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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Monday, July 30, 2007
Devil Rays - Acquired a Bunch (not Melvin) of Relievers
Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Acquired P Grant Balfour from the Milwaukee Brewers for P Seth McClung.
Acquired P Calvin Medlock and P Brian Shackleford from the Cincinnati Reds for 1B Jorge Cantu and OF Shawn Cumberland
Acquired P Danny Wheeler from the Houston Astros for IF Ty Wigginton.
The Devil Rays shed off a bunch of organizational depth in order to grab a bunch of bullpen arms. At least they’ve identified the problem - a 6.78 ERA from their bullpen has to be a performance of historical significance. I haven’t looked it up, but trust me. Would I ever steer you wrong and suggest something like Alfonso Soriano being a disappointment for the Nationals? Of course not!
I think McClung would have been useful for the Rays now that they’ve given up on making him a pitcher and let him stay in relief and just chuck lots of fastballs, but I can understand not wanting your fanbase, that remembers McClung quite vividly, to ever see that name on the scoreboard for the home team again. Balfour’s had success and has bounced back from essentially a complete reconstruction of his pitching arm, though he doesn’t have the eye-popping stuff.
With the exception of Billy Wagner and Todd Jones, pretty much every Astros closer has seen their career go by the wayside, with Wheeler being the latest example. Perhaps he got out of Houston in time before he started to really “Go Sambito.”
Ty Wigginton goes to Houston to replace the DFAed Ensberg (actually, Wiggy was acquired first, but you get the picture). Wigginton will hit better than Ensberg has this year, but won’t hit anywhere near as well as Ensberg has hit in the past and while Ensberg was a really solid fielder at 3rd, his replacement is solid only in the sense that he’s characterized by resistance to deformation and changes of volume. I don’t remember my physics very well, but I think the Euler-Bernoulli beam equation states that if the Astros want Wigginton to carry the offense on his back, Tim Purpura’s a doofus. I’m being a bit hard on the guy, but I get really worried when players like him are a year or two and they play a position that the Orioles would like to sign someone for.
The Reds are belatedly realizing that if they dump Adam Dunn for pennies on the dollar, they need to acquire some actual outfielders. That belated realization has not extended to outfielders that can actually hit, so Norris Hopper is still in the outfield mix in a post-Dunn Cincinnati, which is a Kafkaesque situation.
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