View Full Version : A couple different takes on the deadline deals

07-31-2006, 07:02 PM
"Lohse trade makes sense for Reds"

This is a sensible need-for-need deal: The Reds needed more pitching, and the Twins needed to get rid of Kyle Lohse in the worst way.
Lohse had been out of favor in Minnesota for some time, due in no small part to his awful performance as a starter at the beginning of this season, but he's pitched effectively out of the bullpen for the past two months and could fill a similar role for the Reds. He does have four average or better pitches, with a plus cutter. And if his command improves -- perhaps the switch to the weaker league will help -- he could even give the Reds some help in their rotation. One caveat is that he's another flyball pitcher coming to the Great American Home Run Park.

The Twins get a good return for a player they didn't want. Zach Ward, the Reds' third-round pick from 2005, has a very good arm, with a sinking fastball up to 94 mph, a solid-average slider, and a funky delivery that creates good deception but that he finds hard to repeat, leading to command problems. He's pitched well, but not extremely so, for low-A Dayton this year. As a college product he should probably be challenged with high-A competition immediately.

"Belliard deal doesn't help Cards"

The Cardinals treaded water with their acquisition of Cleveland second baseman Ron Belliard for second baseman Hector Luna, and in doing so cost themselves a little bit in the long term.
Belliard is older and more experienced than Luna and has slightly more power; he's also a free agent after this season. Luna is five years younger and has four years to go to free agency, and he has a better ability to get on base and can play shortstop on a limited basis, whereas Belliard is limited to second base and has little range even at that position.

It's not clear where St. Louis thought it was helping itself with this deal, and there's a nonzero chance that the Cardinals hurt themselves slightly for 2006.

"Big heist for the Yankees"

The Yankees get a big OBP boost and the best fifth starter they've had all year, and they did it by using money (of which they have a lot) instead of prospects (of which they have few once you exclude Philip Hughes and Jose Tabata). The Phillies, meanwhile, get some salary relief for 2007, but not much else.
Bobby Abreu may or may not have lost his power -- I think it's overblown, as he's still on pace for 40-plus doubles and doesn't look like he's lost bat speed or raw strength -- but he's still one of the best offensive players in the game. He's about to post his eighth straight 100-walk season and has the fifth-best OBP in the game. The Yankees have been running a Bernie Williams/Aaron Guiel platoon out in left, and while Guiel has hit a few homers since he came to the Bronx, he's still a four-A player who has no place on a contending club's roster. Even if Abreu's home run total remains low, he's worth two extra wins to the Yankees if he takes at-bats away from Bernie and Guiel, and more if his home-run power comes back.

Cory Lidle is a finesse right-hander with excellent control who will probably struggle to be a league-average starter in the American League at this point, but he is an enormous improvement over Sidney Ponson, Kris Wilson and Aaron Small -- whom the Yanks have employed as fifth starters this year. Lidle's best pitch is a splitter, but his fastball is a tick below average so he has to have good command to be effective and keep the ball out of the seats. Since the guys he's replacing have been so bad, he's still a one-to-two-win upgrade for the balance of the season, making this one of the biggest impact deals any club will make this month.

The Phillies finally came off their demands for top prospects and instead chose to dump the two contracts, saving $15 million in 2007 by moving Abreu. The only player they acquired with any sort of major-league value right now is lefty specialist Matt Smith, a 27-year-old veteran of the Yankee farm system.

The Phils did acquire some interesting prospects. Shortstop C.J. Henry is best known as the guy the Yankees took in the 2005 draft even though right-handed pitcher Craig Hansen was still available. Henry is a raw five-tool talent and still just 20 years old. His swing is long, but he generates plus power and is a good baserunner with well-above-average speed. He has struggled in the South Atlantic League this year across the board. Though he has the physical tools to stay at short, it remains to be seen how his body develops and whether he outgrows the position. The Phillies also acquired two players from the Yankees' Gulf Coast League affiliate, athletic catcher Jesus Sanchez and hard-throwing right-hander Carlos Monasterios, both of whom are so far away that they're more pre-prospects than prospects.

So the three minor-league players the Phils acquired aren't going to help the big-league club until at least 2009 or 2010, and none is good enough to be the centerpiece for a subsequent deal. As a result, the Phillies haven't done anything to improve their club for 2007 except add financial flexibility, but with a thin free-agent market this winter, it's not clear that they'll have superior outlets for spending that money.


Here's what Jim Callis had to say about the Germano/Cormier swap.

The National League wild card-leading Reds made their third move to upgrade their bullpen this month, acquiring Rheal Cormier from the Phillies on Monday in exchange for Justin Germano. Earlier in July, Cincinnati picked up Eddie Guardado, Bill Bray and Gary Majewski.

Cormier, 39, gives the Reds another lefty to team with Bray and Guardado in relief. In 43 games this year, he has gone 2-2 with 12 holds and a 1.59 ERA, the lowest of his 15-year major league career. He has a 13-13 K-BB ratio in 34 innings, with opponents batting just .225 with two homers against him. Cormier survives on command and guile, throwing a lively high-80s fastball to go with a slider and a splitter. He has been quite effective against righthanders in 2006, though that wasn't the case in 2005. He makes $2.5 million this season as part of a two-year, $5.25 million contract that calls for either a $3 million club option or a $500,000 buyout next year. After making the deal, the Reds announced that Cormier had been signed to a 2007 extension with a 2008 option, the terms of which were not immediately disclosed. He has a career mark of 71-63, 4.01 in 656 games.

Germano, a 23-year-old righthander, originally signed with the Padres as a 13th-round pick out of a California high school in 2000. This is the second straight July he has been part of a deal for the stretch drive, as San Diego used him in a package for Joe Randa last July. Germano has made two appearances this year for the Reds, taking the loss Saturday in a start against the Brewers, and has spent most of the season at Triple-A Louisville. With the Bats, he has gone 8-6, 3.69 in 19 games (18 starts). In 117 innings, he has a 67-22 K-BB ratio, .279 opponent average and 11 homers allowed. His stuff is no better than average, leaving him little margin for error. He has an 87-89 mph fastball, a curveball (his best pitch) and a changeup. Germano owns a 1-3, 8.04 record in nine career apperances in the majors.

Callis' take on the Lohse deal...

In their second pitching trade of deadline Monday and fourth this month, the Reds picked up Kyle Lohse from the Twins for Class A righthander Zach Ward.

Earlier today, Cincinnati acquired Rheal Cormier from the Phillies. Previously in July, the Reds traded with the Mariners for Eddie Guardado and with the Nationals for Bill Bray and Gary Majewski.

Lohse, a 27-year-old righthander, is in the midst of the worst season of his six-year big league career. He opened the season in Minnesota's rotation, but wound up being demoted to Triple-A and returning to the majors in middle relief. He's 2-5, 7.07 in 22 games (eight starts), with a 46-25 K-BB ratio in 64 innings. Opponents are batting .308 with eight homers against him. Lohse has enough stuff to be a solid mid-rotation starter, featuring a low-90s fastball and a slider that climbs into the mid-80s. But he lacks command of his pitches and frequently makes mistakes that batters punish. How much he really will offer Cincinnati remains to be seen. Lohse won a $3.95 million salary for 2006 via arbitration in February and will be arbitration-eligible again this offseason if he doesn't get nontendered. He has a 51-57, 4.88 record in 172 career games.

Ward, 22, was a third-round pick out of Gardner-Webb in 2005. He had one of the better pure arms in the Reds system, with a 93-94 mph fastball and a mid-80s slider. He has pitched mostly as a starter this year at low Class A Dayton in his pro debut, but may wind up as a late-inning reliever if he can't develop a changeup. In 20 games (18 starts), Ward was 7-0, 2.29. He had a 95-37 K-BB ratio, .188 opponent average and two homers allowed in 114 innings.


Lastly, Baseball America's quick and dirty guide to the latest trades...