Sunday, December 6, 2009

Early Winter Meetings Trades

Unlike last year, the Winter Meetings have gotten off to a quiet start. Only Austin has dealt aggressively, picking up C Pat Ramirez and swinging 3 smaller trades. Here's what's happened since the last trade report:

Cleveland gets SS Javy Delgado - a guy who doesn't have to go on the 40.
Ottawa gets IF Ken Coco, a season 10 2nd-rounder who could get to the Majors as a defensive backup type. The Ice infield looks a little crowded this season, though.
Analysis: Cleveland trimming its 40-man roster

Austin gets 1B Raul Martin, a Season 9 IFA by Austin who was traded to the Fresno organization the following year. Martin may get a shot as a pinch-hitter but will more likely be an emergency backup stashed at AAA.
Fresno gets SP John Smith, a Season 11 2nd-round pick. Smith is a groundballer with a deep, if not devastating array of pitches. He projects to be a marginal major-leaguer who will struggle with lefty hitters.
Analysis: fringe major-leaguers...this is the 15 minutes for both

Richmond gets C Russell Herman, a 2nd-rounder last year who could make it to the majors if (and it's a big IF) he can stay healthy.
Austin gets CF Albert Harmon, an underperforming talent who the Poor Men grew tired of waiting on. The Chaloupas see a nice pinch-runner, defensive replacement and occasional starter vs. LHP.
Analysis: Harmon will be a useful spare part for his 2 more years of cheap salary. Herman could be a bit more, but look away when he has his first home-plate collision.

Madison gets LR Shawn Waterson and IF prospect Jamie Wilson. Waterson was a Season 4 supplemental pick of Jackson and has a 3.81 ERA in 87 innings over parts of 2 seasons with 3 teams. Wilson was a Season 11 4th-rounder who has a shot at the majors as a backup infielder.
Austin gets C Charles Bottalico plus $2.155MM. Bottalico is a 4-time All-Star who can still play but is starting to show his high mileage. He'll see pinch-hitting duty and get occasional innings backing up ironman Pat Ramirez.
Analysis: The Badgers dump a salary that doesn't fit their future; future is now for Austin, who gets a nice bat off the bench for 2 seasons.

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