Still no cable, no TV and no computer in the house. But no games today, so hopefully by tomorrow….
OK, now down to business. Let’s talk trades.
Time for a quick looksee at Jennings – let’s say – so far, so bad. Before I declare this a HORRIBLE trade, I want to see if we get anything for Jennings, or if we sign him, offer him arb†and he declines, see what kind of draft pick we get for him. It just might could take 4 years before we can weigh the plusses/minuses. For example, take the Billy Wags trade – we got 3 pitchers who are already gone, but if you factor in the fact that we got Andy and Roger with Billy’s money, it wasn’t a total loss.
If you looked at the roster, there are some guys that contending teams (which, despite anything McLane says, is NOT the Astros) might could want – Oswalt (forget it), Lamb, Loretta, Lidge, Qualls, Wheeler and even Burke. Obviously Oswalt would bring the best package, but you can’t just replace an ace like him at his price so forget that. Lidge is next – yes, even after yesterday, but McLane is adamant about not trading him, and next year, he’ll bring less because of his impending free agency. Qualls has a bit more upside than Wheeler because he won’t be a FA for 3 years instead of one.
So who got traded?
Ty Wigginton was traded for Dan Wheeler. Yes, the D-Rays – Gerry Hunsicker again. This is making me wonder if any other GM is willing to do business with McLane, and I am wondering if Gerry is ripping us off again as he did in the Aubrey Huff trade. At least Wigginton will be under team control for a few years, unlike Huff. (Wheeler is a 5th year guy this year, in case anyone was wondering)
So let’s take a look at Wigginton, our “prize.”
He’s a “3B” drafted by the Mets in the 17th round 1998 from U North Carolina -Asheville. In case yall wondering why 3B is in quotation marks, it’s because he one of the Mark Loretta type utility guys that Phil luuuuvvvvs – he plays RF, LF, 1st, second and third. He was called up in 2002 and hit .302 with a .526 SLG in 112 AB. Somehow, don’t ask me how, he came in 8th in the 2003 ROY voting – not sure what the voters rated the highest – his .225 BA, .396 SLG – which is an 85 OPS+, perhaps his 46 BB to 124 K in 573 AB, or perhaps his 16 errors with a league average range factor. Or perhaps it was simply the usual East Coast Bias???
The Mets traded him to the Pirates at the 2004 trading deadline for Kris Benson. I understand that – they had David Wright to play third. Wigginton didn’t exactly play well with the Pirates – in 15 games over 1 1/2 years, he batted .241 with an 86 OPS+ and by the way, his fielding was most definitely substandard and he made 15 errors in 115 games – for those of yall who are more impressed by numbers of errors made than by range, or lack thereof. Anyway, the Pirates released him after the 2005 season. You understand. They could play minimum wage guys Bautista and Sanchez instead and they would have had to pay Wigginton maybe 100K more. You don’t make 30 mill a year off a perpetually terrible team if you don’t pay special attention to those 100K deals.
But I digress.
Anyway, The Devil Rays signed him at the beginning of the 2006 season and they were so impressed with him that after the 2006 season – 444 AB, 25 2B, 24 HR, 32 BB, 97 K, .275 BA, .498 SLG, .828 OPS – 5 E in 34 games at 3B – and a revised zone rating (hardballtimes.com) of .590 (translation – makes Mike Lamb look like Scott Rolen) they went and signed Japanese baseball player Iwamura to a 3 year contract to play third.
So, checking bbref.com – his 162 game average shows .267 BA, .448 SLG – 34 doubles and 21 homers which is a perfectly average 100 OPS+ and his fielding, uh, is not good. But on the bright side, he seldom walks – only an average of 47 a year, and he strikes out over 100 times a year – mostly swinging!!!! The fans should LUUUUVVVV him, seeing as how they think defense doesn’t count unless it’s Chris Burke in center we’re talking about. And he’ll be only 30 at the end of the year, and we’ll have him under club control for 2 more years!!! A good young player, by Astros standards.
Mo, by the way, adjusted his stance (well, it looks like it to me) during the Mets series and since then has been hitting over .300. I wouldn’t be surprised if he IS picked up by some other team now that he has been DFA, and if he plays every day, I wouldn’t be surprised if he picks it up. (Note that Luke Scott says that he’s playing better and seeing the ball better since he’s been playing every day and not been platooned and his average has gone up over 20 points in 6 games. There’s a time and place to platoon and platooning a lefty who kills leftys is like, um, stoopiddd.)
So, seeing that Phil LUUUVVVVSSS to platoon, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lamb is going to face the rightys, so let’s see if Wigginton has Biggio type splits against leftys: well, not so much. Career, it’s 12 points of BA, 34 points of OBP and 55 points of SLG. This year, the average is the same, but the SLG is 139 points higher against leftys.
And, by the way, looking at various non-Astros fan sites, seems a whole LOT of fans think Mo got screwed and that he is a VERY good bet to get better. Unless his shoulder really IS shredded, and it is time for the guy to be honest with himself about it, he could definitely prosper with a new start. I hope he does, I really do.