It figures that the winter meetings are the same time of year as my week from hell at college. Seriously, how do we end up with trades and signings galore, multiple research papers and 30 hours of work plus classes all at the same time? There should be amendments that protect me from things like that. I know, I know, life of a college student, I'm whiny. Make sure you read the title to this post as if it was Monty Python singing about the joys of Spam by the way. It tickles your innards when you think like that.
This is an interesting trade. Interesting because, as David Pinto so astutely pointed out, Dave Williams is the lefty version of Eric Milton. Update [2005-12-7 14:41:51 by Marc Normandin]: Except for the fact that they are both lefties. Damnit, Janet. [End Update] Apparently the Reds want to set the record for homeruns by a club, whether they be hit or allowed by players on their team. Let's take a look at his peripherals:
His penchant for giving up the longball was certainly more pronounced this season than in the past, and moving to The Great American Bandbox isn't going to fix things any. His component ERA, according to Dan Scotto's version, was 4.58 in 2005, which suggests that there will be more of the same in 2006, except, uh, worse. The Reds are starved for pitching help though, and they needed to unload either one outfielder or Sean Casey. They made the correct decision in unloading Casey. Hopefully Adam Dunn now moves to first, where he is a plus defender, as opposed to a defensive liability in a corner outfield spot, freeing up a spot for Wily Mo Pena, Ken Griffey Jr., and Austin Kearns to all play daily. Now that is a middle of the order I wouldn't tango with, or even merengue with for that matter.
Sean Casey on the other hand, is a useful part to the Pirates if used correctly. If he bats in the #2 spot in front of Bay (.371 career OBP for Casey, identical to his 2005 figure) it will help the team out greatly. Not to mention he's replacing Daryle Ward. 'Nuff said. There are some who like Brad Eldred though, and feel that the Pirates are making a mistake avoiding his potential homerun power. Eldred looks like a serious homerun hitter to me, and he seems to have a penchant for hitting doubles as well, but he also appears to be lacking in the plate discipline department. 77 strikeouts in 190 at-bats, with only 13 walks mixed in. He had a .221/.279/.458 line last year; if he could make that .240/.320/.500 (not that difficult really, more singles and walks) I could deal considering the pricetag. Give him another season to see what he can do in the majors, especially since he could really go either way at this point. Advantage Pirates as far as acquired talent goes, but advantage Reds for making the best of their outfield situation. Take your pick.
Seems like a good deal of talent in exchange for Juan Pierre, but I'm biased, because I think Pierre is terribly overrated. 2005 isn't the constant with Pierre, but it's always a distinct possibility to occur again, and without that batting average he has essentially no usefulness as a player. He is fast, but not adept defensively. If he ever slows down out there, he's really going to look bad, a la Johnny Damon. His last three Net Run Above Average scores are not terribly inspiring: -1.62; 2.53, -2.28. Essentially league average, yet somehow dubbed the class of the Marlins outsourcing this offseason by a few. If the Marlins still exist in 2007, they are going to be a scary ballclub my friends. Renyel Pinto seems to give up too many walks at this point, as his BB/9 of over 4 attests to, but everything else looks intriguing. He was hammered in his few Triple-A games though, but that happens more often than not it seems. I like Nolasco's statline, but he's repeating Double-A after his very own Triple-A lashing. Mitre has minor league numbers that range from excellent to pedestrian, and his major league callups thus far have not been impressive statistically speaking. Three arms all under 25 years of age though, in exchange for Juan Pierre? I'll take it!
Now I don't know much about Gaby Hernandez, I'll admit that from the outset. But from the reaction of BtB's resident Mets fan Dan Scotto, something tells me this deal isn't quite what he wanted. Hernandez's 2005 season in the minors was impressive, especially at the end, and he was only 19 years old. Lo Duca compares favorably to The Ghost of Mike Piazza that has roamed behind the plate in Queens for the past few years, so there should not be a production dropoff. Would they have been better off signing Ramon Hernandez or Bengie Molina? Most likely not in reality. Hernandez is overrated, and Bengie is the worst of the three Molina brothers, even if he is the most famous. Lo Duca was traded for because he was available, and because Minaya hates everyone not named Lastings Milledge. Lo Duca's NRAA for the past three seasons: 11.19; -0.12; -4.40. Hint: Not a good trend.
San Francisco gets a replacement for Scott Eyre in Steve Kline. Yay. Essentially, San Francisco traded Jerome Williams and David Aardsma for a LOOGY. I end up on the "Bonds covered Sabean's job" bandwagon a little more each day I think. Steve Kline never worked out in Baltimore like he did in St. Louis, so getting Hawkins is quite the steal for the O's. Or maybe not. I really can't quite tell with Hawkins anymore.
As for Luis Castillo trade analysis, Dan Scotto has already taken care of it, and Aaron Gleeman has of course penned a lengthy article detailing what he means to the club. Check both of them out if you have not done so already, or read them again because we know you care.