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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Padres - Acquired Kouzmanoff
San Diego Padres - Acquired 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff and P Andrew Brown from the Cleveland Indians for 2B Josh Barfield
I’m of a number of minds on this trade. I find it interesting and potentially good for both teams, but I have several misgivings about this trade for both teams.
The Indians correctly realized that they had a surplus at third base, but I don’t think they traded the right third baseman and I don’t think they fixed the right problem. I feel that Kouzmanoff will be a better player than Andy Marte when all is said and done - Marte’s had a lot of hype, but his performances in the upper minors and the majors has left much to be desired. You then get into why they acquired Barfield. Yes, Barfield’s young and displayed some decent power this year, but I’m unconvinced he’s ever going to be anything more than a league average 2B with some pop, a la Rennie Stennett. Barfield’s a better player than Joe Inglett and Hector Luna, but I’m not sure the difference is all that large and the Indians had other needs. Specifically, neither the rightfielder or first baseman are likely to give the offensive production the team should like to have. I think those are the needs that the Indians really had to address as tough as it is to take time away from a guy like Blake, who’s been around for a bit or Garko, who did hit well in the majors (but very disappointingly in Buffalo).
I like the Padres from a talent standpoint (I’d take Kouzmanoff and Brown personally given no information on what positions the teams needed or had strengths at), I think they really jumped to create too much of a hole at second. Yes, the Padres have talked about Akinori Iwamura coming in and moving to second or Marcus Giles, but they don’t actually have either of those players yet. They’d still have to submit a winning bid and come to terms with Iwamura and still have to make a trade with the Braves, and other teams will be looking at Giles. If they can’t get a second baseman, then they’ve created a hole that didn’t need to be there. Todd Walker’s not under contract. Geoff Blum’s no longer under contract and isn’t any good anyway. Bobby Hill is the only player in the entire organization who could conceivably play 2B in the majors in 2007 and that’s being very kind; he’d hit 250/330/330 with rather bland defense.
I do think that Andrew Brown could be a real surprise pickup for the Padres and a definite sleeper. He’s made it through 2 seasons in relief without messing up his elbow (which would be the 3rd time) and he’s even keeping the ball down now, going from 38% last year in Buffalo to just over 50% grounders this season. And even if he starts allowing more flyballs again, he’s going to the perfect place to be a flyballer, a great pitchers park with Mike Cameron in the middle of the outfield.
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