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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Friday, November 04, 2005
Padres - Acquired Vinny Cashstealer
San Diego Padres - Acquired 3B Vinny Cashstealer from the Washington Nationals for P Brian Lawrence.
Neither player is very good, especially the former, but from a team construction standpoint, the Padres were taken to the cleaners by Jimmy Bowden.
Will the Nationals miss Vinny in the slightest? Not a chance. #1 draft pick Ryan Zimmerman is ready to step in right now and give the Nats an immediate improvement on the left side of the infield. In return for sweeping the garbage off the sidewalk, they get a #4 starter, replacing the departing Tony Armas Jr. in the rotation with limited fuss. Lawrence doesn’t have a big upside, but he’s generally healthy and can potentially give the team 180-200 league-average innings.
The Padres on the other hand, do the exact opposite. Sean Burroughs is done as a starter in San Diego but Vinny Castilla provides absolutely no upgrade over their previous #1 draft pick. Some people speculate on a Castilla/Burroughs platoon, but that’s not going to happen. The Padres simply didn’t trade Lawrence just so they could get a 3B to get 35% of the at-bats at the hot corner, the small man in a platoon with another player who they would prefer to send to another team.
And in return for adding a decade and a half to their starting third baseman’s age with no actual baseball benefit, they gave up an inning-eating OK-ish starter that they can ill afford to lose. This is a weak free agent market - unless the Padres can land one of the very few good starters like A.J. Burnett, they look to enter the season with a rotation with massive holes at #4 and #5, one of those jobs being manned by Chan Ho Park, who isn’t just a hole but a gravity well of suck.
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