S2 trading got underway at the winter meetings when the San Francisco Giants met up with the Chicago White Sox. 27 year old P Julio Javier will get sent to the windy city while 23 year old P Steven Nixon will try out the sunshine on the west coast. Nixon threw in 44 games last season at AA where he worked 45.1 innings with a 3.38 era and 1.10 WHIP. Javier will settle his arb case before helping out the major league team where he logged in 189.1 innings of work last season in 32 games. His record was 10-10 with a 4.42 era and 1.44 WHIP. The White Sox’s look to get help in the pitching rotation as they finished in the bottom half of pitching last season while the Giants get a nice closer to build his way up in their minors.
Owner miggyt4 on the deal: “With players like JR Middlebrook, Kelvim Thompson, Gregory Abbott and Chris Zambrano all starting the season in AAA this year, there’s a good chance one if not two of them will see the majors this year. Therefore, I needed to make room and with Javier up for arbitration, it worked out best for us trading Javier to get some more relief pitching.”
Next up was a deal between the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals. 28 year old P Steve McConnell will be playing under the bright lights of the nation’s capital this season where he’ll be able to log some innings for the Nationals. Last season McConnell saw himself on the mound in 61 games, starting 10 of those, for 93.1 innings of work where he produced a 5.21 era and 1.46 WHIP. 19 year old P Jimmie Balboa will begin his Braves career in AA where the closer looks to a build upon last year where he saved 10 out of 11 opportunities, pitching in 30.0 innings with a 6.00 era and 1.20 WHIP.
Owner Hamilton44 on the deal: “Looking back at the season our club is coming off of, we were really lacking in the pitching department. To add a guy like Steve really helps bolster a bullpen that was utterly atrocious last season. We felt like this move immediately made us a better ball club. Unfortunately, thats not saying much. We’ve got a lot more work to do.”
Owner Kilgore on his thoughts: “We believe the trade helps both teams. Washington wants to win now, and in McConnell they get a solid LH specialist who can spot start as well. If we thought he were capable of becoming a full time #3 – #5 starter we probably wouldn’t have made the deal, but frankly we were concerned about his ability to stay healthy in that role. Finally, McConnell was arbitration eligible, and even though the $1.5 million he eventually got is reasonable, we simply feel there are better values for what he brings to the table. We’re excited about Jimmie Balboa’s potential as a shut down LH specialist and possible set up man down the road, and saw the need to add a top quality LH relief pitcher in our minor league system. He’ll start out in AA.”
The Houston Astros agreed to send 20 year old DH Frank Terrell and 20 year old P Artie Blackburn to the Seattle Marines in exchange for 29 year old LF Merv Dorsey and $5M cash. Dorsey has 2 years, $7.5M/year, left on his contract and finds himself on his 3rd team in 2 seasons. Last year he hit .285 with 23 HR and 87 RBI for the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners. Terrell played in Low A last season for the Astros, hitting 34 HR and 121 RBI in 112 games, along with a .318 avg. He projects to have a great bat although his defense should keep him in the DH spot. Blackburn also played in Low A last season where he converted 9 out of 9 saves, logged in 36.2 innings of work for a 2.45 era and 1.25 WHIP. The Astros finished right below the average for batting avg. last season and finished low in the HR dept which they hope Dorsey can help them out with. The Mariners got themselves a nice DH bat for their future.
Astros’ owner drichar138: “We knew that Frank Terrell wasn’t a good fit for a NL and was able to move him to get what we feel will be a nice addition to our offense in Merv Dorsey. Dorsey will be our starting LF for the next 2 seasons.”
Seattle’s owner jakaitis: “We’d been coveting Terrell’s bat ever since the world started and when Houston put him on the block we pounced. Dealing Dorsey hurts, but it also allows us to move some young talent up to the bigs.”
The next trade made was between the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Atlanta Braves. 25 year old 1B Jackie Reith, 22 year old P Stuffy Lamb, and 25 year old SS Diego Rondon will find themselves in Atlanta this season in exchange for 30 year old RF Felix Donatello, 30 year old P Derek Golub, and 24 year old C Derrick Fox. Rondon looks to be the top player the Braves were after and he’ll immediately help out the major league club. He looks more suited to play 3B or RF, which he played RF in Tampa hitting 21 HR, 72 RBI and a .274 avg. Reith played in 143 games at AA last season where he hit 33 HR, 149 RBI and a .350 avg; he’ll develop a nice vR and eye with a little above average power. Stuffy also played AA ball last season where he pitched 71.1 innings in 30 games, earning a 5-2 record with a 4.42 era and 1.63 WHIP. Donatello played in LF last season for the Braves, and we’ll have to wait and see where the Rays play him which could be a number of positions. He has above average stats in all batting categories, hitting for a .283 average last season with 20 HR and 86 RBI. Golub pitched in 134.2 innings, working his way to a 11-4 record with a 3.48 era and 1.27 WHIP; he’s also locked in for 4 more seasons with a declining contract that goes down to $5.8M in his last season. Fox looks to be more of a DH than C, although he did handle the position well at AA last season. He hit for a .330 avg with 19 HR and 95 RBI in 141 games. The Rays get older with this trade although they grab a nice pitcher in Golub and a guy who can hit nicely and handle multiple positions in Donatello. The Braves get younger and grab some nice players they can start building their team up with.
Braves’ owner Kilgore on making the deal: “Again, we see this trade as helping both teams counter weaknesses. As much as we hated to lose Felix Donatello, he’s just past his prime and in the last year of his contract. He’s asking for both a little more than we think he’ll be worth, and for a longer term than we’re willing to commit to. Derek Golub was solid as a LH starter for us when he was healthy last season, but is also on the downhill side, and we have some minor league starter prospects who appear to be ready to step into his role. Finally, Fox is a quality hitter, but lacks the defensive skills we want in a catcher. He’ll bring more value as a DH/fill in catcher in the AL. As for the players we acquired, Rieth adds much needed power from the LH side of the plate and we’re eager to see during spring training whether he’s ML ready now or still a year away. Rondon’s a quality player, versatile enough to play just about anywhere except catcher, and will compete for a starting infield spot. We believe Lamb will likely be a key RH addition to the strong bullpen we believe is necessary to compete in this league, and is capable of starting on occasion if needed.”
31 year old LF Footise McKinley found himself traded to the Baltimore Orioles when he woke up this morning, while the Detroit Tigers receive 22 year old P Andy Benjamin in return. Benjamin projects to have great control and solid against left-handed batters. He pitched in 20 games at High A last season for a total of 128.0 innings, 3.52 era, and a 1.38 WHIP. McKinley will take over LF at the majors for the Orioles, where he’s in the last year of his contract for $5.6M. Footsie played in 120 games last season for the Tigers, hitting 27 HR, 87 RBI, and a .309 avg. The Orioles improving their hitting where they were already right above the avg while the Tigers receive a nice young pitcher for their farm system where he’ll spend a few seasons developing.
Hopkinsheel on why the deal was made: “We needed a new RFer as last years decided to test FA. Footsie had a really productive year and hopefully he will continue that in Baltimore. Benjamin wasn’t easy to give up, but we felt we have adequate SP depth in our organization.”
The Nationals jump into another trade, this time with the Montreal Expos where 35 year old P Pepper Hayes and 21 year old P Brandon Stargell change teams. Stargell started in 28 games last season for the Nationals and finished with a 3.49 era and 1.37 WHIP. Hayes started in 24 games last season at the major level for the Expos, logging in 144.1 innings of work where he finished with a 5-11 record, 4.43 era and 1.36 WHIP. Hayes has 2 years, $6.5M/yr, left on his contract.
Owner hamilton44 on the trade: “Pepper Hayes is a veteran arm that we were lacking all of last season. Although we hated to see a young prospect like Brandon go, Pepper makes us a better team today and that’s something I could live with. If we get 2 solid years out of Pepper, I’ll be happy.”
Ekoontz41 on Montreal’s side: “After Hayes failed his 3rd drug test, we decided it was time to trade him. He has been spending too much time with Charlie Sheen.”
The Pirates (110-52) ship 32 year old 3B Barry Yearwood to the Seattle Marines, receiving 25 year old P Andy Donnelly in return. Donnelly pitched in 60 games last season in the majors for the Mariners, where he went 3-5 with a 4.39 era and 1.46 WHIP. Yearwood played 3B last season in 145 games, hitting 25 HR, 98 RBI and a .297 avg. Seattle looks to add Yearwood to the lineup to help makeup the 5 games they lost the division by last season while the Pirates add some young pitching to their club.
Owner ajwalton on the trade: “The Pirates are sorry to see Barry Yearwood go, but he is getting up there in age and salary and the bullpen help was desperately needed.”
Owner jakaitis: “That one happened in a heartbeat. We like that Yearwood’s in his final year: either we’ll get draft picks or secure him at a bargain. Donnelly was talented arm to sacrifice but he never put it together in Seattle.”