Friday, November 6, 2009

A Flurry of Off Season Moves in MLB

Less than 48 hours after the Yankees won the World Series there has been a flurry of player movement already.

Seattle Mariners claim pitcher Yusmeiro Petit off of waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks

This is an intriguing move. Petit had a lousy season with the D'Backs in 2009 with a 3-10 record and a 5.82 ERA. But the Mariners ace is fellow Venezuelan Felix Hernandez. If Hernandez can show a thing or two to his countryman then watch out.

Kansas City Royals trade outfielder Mark Teahen to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for third baseman Josh Fields and second baseman Chris Getz; White Sox buy out the contract of Jermaine Dye

Teahen is on the cusp of greatness and being traded to a contending ballclub might be the spark that he needs. Teahen is also younger and speedier in the outfield. It thus rendered Jermaine Dye expendable. But Dye can still make a contribution somewhere. He could be useful on a club like the San Francisco Giants or the Cincinnati Reds.

The addition of Fields and Getz to the Royals infield is interesting. Are the Royals growing impatient with Alex Gordon's lack of progress at third? Will the presence of Getz move Alberto Callaspo to short and leave Yuniesky Betancourt on the bench?

Florida Marlins trade outfielder Jeremy Hermida to the Boston Red Sox for minor league pitchers Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez

Hermida was the Marlins number one draft pick in 2002 but has never lived up to his potential. It is unclear for the moment what is role will be on the Sox. Is he going to be a fourth or fifth outfielder? Or will he replace Jason Bay in left field if they can't re-sign him or sign Matt Holliday? If it is the latter then Hermida has some very big shoes to fill in front of the Green Monster.

The Marlins, meanwhile, get two southpaws. Jones appeared in 11 games out of the bullpen with the Sox in 2009 with an ERA of over 9.00. If one of the two works out well for the Marlins then it is a good deal.

Milwaukee Brewers trade shortstop J.J. Hardy to the Minnesota Twins for outfielder Carlos Gomez

The Brewers and Twins traded a pair of .229 hitters. Hardy has pop in his bat. He hit 26 and 24 homeruns for the Brew Crew in 2007 and 2008 but fell to 11 dingers in 2009. In fact, Hardy was demoted to Triple-A Nashville briefly in July. If Hardy can regain his form the Twins will have a potent heart of the order with Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel. However, it also probably means that Orlando Cabrera will play elsewhere in 2010.

As for Gomez lost playing time to Denard Span in 2009. He's not a very good outfielder, doesn't have great baseball instincts and I don't see him lodging Mike Cameron from centerfield. On the other hand, the Brewers do need some speed at the top of the order and he did steal 33 bases in 2008. Ryan Braun and Corey Hart were the only Brewers who were in double digits in steals last season and they aren't paid to steal bases. Yet I think the Twins probably got the better of this deal.

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