Thursday, November 13, 2008

Florida's Annual Salary Dump

Florida has been busy wheeling and dealing already this off-season, completing three trades.

Trade 1

Florida gets:

Leo Nunez, 24 year-old RHRP, 2.98 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9, 3.22 tRA, 128 tRA+ in 48.3 IP. Not arbitration eligible yet. Despite the nice stats he isn't a particularly good reliever - more 6th/7th inning than 9th.

Kansas City gets:

Mike Jacobs, 27 year-old first-baseman, .247/.299/.514, 32 HR, .338 wOBA, 103 wOBA+. Eligible for arbitration for the first time. Lots of power and pretty much nothing else.

The Marlins save money and can just shift Jorge Cantu (or whoever) over to first without seeing any loss overall. Jacobs' defense and OBP are so bad that guys with as much value can be found lying around the minors. In fact, the Royals have Ryan Shealy (.301/.354/.603 in 73 AB) and Kila Ka'aihue (about .316/.455/.629 with 37 HR between AA and AAA) ready to take over for Ross Gload (.273/.317/.348) at first on the cheap. The Marlins didn't get a whole heck of a lot in this deal, but then neither did the Royals.

Trade 2

Florida gets:

Emilio Bonifacio, 23 year-old second-baseman, .248/.305/.344 in limited time in for the Nats and .302/.348/.387 in Triple-A. Maybe a future Tony Womack... maybe.

Jake Smolinski, 19 year-old second-baseman, .261/.338/.402 in low A-ball. "Smolinski is your basic B-level prospect whose value could easily go way up or way down in 2009." - fangraphs

P.J. Dean, 19 year-old RHP, 1.57 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9 in low A-ball. The low HR-rate in consecutive years (0.3 HR/9 in 2007) indicates he gets some groundballs, but I can't find any info on that. "He is a young, projectable right-hander who currently throws 90-92 mph with room to grow. Dean also has a curveball with plus potential and a developing change-up." - fangraphs

Washington gets:

Scott Olson, 24 year-old LHSP, 4.20 ERA, 5.0 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 5.38 tRA, 87 tRA+. Strike-out rate and velocity falling but a lefty that can throw 200 innings is nice to have around. Still, his stats don't match up to his reputation. Eligible for arbitration for the first time, I think.

Josh Willingham, 29 year-old outfielder, .254/.364/.470, 15 HR, .376 wOBA, 113 wOBA+. The guy can hit but the outfield defense is not very good and he'll start the 2009 season at 30 years old. Also eligible for arbitration for the first time, I think.

It's not a bad trade for the Marlins, but it seems like they should have been able to get more for two established (though probably overrated) major-leaguers. It's not a bad deal for the Nationals either, but why would they be giving up even mediocre prospects for guys who likely won't be around by the time the Nats make the playoffs.

Trade 3

Florida gets:

Jose Ceda, 21 year-old RHRP, 2.08 ERA, 12.5 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9 in 30.1 IP at AA. Has a live arm and could end up as a closer in a couple years.

Chicago Cubs get:

Keving Gregg, 30 year-old RHRP, 3.41 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 4.9 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9, 3.85 tRA, 114 tRA+. He's a decent reliever but ended up getting 29 saves as the closer more by default than ability.

It seems that the Cubs are going to cut Kerry Wood loose (he's a free-agent) and let Gregg or Carlos Marmol close. Wood is better than Gregg, and considering the home-town discount I assume Wood would give Chicago and the six lost years of control of Ceda I don't see this as a good trade for the Cubs. I thought that teams were passed looking at the saves column but I guess not. Another cost-cutting move by the Marlins while picking up a nice prospect. Maybe they'll put Leo Nunez in Gregg's spot, let him rack up some saves, and then deal him once he starts getting expensive himself.

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