Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Modest Proposal

A quick shout-out to the Tribe for the improbable comeback, and this from a guy that went to bed as the bottom of the 8th started (the Indians tied it in the top of the 9th and won it in the top of the 10th).

It’s amazing what finding out that the Indians won, unexpectedly, can do to the start of your day on the way to work. A little surprising, but certainly uplifting.

While watching the see-saw battle though, I came up with a potential trade (and it had nothing to do with Byrd’s 2/3 of an inning pitched last night as Paul Byrd’s presence in the rotation is OK for me…not great, but OK):

SP Paul Byrd, 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, and a minor-league pitcher to the LAA for RP Scot Shields and 2B Erick Aybar.
If the Indians are able to upgrade any spot in their rotation during the off-season, I’d like to see Byrd replaced. I realize that the team could get more for Lee or Westbrook, but there’s something I don’t like about trading an affordable starter under the age of 30. With those 2, there is always a chance that they will continue to mature and improve. With Byrd…it is what it is. Byrd thrived in Anaheim and could give the Angels the pitching depth and experience that they lack, particularly if Bartolo Colon continues to break down.

Kouzmanoff’s trade value may never get higher and he could certainly be an upgrade over Maicer Izturis or the disappointing-so-far Dallas McPherson for the Halos.

Finally, let the Angels choose from a list of minor-league pitchers not named Adam Miller.

Shields has been a lights-out setup man for years now, though he’ll never displace K-Rod at the back end of their pen. He’ll be a FA at the end of 2007, so the Angels may be looking to get something for him while they can, particularly if they feel that he is replaceable. Shields could close for the Indians next year and fill a MAJOR hole, while Aybar (who Shapiro asked for when shopping Broussard) could enter the 2B derby, possibly as the front-runner.

The trade would also clear about $4M off of the payroll for next year that can be used to give Shields a multi-year deal or to throw at a RHSP (Jason Schmidt, Mike Mussina, Mark Mulder…I know I dream big) that gives the Tribe a devastating 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation

Looking at the Closer FA class, there’s not much there (though Francisco Cordero is moving up the list by pitching well in Milwaukee), so the answer may have to come via trade.

And you can’t get something for nothing.


Baltimoran said...

Shields would be nice, but I don't think I'm the only one whose not convinced about Marte

Paul Cousineau said...

I think the opposite about prospects, that you tend to overvalue your own (some still consider the 28-year-old Guthrie a “prospect”) and I would be SHOCKED if Andy Marte was not your 2007 Opening Day 3B. If he truly falls on his face (which I don’t think he will), Blake can still move into the everyday 3B job.

It’s not like the Indians are going to be able to solve their bullpen issues by trading guys like Ben Francisco and Eider Torres. To get quality, you have to give up a commodity.

Kouzmanoff, a 25-year-old who has led all of minor league baseball in AVG and SLG this year, has certainly climbed the charts this year to become a valuable trading chip. He may end up being Sean Casey. Or he could end being Ben Broussard.

It's time that this FO sold high on a prospect to improve the ML team.

Aybar, as I said, would be in that 2B derby. Luna and Inglett look like utility guys to me and having another option isn’t going to hurt.

Mea culpa on Lofgren, he should be included in that Miller mix. Outside of those 2 though, have at it.

I doubt that Shapiro would trade young pitching, preferring to offer a Snyder or someone of that ilk, mainly because of the premium he puts on these “waves of arms”.

As for Shields being used and abused, his WHIP is 1.03 this year, with a K/BB ratio over 4, and 24 holds. I don’t see the LAA everyday, but the stats look like he could transition to a closer pretty well.