Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More baseball thoughts? Why not!?

As always these are just my thoughts and opinions, so they're probably better than yours.

  • I don't know what happened to the Nationals, but all of a sudden they're on the good end of a trade. The Marlins traded outfielder Josh Willingham and left-hander Scott Olsen to the Nationals for Emilio Bonifacio, Jake Smolinski, and PJ Dean (who? exactly). Willingham is a decent player, immediately making him one of the 3 or 4 best on the Nats. He has decent power and good plate discipline. Unfortunately, he's a complete liability in the field. However, given the Nationals supreme offensive woes, he'll get an opportunity to play every day. Olsen is puzzling. A couple years ago he was a high-grade prospect with a mid-90s fastball and a hard slider. Now he's more a low-90s fastball with a much less impressive slide-piece. If Olsen can get back to his form of a few years ago, he'll be a huge asset to the team. Otherwise, he's probably a decent pitcher that the Nats can use regardless. On the Marlins' side, Bonifacio is a decent utility player, Smolinski can make some contact but can't field and isn't powerful enough to be anything more than a Quad-A player, and Dean is likely to be a career minor-leaguer or a mop-up guy for a bad team because of his below-average stuff. This was clearly a salary dump.
  • The Matt Holliday trade is bizarre. Holliday is one of the better offensive players in baseball but he will take a hit in numbers moving out of Colorado. Still, he can hit for average, hit for power, run the bases, and he has good plate discipline. Fielding is an adventure, but he's a good enough athlete that he could improve with some good coaching and the A's have enough fielders elsewhere to likely cover for him. Holliday marks a big improvement of the A's recent slew of sub-par corner outfielders. Of course, Holliday could be dealt for even more prospects anytime between now and July 31st. The Rockies return was pretty good. Huston Street shouldn't be a closer and could really struggle in Colorado's thin air. Street has had injury issues recently and it has flattened out his fastball and made him kinda hittable, especially in high-pressure situations. He's a good candidate to be dealt for some more prospects. Still, if he sticks around and can stay healthy, Street should be a decent reliever. Greg Smith is a pitcher recovering from minor elbow surgery who has the stuff to be a back-of-the-rotation starter or a decent reliever. If he recovers from surgery, he'll be a great third piece. The real prize of the trade must be Carlos Gonzalez...IF he can get his act together. Gonzalez is a 5-tool prospect who was acquired by Oakland in the Dan Haren deal. However, he's motivation has been questioned and he has never really put all his immense skills together. This makes him the exact kind of player that A's GM Billy Beane has avoided; prefering to bank on production over potential. However, if Gonzalez can focus, he's moving into a good situation in Colorado where he can crush mistakes.
  • Tim Lincecum is flithy.

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