Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Baseball News - December 15, 2011

There has been so much action to catch up on I had to divide the last post in half  Most of these deals were of the 'minor' variety but the players involved will make for interesting draft selections in 2012:

  1. Diamondbacks get Trevor Cahill from Oakland for top prospect Jarrod Parker and Collin Cowhill.  Time and time again A's GM Billy Beane deals away proven young talent for unproven potential and it generally pays off.  Cahill is still a controllable player but the real prize of this deal for Oakland is likely the injury prone former top prospect Parker.  Cahill is a proven 24 year old pitcher so Beane is clearly taking on more risk here given Parker's injury history.  Is there something the Oakland scouting staff sees? Definitely: Parker's upside if healthy has always been considered elite.  
  2. Ian Stewart dealt to the Cubs for Tyler Colvin.  I think this is a great deal for both teams.  Stewart needs a fresh start and Chicago need a capable 3B after Aramis Ramirez' departure.  The former top prospect has plenty of potential in his bat and seemed to have worn out his welcome in Colorado.  Colvin has a powerful bat but the Rockies have plenty of capable outfielders and I don't see how he fits in quite yet.  Either way, both players needed a fresh start but I think the Cubs got the better end of the deal.  If Stewart ends up starting on a regular basis he could easily hit 20 home runs at a scarce position making him an interesting sleeper for 2012.
  3. Casey McGehee dealt to the Pirates, Pedro Alvarez likely to play first or spend more time in the minors.  With Aramis Ramirez signed, the Brewers had no room for McGehee.  The Pirates struggled all season to get production from that position.  This trade gives the Pirates some options with Alavrez, who has tremendous power but struggled last season at the plate, to either defend the 'less demanding' 1B position or get more minor league seasoning.  McGehee might be a decent sleeper as he suffered from poor luck on balls in play (.249) which lead directly to his lower batting average in 2011.  I wouldn't get too excited though as he also increased his GB% from 47% in 2010 to 50% in 2011. Even more interesting will be who plays first base if/when Prince Fielder signs elsewhere.  Unless a veteran is signed, it looks like 26 year old Mat Gamel may be given regular time after destroying AAA pitching in 2011 to a tune of .310-28-96.
  4. Josh Willingham signs in Minnesota (3 years, $21 million).  Willingham is exactly the under the radar outfielder that can help win a fantasy championship.  He's a steady middle tier producer and you can pencil him for .250-25-85. Still, he is injury prone after playing in only 133 games last season and having never played in all 162 games. It has been rumored that Michael Cuddyer was seeking more money than Willingham which would explain why the Twins went in this direction.
  5. Mark Melancon dealt to the Red Sox for Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland.  An interesting trade for the Red Sox who have stated they would like Daniel Bard to start in 2012.  Melancon would be one of their strongest candidates to close as of this writing although going from the NL Central to the AL East will be quite an adjustment.  Lowrie should start at shortstop for for the Astros who struggled to fill the position in 2011.  

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