Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Swapping The Same Guy

In case you missed it, the PTBNL in the Jon Rauch trade came through yesterday, and it was Kevin Mulvey. This will undoubtedly stoke the "Johan Santana was a disastrous trade" fire. Whatever. The Santana trade was a dissappointment from the minute it was announced.

By the way, I think that link is worth a click through. The entire situation was baffling then, and it seems clear that Santana was manipulating it far more then we understood. It was a crappy trade because it was a crappy situation. That was true then, and it's true now.

Of course, this trade shouldn't be evaluated as part of a trade two years ago that still has some stink on it. It should be evaluated for what it is. So here are the components:

Mulvey is a 24-year-old AAA pitcher who is basically in his second year in AAA. His stats are slightly above average almost across the board, except for hits given up, where he's closer to average. He projects to be a back-of-the-rotation guy or middle reliever.

When Rauch was a 24-year-old, he was also in AAA. And his stats were slightly above average almost across the board, except for home runs given up, where he was below average. He had a handful of starts but ended up being a middle reliever. For the last few years, he was a very durable and effective middle reliever for the Nationals, but for the last year he has been a little less effective (and healthy) with the Diamondbacks.

In case you didn't notice, they're the same guy.

Straight up, not taking into consideration existing needs, Mulvey is usually going to be the more valuable guy to an organization because he has six more years of team control at a far lower salary. I'll even go as far to say that Mulvey might be at or near Rauch's level as early as late next year.

But Rauch is ready now. He's under control for next year. And he doesn't have the risk that Mulvey has or require the patience. This is not a steal, but it's a solid move, and the downside is that you probably lose an effective middle reliever from 2011 through 2013. So be it.

Twins Win!
Great win. A decent start by Jeff Manship, a few bombs by Michael Cuddyer, a bullpen meltdown, and a clutch hit by Jose Morales. I'd like to give you a few thoughts, but the dog needs walking. Here's an idea - follow me on Twitter. It takes about a second to sign up, and you can check your cell phone during the game and get all kinds of insights from all kind of Twins geeks.

You mean you're not? C'mon, what could be better than getting texted my Twins thoughts on your cell phone? You don't need to answer that. Just nod politely.


Army of Dad said...

That would require me sighing up for Twitter-something I have vowed to avoid at all costs (just like Myspace and Facebook). I like your writing John, but you will not be able to get me to sign up for the social networking sites I make fun of on a regular basis.

David Wintheiser said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane, John -- I'd forgotten how long-winded I was in those comments. (Yes, this is all about me. Who else?)

TT's dogged mentions of Willie Mays brought an extra chuckle, given what a friend said as we were watching Tuesday night's game -- Gomez's ninth inning at bat begins, and suddenly my friend says, "Gomez tries to Willy Mays Hays the first pitch." Classic.

A part of me wishes I could feel better about the club's chances, but trades like this, where a team gives up five years of production because 'we're so close, and only need to push a little farther', have always been the beginning of the end for other ballclubs - remember how we mocked the Alomar and MacDougal deals the Sox made in '06? Maybe that was just me -- and I'm not seeing the road ending well for this ballclub by 2012.