Baseball Toaster Just A Bit Outside
Aaaaand, We're Off!
2006-07-28 09:21
by Erik Siegrist

Trade deadline season officially kicked off today with a head-scratcher of a blockbuster between Texas and Milwaukee.

The Rangers get: Carlos Lee; Nelson Cruz; PTBNL
The Brewers get: Kevin Mench; Laynce Nix; Francisco Cordero

On the surface, the deal makes no sense for either club. Texas adds offense they didn't particularly need, and weakens an already shallow bullpen to do it. Milwaukee trades their most marketable commodity for a not particularly cheap replacement bat and two reclamation projects, and gives up their most major-league-ready Triple-A hitter in the bargain. Neither team seemed to address their needs, unless "getting something for Lee before he becomes a free agent while paying lip service to the idea of staying in the Wild Card hunt" counts as a need.

On a pure talent level though, this looks like Doug Melvin got robbed blind. Cruz is two years younger than Mench and could probably do a fair job of replicating his numbers in the big leagues right now, which makes the trade approximately Lee for Nix and Cordero, plus who knows who that PTBNL will end up being. I have a really hard time believing Melvin couldn't have done better for Lee, even if he had to wait until after Alfonso Soriano got dealt to do it.

If Jon Daniels can follow this up with a trade to get some pitching (maybe by flipping Cruz?) the Rangers suddenly look very dangerous in the AL West. But then that would have been the case without this trade.

About the only people who should be smiling about this one are Kenny Williams and Brian Cashman, as it kept Lee out of the Twins' hands.

2006-07-28 10:25:08
1.   Daniel Zappala
I think Doug Melvin fell for two common mistakes: (1) quantity over quality and (2) acquiring players you had signed while working for your previous team.
2006-07-28 12:14:57
2.   Mr Customer
At least he didn't start a land war in Asia.
2006-07-28 13:52:11
3.   scareduck
Texas's offense earlier in the season was in the bottom third of the league, though now it's about in the middle. That they traded for a bat wasn't a surprise to me. They've had consistently lousy outfields for a number of years.
2006-07-28 13:53:21
4.   scareduck
Oh, one more thing: they'll have to get an entire rotation to get dangerous. You don't have a pitching staff that's in the bottom third by ERA for nothing.
2006-07-29 02:13:57
5.   Yu-Hsing Chen
I agree, the Rangers even if they do squeeze into the playoff are scarying nobody with that pitching staff... Millwood / Padilla and Eaton? any other AL contender beat the crap out of that.

I suppose if they could sign Lee it make sense, but the Rangers keep making dumb signing and deals to really limit their payroll flexibiltiy (they are paying what... 15M + for guys playing on other team?)

2008-07-25 13:02:41
6.   Ken Arneson

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