Two positive developments from yesterday’s trade deadline:
- One of my personal transaction fetishes is still blocked in the long-term, despite rumors that the prospect who is blocking him was traded.
- One of my secret transaction fetishes was traded away from the Dodgers. While he was with the Dodgers, I knew that there was no way for the Giants to get their grubby little paws on him. Now, though…
The first: Ben Zobrist. There was a rumor that the Rays had traded prospect Reid Brignac for Jason Bay. If that were true, the Rays would certainly have wanted to hold on to Zobrist. I wrote about the Tampa shortstop here and he promptly broke some bones. He’s back, though, and he’s not doing a whole bunch. He started hot with some surprising power, but he’s cooled down.
His career on-base percentage is still .245, and his OBP for this season is .288. Yick, right? But I love pointing out that he’s never had a minor league OBP under .400. In a small sample this season, he’s shown more power than he ever has in his minor league career. Fluke? Probably. But a .330 on-base gettin’ shortstop with average defense and a little pop is how I would describe Rich Aurilia’s typical year in his prime, and I think Zobrist can post higher OBPs than that. It’s worth taking a chance in a market thin on shortstops. Plus, that means if we can get Zobrist for a reliever and a C-prospect, we wouldn’t just be getting a shortstop for the present, but we would also have found our starting first baseman for 2018.
I’m not giving up on Manny Burriss, mind you, but I’m just in favor of him returning to his original career path. Back to Connecticut with you, Manny, and we’ll see you in the majors in 2010.
The second: Andy LaRoche. The Dodgers always treated him like he was using his own dandruff to make snow for his landscape drawings, but the rest of us were like, "OMG, that’s not undesirable, that’s Ally Sheedy!" Or something. My Analogotron 3500 has been in the shop for a couple of weeks, so bear with me. But apart from minor deals every other decade, the Giants and Dodgers don’t deal with each other.
LaRoche is on the Pirates now, which is good (they already have a third-base prospect on the fast track in Pedro Alvarez) and bad (it seems like the new people in the front office have a clear scouting report on that hole in the ground, and it isn’t their ass.) In the past, Sabean could have done one of these:
Littlefield: Boy, am I! What’re we going to do, Sabes?
Sabean: Oh, you know, get a few pints in us, do some Jaeger shots, sign a few papers and contracts, have a pickled-egg eating contest…you know, the works.
Littlefield: (puts on eye-patch) Yarrrrr! Avast, ye swabbies! We be goin’ out on the town tonight!
Those days are over, and I don’t see a great fit between the Giants and Pirates right now, unless the Pirates would be okay with low-minors pitching as a return for LaRoche, which they probably wouldn’t be. But LaRoche is more in play now than he was with the Dodgers, so he’s worth watching.
Comment starter: Now that we know that we aren’t going to get David Wright for Bengie Molina, who are the realistic targets for the August 31st deadline and offseason? Who are your transaction fetishes?