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Rangers Trade Volquez For Hamilton

Today we had another bold swap of young players.  The Rangers sent young pitchers Edinson Volquez and Danny Ray Herrera to the Reds for outfielder Josh Hamilton.

You all know the story with Hamilton.  Former first overall pick by the Rays in '99, immensely talented.  Derailed by drug problems for many years, then posted an incredible half season in the Majors for the Reds despite little experience above A ball.  He put up a .922 OPS for the Reds, and seems like a great gamble by Jon Daniels despite health concerns.  He'll turn 27 in May; hopefully the Rangers let him stay in center.  Hamilton leaves a park that inflates left-handed home runs by about 28% to a park that inflates them by 24%.  His departure clears a path for top prospect Jay Bruce.

Volquez, 24, is also immensely talented.  He kept stalling at the big league level but finally seemed to figure it out in September.  Baseball America calls his stuff "electric," describing a mid-90s heater paired with a mid-70s change-up.   One concern here is that Volquez is a flyball pitcher.  Wayne Krivsky took an interesting route to add an intriguing starter; I wonder if the move takes them out of the Erik Bedard sweepstakes.  It's been speculated that the Reds could go after Mike Cameron to fill their new center field void.

Herrera, 23, is a southpaw relief prospect.  Check out this info from Baseball America.  He barely registers 5-foot-7, 145 pounds.  He tops out at 84mph but throws some kind of screwball to offset the weak heat.  This trick helped him post an 11.0 K/9 in Double A this year.

Baseball America rocks, check them out by the way.  They've already got analysis of this deal up here.


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