Trade Reaction, Part Five
The Cardinals, Padres, and Indians get down to business with a three-way, with Ryan Ludwick ending up in San Diego, Jake Westbrook and prospect Nick Greenwood shifting over to St. Louis, and prospect Corey Kluber ending up in Cleveland. Here you have two potential playoff teams trying to address their weaknesses. The Cardinals bolster their rotation with Westbrook, while slotting Jon Jay and/or Randy Winn in the lineup to replace Ludwick, whose bat should help out the Padres hitting attack. This costs the Padres two pitching prospects. Kluber is having a very nice year in Double-A and could help out in Cleveland as a fourth starter or long reliever sometime next year. Greenwood is more marginal, a strike-thrower with average stuff and so-so numbers in the Midwest League. Overall, I think the trade makes sense for all three clubs, assuming that the Cardinals are right that they can replace Ludwick's bat with the players on hand.
The Dodgers picked up Ted Lilly and Ryan Theroit from the Cubs for Blake DeWitt, Brett Wallach, and Kyle Smit. This is a short-term contention move but I don't mind it from either perspective. I'm not a huge DeWitt fan at this point, and while Theroit is just a stopgap, I'm not sure that DeWitt will ever be appreciably better. Wallach is quite interesting but need to sharpen up his command, while Smit could be a good middle reliever at some point. Swapping them for veteran Lilly helps the Dodgers in the short run and (hopefully) the Cubs in the long run. All in all, it makes sense for both teams.
The Giants traded Joe Martinez and John Bowker to the Pirates for Javier Lopez. Lopez is a decent short guy and worth more to the Giants than the Pirates at this point. Both Martinez and Bowker may be Quadruple-A players, but both are more likely to help the Pirates next year than Lopez would have been, at least as complementary players. I like this for the Pirates.
The Dodgers traded James McDonald and Andrew Lambo to the Pirates for Octavio Dotel. The veteran has 21 saves this year and is a nice reinforcement for the pen down the stretch, but I like this trade for the Pirates, too. McDonald got lost in the shuffle in LA and in a lower-pressure Pittsburgh environment he could thrive. Lambo needs a fresh start after wearing out his welcome with the Dodgers by his immature behavior but is still only 21. Swapping an ancient reliever for these two is a great move for the Pirates, even if it doesn't work this is a positive talent exchange for them.
The Marlins traded Rick Vandenhurk to the Orioles for Will Ohman. The lefty is a competent middle reliever but at age 33 he isn't going to get better than he already is. Vandenhurk has much better stuff, but he still isn't a very good pitcher and looks to me like the live-arm-but-won't-develop type. Still, exchanging an old bullpen southpaw for a much younger arm is a shot worth taking for Baltimore.
More to come.