February 10, 2008


Trading top pitcher for prospects often a winning move: Recent deals show long-term benefit for rebuilding clubs (Childs Walker, February 10, 2008, Baltimore Sun)

[T]he Orioles were guaranteed only two years of Bedard, 28, and seem unlikely to contend for the playoffs in either season. To keep him longer, they probably would have had to offer a five-year extension worth $90 million or more.

Very few pitchers, even excellent ones, prove to be sound investments over such a long period. For proof, simply look at the top 10 ERA leaders from 2002. None of them was among the top 10 in 2007.

Sure, there are John Smoltzes and Mike Mussinas in every generation. But as a seven-year bet, pitchers are hardly blue-chip investments.

Given that reality, many rebuilding clubs have tried to convert precious aces into packages of young talent in recent seasons. Here are a few of those deals and how they worked out.

By the time Adam Jones is as good as he will get the guys like Ichiro, Kenji Johjima, Richie Sexson, Adrian Beltre, etc. will be well past their sell-by date. It makes sense for the Mariners to get the likely Cy Young winner and try to win this year, though in the Sox, Tigers, Indians, and Angels they face especially tough competition. The Orioles, on the other hand, are a long way from having a solid enough everyday lineup that winning is even an option, but Jones & Nick Markakis are at least a start.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 10, 2008 12:00 AM

As a new resident of the Washington state and a new M's fan, I think Richie Sexson is a huge liability. His batting average and total strikeouts are dreadful.

Posted by: pchuck at February 10, 2008 11:32 AM

The good news for the Red Sawx then is that they're unlikely to finish dead last in the coming years following Manny and Fatso's decline. Sure they won't be able to compete with the Yankees, Rays, and Jays, but they'll at least be able to best the O's.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 10, 2008 12:55 PM

The Rays certainly have the brightest future, though the core of the Sox pitching staff is young enough for a five year run.

Posted by: oj at February 10, 2008 4:30 PM