The RAF's Blockbuster Bomb of World War II
Very Quick Impressions of the Blockbuster Marlins Trades
Carlos Delgado from the Marlins to the Mets for Yusmeiro Petit, Mike Jacobs, and Grant Psomas :
I think this is a good quality haul for a 33-year-old first baseman. Petit is a solid prospect, with a fine track record and very good control. I am giving him a Grade B+ in the 2006 book. I think he needs some additional Triple-A time, and he doesn't throw hard enough for me to project him as a staff ace, but given his youth and history I find it hard to rate him any less than B+. Jacobs is an older prospect at age 25, with an erratic track record. He was excellent this year, no question, but I still have concerns about his strike zone judgment. I gave him a Grade C+ in the book. A combination of Jacobs and Josh Willingham should be able to hold down first base for Florida. Psomas is the sleeper here. He hit .301/.399/.517 with 20 homers this year between two levels of Class A. I currently have him at Grade C pending Double-A performance, but he did enough this season to qualify as an interesting guy. I am thinking about going back and revising his grade a notch higher, but haven't decided yet.
So, in exchange for an expensive-but-excellent power hitter on the wrong side of the age curve, the Marlins get an above-average pitching prospect, and two hitters who ripped the ball this year but still have some question marks about their future. I really don't have a problem with this trade from Florida's perspective, assuming that their financial woes are real and not just a political ploy. From the Mets perspective, it depends on if Delgado goes the way of Mo Vaughn. I don't think he will. This could be a deal that helps both teams.
Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, and Guillermo Mota from the Marlins to the Red Sox for Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado, and Harvey Garcia:
Ramirez: Currently rated Grade B. His '05 campaign was disappointing, but he is still only 21 years old. The success of Wilson Betemit in the majors this year is a reminder that sometimes these tools guys do work out. Given Hanley's age and athleticism, it is way too early to conclude that he is a failed prospect. He certainly has work to do, and if I were the Marlins I would avoid rushing him, but he could easily end up being the best player traded in the blockbusters.
Sanchez: Of Boston's Big Three pitching prospects (Sanchez, Jon Papelbon, Jon Lester), Sanchez is the one I like the least in the short run, granted I still gave him a B+ and rate him very highly, among the best RHP prospects in the game. I think he is a year away from being ready to help, and like Ramirez he should not be rushed.
Delgado: Looks like a Grade C/C+ prospect to me, a guy with a mid-90s fastball, but shaky secondary pitches. 69/39 K/BB in 72 innings for Class A Greenville shows a solid K/IP but the need for better command. High upside as a reliever if he can refine said command.
Garcia: Like Delgado, another Grade C/C+ prospect, a guy with a live arm and a plus fastball, but needing work on his secondary pitches. Posted a sharp 2.01 ERA with a 54/18 K/BB in 45 innings for Greenville, but allowed 49 hits, reflecting the need for another pitch to go with the fastball.
I love Beckett but can he stay healthy for an entire season? His career high in innings is 179. Lowell is a solid player, if starting to age. In exchange, the Marlins get a top pitching prospect, a toolsy-but-erratic shortstop, and two live A-ball arms. This looks like another deal that might help both teams.
In short, I don't have a big problem with either deal from a prospect perspective. Of course, it will be at least two or three years before we can accurately assess each trade. As fire sales go, I think the Marlins did pretty well.
We will look at the Jim Thome trade tomorrow.