Sunday, August 01, 2004


This is how the trade deadline ends... not with a bang, but with a whimper.

My views...

-- Finley for catcher Hill, pitcher Murphy, and outfielder Abercrombie.  As I said before, I would take nearly anything for Finley and the other free agents at the end of the year, and so, without knowing much about these three, I'm glad the trade got made.  I was surprised to read that Hill would be inserted into the starting lineup, as I thought that Mayne's departure would lead to Ansmann's call-up from Tucson.  Oh, well, catcher is definitely a weak spot in our lineup, so another, younger player can't hurt.  (Can it?)   From what little I know, Murphy seems like a decent pickup, but Abercrombie seems like a high risk-medium (if that high) reward player.  In any case, this was a good trade for the D-Backs.
-- Bautista and Alomar don't get traded.  "All I can say is I'm really disappointed," said Alomar.  Join the club.  Bautista's recent recurring injuries probably nixed his trade chances; Alomar's non-trade speaks more about Alomar's disappearing (and disappeared) abilities than anything else.  I do wish these players had been traded, too.
-- Randy Johnson doesn't go anywhere.  As I noted before, Joe Jr. probably felt extra pressure to get something worthwhile after getting pilloried for the Schilling trade.   As such, this was a no-win situation.  Don't trade him, and he gets raked over the sports talk radio coals for not "thinking about the future."  Trade him, and he gets raked over the sports talk radio coals -- by the same people -- for getting duped.

Look, if the "well-played Diamondbacks source" cited in Dan Bickley's column this morning was correct, the Dodgers refused to trade Lo Duca and Mota for Johnson earlier in the week, then later traded them for Brad Penny.  Bickley points out that "other teams believed the Diamondbacks would eventually cave to their best offer that came their way, if only to wipe $21 million off their books."  While I always preferred that Johnson remain a D-Back, I'm glad the D-Backs held firm, because it led to rumored trades such as Penny and Jackson for Johnson which were infinitely better than the useless trade that the Yankees offered and trades that I wouldn't have been disappointed with.  (If that Penny/Jackson rumor was true, I wonder whose feet got cold there?)  It does make you wonder why the Yankees didn't offer anything more to the D-Backs...

Oh, yeah, the game.  8-4, Rockies.  Whatever.  The D-Backs are lucky that the trade deadline was yesterday, because it obscured a poor effort by the D-Backs.  3 errors, which meant that of the 6 runs Brandon Webb gave up, only 1 of them were earned.  Of course, he also hit two batters and had 2 wild pitches, so it's not like he's totally blameless.

I'll get back into the games and analysis more thoroughly starting once more tomorrow.

Koyie Hill was once thought of as Lo Duca's successor, but his struggles in AAA this year have lead to a revision of that thought. His weak hitting (.286/.339/.471) in a hitter-friendly park and league radically cut back his perceived value, after he tore up the Southern League. Baseball America said he is "better defensively than Lo Duca".

Abercrombie is the kind of toolsy hitter scouts love and Moneyball jihadists hate -- he walks almost never. Sporting a .271/.305/.489 line in the GCL for the Vero Beach Dodgers, he cooled down appreciably in the pitching-friendly Southern League, hitting only .173/.193/.327.
I should actually revise my comments on Hill: he never actually hit that well in the Southern League, either.
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