Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hey, Why Don't We Trade Alex Cintron? 

All set to write about Craig Counsell's shoulder today and the Diamondbacks' options, when news comes across the wires that Arizona traded Cintron today to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Jeff Bajenaru.
So there goes that post.

OK, not really. My basic argument was, even if Counsell was out for the season for surgery (an event the club does not expect to occur, though we've yet to hear from Counsell himself), that the team should be putting Easley or Drew at shortstop in his place, not Cintron.

Easley is a utility infielder with almost as much time at shortstop as at second. Last year, he had both more Win Shares as well as Win Shares Above Baseline than Cintron. They were both projected to have about the same year, VORP and WARP-wise, and neither of them were projected to be as valuable as Stephen Drew.

Maybe Easley will turn out to be this year's Tony Clark, with a contract that's essentially untradeable (even at $750,000) at the beginning of the season that suddenly becomes tradeable, but why expect lightening to strike twice? So Cintron became the much more tradeable player, with still some upside and with a lower salary.

My one caveat was that should Counsell be out for the season, that if they were going to keep Cintron, then they should play him. Start him. That would be the only way to showcase his talents in hope of making a mid-season trade and letting Drew take over then. It would have been much worse to keep Cintron and not to use him.

As for the trade itself, Bajenaru's a right-hander who'll turn 28 in a couple weeks and has been used as a reliever. His upside doesn't appear very high. He'll fit right in with this bullpen. (OK, that was flippant, but the underlying point, that 1) he doesn't appear to be a tremendous find, and 2) he could still make this bullpen, still remains.)

It's not a super trade, but since the Diamondbacks did everything except put Cintron up for trade on eBay, I wasn't expecting much in any trade. Maybe we'll hit it lucky with Bajenaru. Maybe not. In any case, best of luck to Alex in Chicago...

Just discovered your re-birth. Good to see you again! Here's to a fine 2006...
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