Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Colorado/Houston trade + Winter Meetings Wrap-up

Afternoon update, the Red Sox are flying with D-Mat back to Boston, which makes it seem that a deal got done today! Alright there was a big trade yesterday involving 5 players and quite possibly one of the best starters on the trade market...let's run through it. Starting with what the Astros receive

Jason Jennings: Solid, solid 27 year old starter! He has been good in Colorado and had a career year last year with an ERA+ of 127 in 212 innings, although it didn’t help his 9-13 record. Not much you can say, he was an even more valuable commodity in this market and the Rockies maximized their return.

Miguel Asencio: The 26 year-old barely pitched in the Majors last season (3 games), he’s been with 3 different organizations already and will now attempt to start for the Astros. Not exactly a prospect, i'm thinking he'll get a shot at the bullpen…

Willy Taveras: 25 year old centre fielder was made expendable by the Carlos Lee signing…I guess. The Astros don’t have THAT much so that they can give him up but to acquire a starting pitcher in this market, it might be worth it. He regressed at the plate last year (OPS+ of 72 down from 77). He’s got good speed and stole 33 bases while getting caught only 9 times last year (78.5) which added about 5 stolen base runs to his team’s total. He has no power but he’s a good leadoff type hitter if he can work on his walks. He may love the spaciousness of Coors Field.

Jason Hirsh: Apprently he is the key to this deal, he struggled last year during his first stint in the Majors. The righthander was the number one prospect for the Astros according to Baseball America last year. His ERA+ was 75 in 44 innings last season…let’s hope he isn’t intimidated by the Coors Field air.

Taylor Buchholz : A young 25 year old starter, did not pitch great last year but has good potential, he was once their top prospect back in 2003 after being part of the Billy Wagner deal. Had an ERA+ of 77 in 19 starts for 113 innings. Got some good strikeout numbers, and K/BB…maybe best suited for a relief role however the strikeout ratio will help in Colorado.

So a lot of you have were the Winter Meetings? They were cool, quite interesting to walk around. This year, the Winter Meetings were spread through two hotels that were connected at DisneyWorld called the Swan and Dolphin.
That big triangular one is the Dolphin, that hotel was where all the major league activity was along with the trade show. The farther one is the Swan where the Job Fair happened. Essentially, in the lobby of the Dolphin the media hung out and waited for scoops or for someone to walk through. It didn't happen often!!! An agent would come down to send a message through the media but the Major League staff essentially avoided traffic and stayed upstairs. When Barry Bonds came, he came QUITE early in the morning so that he would not be bothered. All in all, it was interesting to be there but I'm not sure that media outlets will keep sending the amount of journalists that were sent because in this new modern age, they don't gain much by being there.

I have three items from the winter meetings that I'm thinking of putting up for a contest or if someone gets me a job with a Major League team, I'm willing to trade them for that. Any thoughts on contests or anything? It's a hat, ball and a luggage card...should be updates through out the day depending...

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