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Shapiro's Weekend Deals

We've seen the Billy Beane version of rebuilding since last off-season, and now we're seeing the follow up to Mark Shapiro's efforts. After the CC Sabathia deal the only logical choices to be dealt included Casey Blake and Paul Byrd, after this past weekend one of those names is gone, and the other's replacement was added.


If there is a general manager willing to overpay for a veteran at the deadline Ned Colletti would be it. We saw it two seasons ago with Julio Lugo and to a far lesser extent Greg Maddux, last season he was absent from the deadline except for a Wilson Betemit/Scott Proctor swap. Colletti decided to add Casey Blake this year at the price of pitching prospect Jonathan Meloan and catcher Carlos Santana.

The Dodgers will start Blake at third base, making three-fourths of their infield 35 years of age or older. Blake is a nice addition to any team yet on the Dodgers he blocks both Blake Dewitt and Andy LaRoche, who seems eternally blocked by the organization. Of course it's possible that LaRoche gets moved for Huston Street or the Dodgers decide to try and move Jeff Kent and use LaRoche as his replacement. Even so Blake is a free agent to be with an uncharacteristically high BABIP of .341, albeit matched with 24% of his balls in play being line drives.

Meanwhile the Indians bounty includes 23 year old Jonathan Meloan. Overexposed as a starter for the first time in his pro career Meloan figures to return to the bullpen and will almost certainly join the Indians bullpen next year. A starter at the University of Arizona the Dodgers chose Meloan in fifth round of the 2005 draft. Even including Meloan's rough 1.65 K/BB this season his career K/BB remains at a promising 2.77. A maximum effort delivery with low-to-mid 90's fastball velocity with good breaking stuff will be an upgrade over the Juan Rincons and Rick Bauers of the world.

22 year old catcher Carlos Santana is the other piece of Shapiro's L.A. mount. Santana's OPS is .300 points higher than last season's while he struggled in the Midwest League. A perennially good hitting catcher Santana has been near or above league average OPS in each of his four seasons. Santana alone would've been a good deal for Blake, but when combined with Meloan the Indians look a lot better than the Dodgers do long-term, but of course this deal is only short-term minded, in which the Dodgers will almost definitely get positive value from Blake.

As for the Indians other deal, they acquired St. Louis castoff Anthony Reyes for minor league reliever Luis Perdomo. I don't know a ton about Perdomo except he strikes out more than one per minor league inning and that he's 24 in AA. Reyes fell out of favor in St. Louis with Dave Duncan and landed in AAA and on the trade block. He's not a great pitcher, but will likely take Paul Byrd's rotation spot when Byrd is dealt, whether that comes pre or post July 31st is left to be seen.