Jae Seo Rumors
After successfully completing the Danys Baez trade in January, the Dodgers and Devil Rays have matched up again on a multi-player swap. This time L.A. sent Jae Seo, Dioner Navarro, and a PTBNL to the D-Rays for Toby Hall and Mark Hendrickson.
With a .258 batting average on balls in play, Hendrickson has been the 11th luckiest starter in baseball this year. Given the D-Rays' team BABIP of .316, we can be fairly confident that the 32 year-old southpaw will not maintain his hit rate of 8.13 per nine. His peripherals are otherwise unimpressive - 3.4 BB/9, 5.1 K/9, 1.0 HR/9. Prior to this season, Hendrickson had allowed almost 11 hits per nine innings in the Majors. His control is better than this, but he's in for a steep decline overall.
Despite an ERA near 6, I'm not sure Jae Seo is much worse than Hendrickson. Though no one seems to trust Seo to succeed, he has managed a 3.85 career ERA in almost 400 innings leading up to this season. Hendrickson doesn't seem like a significant upgrade, especially half a season worth of him.
The exchange of Toby Hall for Dioner Navarro is another clear win for Tampa Bay. Navarro is still just 22 and hasn't had a full trial in the Majors. Any backstop that young who can draw a walk 10% of the time has value.
I think this is a disappointing move for the Dodgers. While it's true they may not miss Navarro or Seo, Hendrickson is not the #3 starter the team needs to run away with the NL West.
Today seems to be a bit of a slow day on the trade rumors front. I'm still working on gathering some Tejada info. For now I'll just say that you shouldn't discount the White Sox even after both major Chicago newspapers quoted Kenny Williams saying no deal will happen. As commenters in this thread pointed out, Williams has been known to keep a low profile and be less than forthright when talking to the media.
Somehow, a rumor came about yesterday that San Francisco's KNBR 1050 was reporting that the Pirates had dealt Craig Wilson to the Athletics for Kirk Saarloos. This rumor appears to have been fabricated; it doesn't seem that the radio station ever proposed it. KNBR didn't return my emails, but I'm still pretty sure there's nothing to the rumor. It's not implausible, as Billy Beane is the type of GM to acquire an undervalued player and worry about his outfielder surplus later. I don't believe Dave Littlefield's statements about not wanting to trade Wilson. He'd be valuable to many teams, and the Pirates' recent acquisitions indicate that they'll deal him.
Good readin': 1060west has updated its post about the Cubs' revamped bullpen. This quote resonated with me:
"Seen in the light of statistical evidence, it becomes clear that nothing has been done to improve the Cub bullpen from April 2005 to this stage; in fact, if anything, the Cubs have actually gotten weaker in going from Hawkins to Howry and Remlinger to Eyre."
The main point is that Hendry tends to purchase free agent relievers for big bucks following the reliever's best season. Not a smart strategy.
The Phillies and Ryan Franklin? This won't end well. I'm just happy to see than Ryan Madson will finally get a shot in the rotation; he's got a 3.25 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 7.27 K/9 in 166 Major League innings. High strikeout totals and good control are always a great combo.
Let's take a look at what some other sources are reporting today on the rumor front.
Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post mentions that Marquis Grissom's agent said he will sign with the Cubs. When you look at Grissom's 2005, there's not much to like. He doesn't get on base and he's pushing 40. On the flip side, Grissom mashed lefties to the tune of .315/.356/.577 in 2004 and he'd make a great platoon partner for Jacque Jones.
UPDATE: You probably assumed this, but I've verified with a reliable source that the Grissom deal is for one year and will be incentive-based. Nothing unexpected, but worth a mention.
The Mets are apparently finalizing a deal for Danys Baez where they'd give up either Jae Seo or Aaron Heilman plus prospects. In my opinion, this trade is going to weaken the Mets in 2006. I've projected Baez to post an ERA near 4. Click here to read MetsBlog's take.
From my inbox today: "You would be crediable if your rumors actually came true." Why do some people spend so much time writing long, incoherent emails about how they don't like my site? Just stop reading it if you don't like it.
Dave Kaplan of WGN Radio Chicago has reported that the Cubs are in discussions for Barry Zito. Wouldn't be bad to see a durable pitcher on the North Side of Chicago to complement Zambrano.
As you've certainly read, Miguel Tejada still wants out. More on details on teams in play later today.