Let’s take a look at some deals that almost happened yesterday.
Kyle Farnsworth for Bob Wickman. This would’ve been fun, reunions with former teams for both players. However, the Braves wanted the Yankees to pick up all of Farnsworth’s salary, apparently. Brian Cashman didn’t want to make him go away that badly, and Wickman would probably be a nonfactor back in the AL.
Mariners acquire Mark Loretta. Eh. Let’s not overstate the abilities of Loretta. It sounds like Tim Purpura wanted some kind of legitimate prospect for him.
Rockies send Jeff Baker and others to Tampa Bay for Dan Wheeler. We can’t really evaluate this one without knowing who else would’ve been involved. And the Rays don’t really have a place to play Baker; they’re already squeezed finding playing time for Jonny Gomes. If Rocco Baldelli ever gets healthy they’ll really have a pickle. I mentioned in a recent interview at D-Rays Bay – Wheeler would probably be one of the ten best relievers available if he was a free agent after the season. The Rays can pump up his value and get a promising young pitcher next year, as the Royals did with Octavio Dotel.
Brewers send Tony Gwynn Jr., Zach Jackson, and another minor league for Eric Gagne. This could’ve been the difference-maker that Scott Linebrink ain’t in a tight NL Central race. But it doesn’t seem like Doug Melvin got a chance to counter the Red Sox offer, so you can’t really fault him.
Red Sox send Wily Mo Pena and Craig Hansen to White Sox for Jermaine Dye. Well, there has to be some statistical way to evaluate whether this pair beats two draft picks. You’d have to know the attrition rates of first/second rounders, and get some scouts on Pena and Hansen to see if they can ever reach their potential. If I was the Kenny Williams I probably would’ve made the deal. I think Pena gets docked in value from where he was two years ago, but still has pretty much the same upside if you manage him right. Who knows, maybe Williams will go after Pena again this winter.