The Orioles resurrect B.J. Surhoff. The Tigers let go of Greg Norton. Milwaukee adds Three True Outcome God Russ Branyan to the active roster. Ramon Hernandez comes off the DL in San Diego. The Crime Dog gets his walking papers in Tampa Bay. And the Rangers prepare for their first interesting stretch-run of the new century. All this and much more news from around the league in your Wednesday edition of Transaction Analysis.
From now until shortly after the non-waiver trading deadline, “You Could Look It Up” will examine the key mid-season trades for each franchise (with “mid-season” being generously defined as “June 15 to the end of the regular season”) and evaluate each trade to see what a mid-season addition is really worth, and if possible to discern patterns and discover which deals really help and which are of little or even negative value. After we break down each trade, we’ll come to a “snap judgment,” a hasty conclusion. At the end of the series, we’ll see if those judgments add up to any helpful conclusions…
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to get the same sense about this year’s
trade deadline that I used to get at parties in college around 12:30 or so.
The night would start with such great anticipation, thinking there’d be some
good hooking up, what with all the talent in the room. As the night wore on,
though, it would became clear that nothing was going to happen, and
anticipation would slowly become frustration and then desperation. Eventually,
I’d just go home, feeling like I’d wasted an awful lot of energy for nothing.
(I’d extend the analogy by comparing, say, Brian Cashman and some girl I
wanted to know better back in 1993, but you just know her husband would be
reading this and I’d get sued.)
So why is this July turning into a bad re-creation of my college days? Blame
it on everyone and everything…
The last thing I am is a deadline drum-beater for the somehow coveted mediocrity that is Kris Benson (or, Jeff Suppan v2.0, if you prefer). However, if there’s one team that can use him in the back of the rotation, it’s the Twins.
Brad Radke and Johan Santana have been Cy Young contenders in the front two spots, and Carlos Silva and Kyle Lohse have been serviceable. Still, Terry Mulholland’s 4.55 R/G doesn’t seem likely to hold up. The rumored deal, one that would send Doug Mientkiewicz and Mike Restovich to Pittsburgh, is reasonable. Justin Morneau is fully ready to take over at first and thrive for years to come, Restovich comes from a position of notable depth within the organization (and he’s not a future star), and Mientkiewicz, while somewhat underrated by most of us in past seasons, has been an unmitigated cipher in 2004. It’s a deal that makes sense for Minnesota, but only because the price for them is nominal and they’re not viewing Benson as something he’s squarely not, an ace.
Andy Pettitte ’04 = Jason Schmidt ’03. Pettitte has a small but significant tear in his flexor tendon. While it will need surgical repair, it could wait until the end of the season. Pettitte may end up on the DL, but it’s more likely that he’ll simply pitch to pain tolerance. If Pettitte can go five innings or so, he’ll have some value. However, with Pettitte’s contract, the Astros will have to make a decision on when their season is over, minimizing the stress on the lefty’s arm. The Astros are also worried that Wade Miller might miss the rest of the season. An August return is unrealistic, but by September, there may be no reason to come back. The Astros are taking a look at Paul Wilson, sending scouts to watch his last start. They need the rotation filler.
So much for the bullpen. After Tim Hudson came out of his simulated game, Oakland’s plan for him got serious. While he will still have a start at Triple-A, Hudson is expected to come back at near full-strength at the middle of next week. The A’s will limit his pitch count a bit, but Hudson will be expected to do what every starting pitcher is expected to do–win.
The Diamondbacks need to get good value for Randy Johnson and Steve Finley. The Tigers could market Jason Johnson as a cheaper Kris Benson. The Royals could test the waters with Joe Randa, Scott Sullivan and others. These and other trade deadline-oriented news and notes out of Arizona, Detroit and Kansas City in today’s Prospectus Triple Play.