Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Blue Jays’

Blue Jays Sign Kevin Gregg

February 6, 2010

I love when teams make pointless signings. When I say pointless, I mean a signing that really doesn’t fill a need for the short or long-term.

For instance, the Washington Nationals signing Adam Kennedy in my opinion was pointless. Another pointless signing was the one that the Toronto Blue Jays just made.

Gregg was a pointless signing by the Jays

According to multiple reports, the Blue Jays have signed RHP Kevin Gregg to a one-year, $2.75 million contract. The Blue Jays will have ten days after the 2010 World Series to choose between three options:

  • Allow Gregg to become a free agent
  • Pick up a $4.5MM option for 2011
  • Pick up an $8.75MM option for 2011-12

Have the Blue Jays ever watched Gregg pitch? More importantly, have they ever watched him pitch in August when his teams need him the most? Gregg handles pressure like the San Jose Sharks do in the postseason.

During the month of August the last two years, Gregg has an ERA of 8.44. He is also coming off a year where he gave up 13 home runs in 68.2 innings. Not the most ringing endorsement.

Not only is Gregg not a quality pitcher in my opinion, I have no idea where he fits in on the Blue Jays. Toronto already has Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Jeremy Accardo, Jesse Carlson, Josh Roenicke, and Shawn Camp in their bullpen.

The Blue Jays didn’t need another reliever and they didn’t need a reliever who makes $2.75 million.

If indeed Gregg was signed to be their closer, I don’t see how he is better than Downs or Frasor, who are Toronto’s already existing options. If Gregg is closing games in Toronto, then I feel worse for Blue Jay fans than I already do.

The Blue Jays are in rebuilding mode and will most likely finish last in the American League East. There was no point to signing a pitcher like Gregg.

Now on to another sport.

The big game is one day away and everyone has been asking me for my Super Bowl prediction. My initial thought when the New Orleans Saints beat the Minnesota Vikings, was that the Indianapolis Colts would crush the Saints.

I still think the Colts will win, but I don’t think it will be a blow out anymore. Dwight Freeney’s injury really changes things for me.

Colts win 27-23.

And if you want some awesome recipes for Super Bowl Sunday, be sure to check out GourmetDude.com. Pete has some great recipes for chicken wings, meatballs, cookies, and more.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Random Thoughts From Around Baseball

January 29, 2010

Since there is nothing going on so far today in baseball, I thought I would just give some random thoughts from around the majors.

Orlando Cabrera is deciding between the Colorado Rockies, Cincinnati Reds, and Washington Nationals today. The guy is a winner and will get a chance to win next year if he signs with the Rockies.

I can’t believe there was a “sweepstakes” for Derrick Turnbow. The guy hasn’t been good in four years. The Florida Marlins were the luck winner of the Turnbow “sweepstakes.”

On this day two years ago, the New York Mets traded for Johan Santana. Despite not making the playoffs in his two years with the team, Santana has been everything the Mets hoped he would be.

Santana was acquired by the Mets 2 years ago today

I waiting in line for Shake Shack today at Madison Square Park in NYC in 16 degree weather. Yeah, it’s that good.

Sticking with the New York theme, the Mets are getting crushed in the Big Apple right now. They have had a rough offseason and a lot of fans are losing faith in his ownership group.

Ken Griffey Jr. apparently got “ripped” this offseason. I still think the Seattle Mariners need a better DH option in 2010.

Thanks to injuries, Erik Bedard has probably cost himself close to $75 million the last two years. Ouch.

I would say it would be a major upset if the Cleveland Indians land Orlando Hudson. I still think the “O-Dog” ends up on the Nationals.

Watching Nolan Ryan’s seventh and final no-hitter from 1991 on the MLB Network now. From the first pitch, the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t stand a chance that night. Glenallen Hill looked as befuddled as any hitter I have seen at the plate against Ryan that night.

Francisco Liriano was dominant in the Dominican Winter League. In the final game of the DWL World Series, Liriano struck out 10 in five innings and was consistently in the low to mid-90’s with his fastball.

The Caribbean World Series starts next Tuesday. Those games will be on the MLB Network starting at 2:30 pm ET. Always good talent in those games.

My trivia team is still in first place after two weeks. Questions are much harder than the ones we were faced with in Milwaukee.

Tim Wakefield expects to be a full-time member of the Boston Red Sox rotation in 2010. Umm yeah, I am not sure about that one Tim. Unless Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, or Clay Buchholz get hurt (knock on wood), he will be used an old-fashion swing man.

I still haven’t figured out why the Chicago White Sox didn’t bring Jim Thome back. They need a DH and he could have helped.

That’s all for now. Have a good weekend everyone!!!

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Starting Rotation: American League East

January 18, 2010

Update:

I would like to make a correction to this post. I would also like to apologize to Blue Jays fans for making this error.

Shaun Marcum will be starting for the Blue Jays in 2010, not Dustin McGowan. Both are coming back from injuries in 2009, but Marcum will get a chance to earn his starting rotation spot back in spring training.

Again, I apologize for this oversight.

Original Post

On the heels of our Starting Nine posts that debuted last week, I thought we would take a look at the other side of ball this week. This week, I wanted to take a look at each team’s starting rotation as presently constructed.

Like last week, each day I will look at one division in baseball until all the divisions are analyzed. And like last week, we will start this segment with the American League East.

The American League East lost one major pitcher this offseason (Roy Halladay), but also gained a pretty good pitcher (John Lackey). While the offenses in this division get most of the headlines, the pitching staffs are no slouches.

Here are the starting rotations for each American League East team as presently constructed.

New York Yankees

1. C.C. Sabathia, LHP

2. A.J. Burnett, RHP

3. Andy Pettitte, LHP

4. Javier Vazquez, RHP

5. Joba Chamberlain, RHP

Quick Take – The Yankees’ starting rotation got better in the offseason with the addition of Vazquez. He becomes a pretty impressive fourth starter. There is still some debate as to who will start in 2010–Chamberlain or Phil Hughes. I believe Chamberlain will start.

Boston Red Sox

1. Josh Beckett, RHP

2. Jon Lester, LHP

3. John Lackey, RHP

4. Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP

5. Clay Buchholz, RHP

Quick Take – Beckett might be the No. 1 starter, but this staff is really led by Lester. He will be a leading candidate for the Cy Young award in 2010. Lackey gives this staff incredible depth. Look for Dice-K to have a bounce back year.

Tampa Bay Rays

1. James Shields, RHP

2. Matt Garza, RHP

3. Jeff Niemann, RHP

4. David Price, LHP

5. Wade Davis, RHP

Quick Take – This rotation won’t miss the highly overrated Scott Kazmir in 2010. Garza has really turned the corner and has developed into a very solid No.2 pitcher. Starting rotation will only go as far as Price and Davis take them.

Baltimore Orioles

1. Kevin Millwood, RHP

2. Jeremy Guthrie, RHP

3. Brad Bergesen, RHP

4. Chris Tillman, RHP

5. Brian Matusz, LHP

Quick Take – The Orioles acquired Millwood to mentor this young staff and to eat up innings. Tillman and Matusz are two top prospects, who will have to earn their stripes pitching in the very tough AL East. The Orioles need Guthrie to really step up in 2010.

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Ricky Romero, LHP

2. Scott Richmond, RHP

3. Brandon Morrow, RHP

4. Brett Cecil, LHP

5. Dustin McGowan, RHP

Quick Take – Any time a staff loses a pitcher of Halladay’s caliber, they are going to experience a major drop off. It looks like Morrow is going to start in Toronto, so perhaps he can realize his potential. Romero (and I think he is good) becomes the Blue Jays’ No.1 starter by default.

So that’s it for the AL East. Tomorrow, I will take a look at the American League Central, home of the reigning AL Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Reds Shock Baseball, Sign Aroldis Chapman

January 11, 2010

There were a lot of teams rumored to be in the hunt for 22-year-old Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman. We heard the Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, and Toronto Blue Jays all express interest in Chapman.

However, it was a surprise team at the end of the day that was able to land the left-handed pitcher. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Cincinnati Reds have swooped in and signed Chapman.

Chapman goes from Cuba to Cincinnati

The Reds have signed Chapman to a five-year, $25 million contract. There is an option for a sixth year and the Reds will pay out Chapman’s salary over a 10-year period.

I think there are a couple of ways you can look at this signing.

I think the first question people have–like my friend Justin–is why would the Reds sign Chapman? There are a couple of reasons.

First, Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo and their combined $24 million can come off the books after the 2010 season. The Reds figured they can suck it up for one year in order to give themselves long-term success in the future.

Secondly, the Reds are building a young, dynamic team for the future and Chapman can be a part of that. In 2011, the Reds could have a pitching staff that consists of Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, and Chapman.

That pitching staff along with Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, Yonder Alonso, and Todd Frazier could make the Reds NL Central favorites for years to come.

There is also a another way to look at this signing. I think this signing is good for baseball.

I know every New York Yankee fan and Red Sox fan thinks it’s their right to sign every foreign free agent. As today proves, that is not the case.

It’s good for baseball when teams like the Reds or Blue Jays are in on a free agent like this. I clearly know that it doesn’t work this way, but the Reds signing Chapman is what revenue sharing is all about.

Of course a signing like this doesn’t come without risks. Many have questioned Chapman’s maturity and some question whether or not he is major league ready.

If you were to ask me, I believe Chapman will start the year in the minors and the Reds will gradually bring him along depending on what he does in the minors.

For those of you not familiar with Chapman, here is a scouting report by ESPN.com’s Keith Law:

“Chapman is the wild card of the free-agent market, as his track record is largely unknown, he has barely thrown for clubs since defecting and he is represented by agents who haven’t handled a free agent of this magnitude before.

“When Chapman is on, he’ll show No. 1 starter stuff, with a fastball in the mid-90s (and yes, as high as 101 mph) with good tail and a mid-80s slider that will show plus with legitimate tilt, although the latter pitch isn’t consistent. He does have a soft changeup, but he lacks feel for it and pushes it out of his hand rather than selling it with good arm speed.

“His command isn’t good, and he’s more thrower than pitcher, with a very loose arm that makes the velocity come out easily. Since defecting, he has worked on his body, and scouts who’ve seen him recently say he’s stronger and in better overall shape.

“He might be a No. 1 starter; he might be an ace closer; he might be a mountain of frustration. Is that worth $60 million? Or the fourth- or fifth-biggest contract of the offseason?

“Not to me, but he’s worth some eight-figure amount because of the almost limitless upside.”

Chapman will undergo a physical and the deal should be officially announced today.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Edwin Encarnacion Needs To Stay Away From Fireworks

January 3, 2010

2009 had its share of bizarre stories and the trend seems to be continuing in 2010.

As reported by ESPN.com’s Enrique Rojas, Toronto Blue Jays’ 3B Edwin Encarnacion suffered minor facial injuries caused by fireworks during a New Year’s eve celebration in the Dominican Republic.

Encarnacion had an accident on New Year's eve.

Encarnacion suffered first- and second-degree burns in the forehead and the right side of his face when a rocket firecracker hit him in the jaw and exploded near his mouth while celebrating with family in his home of La Romana.

According to Encarnacion, one of his brothers lit a rocket firecracker and instead of flying upwards it moved laterally, hitting Encarnacion.

Boy oh boy. This story just reminds me of an incident that took place when I was around 10 or 11 and the reason why I don’t go near any type of fireworks.

Me and some friends were playing stickball at our elementary school around the July 4th time frame. All I will say is that this kid tried to light off an M-80 in the handball court at the school and the firework exploded in his hand.

I just remember seeing the trail of blood that seemed to stretch a mile long when the kid was running out of the park. That my friends is the reason why I stay as far away as possible from lighting fireworks.

Encarnacion will have to stay out of the sun for the next week, but should be ready to resume baseball related activities in about two weeks.

Encarnacion will go into 2010 as the Blue Jays’ starting third baseman. He hit .240 with eight home runs and a .306 OBP in 42 games with the Blue Jays last season.

On the subject of Toronto, how about a quick hockey note to close out the post (that’s called a segway kids). I would like to take this time to congratulate former UMass Hockey and current Los Angeles Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick on making the U.S. Olympic Hockey team.

In his final season at UMass, Quick was 19-12-5 with a 2.16 Goals Against Average and led UMass to a Regional Final appearance in the 2007 NCAA Division One Men’s Hockey Championship.

Good luck in the Olympics Jonathan, we will all be rooting for Team USA.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Mets Go Shopping In The Bargain Bin Again, Sign Kelvim Escobar

December 26, 2009

Update: Escobar’s deal is for $1.25 million. Escobar can make an additional $125,000 for making the team. an additional $2 million based on the number of games pitched, and an additional $1 million based on the number of games finished in 2010.

Original Post

The New York Mets signed a player on Christmas Eve, but it wasn’t the type of present Mets fans were expecting. Mets fans were hoping for a Jason Bay or Matt Holliday under their tree.

Instead they got a low-risk, high-reward signing.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets have signed RHP Kelvim Escobar to a one-year, major league deal. No terms of the deal have been disclosed as of yet.

The Mets signed Escobar

Escobar has pitched a grand total of five innings over the last two years, but Mets’ GM Omar Minaya felt that was good enough to give Escobar a major league deal. I am not sure why Minaya would give him a major league deal and not a minor league deal, but I don’t understand a lot of things Minaya does.

Escobar has missed the last two years because of a shoulder injury. Before that, he was a very effective starter for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim–for one year at least.

In his last healthy season with the Angels, Escobar went 18-7 with a very respectable 3.40 ERA. The 18 wins was good for sixth in the American League that year.

However, the Mets will not be asking Escobar to start, they will be asking him to come out of the pen. The Mets are hoping Escobar can compete with recently signed Japanese import Ryota Igarashi to be the eighth inning set-up man for closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Escobar does have experience coming out of the pen as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002. However, despite having 38 saves that year, Escobar had a very mediocre 4.27 ERA and WHIP of 1.53.

I really have my doubts as to whether or not Escobar can step in and be an effective set-up man right off the bat. For a pitcher not to have pitched in two years against major league talent and be expected to come in during a pressure situation on the first day is a lot to ask.

My guess is Escobar ends up pitching the sixth or seventh inning and Bobby Parnell ends up being the bridge to Rodriguez.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Blue Jays, Mariners Swap Power Arms

December 23, 2009

Update: This trade is now official. The prospect the Blue Jays will be sending to the Mariners is Johermyn Chavez.

Chavez is a 20-year-old outfielder, who hit 21 home runs and hit .283 in 134 games in his second stint in Single-A in 2009. He was not ranked in Baseball America’s top-10 Blue Jays prospects going into 2010.

So the completed deal is the Mariners send Morrow to the Blue Jays for League and Chavez. Unless Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik believes Morrow will retire from baseball tomorrow, on the surface this trade makes no sense for the Mariners.

Morrow is a top, top, top pitching prospect and talent and for the Mariners only to get an inconsistent middle reliever and a marginal prospect for him leaves me befuddled.

This is a really good score by the Blue Jays.

I know Blue Jay fans are upset because of the Roy Halladay trade, but the Blue Jays are building a nice team for the future in Toronto.

Kyle Drabek, Brett Wallace, Adam Lind, Travis Snider, Aaron Hill, Ricky Romero, and now Morrow give the Blue Jays some hope for the future.

Original Post:

A very interesting trade took place today between the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have been really active this offseason haven’t they?

As reported by FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays have traded RHP Brandon League to the Mariners for RHP Brandon Morrow. The Blue Jays will also be sending another prospect to the Mariners to complete the deal.

Morrow was shipped to Toronto

Since the player the Mariners are going to get to complete the deal is probably going to be of significance, I am going to wait to see who it is before I say which team got the better of this trade.

What I will comment on, is the two players involved in the trade because I have watched them a lot over the last couple of years.

I will start with League. League has always been an enigma to me. He really reminds me of another former Blue Jay, Billy Koch.

Koch threw extremely hard, but was extremely hittable. Koch on one pitch would make a hitter look very foolish, but then on the next pitch he would throw a flat, 96 mph fastball and the ball would ripped in the gap for a double.

I feel like League is the same way. League throws in the upper-90’s and can’t strike anyone out. It’s puzzling to me.

Now League did strike out a career high 9.2 batters/9 innings last year. But I feel with League’s stuff, he should be striking out more than a batter per inning.

League will join Mark Lowe and Sean White as right-handed set-up men in the Mariners’ bullpen. If the Mariners can harness League’s ability, the Mariners have the makings of a very good bullpen.

As for Morrow, the former crown jewel of the Mariners’ farm system should get a fresh start in Toronto. Morrow, who was the fifth pick in the 2006 draft, never really had a role with the Mariners.

He kind of fell into that Joba Chamberlain issue of whether or not he was better suited to be a starter or a reliever. The Mariners brought Morrow up as a reliever, but transitioned him to a starter towards the end of the 2008 season.

In his first start of the season on Sept. 5th against the New York Yankees, Morrow threw a one-hitter over 7.2 innings. In my opinion, that might have been the worst thing to ever happen to Morrow.

I believe he is better off as a closer and that one-hitter raised expectations of Morrow as a starter. In 2009, the Mariners started Morrow off in the bullpen and yet again, moved him into the starting rotation. And once again, Morrow pitched a one-hitter in Sept.

This time his one-hitter was against the Oakland A’s.

While Morrow has had flashes of brilliance as a starter, like I said his makeup leads me to believe he will be better suited as a closer.

The Mariners must believe that Morrow’s long-term future is in the bullpen as well otherwise trading a 25-year-old starter for a middle reliever makes no sense.

As soon as it is announced who else the Blue Jays will be sending to the Mariners, I will update this post and talk about who got the better of this trade on paper.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Lyle Overbay: What’s His Trade Market?

December 19, 2009

Now that the big four-team trade between the Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, and Oakland A’s is officially completed, it’s time to take a look at some of the fallout from the trade.

One of the players moved in the trade was 1B/3B Brett Wallace from Oakland to Toronto. While Wallace came up in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization as a third baseman, he is widely viewed as a first baseman in the future.

With Wallace seemingly ready to take over the first base duties in Toronto, it means current first baseman Lyle Overbay might be out of a job. With just one year remaining on his contract and the Blue Jays in complete rebuilding mode, Overbay seems like a prime trade candidate either this offseason or during the regular season.

Overbay could be traded

That being said (cue Larry David), lets take a look at the pros and cons of Overbay and what teams might be interested in trading for the former University of Nevada, Reno star.

Pros

At 32-years-old, Overbay has been a pretty consistent player over his nine-year major league career. You can usually pencil Overbay in for a .275 average with 10-15 home runs and an OBP above .350.

Here is a surprise about Overbay–his OPS has increased each of the last three years (.706 to .777 to .838).

Where Overbay really shines is on the defensive side of the ball. Overbay is one of the better defensive first baseman in the game.

During the 80’s and early 90’s, guys like Keith Hernandez, Don Mattingly, Mark Grace, and Will Clark showed us the value of having a great defensive player manning first base.

The value of a good defensive first baseman was lost a little during the late-90’s and early 2000’s when slugging, DH-types were playing first base. Now with guys like Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, and Adrian Gonzalez, playing great defense at first is in vogue again.

Overbay can help any team defensively.

The last pro for Overbay is his contract. As I mentioned above, Overbay has one-year remaining on his contract and is owed $7 million for that one year. It’s a very reasonable contract for what Overbay should produce.

Over the last three years, Overbay has been paid $13.2 million by the Blue Jays and according to Fangraphs, Overbay has been worth $18.5 million to the Blue Jays.

Cons

Overbay has been consistent alright–consistently average. Wasn’t this guy supposed to be a big star? He is a poor man’s John Olerud.

Perhaps Overbay was never supposed to be a star. Perhaps he was just meant to hit like I said, .275 every year.

While Overbay’s contract doesn’t seem prohibitive at $7 million, in this economy it might be. $7 million in today’s economy is probably the equivalent to $12 million a couple of years ago.

Every team is looking for a bargain these days and the Blue Jays might have to eat a couple of million on Overbay’s contract in order to trade him.

Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of Overbay, lets take a look at what teams might be interested in the native of Centralia, WA.

Atlanta Braves: Talks between Atlanta and Adam LaRoche seem to be going nowhere. The Braves need a bat and could replace LaRoche with Overbay.

New York Mets: The Mets have current first baseman Daniel Murphy still on the roster, but I don’t think Murphy will be the Mets’ full-time first baseman in 2010.

The Mets are talking about bringing Carlos Delgado back, which would be a mistake. Overbay would help improve the Mets’ below average infield defense.

San Francisco Giants: I have no idea what Brian Sabean is doing at this point. The Dan Uggla to the Giants trade, which seems like has been rumored to be happening for the last five months, is on life support.

Overbay wouldn’t be a bad Plan B. The Giants need a first baseman and a gap-to-gap hitter like Overbay could hit 40+ doubles in AT&T Park.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox are in full defense first mode this offseason. GM Theo Epstein is determined to improve the Red Sox defensively in 2010.

The talk now is that the Red Sox are comfortable going into 2010 with Casey Kotchman as their first baseman. Overbay is just as good defensively and is a better offensive player.

Seattle Mariners: The Mariners could be waiting for last year’s first baseman Russell Branyan to lower his demands of a two-year deal. Overbay could be a nice fallback option.

Overbay fits GM Jack Zduriencik’s defense first mentality.

I am going to say there is a very good chance Overbay gets traded at some point. However, he’s more likely he gets traded during the regular season.

The Blue Jays will most likely have Wallace start the season in the minors in order to increase his service time. Overbay will start the season as the first baseman and then will be moved in June or July once Wallace is ready.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

It’s Official: Mariners, Blue Jays, Phillies, And A’s Complete 4-Team Trade

December 17, 2009

Finally, finally, I can write about the big trade.

As I mentioned in a post earlier, I was very hesitant to write about the trade because it was never official and there were so many moving parts. Now that all the parts are in place and everything is written in stone, lets take a look at what went down between the Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, and Oakland A’s.

Phillies get: RHP Roy Halladay, RHP Phillippe Aumont, RHP Juan Ramirez, OF Tyson Gillies, and $6 million from the Blue Jays.

Blue Jays get: C Travis D’Arnaud, RHP Kyle Drabek, and 1B Brett Wallace

Mariners get: LHP Cliff Lee

A’s get: OF Michael Taylor

Why Philadelphia Made This Trade: GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has been enamored with Halladay since last season. And who can blame him? For my money he is the best pitcher in the game.

When Lee–the pitcher who Amaro acquired instead of Halladay at the July 31st trading deadline last season wanted CC Sabathia type money after the 2010 season–the Phillies set their sights on Halladay again.

Halladay should dominate the NL

This time, they got him.

They got him and were able to sign him to a three-year, $60 million extension–something they weren’t going to be able to do with Lee. Now the Phillies have the best pitcher in the game to go along with the best offense in the National League.

That’s a pretty good combination.

The Phillies also got perhaps their closer of the future in 6’7″ Aumont. Aumont is 20-years-old and was the Mariners’ first-round pick (11th overall) in 2007.

Aumont struggled a little bit when he was promoted to Double-A in 2009 giving up 21 hits and 11 walks in 17.2 IP.

Aumont did strike out 24 in those 17.2 innings, so his stuff was still there. If Aumont impresses in spring training he could find himself in the Phillies’ bullpen in 2010.

Gillies was rated as the fastest baserunner in the Mariners’ farm system by Baseball America in 2009. He has stolen 80 bases in 235 career minor league games.

Gillies is 20-years-old and has a .321 average and .419 OBP in 3 minor league seasons.

Ramirez was the 5th ranked prospect in the Mariners’ system heading into 2009 by Baseball America. Since signing with the Mariners in 2006, Ramirez has given up more hits/9 each year he has been in the minors.

He has a career 4.12 ERA in four minor league seasons and projects as a relief pitcher.

This trade is a perfect example of why the Phillies have become one of the premier teams in baseball. They trade prospects, they get prospects back. They trade star players and they get star players back.

The Phillies not only make trades so they can win now, but win for the future as well.

And do you know who is going to benefit the most from this trade from a Phillies’ perspective? Cole Hamels.

Remember, Halladay turned AJ Burnett into a complete pitcher. I foresee him doing the same thing with Hamels. Look for Hamels to have a big year in 2010.

Why Toronto Made This Trade: Plain and simple, the Blue Jays had to trade Halladay.

The longer the Blue Jays held on to Halladay, the less they were going to get. If the Blue Jays held on to Halladay until the July 31st trading deadline, they probably would have gotten 10 cents on the dollar.

The Blue Jays were able to land one of the best pitching prospects in the game in 22-year-old Kyle Drabek. Drabek, the son of former major league pitcher Doug Drabek is projected to be a front-line starting pitcher in the major leagues.

In four minor league seasons, Drabek has a 3.70 ERA and an impressive 1.26 WHIP.

The Blue Jays also were able to get the catching prospect they wanted in D’Arnaud. The 20-year-old D’Arnaud was the Phillies’ first-round pick in 2007.

He has struggled some at different levels in the minors, but in 2009 D’Arnaud hit 13 home runs in 126 games at Single-A Lockwood.

I like the move by the Blue Jays of getting Wallace from the A’s. The Blue Jays already are set in the outfield for the future with Adam Lind, Vernon Wells, and Travis Snyder so they really didn’t need Michael Taylor, who they acquired from the Phillies.

Wallace fills a need at first base for the Blue Jays. Wallace, who was traded to the A’s from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Matt Holliday trade hit .302 with nine home runs in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League in 2009.

The trade for Wallace most likely means Lyle Overbay has played his last game as a Blue Jay.

Why The Mariners Made This Trade: If you are Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik you say to yourself “I can get one of the best pitchers in the game without giving up my top, top prospects–where do I sign?”

Lee gives the M's a solid 1-2 punch

Did the Mariners give up some good prospects? Sure they did. But they were able to get Lee and not give up SS Carlos Truinfel, OF Michael Saunders, or OF Dustin Ackley.

Lee, along with Felix Hernandez give the Mariners perhaps the best one-two punch in the American League. For one year and $9 million, Lee was certainly worth this trade for the Mariners.

Why The A’s Made This Trade: The A’s already had Daric Barton, Chris Carter and Jake Fox on the 40-man roster as first baseman. What the A’s need is a power hitting outfielder.

Enter Michael Taylor.

The 24-year-old Taylor is a man beast. He hits for average, power, he can run, and knows how to work the count–a lethal combination

In 116 games in 2009 between Double-A and Triple-A, Taylor hit .320 with 20 home runs, 21 stolen bases, and a .944 OPS. He will have a chance to win a starting outfield spot for the A’s in 2010.

I think if I was to give out grades for this trade it would go something like this:

Mariners – A

Phillies – B+

Blue Jays – B-…Giving $6 million to the Phillies is comical.

A’s – B

It will be really fascinating to look back on this trade five years from now. Of course, I will be here to write about it.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Someone Failed A Phsyical In The Big 4-Team Trade

December 16, 2009

For those of you who read The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on a regular basis are probably wondering why I have not yet even written a sentence about one of the biggest trades in recent memory.

What is going on today is the reason why.

There have been rumors circulating around the web that one of the players involved in the four-team trade between the Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, and Oakland A’s has failed his physical.

Larry Stone of Seattle Times, via Twitter, doesn’t believe it’s one of the Mariners’ players involved in the deal who failed their physical.

Will this failed physical ruin this trade? It doesn’t seem like it. But this just teaches us a lesson that a trade isn’t official until it’s made official.

I’ll update this story once it is announced who failed their physical or I will do a complete write up once this trade is finally made official.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg