Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Joe Sheehan's Comments On Recent Trades
I think the Jason Giambi signing by the Rockies was interesting largely because it’s for so limited a purpose. There’s no DH, Giambi can barely play one position, and that position is filled on the Rockies by a franchise icon with good defensive skills who is having a bounce-back season. The only thing Giambi is on the roster for is to serve as a pinch-hitter, which he did last night, drawing an RBI walk in the seventh inning. Giambi is a great use of an expanded-roster slot, a player who can reach base and still pop a long ball, making him useful to start and finish an inning. His limitations matter less in a 40-man world—you can always pinch-run for him, and you never need him to don a glove—than on a 25-man roster. He may, should the Rockies reach the postseason, even be worth a spot on the playoff roster. It was a nice, low-cost pickup by the Rockies.I dunno. I'm still of the opinion that we won't know how this plays out until 2011. Kazmir could prove useful even if he doesn't pitch 200+ innings in any of the next two seasons.
I love the Scott Kazmir deal for the Rays. He’s just not a particularly good pitcher, and even at his best has durability issues both in-game and in-season. He’s a slight-build power pitcher, a max-effort guy, and he’s never really addressed his command problems. The Rays have five guys better than him and two more coming. Maybe Kazmir improves the Angels in the short term, given that team’s back-end issues, but the Rays won the deal, and I thought so even before Chone Figgins II was named as the third guy in the trade.
The Dodgers getting Jim Thome is exactly like the Rockies getting Giambi, only they gave up a little something. Thome can’t play the field and will only be asked to do so maybe once or twice. His job is to get on base to start innings so that someone can run for him, or bat with two outs and no one on in the hopes of making a one-swing rally. For a team that gets no power at all from its bench, Thome is a godsend.
There's a lot of baseball to be played before the value of this trade is in the till.