Soriano, Benson, Casey Deals Close
Wow, I stepped out for a couple of hours and a billion trades/rumors occurred. Here's three, with more in-depth analysis to come tomorrow.
Peter Gammons is saying the Dodgers are close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano for Jonathan Broxton. I suppose Soriano could take over at third base; he's yet to play a Major League game in the outfield. Broxton would fit well in either the starting rotation or the 'pen. The hefty right-hander split time between the roles at Double A Jacksonville in 2005. One of Broxton's specialties (besides the palmball) is limiting the home run, a trait that will come in handy in a ballpark that inflates homers by 19%.
The Mets dumped Kris Benson and his salary on the Royals, acquiring southpaw reliever Jeremy Affeldt and perhaps Mike MacDougal. Affeldt has pretty lousy control and just an OK strikeout rate for a reliever; I'm not sure why everyone's saying that he'll shore up the Mets' middle relief. MacDougal at leasts boasts a career 8.5 K/9. As for Benson, Kauffman Stadium isn't much worse of a place to pitch than Shea. But with the Royals' defense behind him, he'll still see his ERA go up at least half a run.
The Reds unloaded Sean Casey's salary on the Pirates. Hopefully Casey will just be a stopgap until Brad Eldred learns to take a walk. Dave Williams gives up plenty of homers and allows plenty of baserunners, so his transition to Great American Ballpark will be anything but great. The move probably takes Austin Kearns off the market, as the outfielder logjam is solved now that Adam Dunn will play first.