Ok, let me add my disclaimer here: this trade is not being discussed by the teams. I created this trade in my wee little head. Don’t expect this to happen. It’s false; it’s just something fun to think about.
Ok, the disclaimer is out of the way. Now onto my created trade.
The Orioles are rebuilding and want to move pieces and payroll. The Rockies were sellers, and then they became buyers. They want help to win this season. The Cardinals need help to win this season, but they want to build for the future.
Ok, found out the best of all three worlds. Please note that the teams would pick up all money owed to a player, unless otherwise stated.
Colorado Rockies receives: IF/OF Aubrey Huff (BAL), RHP Chad Bradford (BAL), RHP Joel Pineiro (STL) and RHP P.J. Walters (STL)
Baltimore Orioles receive: IF Clint Barmes (COL), OF Dexter Fowler (COL), IF Tony Blanco (COL) and RHP Chris Perez (STL)
St. Louis Cardinals receive: LHP Brian Fuentes (COL), LHP George Sherrill (BAL) and RHP Bradley Bergesen (BAL)
Ok, if you’re keeping tabs, that’s a 10 player trade between three teams. Now, let’s break it down.
The Rockies were once sellers, now they’re buyers. In the NL West, you can be both and still win the division. They get the best of both worlds here.
They have been talking to teams about adding a right handed starting pitcher. They have also been looking to move their closer Fuentes. So, here’s how it breaks down.
For Fuentes, the Rockies want a player that will help them now and a prospect. Pineiro can fill their fifth starter role. Jeff Francis is coming back soon from injury, and he’s the de facto ace. Pineiro can slot in behind Ubaldo Jimenez and fill a role. He’ll give you five solid innings, maybe a sixth if he’s on his game.
The prospect in the deal is none other than the Cardinals 2007 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Walters. Walters has put up decent numbers at Class AAA Memphis. With a little fine tuning, this 23 year old could turn into a solid, mid-rotation arm.
That’s their haul for Fuentes. Their Haul for Barmes is greater. They land themselves a power hitting corner infielder/outfielder for their bench. Huff could come in real handy down the stretch, and if they make another incredible run to the World Series, he gives them another bat to their lineup that consists of a DH.
They also receive Bradford. Bradford can fill Fuentes role as a setup man to Manny Corpas. The Rockies lose a closer/setup man and gain another. Also, if you’re wondering, the Cardinals will pick up $3.5 million of Pineiro’s 2009 contract. The Orioles will pick up $1.5 million of Bradford’s 2009 contract and $3 million of Huff’s. That means instead of adding $19 million to their 2009 payroll, they only add $11 million.
Ok, now the Orioles. The Orioles trade Sherrill, pretty much, for Perez. Straight up, no strings attached. They send out Huff and Bradford for their “shortstop” of the future. Sure, Barmes is 29 years old, but he is worth it. His splits away from Coors aren’t favorable, but that remains to be seen. He’ll come cheaper than Huff and Bradford, and the Orioles dump almost $12 million in payroll from this move.
Coming with Barmes are two good minor league players. Fowler is a speed king (20 out of 27 in steals) and hits for average (.333). He has nine home runs in 130 hits, adding on 85 runs. Plug him in Baltimore’s left field of the future, and they have one of the brightest, youngest outfields in baseball (Fowler, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis).
Blanco is an interesting prospect. He’s going on 27, so he’s a little old for Class AA. If he can advance to Class AAA and put up the same numbers, he could slot into Baltimore’s future plans at third. As of 7/26, Blanco is hitting .320 and has 18 home runs, 68 runs batted in and 43 runs scored.
Now the Cardinals. The Cardinals add two pieces they desperately need: a lefty specialist and a closer. Sherrill will slot into the closers role, while Fuentes will be used as a setup man and a lefty specialist. Not a bad haul.
After the deal is done, the Cardinals announce that they will designate Ron Villone for assignment, and option Kelvin Jimenez to Class AAA. They also option Brad Thompson to Class AAA and recall LHP Jaime Garcia. Garcia will slot in as the fifth starter until Adam Wainwright is activated from the disabled list.
Also added to the Cardinals organization is right hander Bergesen. Across two levels (High Class A and Class AA) of the minors this season, Bergesen has put up some good numbers. They include a 13-4 record in 21 games (19 starts), a 2.79 ERA in 125 2/3 innings and he has thrown a complete game, which was a shutout. He doesn’t turn 23 until late September and could become a good, back end starter down the line for the Cardinals.
Ok, now onto losses.
The Rockies lost a valuable up the middle player. They also lose two prospects. On the bright side, Blanco is stuck behind Garret Atkins. Ian Stewart, who has emerged as a force once Atkins started playing first in Todd Helton’s absence, is also ahead of Blanco.
As for Fowler, this one may sting a little more, especially if they can’t keep Matt Holliday after 2009. Brad Hawpe is the Rockies long-term right fielder. Outside of that, nothing is too concrete. Holliday could walk as a free agent after 2009. So, this would be a gamble.
The Orioles lose a good looking pitching prospect in Bergesen. They also lose a top flight closer. On the bright side, they land a closer of the future to match up with a healthy Chris Ray. They also fill out left field for the future and possibly third. Barmes will also be a stop gap for several seasons at short. So, they’ll over look losing Bergesen. Oh yeah, they dump $12 million spread out over 2008 and 2009.
The Cardinals lose a closer of the future, a future mid to back end starter and a current back end starter. All can be overlooked. Sherrill is controlled for three more seasons through arbitration. Closer of the future there. Bergesen can fill Walter’s role in the minors, he’s just a level behind and is the same age. Fuentes is a better left hander than Villone, so that’s an improvement.
Garcia can be a stopgap in the back of the rotation until Wainwright gets healthy. When that day comes in early to mid August, the Cardinals could move Todd Wellemeyer or Braden Looper to the bullpen and keep Garcia in the rotation. They could also option Garcia back to Class AAA.
So, there you have it folks. The new three team trade I have concocted. I hope you enjoyed it. Also, all of you who like to bash created trades (which, by the way is fun to think of), please stay away. No one likes your negative thoughts.