This week I will analyze all the major December transactions made in baseball, except for Rangers transactions (covered last week).
12-2-07 The Houston Astros signed Kaz Matsui to a three-year contract.
Kazuo will take the starting second base job from Mark Loretta. Mark only did okay last year and Kaz will definitely be an upgrade. It should help the Astros, but they’re still far from a playoff team.
12-3-07 The Arizona Diamondbacks traded Carlos Quentin to the Chicago White Sox for Chris Carter.
Carlos Quentin has good potential, but struggled last year. I thought he would do well at the beginning of the year, but he hit .214 with only 5 homers and 31 RBI’s. Chris Carter has played very well in the minors, only hitting under .300 in 2005, when he hit .296.
12-5-07 The Detroit Tigers traded Burke Badenhop, Eulogio De La Cruz, Dallas Trahern, Andrew Miller, Mike Rabelo and Cameron Maybin to the Florida Marlins for Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera
The Tigers traded some very good prospects, but adding Miguel Cabrera to their already good lineup makes their batting as good as it gets. Also, Dontrelle will make a very good #3 pitcher in the rotation. From the Marlins side, they got a lot of good prospects and in 2 or 3 years, they should be pretty good.
12-10-07 The Milwaukee Brewers signed Eric Gagne to a one-year contract
Gagne could help the Brewers, he could hurt them, or he could not play. We’ve seen all those things in his career. He helped the Dodgers and the Rangers, he hurt the Red Sox, and he played only 2 games for the Dodgers in ’06. He might be able to fill in for Francisco Cordero’s absence, so I think this was a decent signing.
12-10-07 The San Diego Padres signed Randy Wolfe to a one-year contract
Wolfe had a shoulder injury in July last year and didn’t come back the rest of the season. He should make a good #5 starter, though.
12-12-07 The San Francisco Giants signed Aaron Rowand to a five-year contract
Rowand was an All-Star last year and should really help the Giants. He will take center field over Rajai Davis, a big jump in talent. The Giants are definitely not going to make the playoffs even with Aaron Rowand next year.
12-12-07 The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Andruw Jones to a two-year contract
Andruw really struggled last year in Atlanta and now is in a pitchers park. I don’t think he will do very well, but he definitely could help them, since their center fielder would have been Juan Pierre who will get moved to left, taking the job from Matt Kemp. So basically, Jones takes the job from Kemp.
12-12-07 The Houston Astros traded Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Troy Patton, Dennis Sarfate and Mike Costanzo to the Baltimore Orioles for Miguel Tejada
Since Tejada was mentioned in the Mitchell Report, his value goes down, but he’s still a very talented player. But trading all those prospects for one player who was in the Mitchell Report (unknown at the time, though) isn’t very good. Scott can hit for power. Albers throws lots of strike-outs and has had good minor league ERA’s in ’03, ’04, and ’06. Patton has had very good ERA’s for pretty much his whole minor league career. Sarfate has a minor league ERA of 3.68, and Costanzo had 27 homers and 86 RBI’s last year in AAA. Orioles won this trade.
12-14-07 The Toronto Blue Jays signed David Eckstein to a one-year contract
Since it is just a one-year contract, the Blue Jays will probably not get to the playoffs with Eckstein, but he should help them out next year. He will definitely be better than John McDonald would have been this year. David will fill in nicely until they can get a long-term shortstop.
12-14-07 The Oakland Athletics traded Dan Haren and Connor Robertson to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland, Greg Smith, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, and Carlos Gonzalez
The A’s will definitely struggle next year, but in a few years they should be better than they would have been. Carlos Gonzalez is a very good prospect and 4 of these players are probably in the A’s top 10 prospects. The Diamondbacks now have two of the best pitchers in baseball in Brandon Webb and Dan Haren. Good trade for both teams.
12-14-07 The Houston Astros traded Chris Burke, Juan Gutierrez, and Chad Qualls to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Jose Valverde
I don’t understand why either team makes this trade. The D’Backs are going for next year and Valverde is one of the best closers in baseball. The Astros completely stunk last year and probably won’t do good next year, so I don’t get why they would give up prospects.
12-20-07 The Seattle Mariners signed Carlos Silva to a four-year contract
Carlos Silva might have had a losing record last year (13-14), but is still a good pitcher. His losing record was because of his team, though. He only had a 4.19 ERA. He will definitely help the Mariners’ not-so-good pitching.
12-24-07 The Florida Marlins signed Luis Castillo
Luis is just going to be a filler-inner for the Marlins, who aren’t going to do well next year. He will probably hit around .300. But why do this when you have Dan Uggla at second? I don’t get it.
Results of last week’s poll:
Who do you think will win in the Hamilton-Volquez trade?
Rangers – 77%
Reds – 23%
Come back next week for part 3 of the Tom Grieve Trade Analysis.