Saturday, July 30, 2011

Trade deadline thoughts

With Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis at the corners, the Orioles could have unbelievable power production from their corners. Of course, both could hit .220 with their 30 home runs. At least Reynolds can work the count and get on base with a free pass regularly.

In Texas, Koji Uehara instantly becomes the best pitcher in the Texas bullpen. Neftali Feliz just doesn't look like the same pitcher he was in 2010. He's striking out three fewer batters per inning, taking his K rate from elite to below average, and his walk rate has doubled. Uehara, on the other hand, has quietly put together a spectacular season so far. He's striking out more batters than 2010, and more batters per inning than Feliz did in his spectacular 2010, with absolutely elite control (1.5 BB/9). His 30% groundball rate is terrifyingly low, but when you're striking that many batters out and not allowing many free passes, you can get away with it.

The Phillies traded their top two prospects for Hunter Pence. They needed the outfield depth, but both Cosart and Singleton were in Baseball America's top 40. For a player that isn't a star, that's a lot to pay. At least he's under team control for several years. The Ibanez contract is up next year, so that will give Dominic Brown another shot at the majors in 2012, and could give the Phillies a spectacularly athletic outfield, with Victorino in center. For Houston, it was a no brainer. That team is not going anywhere soon, and to get a potential impact hitter and pitcher, you have to pull the trigger.

The Fister/Furbush trade looks like a win win. The back of the Tigers rotation has been shaky. While Fister by himself won't be a major difference maker, he should slide nicely in to the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation. Furbush could eventually become a similar pitcher, but much like the Red Sox deal with the Royals, he just wasn't ready for that role yet. The other prospects may end up tipping the deal in favor of the Mariners, though. Long term, that massive losing streak may pay dividends, allowing them to sell.

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