I have been in Minneapolis all day today for a same-day work trip so I while I have been traveling, some of my favorite people have been writing some excellent reactions to the trade today. Here are my favorite pieces about the trade today:
Tommy Rancel – ESPN1040
This is one of the more complex trades made in the Friedman Era. On the surface, it looks like the team is giving up some ground in 2011, but Hellickson’s transition should ease that pain; especially if it comes with a big-time DH. The prospects coming to the Rays may not be considered studs, but add to an already impressive system. Lee is a few years away, but might have the most upside in the trade while Archer, Guyer, Chirinos, and Fuld could end up contributing in 2011
Dave Cameron – Fangraphs
Whether they use their new-found budget room to sign Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome,Vladimir Guerrero, or Johnny Damon, the Rays will be adding something like a +1 to +2 win DH to their roster. When you add that value to the extra innings they can give Hellickson and the addition of Chirinos as catching depth, it’s pretty easy to see the Rays actually coming out ahead of what they had with Garza still on the team.
Even if they hadn’t also acquired three other prospects from the Cubs, this was a deal worth doing for the Rays. The fact that they get additional future value simply puts this over the top as a big win for Tampa Bay.
Bradley Woodrum – DRaysBay
As a Cubs fan, I’m pained to see them trade away prospects for a pitcher of whom they already had several — especially since he’s going to a flyball-unfriendly park with an average-at-best defense behind him. As a Rays fan, I’m actually fine with seeing Garza go — he was never one of my favorites.
But still: There is no such thing as a lose-lose trade. Most MLB trades tend to be win-win, just with varying degrees of win. Both teams were trading according to their situation: I think the Cubs suspect they will need starters in 2012 and 2013 (Garza will be around through 2013), and the Rays would prefer to put Garza’s cash towards a DH (I’ve heard rumors of Vladimir Guerrero, uh, yes please).
Still, we are entitled to believe in what we want. Some may choose to believe in Santa Clause until their dying day. But I never believed in Santa, and I rather liked this trade (for the Rays).
R.J. Anderson – The Process Report
The bottom line here is that this is how the Rays are forced to do business. In an ideal world, they could’ve re-signed Garza days after he won the 2008 American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player award. That’s not reality though. This isn’t quite the Edwin Jackson or Scott Kazmir trades either. Jackson underperformed with the Rays, while the Rays felt Kazmir’s contract was too risky to hold onto. Instead, it’s the most complicated trade in franchise history. One necessitated by the economics of the game, but one softened by the Rays’ extraneous starting pitching surplus.
Nothing about this trade is an implication that Garza underperformed during his time in St. Petersburg, or that he lacks talent. He did about as well as the Rays could’ve imagined when they acquired him for Delmon Young. But like the other big piece in that Young trade, Garza’s time with the Rays is nearing its end and another level of the trade string will begin. Well wishes to Garza and Perez as they enter a new phase of their careers, hopefully with success.
This trade isn’t the doings of a nefarious plot to strip the team of its assets or to harm the fan base. It’s business as usual.