19 December 2004

So Long SB Dave, Mulder to Cards, Bellhorn/ Arroyo Back...



Mark Mulder was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday for Danny Haren, Kiko Calero and mL catcher Daric Barton. As far as out-of-nowhere, no-rumors-to-prepare-you, no-one-saw-it-coming baseball moves go- this may be one of the more surprising of my lifetime. After the A's had traded Hudson to Atlanta, it seemed at the very least a virtual certainty they had found the member of the Big Three to trade, and that it was all over.

But Beane apparently has decided to reload with more young, cheap and available arms, selling very high on Mulder and getting two excellent arms- one a projected starter (Haren), the other a power right handed setup man (Calero). It appears, with owner Steve Schott baring down on Beane budget-wise more and more with the failure to make a playoff berth, Beane saw his opportunity to truly make the most out of two guys he was never going to be able to afford in their walk years (Hudson 05, Mulder 06) and got younger, cheaper and just-as-promising replacements. Pretty ballsy, but it was a solid idea, and right around 2007, the A's will probably be looking at a rotation:

Harden
Blanton
Zito
Street
Haren

...with at least three Cy Young candidates- sorta like these last few years. And the best part? They'll just be going back to "start" on these young guys, able to control them cheaply for a new set of seasons. Rich Harden is going to be Hudson-plus.

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So let's break this down. In July, the Red Sox acquire Dave Roberts from Los Angeles for a waiver-wire mLer, Henri Stanley. Dave Roberts goes on to play a major role in our playoff run, helping us win the World Series. We then turn Roberts- a guy who deserved to start, an explanation of this deal for simpletons who read FleaBag- into Trot Nixon platoon partner Jay Payton, new Sox utility IF Ramon Vazquez, mL prospect John Pauley, and ~$3 million? That's the deal?

So we get a World Series, a great 4th OF, a solid utility IF, a strong pitching prospect and cash to pay for it all... for Henri Stanley?

Ok, deal!

Thanks, Dave. Biggest SB in franchise history.

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The Sox tendered contracts to two of the best bargains in baseball from 04, Mark Bellhorn and Bronson Arroyo, who made $500 and $300 grand, respectively. Meanwhile, one was the top 2B in the AL while the other was a top-20 pitcher in the AL (yup, I can prove it). Not bad for your buck.

Now that they've been tendered a contract, they can choose to accept the team's initial offer, or negotiate longterm. Everybody knows I have an odd affection for Bellhorn, so I'm glad to see him back, and if Arroyo just repeats his 04 (I think he'll get a bit better), he'll still be a bargain. He was our #3 last year.

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Finally- good luck to Tony Orlando Cabrera, who's moved on to Anaheim for 4 years, $32 mil.

I was pissed initially about the Nomar trade, but not out of any reservations in Orlando. He outperformed what anyone thought he would, was fun to watch and had some really, really big hits. He was one of the 25 that did it, and I'll miss him. Fun, fun player.

Also, thanks for making the Renteria signing look good for us, Tony.

Also, for your pleasure- The Red Sox Nicknames Section has been updated!

I may be a little spotty with updates here over the holidays...

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