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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Saturday, July 06, 2002
Big Ol’ 3-Way Trade
Oakland: Acquires P Ted Lilly, OF John-Ford Griffin and P Jason Arnold for 1B Carlos Pena, P Frank German and a player to be named.
Detroit: Acquires 1B Carlos Pena, P Frank German and a player to be named for P Jeff Weaver.
New York: Acquires P Jeff Weaver for P Ted Lilly, OF John-Ford Griffin and P Jason Arnold.
Before anyone says it, any small-market could afford Jeff Weaver for at least the next couple of years and would have easily been able to trade him in later years if they couldn’t.
This is definitely a big surprise to me; there was noise about Jeff Weaver leaving Detroit, but I felt that Dombrowski wouldn’t do it.
The Yankees upgrade Lilly to Weaver and give up Griffin and Arnold to do it. Both Griffin and Arnold were recently promoted from Tampa of the FSL where Arnold was off to a great start (2.48 ERA in 13 starts) while Griffin, already on the old side for the league, was only hitting 264/344/373.
Griffin is, however, off to a good start for Norwich. Overall, I think Arnold is the better prospect, a righty with an excellent fastball and for a low-level hard thrower, he’s been a control freak and I’m not talking about the bad Larry Bowa type. However, pitching prospects are risky because of arm problems and Griffin hasn’t done anything yet to make him untouchable, so I think that the Yankees are better off with Jeff Weaver than with the 3 players that left.
This is a puzzling trade from the Tigers’ point of view. Jeff Weaver is the kind of pitcher you want to acquire when you’re rebuilding a team, a 25-year old pitcher who looks like he’s becoming an ace. Carlos Pena remains an excellent prospect, but the Tigers are just swapping very good players and not really making any gains off of it. The Tigers already have Munson coming around in Toledo (OPS getting close to .850 despite a .231 batting average) and I just don’t feel that this is enough of an upgrade to justify trading Weaver.
Scott Hatteberg is not the answer at 1B and the A’s have now traded 2 players who very well could be for an old, bad utility guy and a 5th-starter upgrade. With Hatteberg likely to be a substandard 1B and the A’s carrying Mark Ellis for some unknown reason, they really shouldn’t have done this. I’d rather the A’s deal the same players to the Indians for Jim Thome; it’s better to trade the future for the present than to trade the future for a lesser future.
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