Saturday, July 29, 2006

Lee and Cruz Acquired

This week the Rangers traded Coco Cordero, Julian Cordero, Kevin Mench, and Laynce Nix to the Brewers for Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz. This week I will discuss my thoughts on the trade and grade each player from 1-10 (10 being the best).

Carlos Lee:
Lee’s career stats are:
212 HR
747 RBI
.284 AVG.
His stats this year are:
28 HR
81 RBI
.288 AVG.
Carlos was a National League Silver Slugger in 2005 and an all-star in ’05 and ‘06. He started his major league career on May 7, 1999, hitting a home run in his first at-bat. Lee recorded the 1st hit at the Cardinals’ new Busch Stadium. His brother, Carlos, plays in the White Sox minor league system.

Grade of Carlos Lee: 9.8

Nelson Cruz:
Nelson’s career minor league numbers are:
97 HR
431 RBI
.287 AVG.
Nelson was the Brewers' minor league player of the year last year. This year he has been in Triple-A Nashville, where he hit .302 with 22 doubles, 20 home runs, 73 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 104 games.

Grade: 8.7

Francisco Cordero:
This year, Cordero has put up these numbers:
7-4 W-L
4.71 ERA
49.2 IP
55 SO.
Francisco lost his closing job earlier this season, and has blown nine saves already this year. But the Brewers' bullpen is slumping, and their closer, Derrick Turnbow, lost his job to Dan Kolb, so Cordero might become a closer again in Milwaukee.

Grade: 6.3

Kevin Mench:
So far this year, this is Kevin’s stats:
12 HR
50 RBI
.284 AVG.
Mench is on pace to get a career-high 80 RBI’s. His power numbers will probably drop in Milwaukee because he will leave Ameriquest Field.

Grade: 6.9

Laynce Nix:
Laynce’s minor league stats this year are:
10 HR
55 RBI
.269 AVG.
Nix was considered a big prospect a few years ago, but has really struggled in the majors. He is very good defensively but not very good offensively.

Grade: 5.2

Julian Cordero:
Julian’s stats for the LumberKings this year are
2-5 W-L
2.91 ERA
68 IP
49 SO
Julian is a pretty good pitcher but not one of the main prospects.

Grade: 6.1

Trade Evaluation:
To me, this trade is good if we make the playoffs or sign Lee for multiple years. It is also good if Cruz becomes a great player. This trade gives the players more confidence, so it gives us a better chance in two ways of making the playoffs.
Grade: A

Come back next week for a short interview with Tulsa Drillers closer Jim Miller unless the Rangers make another trade.


JG said...

Good breakdown on the trade, Grant. The Rangers definitely came out ahead on this one.

Carlos Lee is a significant upgrade over Kevin Mench and Nelson Cruz has more upside than Laynce Nix at this point.

As for Coco Cordero, finding the bridge to Aki Otsuka will be easier than trying to find the additional run production that Lee provides over Mench.

Julian Cordero is interesting as a prospect, but the system has good young arms now, so this was a chance to deal from strength into a weakness, and Jon Daniels did just about as well as you could hope.

Nice work on the 7/31 Rangers Farm Report too!

Ken Pittman said...

Great job with giving an analysis of the trade and your most recent Rangers Farm Report.

I really like the trade for the Rangers. I'm a little more skeptical of Nelson Cruz than most people - he's a great prospect, but I try not to value great prospects higher than players who have played well in the majors already (like Mench or Cordero). However, if I look at this trade as two trades - Mench and F. Cordero for Lee, Nix and J. Cordero for Cruz - I make both of those deals. So that makes it a good trade for me.