Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Look Back at Off-Season Trades

Here's a quick look back at the off-season trades me made. I analyzed them a bit and noted whether I would make the trade again or not.

Acquired DH Jim Thome and cash from the Philadelphia Phillies for CF Aaron Rowand, RHP Dan Haigwood, and a player to be named later

This trade essentially came down to Jim Thome and cash for Aaron Rowand. After getting over the initial shock of losing Rowand, I realized this was a good trade, and nearly a year later, I still believe Kenny made a good move. The Sox won the ’05 World Series on pitching and timely hitting, aka Ozzie Ball. KW was well aware of the fact that if the Sox were to repeat they would need a stronger lineup, because it would be impossible to expect the rotation to repeat ‘05’s performance. He achieved this without giving up one of our pitchers or any of the key cogs in the Sox lineup. This move also paid off, because Thome represented not only an insurance policy if Paulie left via free agency, but also an incentive for Paulie to stay at home; with Thome in the fold, Paulie had some protection in the lineup. For now the trade looks good, but it has the potential to go all wrong. If Thome’s body breaks down and the Sox are saddled with his contract, this deal may be bad in the long run.

I realize that getting Thome sealed Thomas’ fate, but coming into the season I would not have wanted Thomas as my DH. No one knew whether he would last a full season, and the media certainly would have jumped on him during his early season struggles.

Verdict: For now, Good move.

Acquired INF Rob Mackowiak from the Pittsburgh Pirates for LHP Damaso Marte

Damaso was thoroughly in Ozzie’s dog house and it seemed like he was on his way out over the off-season; it was just a matter of to where and for whom. Mackowiak was a solid hitter for us all year long, but his fielding left something to be desired. This may be due to the fact that he played almost exclusively in the outfield, and when this trade was announced he was an INFIELDER. Damaso pitched decently for the Pirates with a 3.70 ERA in 75 games.

Verdict: Good move.

Acquired Javier Vazquez and cash from the Arizona Diamondbacks for RHP Orlando Hernandez, RHP Luis Vizcaino, and OF Chris Young

Sox fans were probably the most divided over this trade. On the one hand we got a pitcher, at a discount, who possessed filthy stuff. On the other hand, said pitcher seemed to be a head case and hadn’t pitched solidly since his days in Montreal. On the first hand, we have Don Cooper to straighten him out. On the other hand, we gave up one of our top prospects. And so on and so forth. Most people are willing to call this trade a bust for us, but I’m not ready to call it quits, yet. Yes, Chris Young looks like the first prospect that KW traded that will actually produce, but I still believe in Don Cooper. I think by next season Javy will be a solid pitcher for us. Yes, I’m being ridiculously optimistic, but I’m just not ready to give up on Javy yet. I didn’t mind losing El Duque or Vizcaino. I was actually happy to get rid of them both. To me El Duque was an injury waiting to happen, and although Vizcaino had a 3.58 ERA in 70 games, I didn’t trust him at all.

Verdict: It’s a hung jury. The trade will be retried next season, although things aren’t looking too promising.

Acquired Alex Cintron from the Arizona Diamondbacks for RHP Jeff Bajenaru

Absolute fleecing. Bajenaru spent basically the whole season in the minors and had a 4.50 ERA in 52 appearances. That isn’t promising for a 28 year-old “prospect.” Cintron on the other hand was a key player of the bench, batting steadily and fielding solidly at both SS and 2B.

Verdict: Good, shrewd move.

Acquired Matt Thornton from the Seattle Mariners for OF Joe Borchard

Another absolute fleecing. Both these players were looking at getting DFAed by their respective clubs since they were out of minor league options, but the Sox came out of this trade looking golden. KW gave Coop another project and Coop delivered. After lengthening his stride and making a few other tweaks, Coop turned Thornton into our third best reliever this past season.

Verdict: Great move

A look at the in-season moves are coming tomorrow.


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