be getting a couple middle relievers and Royce Clayton.

November 26, 2006

Don’t Encourage Them

The candidates for the This Year In Baseball Awards are now available. You probably won't be surprised to learn that Bronson Arroyo has been nominated for the Starting Pitcher Award while Aaron Harang has again been overlooked. Just goes to show that hair outweighs performance any day of the week. I'm surprised Gary Majewski isn't among the nominated relievers.

If that weren't crazy enough for you, Jerry Narron is among the nominees for the Manager Award.

On the other hand, Ryan Freel's catch is among the highlight plays in consideration, so I'd recommend that you to put in a few hundred votes for that. Plus, Sean Casey not legging out that single is among the bloopers; definitely worth investing some clicks.