Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Trade Deadline Analysis, Part II

Braves get Texeira for Most of Their Farm System
Winner: Tied
Years from now, this has the best chance of being seen as 2007's version of Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz. Tex is a huge upgrade on the various Scott Thormans, Craig Wilsons, Julio Francos, and Mumm-Ra The Destroyers who have been manning first base for the Braves this year. About the only first baseman the Bravos have trotted out there who hasn't been noticeably worse than Texeira is...Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the centerpiece of the very tasty package that went back to Texas. Throw in the fact that Texas now has an abundance of elite catching prospects, they also got three of Atlanta's other top prospects, and they'll control Saltalamacchia for years yet, and it becomes clear they got an elite haul for the elite player on the market. With the Mets' rotation in a shambles and the Phillies going down like they're charging Marye's Heights, Texeira could conceivably be the piece that puts the Braves over the top. But the price may be a half-decade of hearing about the success of Salty, Elvis Andrus, and the two live arms they gave up to get him.

Braves trade Kyle Davies for Octavio Dotel
Winner: Royals (and do you have any idea how hard it is to write that?)
With Bob Wickman doing his best impression of Frank Langella in The Ninth Gate (sorry, should have been a spoiler warning there), the Braves needed more bullpen help, stat. Dotel is a great rental, a power arm who wasn't doing the Royals much good but whom the Braves can use as either a strong setup guy or a replacement for Wiki when he finally goes kaboom once and for all.
Meanwhile, Dayton Moore does the standard new GM-shtick of looting his old organization. Sometimes it works (Dallas Green & Ryne Sandberg), sometimes it doesn't (Pat Gillick & any former Mariner), but it keeps happening. In this case, Moore pillaged the Braves for iffy starter Davies, a former top prospect who'd never made a dent in the Majors. Whether or not Davies pans out is, ultimately, almost immaterial. Dotel was a rental, a short-timer at best, and getting anything for him is a win. Dave Littlefield, pay attention - this is what you do with mediocre-to-solid-vets at the trade deadline. Davies still has a high ceiling, Moore knows and likes him from his days with the Braves, and it sure as hell beats letting Dotel walk for nada at year's end.

Phillies Acquire Lohse for Maloney

Winner: Phillies
Insofar as that Kyle Lohse has not yet gotten hurt, this one is a win for the Phillies. It's a case of "decent now vs. possibly decent down the road", and considering the fact that the Phillies have been reduced to looting Ottowa's rotation, "now" sounds good.

Pirates Acquire Morris and Massive Debt Service for Davis
Winner: Zoltag, Psionic Overlord Of the Ninth Galaxy, who has demonstrated that he can project his consciousness into Dave Littlefield at Will
Rajai Davis could spontaneously combust tomorrow and this deal would still work for the Giants.

Morris is old, expensive, and lousy, and if there is a single area where the Pirates have something vaguely approaching depth, it’s starting pitching.
And for the record, “He eats innings” is not a valid reason for picking up a terrible pitcher. If a guy is closing in on an ERA of 5 in San Francisco, he’s not going to get out of the fourth inning a lot in Pittsburgh. At best, that's an inning-light-snack.

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