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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Indians - Acquired Marte, Michaels
Cleveland Indians - Acquired OF Jason Michaels from the Philadelphia Phillies for P Arthur Rhodes; acquired 3B Andy Marte, C Kelly Shoppach, and P Guillermo Mota for OF Coco Crisp, P David Riske, and C Josh Bard.
After about, say, 3 years of haggling over this trade, the initial reaction to the finaled version is “It’s about time!” rather than “What a blockbuster!”
Being the cordial Yankee disliker that I am (though not a Red Sox fan), it pleases me quite a bit that George Steinbrenner opened his pocket for the best centerfielder available in the free agent market and, yet, still won’t have a centerfielder as good as the one replacing his big offseason grab in Boston. Like his predecessor, Crisp isn’t as good a defender in centerfield as you would think and has a rather noodly arm. Still, who can’t like a guy named Coco Crisp?
Heck, even if I didn’t like watching him play, I’d have a hard time not liking the guy who helpfully bailed me out of one of my earlier controversial projections - projecting him at 304/365/406 in his first full season after a rather bland cup of coffee. Crisp and Troy Percival always provide a soothing balm when I remember some of the projections that went horribly awry!
Since the Red Sox gain Riske and apparently don’t lose Mota, the bullpen surplus becomes even larger. The Red Sox are going to make some more moves unless they’re willing to send some good pitchers to the minors or go with a 14 man pen.
[OOPS, turned out Mota was in there after all - damn you CBS! -DS]
Mota for Riske is probably a fairly even swap - Riske is more likely to be healthy with Mota probably having a bit more upside.
The Red Sox lose Marte, but you have to give value to get value, most of the time at least, and truth be told, Marte’s a very good prospect, but he’s not David Wright or Ryan Zimmerman. The Indians will love to have him with the loss of Crisp being lessened by sending out Arthurly for Jason Michaels and Aaron Boone being, well, the player that Aaron Boone is. Cleveland has some young pitchers they just don’t know what to do with, if the Jason Johnson signing is any indication, and might use the surplus their to fill the pen after losing Riske and Rhodes.
The Phils, well, they pick up another reliever and lose a valuable bench guy. They don’t need Michaels as much with Aaron Rowand in center, but I’d wager they could still have found 300 at-bats for him if they wanted to. On the plus side, while they don’t throw with the same hand, every reliever the Phils pick is one less bullpen spot they can fill by not using Madson in the rotation.
That just leaves essentially Kelly Shoppach. Let’s face it. Kelly Shoppach is probably just stopgap starter/backup catcher material at this point (as is Josh Bard, ZiPS is sniffing airplane glue) and even if he were a little better, Jason Varitek is in the way. Shoppach can have value, but he’s going to have low BA value, so it’s not like he has a ton of trading potential.
Fun stuff all around. Some paint this as a Mark Shapiro coup, but it’s merely a very good trade for the Red Sox and Indians, with both teams filling needs. Kinda “meh” for the Phils.
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