This week I will analyze all the major transactions so far in November. I will do this once every month during the off-season.
11/2 Red Sox - Acquired OF Sean Danielson from St. Louis to complete the Joel Pineiro trade on July 31.
Effect: Sean is a scrappy hitter who has only started two years in the minors. In those 2 years he has hit .249 and .291. He has almost no power, only hitting 4 home runs in 928 career minor league at-bats. He plays great defensively though. He will probably only become a 4th/5th outfielder.
11/6 Red Sox – Signed Curt Schilling to a one year contract
Effect: Just keeps them closer to last year’s team.
11/7 Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros – Phillies acquired RHP Brad Lidge and INF Eric Bruntlett from the Astros in exchange for OF Michael Bourn.
Phillies Effect: The Phillies needed a good closer and Brad Lidge should be able to give them that. Eric Bruntlett will upgrade their bench and back up Rollins and Utley.
Astros Effect: The Astros lose their only closer in Brad Lidge. They also lose a pretty good bench player in Eric Bruntlett. They’re obviously trying to build up for the future. Bourn hasn’t hit very well with a career .268 batting average in the majors. Also he has almost no power, only hitting 1 major league home run in 122 at-bats. But Bourn can field well, as he hasn’t made an error since AA in 2005 when he had 1.
11/12 Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs – Tigers acquired OF Jacque Jones from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for INF Omar Infante.
Tigers Effect: The Tigers now have an upgrade at left field as Jones will replace Marcus Thames for the starting job, now making their outfield one of the best in baseball with Jones, Granderson, and Ordonez. But the Tigers bench took a hit, because with Omar Infante gone Ryan Raburn will have to back up CF, RF, 3B, and 2B.
Cubs Effect: Losing Jones will move Daryle Ward into a starting spot and, although he did good last year, he only had 110 at-bats so you can’t really trust him. Omar Infante won’t even start for the Cubs.
11/14 Milwaukee Brewers - Signed LHP Randy Choate to a one-year contract.
Effect: Randy Choate has not pitched very well so far in his career but will help out the Brewers bullpen.
11/16 Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves - Houston acquired RHP Oscar Villarreal from the Braves in exchange for OF Josh Anderson
Astros Effect: The Astros definitely improved their bullpen. Oscar is a pretty good relief pitcher, with a 4.25 ERA last year and a 3.61 ERA in ’06. But losing Anderson is a hit, as he’s a very good prospect and it seems like they’re trying for the future. I don’t understand why they would make the trade, especially with Michael Bourn starting in center.
Braves Effect: Their bullpen will definitely go way down this year without Mahay and now Villarreal. But without Andruw Jones, they needed a starting center fielder and Anderson can be that guy. He’s got some serious speed, getting 78 stolen bases in 2005. He also hit .358 last year. But Josh has no power.
11/19 Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – White Sox acquired SS Orlando Cabrera and cash considerations from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for RHP Jon Garland.
White Sox Effect: The White Sox pitching really took a major hit. This trade makes John Danks, with stats of 5.50 ERA and a 6-13 record last year, the #3 starter. But with Juan Uribe gone, Cabrera will be a great upgrade from Alex Cintron starting.
Angels Effect: Jon Garland will take Bartolo Colon’s #3 spot in the rotation. But he’s an upgrade from Colon. Garland doesn’t get injured as much and has better stats (but not against the Rangers). Losing Cabrera will move Maicer Izturis into the starting role though.
11/19 Atlanta Braves - Signed LHP Tom Glavine to a one-year contract for the 2008 season.
Effect: Tom Glavine will definitely help the pitching staff and should move into the #3 spot before Chuck James. Tom could make the Braves a playoff team next year.
11/20 New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers – Mets acquired C Johnny Estrada from the Brewers in exchange for RHP Guillermo Mota.
Mets Effect: With Paul Lo Duca gone, Estrada will be a much better starter than Ramon Castro. Last year Estrada hit .278 with 10 homers and 54 RBI’s. Losing Mota will be tough, since last year he pitched almost 60 innings of relief, even though he didn’t have a good ERA.
Brewers Effect: Getting Mota will definitely improve their not-so-good bullpen (since Cordero left). But losing Estrada will hurt, because that moves Mike Rivera into a starting role.
11/22 Anaheim Angels – Angels sign Torii Hunter to a five-year deal.
Effect: Hunter will improve the already strong Angels. With Gary Matthews’ poor year last year, Torii will definitely help. It will be much harder for the Rangers to win the division in 2009, which is the year they’re targeting to compete. But on the bright side, with all the money the Angels are paying him, maybe they can’t afford too much else.
Results of last week’s poll:
Where do you think Torii Hunter will sign?
Rangers – 56%
Other – 21%
White Sox – 17%
Twins – 4%
Yankees – 0%
Come back next week for part 1 of an analysis of Tom Grieve’s trades as Rangers GM.