Monday, June 11, 2007

Trade Review on a Monday!

I know, I'm not adhering to my own policies. Thursday is rerun day. But this weekend's Mil-Tex series afforded too great an opportunity to pass up. Here's a short rundown of what went down in that particular deal. Around trading deadline time,the Rangers had been hovering slightly above five hundred for the majority of the year, and holding their own in the AL West. They therefore went out and acquired the top bat available, Carlos Lee, and another outfielder, young Nelson Cruz. In return, Milwaukee got former top closer turned unsuccessful setup man Fransisco Cordero, mediocre outfielder Kevin Mench, and former blue chipper waylaid by injuries Laynce Nix.
Lee went on to play well for the Rangers for the remainder of the year, and Cruz hung out in the outfield sometimes and looked pretty. Mench did the same thing he had been doing for the Rangers; hit .280 or so with mediocre power. Nix sat on the disabled list and played Xbox. But Cordero reemerged as a top closer for the Brew Crew.At the end of the year, Carlos Lee bolted for the Houston Astros and their 100 million dollar offer sheet. The Rangers received the 17th and 44th (I believe) picks in this draft as compensation, which they used on starter Blake Beavan and reliever Neil Ramirez.Fast forward to this season:
CoCo Cordero had been absolutely flawless until this weekend. He had given up ONE run all year-yes, one, count it-and converted all 22 of his save opportunities, striking out 35 hitters within that span. Mench and Nix did their thing, continuing to operate in mediocrity and inactivity, respectably. And Nelson Cruz has struggled mightily, commencing in being sent to Oklahoma a week ago. All this prompted many to endlessly rip on Jon Daniels for this trade.
But then this weekend happened.
A lot of the apologists, myself included, contended that trading Cordero was the right move, reasoning that he was simply incapable of pitching in this ballpark; whether it had something to do with the park's dimensions or with a psychological aversion to throwing a decent slider here. And I think that this weekend series proved those of us correct.
Cordero got the save opportunity on Saturday night. He came into the game leading 3-0 and retired the first two hitters without any problem. He then would go to two strikes on the NEXT FIVE HITTERS, eventually surrendering four two-run outs to blow the save in dramatic fashion. And this is the man who had given up ONE, UNO, ECHAD run all year long. And as if this were not enough, he came into last night's game and blew another save, surrendering a ninth inning run to Marlon Byrd (the same hero of Saturday's game).
The man simply cannot pitch here.
I don't doubt that Cordero has been absolutely dominant everywhere else he's played. And I know that Carlos Lee bolted after 2 months here. But you cannot blame Jon Daniels one bit for making the move, seeing as Cordero was simply not going to be a successful pitcher for this team. So let's run down the deal once more:
Middle of the order slugger,2 months
Talented young outfielder who can't seem to produce, immediate future
Blake Beavan
Neil Ramirez
Top closer, immediate future
Mediocre Outfielder
Oft-injured ineffective young centerfielder.
I know it sounds cliche, but only time will tell. As far as total production, the nod certainly goes to Mil. But I can certainly understand Daniels' reasoning for pulling the trigger, and if Beavan and Ramirez develop... well.

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