Like most Jays’ fans, words cannot describe just how happy I am with the Colby Rasmus trade(s). Enough words have been spent on the deal by my many, many, many contemporaries in the Blue Jays blogosphere, and there are more than a few professional opinions on the matter, so I shan’t bore you with mine. Needless to say, this one is an unequivocal win for Alex Anthopoulos and his front office of ninjas. It seems like every trade he makes, he doesn’t just come out on top, he leaves the entire industry dumb-founded.
Here are the two trades that culminated in the Rasmus deal, in case you’ve been living under a rock that’s under a bigger rock, that’s under an even bigger rock, that’s under C.C. Sabathia*
The second major trade saw the New York Mets deal rightfielder Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants along with $4-million cash to help pay his salary for the remainder of the year. In return, the Mets receive top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. Wheeler is highly regarded from just about everybody in the industry and projects as a number-one starter in the Majors sooner than later.
The Giants address an immediate need, a big bat; something they desperately coveted. They got the biggest one on the market as Beltran’s .392 wOBA and 152 wRC+ are now both leading the Giants. This does give them a huge boost in their quest to repeat as World Champions, but man did they pay a price. For two months of Beltran, the Giants gave up their top pitching prospect and one of the top minor-league arms in the game.
Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson waited out his price and hooked a big fish. The Mets were in a position where they had to trade Beltran given that he has a clause in his contract that prevents them from offering him arbitration at season’s end. This meant that they would not have received a draft pick if he had signed elsewhere in the offseason. The only way they were going to get anything in return for Beltran was to trade him. Alderson very effectively used the competition in the ‘Beltran Sweepstakes’ and the Giants’ own desperation to nab a potential front-line starter.
Finally, there was one other trade that came down late on Wednesday night:
Gomes is a platoon outfielder who is a liability defensively, but does have a lot of raw power and is considered a good clubhouse guy. Considering he’s 30 and headed for free agency this offseason, why would the Nationals, who are nowhere near a pennant race, bother to pick him up? It’s simple: the compensation-round draft pick that the Nats will acquire when he signs elsewhere in the offseason.
From Cincinnati’s perspective this one’s a little odd. They plan to start Yonder Alonso (a merely average defensive first baseman) in leftfield along with Chris Heisey for the remainder of the year, and while Alonso has some upside, it’s hard to say that he’ll outperform Gomes down the stretch. This may be a sign that the Reds are starting to focus on next season.
The return for Cincy, Bill Rhinehart and Chris Manno are probably never going to be Major-Leaguers and are merely heartbeats in the minors until their spots can be filled more effectively. Again, wouldn’t Gomes for the rest of the year and the compensation draft pick be preferable for the Reds?
* – was that a fat joke? Why, yes, yes it was.