Saturday, April 03, 2004
Cabrera, Romano Dealt
- Jason Romano was sent to Tampa Bay in exchange for SS Antonio Perez. Perez is the ninth best prospect in the Devil Rays system. About him, Baseball America says
Strengths: Perez is a capable defensive shortstop who could be a star at second base. He has soft hands, a strong arm and good instincts. He has excellent range for the position. While his power is good for a middle infielder, he’s best slapping the ball into the gaps and hitting for average. He has above-average speed.So this trade is probably all about Alex Cora. I would say we came out on top of this deal.
Weaknesses: Perez doesn’t get good jumps or show good instincts on the bases, which limits his running and basestealing ability. He’ll have to make more contact to hit effectively in the majors.
- Jolbert Cabrera was sent to the Mariners for RHP Aaron Looper and LHP Ryan Ketchner. Of these two, the Mayor says
Looper, 27, was 1-0, 1.93 in six spring games in 2004. He made his ML debut in 2003 with the Mariners, appearing in six games (0-0, 5.14). He was 5-2, 3.11 in 46 relief appearances with AAA Tacoma last season. Aaron is the son of Mariners Vice President of Player Development and Scouting Benny Looper and the cousin of Mets pitcher Braden Looper.About Looper, BP says:
Ketchner, 21, was 14-7, 3.45 in 31 games, 22 starts, with high-A Inland Empire in the Cal League last season. He was a Cal League All-Star and was named Inland Empire's Most Valuable Pitcher by the Mariners organization at the end of the season.
Made the big club, and not just as a favor to his dad. Looper doesn't have tremendous stuff, but he's made some sort of progress every year, and the whole package isnow a pretty reasonable pitcher. He'll be fighting for a job in the spring, and probably for several springs after that.Hmm, sounds like this guy could be tradebait for Cleveland. Maybe both.
Baseball Prospectus says this about Ketchner:
At any level, anyone who strikes out more than a guy per inning and posts a K:BB ratio of around 5:1 deserves some notice. People will latch onto the easy human interest story here (Ketchner was born deaf), but the real story is that this guy is dusting people fairly convincingly with an 87-mph fastball. His pitching pattern is reminiscent of Barry Zito's; hitters get used to looking for a featured pitch aside from the fastball (in Zito's case the curve, in Ketchner's, the changeup), then are way behind a fastball they'd normally have a good swing at. He'll face the Double-A testing grounds next year.Well, that would be this year. Man, it sounds like we really cleaned up on the M's on this trade.
Update: Looks like 3B Scott Spiezio will start the year on the DL with back problems, and the M's need a versatile bench player to fill that need. Jolby's their man, for sure.