Tagged: Hot Stove

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HUGE Blockbuster Trade

The hot stove’s first big blockbuster and man what a deal it is! Two first round picks, two All Stars and 8 players in all. Check it out at YourSportsFix.com

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Trade Between Astros and Phillies

There’s been a trade between the Astros and the Phillies with one major name involved. Check it out in the Houston Astros Rumors and Philadelphia Phillies Rumors categories over at The Rumor Mill’s new location, YourSportsFix.com/mlbrumormill!

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Rumor: All’s Wells in Toronto

WellsJust a few days ago, it seemed that it was only matter of when, not if, Vernon Wells would leave the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays had all but given up hope of re-signing their star outfielder, and had begun listening to trade offers in hopes of getting some value out of his departure. But, what a difference a few days make. Today the buzz around Toronto is that Wells is quite close to signing an extension reportedly worth $126 million. The deal’s annual value would be more than Alfonso Soriano’s (the largest deal inked this off season) and would likely include both a no trade clause, and an opt out option similar to the one J.D. Drew used to become a free agent this winter. Wells talked about the potential deal today, telling reporters "My family comes first. Obviously this gives me an
opportunity to set my family up for a couple of generations. That’s the
biggest part of this thing. And this gives me a chance to do something
special in Toronto that hasn’t been done in awhile."

If the Blue Jays manage to finalize the agreement, they will have avoided losing Wells in the bidding war that was sure to ensue next year. In contrast, several teams who were hoping for a chance to land Wells after this season (the Rockies, Rangers, Dodgers, and as always the New York teams had all been rumored to be interested) will have to look elsewhere.

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Trade Report: Astros and Rockies Deal Pitchers

ESPN.com is reporting that the Houston Astros have acquired starting pitcher Jason Jennings from the Colorado Rockies. The Astros will receive Jennings and pitcher Miguel Asencio for center fielder Willy Taveras along with pitchers Taylor Burchholz and Jason Hirsh.

The Astros found themselves needing to add a starter after Andy Pettitte decided to return to the New York Yankees and a trade for White Sox starter Jon Garland fell through.

ESPN.com summarizes the involved players’ performances like this :

   Jennings, who was born in Dallas, was 9-13 with a 3.78 ERA last
season for the Rockies. He will make $5.5 million in 2007 and is
eligible to become a free agent after next season. He is Colorado’s
career leader in victories (58) and shutouts (three).

Taveras hit .278 with one home run and 30 RBI this year. He had
a 30-game hitting streak that ended Aug. 29.

   Buchholz, whose medical reports may have caused the White Sox to
back off a trade, was 6-10 with a 5.89 in 19 starts and three
relief appearances. He was demoted to Triple-A Round Rock for a
spell and made seven starts there.

   Hirsh, a 24-year-old prospect who is highly rated, made his
major league debut last season and was 3-4 with a 6.04 ERA in nine

   Asencio was 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA in three games with the Rockies
last season and 8-7 with a 5.03 ERA in 16 starts and 22 relief
appearances at Triple-A.

Jennings is currently slotted as the Astros’ #2 starter behind Roy Oswalt and that is something that would make me a bit nervous if I were an Astro fan. While Jennings had a fantastic year last year, turning in a sub 4 ERA
while pitching half his games in the thin air of Colorado, this was his first year with an ERA under 5 since 2002 and his career ERA is 4.74. Sure, he might have turned the corner and become a much better pitcher last year, however, he could just as easily revert to the 5.51 ERA pitcher he was in 2004. Having that type of uncertainty in your number 2 starter is less than ideal and that’s before we even look at who the Astros gave up.

The Rockies on the other hand traded away a pitcher they were unlikely to resign after next year while he is at his highest value. By giving up a year of Jennings’ services, the Rockies gained three major league ready players. So, which team got the better end of this deal? As usual, only time will tell. At first blush, though, I’d have to chalk this one up to the Rockies.

As usual… time will tell.

Update: In response to this post over at Hot Stove and Beyond (you should add it to your reading list if it’s not already on it), I dove into Jennings’ stats a bit more. Here’s what I found:

I realize you (along with many Astro fans) want to feel good about this deal, however, I have to pick on your stats.

First of all, this was Jennings first year with a sub 4 ERA, EVER.
His average ERA over the last three years (including his career best
year last year) is still 4.71. That’s not exactly #2 material.

Also, you claim that leaving Coors will drop his ERA by a ********
1.5 runs. Well last year, Jennings actually pitched BETTER at Coors,
than away from it. By almost HALF a run. Granted his career numbers are
about .4 runs better on the road, but you either have to go with his
numbers from last year and add half a run for a projected ERA right at
4.25 or go with his career numbers and subtract .4 runs from his
average which would put him slighty higher than 4.25.

So, I’d say your new #2 pitcher is probably going to have an ERA around 4.25 NOT 3.25.


Rumor: Rangers Sign Two Dodgers

GagneThe Texas Rangers have signed two ex Dodgers in two days. Yesterday, the Rangers reportedly agreed to terms with free agent center fielder Kenny Lofton, signing the veteran to a one year, $6 million deal. Today, reports out of Texas say that the Rangers have also come to terms with free agent closer Eric Gagne, also for a one year deal. Gagne’s deal is believed to be worth roughly $8 million.

Lofton will fill the void left by the departure of Gary Matthews Jr. who signed earlier this winter with the Los Angeles Angels for $50 million over 5 years. Lofton, a 15 year veteran, has heard a few concerns about his age (39), however, age didn’t seem to be much of a factor last year when he batted .301 in 129 games for the Dodgers.

Gagne is a former Cy Young award winner and once rattled off 84 consecutive saves, however the flame throwing reliever has been hampered by injuries the past two years. In 2005. Gagne had to have a nerve removed from his throwing arm and pitched in only 14 games. Last year the closer had surgery on a herniated disc in his back after pitching in only 2 games. The Rangers expect Gagne to be ready to roll for spring training and if they can manage to keep the often injured pitcher healthy, they might have just signed the best closer in the league.