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.
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.