Yankees Trade Brian Bruney To Nationals For PTBNL; Saul Rivera Released

 

On a day filled with many reports of players switching teams, few actually did. One of the lucky (or unlucky) few to change addresses was Brian Bruney, who was dealt by the Yankees to the Washington Nationals for the ever popular player to be named later. Bruney, soon to be 28, was considered by some as a non-tender candidate. I guess if that were the case then the Yankees could be getting something for nothing here in terms of a player or they could get some cash from Washington to help ease payroll constraints. In case you haven't heard the Yankees are trying to ball on a budgetl of around $190 million.

Bruney, soon to be 28, was considered by some as a non-tender candidate. If that were the case then the Yankees could be getting "something for nothing" here in terms of a player or they could get some cash from Washington to help ease payroll constraints. In case you haven't heard the Yankees are trying to ball on a budget of around $190 million.


Bruney's four seasons in a Yankee uniform can be easily be described as up and down. Alternating between near 3.5 FIP and 5 FIP seasons, he was unsuccessful in attempts to conquer his high walk total. Sure, his most recent seasons were slight improvements, but when your career BB/9 is north of six there really isn't anywhere to go but down. Despite throwing in the mid-to-upper 90s, Bruney was unable to convert his velocity into strikeouts, or many swings and misses for that matter. His career K/9 is decent, but doesn't match the expectations given the velocity.

In 2009, his 5.10 FIP can partly be blamed on a jump in HR/9 from .52 in 2008 to 1.38 in 2009. However, his HR/FB of 10.3% (8.0%) doesn't scream extreme regression. Even with a lower HR rate, the walks are still an issue and his above average ERA's the past two years can somewhat be explained by higher than normal LOB%.


A move to the National League may work in Bruney's favor, and leaving the home run happy Bronx should help his HR regression. The Nationals are team looking for help in nearly every way, but it's hard to see how Bruney really helps that much. Sure, he's a decent piece to an already established bullpen, but to Washington? His ERA will inflate his arbitration value and he should see a raise in the neighborhood of $2 million for 2010.

It's pretty much as non-descript of a trade as you can get, and yet some what of a weird move considering the Nationals dropped Saul Rivera to make room. Rivera had pitched well for the Nationals in the two prior seasons to 2009. His last three FIPs are: 3.42, 3.37 and 5.71 , which suggests there may be some bad mojo in his 2009 numbers; not surprisingly, there is. A predominately ground ball pitcher (51.2% career), Rivera watched seven of the 36 fly balls hit against him leave the park. A 19.4% HR/FB is begging for regression and whoever his next team is will likely be getting a bargain as he'll probably cost no more than a minor league deal with a spring training invite (I'm looking at you Andrew Friedman).

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