Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Top 5...Trades that Need to Happen

Everyone's loves a good trade. While these five probably won't happen, they should for the good of the teams involved.

5) The Yankees trade Ian Kennedy and Jose Tabata to the Reds for Adam Dunn

Everyone complains about the Yankees pitching, but if you look at their hitting, it has gotten old fast. Dunn becomes a free agent at the end of the season, and the Reds figure to fall out quickly. I know the Yankees were reluctant to move their young pitching in the offseason, but Dunn would be the perfect fit. He's got plenty of power(40+ HRs from 2004-2007) and is relatively young (28). As nice of a pitcher as Kennedy is, the Yankee farm system has plenty of youth. And if I recall, Brandon Claussen had plenty of hype before the Yankees traded him to the Reds a few years ago. Claussen never panned out. All I know is that right field porch at Yankee Stadium looks mighty nice for Dunn.
Result: Dunn hits 40 HRs and bats .260, injecting the Yankees with some life. Jason Giambi is put on the bench and sparingly pinch hits. The Yankees sign Dunn to a big contract in the offseason and he becomes a big bat for the Yankees for the next six years. Kennedy comes up late in the year and shows some promise. He winds up having an up-and-down career but never the Mike Mussina-clone that people expected. Tabata struggles and never sees a full season in the majors.

4) The Rockies trade Brian Fuentes to the Tigers for Yorman Bazardo and Clete Thomas

The Rockies are falling fast, and Fuentes has been one of the most touted trade candidates. The Tigers are in desperate need of bullpen help, with Joel Zumaya out a while and Todd Jones being 40. The Tigers have the lineup, but need that one guy that they can trust in their bullpen. Bazardo has talent, but the jury is out on where he will fit in. Thomas was solid in his early callup this year, but Curtis Granderson figures to man center field for the next decade. The Rockies can get younger and the Tigers can get more stable.
Result: Fuentes thrives in Detriot, posting a 2.50 ERA. He never becomes the closer, but becomes the best left-handed setup man in the league. Bazardo is moved to the closer's role in 2009 and never quite dominates, but is a servicable closer. Thomas is a solid role player who is better than his numbers say.

3) The Cardinals trade Branden Looper and Jason Isringhausen to the Mariners for Wladimir Balentien.

Looper and Isringhausen are both free agents at the end of the season and don't figure to be in the team's future plans. Looper has quickly grown into a decent SP that can eat up some innings. Isringhausen has been slipping the past few years, blowing some big saves and keeping fans on the edge of their seats. The Mariners could use some arms, especially with the volitility of their bullpen. I also think that despite their early season falters, the Mariners make a midseason charge and jump back into the division race, prompting this trade. Remember, J.J. Putz and Erik Bedard were both hurt in April, so the Mariners were clearly not at 100%. They aren't going to just give up just yet. Balentien has brought some power to the Mariners' farm system and projects to be a solid power hitter.
Result: Looper and Isringhausen give the Mariners an extra boost, but it's not enough as the Angels win the division. At season's end, Looper is re-signed while Isringhausen is let go. Balentien has Wily Mo Pena syndrome, as he becomes known as a .240, 25 HR hitter.

2) The Nationals trade Jon Rauch and Odalis Perez to the Indians for Ben Francisco

I think Perez becomes somewhat of a decent trade item. He's throwing better and is mechanically much smoother. But he's a free agent and the end of the season, and is going to want more money than his worth. Rauch will be a free agent at the end of 2009, and he's going to want to be paid like a top reliever. Plus, Chad Cordero has no trade value anymore with his arm troubles, so the Nationals will be stuck with him (meaning Rauch is the expendable one). Francisco has never found a role with Cleveland, but has been an impressive bat when given the chance.
Result: Perez is the 5th starter for the 2nd half of the year, but struggles in the AL. Rauch is a key piece to the Indians bullpen and is eventually re-signed at the end of the season. The Nationals cut loose Wily Mo Pena and Francisco has some solid power years(Think .280, 23 HRs, 80 RBIs).

1) The White Sox trade Joe Crede, Jerry Owens, and Jack Egbert to the Phillies for Pat Burrell and Tom Gordon

The Phillies aren't a lock to hang around the playoff picture. I just feel like they are going to the be the odd team out by June, meaning they will become sellers. I don't think they will keep Burrell or Gordon at season's end, so they can let them go. Crede makes sense for the Phillies, because Pedro Feliz is awful. Owens has a ton of speed and will eventually mean the end of Geoff Jenkins. Egbert has been a top prospect, but feels like the right young trading piece for the White Sox to deal. The Phillies need to get rid of age and potentially big contracts. Gordon probably retires at the end of the season. Meanwhile, Burrell can jump into a playoff race and possibly re-sign with the White Sox. Chicago is going to hang around in the AL Central and have not been afraid to make moves.
Result: Josh Fields finally comes up for Chicago and is a solid contributor to the lineup. Burrell explodes in the AL and is a big clutch hitter, but it is not enough as Chicago loses out on the division and the Wild Card. The Phillies re-sign Crede to a much less deal than they would have for Burrell. Owens is a 30-40 SB player, while Egbert develops into a back-of-the-rotation pitcher.

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