The 1st deal of the off season was between the San Francisco Fish Tacos and the Minnesota Skeeters. It was a blockbuster of a deal. The Fish Tacos gave up, what seemed like an intricate part of his WS team, in Butch Relaford. The Skeeters were desperate to get a top-notch 3B in relaford and they gave up an arm and a leg for it. The Skeeters dealt LF/1B Jeanmar Gallardo and SU/CL Paul Oliver. Gallardo has a ton of potential with possibly being a huge 40+ homerun guy and 120rbi guy. his batting eye is as good as it gets and the power is dare i say, Ruthian potential. he will could struggle a bit against right handers, but if he makes contact, like hes projected to then good things will happen. Paul Oliver seems like a shutdown closer or setup guy. Hes got an A fastball and an A+velocity. He should get a lot of hitters to swing and miss. All in all, Minnesota bettered themselves right now and SF bettered themselves for the future. Both teams got what they wanted so this is what i consider a win win situation.
San Fran stayed busy dealing CF/2B Quinton Hamilton and minor league C Bernie Kirwan to Cheyenne Cherokees. Cheyenne gave up prospect Roscoe Berkman. Berkman is what i would like to call a professional hitter. He doesn't do anything really great but he does everything good. he can hit lefties or righties with good contact and good power. His eye will have to get a little better but its ML caliber. He doesnt have a true defensive position but can play a few lesser important positions at Gold glove level like 1B or one of the corner OF. Kirwan doesn't really seem like an everyday catcher. his defensive skills are below average and his bat is more suited for a DH/1B role then a Catcher. Hamilton will give any lineup a top notch base stealer and leadoff guy. he wont hurt you in CF as hes more then capable of playing CF. he wont get every ball out there but he will make the plays needed. Cheyenne got the better of this deal. Hamilton is a main stay in any lineup and its hard to find legit quality leadoff hitters.
The previous owner of the Herd, Rector, made a deal with the New York Tough Guys. The Herd acquired Terry Cora, and prospects BJ Bichette and Greg boehringer. TheTough Guys received Murray Rolle. This deal seemed a little off when i noticed it. Cora and Rolle are very similar and probably could have just swapped the 2 as both might have needed a change of scenery. Bj Bichette, and Greg Boehringer are really good prospects. Bichette doesn't have much power but can play 2B and can hit 1 or 2 in the lineup with above average speed. Boehringer is even younger then Bichette and has more potential then Bichette. Even though in the same deal the Herd got two 2B prospects, which is odd in itself when he might have been able to find another position to fill, Helena clearly won this deal as the Tough Guys got a similar pitcher to the one he gave up in Cora, but the 2 2B prospects give the edge to Helena.
New York and Minnesota pulled off a deal. The Tough Guys got a speedy defensive SS in Archie Whitesell and a defensive CF in Sammy Ortiz. The Skeeters got a legit hitting 1B in Nicholas Taylor. This deal seems more of a need in the minor league depth charts for the Tough guys. Whitesell is more then capable of playing SS at the ML level except he cant hit, he can only field. hes not even a superstar in the field. He is above average though, so in case an injury happens he can fill in for the job. Ortiz is a low prospect with a lot of defensive upside. Hes not much of a power guy, lucky to get ya 10hrs in a yr. keep him away from lefty pitching altogether. very fast, exceptional base running ability and speed. probably can get 50+SBs consistently. Taylor, a career 290+ hitter is a nice piece to add to any lineup. hes not the prototypical power hitting 1B that's going to get you 35-40hrs but he belongs in a ML lineup. this deal is somewhat even in regards to the skeeters were looking for ML bat at 1b and the tough Guys were looking to add some defensive depth at all levels.
Huge Blockbuster deal between the Florida Giggers and the Syracuse Orange Iguanas. In a shocking move the Orange iguanas gave up 3time MVP Andrew Marte and spot starter/mopup pitcher Tomas garza. To acquire talent like Marte you must give up some talent and the Giggers sure did. They gave up a 23yr old, who can start on probably any team at the ML level right now in Jacob Holt and CL/SU type in Matty Franco. The Giggers are giggity giggity giggity about this deal. at only 31yrs of age, I do not think franchises should be trading hall of fame material and 3 time MVP. Holt will be great, no doubt about it, but to give up something like that, the giggers should feel they stole Marte for what they gave up for him.
The Tough Guys and Orange Iguanas sure keeps their front offices busy late at night as they pulled off a deal. The Tough Guys got a top notch GG caliber ML SS in Miguel Rios. it will be hard to find a better glove in the game then Rios as hes a 5time consecutive GG SS winner. The Orange Iguanas in return for dealing a GG SS got a fringe SP/LR pitcher, Juan Fernandez and a lower level prospect SP in Milton O'Connor. Fernandez, to me is a journeymen pitcher at best and in a pinch can eat up some innings for ya. O'Connor can pan out to be a legit back of the rotation guy. He can handle lefties pretty well but will struggle against righties enough to hinder him from being a top of the rotation guy. As the Tough Guys made a cpl of questionable moves, this one hits a home run! Im sorry but GG SS do not come along everyday and to only give up at best a journeymen pitcher and a back of the rotation guy for the best defensive SS in the game makes the Tough Guys a clear cut winner in this deal.
The Fish tacos were at it again and it seems like they had a backup plan all along to get a CF after dealing Quinton Hamilton. The Fish Tacos got Red Hill from the Philadelphia Athletics. Hill is literally a younger poor mans version of Hamilton. Hes actually faster then Hamilton and is capable of swiping 80+ bags a yr if given the green light at will. his defense is just as good as Hamilton and when he hits is prime hes an everyday CF. The Athletics in return got an above average hitting and an A defensive catcher, Corey Garcia. I would say that Athletics got the better of the deal providing Garcia hits his full potential. If he doesn't get to where the scouts think he should be then the Fish Tacos got the better of the deal. its pretty much a wash at the moment as both teams got needs taken care of.
Salem Volcanoes paid big bucks to take away SP Willie Lima from the Charlotte Tobacco Growers. The volcanoes gave up Kevin Lee, a little below the par defensive SS. Lee has some pop in his bat and hes got good contact as well. He can hit lefties and righties equally well. The volcanoes front office must have erupted with joy when this deal got pulled off. Lima has a career ERA under 4 and has 60 more wins then losses in his career. Its obvious Charlotte was just trying to get rid of the 11million bucks he was owed this yr, he probably could have gotten something better then a less then average defensive SS who's probably more better suited for 2B. Its clear as day that Salem won this deal by far.
The deal between the Rochester Royals and the Cherokees of Cheyenne was very odd on Cheyennes part. The royals got a low level good prospect Harold Wheeler, in is case should be a nice SU/CL type in a cpl of seasons. The Royals didn't give up much really to get Wheeler either. The Cherokees were trying to resurrect, underachieving end of the rotation SP, Billy Ray Rekar. back end of the bullpen pitcher, Sidney Dawkins and career minor leaguer RF Felix Hill. I would say that Cherokee made this decision because they needed a couple of extra arms and the caliber of Wheeler is a run of the mill arm. I would say Rochester won this deal on the fact that they got the better player, even though its his potential that its being based on.
The Orange iguanas were at it again and found the Huntington Heores as a dance partner. They received 2 time all star and last years GG winning 3B Willie Morales from the Heroes. The Orange Iguanas won big time in this deal. They sent over ML ready 2B Freddy Chang. Closer type Alex Gardel and pitcher Juan Fernandez. I'm going to assume that this was a cash drop for the Heroes. Chang is a legit ML 2B and could possibly see the ML level any time this year. Gardel probably isn't going to improve much more then where he is now, since hes 25yrs of age. Fernandez could be a decent innings pitcher if hes in the right home ball park. If pitches in a hitters friendly park, I feel bad for the home team. As he maintains A+ cut FB and an A+ slider, probably and could be the best in the biz, the problem with him, he has to find away to harness his control of it and learn to keep it down in the zone. He will be giving up a lot of long balls when the batters connect with it cause he doesn't even understand on how to spell G-R-O-U-N-D-B-A-L-L.
With new ownership and a new regime taking over in Helena, which rumors are spreading their also looking for a new stadium or even a new city next season, the Herd is cleaning house. They made a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Herd sent 2 career minor leaguers, Albie Cabrera and Kane Tatum. The Dbacks sent a legit RP, Horacio Vallarta. The winner of this deal, players wise is Helena but the real winner is the consummate professionalism of the Arizona organization for helping out another franchise in a really, really dire situation.
The Herd sent tired arm, Brendan Parrish to the Charlotte Tobacco Growers in exchange for two RPs, Lorenzo Fuentes and Miguel Salas and 1B Max Abbott. Parrish is one of, if not the best closer in the league. hes a three time all star, won the fireman of the yr award when he posted a 0.69ERA, yes folks that's correct, 0.69ERA. He saved 40 of 41 chances and only gave up 3 earned runs in 39innings pitched. Basically you probably wont find a better year ever in the history of baseball for a closer. Fuentes is projected to be a number 3 or 2 at best SP. Hes got an A+ sinker and can control it enough to make those hitters swing and miss a lot. Hes a SP who can easily get over 180IPs. Miguel Salas is going to be a high risk, high reward type of pitcher. He has all the tools to make him a shutdown closer like his counterpart, Parrish he was traded for. Lights out A+ velocity. A blow it by you fastball that will top out with an A+. He has an above average curve ball and he will induce more ground ball double plays then the law should ever allow. this is all of course when hes not walking batters because his control is the high risk part. He needs to find away to figure out his control problems to ever be a legitimate shut down closer. A 3rd wheel in the deal was a good all around 1B Max Abbott, who really hasn't gotten a real opportunity to play at the ML level. All in all, when a team gets 1 of the best 9th inning men in the world, your going to win a lot of ballgames. Charlotte probably won this deal providing Salas doesn't fix his control issues. If he does then Helena wins this deal as Salas would be a younger, harder, faster Parrish.
The herds fire sale continues as Terry Cora got shipped out of town and found a new home with Cheyenne. Cheyenne needed some cap relief help and Helena has a lot of extra cap room so this was a perfect match. The Herd got a top 5 pitching prospect in Steve Clayton. They also received pitchers Del Hillanbrand and Yonder Siquerios. The Herd had some dead arms and needed any type of ML caliber pitching and got 2 decent arms out of the deal. The meat and potatoes of the deal though was Cora for Clayton. Cora, at 32 is probably seen his best days behind him but is far more then capable of helping a winning team take them over the top to the promise land. hes got a career ERA under 3 and hes never made an all star game. Clayton doesn't have a top notch repertoire of pitches but he does have a couple of above average pitches. If your a lefty hitter, u might as well call in sick for the day. lefties don't want to even take batting practice against this kid. This is a win win situation as Helena is heading in one direction and Cheyenne is heading completely in the opposite direction.
With the fire sale going on in Helena, the heroes wanted to get in on the fun and boy did they ever. The Heroes got power hitting 3B Bennie Nixon. Nixon was ecstatic upon hearing he was dealt to Huntington. a quote from Nixon himself "After taking me to arbitration 3 times, I'd prefer to play for a franchise that treats its players better. Free-agency, here I come!" He didn't even want to give the new regime a shot. The heroes gave up a future every day LF in Hoss Parmelee and work horse SP Diego Castilla. This deal is in huge favor of the heroes if they can resign Nixon long term. If Nixon doesn't resign then it wasn't a good deal to get rid of two prospects for a 1yr rental.
With Cincinnati CEO's making a quote "If you see anyone on ML team you would be interested in, let me know by trade chat. No offer is too crazy." The herd took advantage of the situation before any other team swooped in and dealt pitching prospect Javy Diaz and SS prospect Peter gates. Diaz probably has the best sinker of any pitcher right now. He is a ground ball machine with average projections pretty much all across the board. hes probably good enough to be a number 4 or 5 starter. Gates has some raw talent to develop. Hes gold glove material at 2B or 3B. hes under par for a SS glove. he can get to most any ball, the range is their. Hes an above average hitter with good pop who can get 20-25hrs. probably a 100+ strikeout guy a yr. The Herd helped their ML roster out and possibly solidified a LF for future yrs in to come. Domingo Pena is a young talent. Hes 26yrs old and He has 4yrs of ML playing time. Pena is capable of hitting 30+ hrs with above average power and contact. With an exceptional eye, he will not strikeout much. He is also capable of playing 162gms a season. I think the Herd win this deal by getting a player like Pena and not giving up any of the top prospects they acquired in their other deals. the Heroes win this one by a lot.
The Fish Tacos worked out a deal with division foe, Helena herd. San Fran acquired one of the few worthy ML pieces left on the Herd roster by getting SP Matty Wallace. Wallace is worthy enough to be a number 2 or a number 3 at worst. Really good control and can get you 180+ innings pitched. His repertoire consists of a really good split fastball. His slider and sinker are average at best. The Herd is continuing to acquire young talent by getting relief pitcher Andy Oliver and young stud LF, Jeanmar Gallardo. Oliver seems to be ready to be on a ML ball club this season or at worst next season. Hes got really good control and has top notch velocity and fastball. Gallardo is 19 and his contact, power and eye are off the charts. If Gallardo fills into his projections then the Herd have a gem of a player and that is a big if. I would call this a wait to be seen outcome on who wins this deal. I think he hits his projections so the Herd win this deal.
The Athletics decided to get a jump on making a push for the playoffs by trading 3 prospects, pitcher Vernon Meyers, defensive catching wizard, Mark Tracy, and RF Felipe Tejara to the Richmond Stars and Bars for R.A. Taylor. Taylor has a dead arm this yr and he needed to be moved. When hes healthy and ready to go, Philly is going to be real tough down the stretch. Meyers will be a number 1 or a real legit number 2. Hes got all the potential in the world. He will lead the league in innings pitched year in and year out. His real only flaw and its not a big deal but he will have a little bit of trouble against lefties. Mark Tracy couldn't hit himself out of a wet paper bag but he sure knows how to call a game better then most catchers now and hes 21. A team that emphasizes defense, you wont find better behind the dish. Tejara will be an exceptional defensive player at lesser important positions. hes more of a utility guy. He has good contact with not much power but he really swings a lot, but when he does make contact, the little he will, it will be positive. hes capable of swiping any base at any time. When Taylor gets his health back to his norm, he will be once again, a top notch pitcher in this world and its hard to find top end of the rotation guys to shut down teams and Taylor is just that. They win this one for sure.
Ask and you shall receive, that's what the Cherokees did, they needed a utility guy that can play some defense and give some depth off the bench acquired SS Rich Ludwick from the Las Vegas Gamblers. Ludwick is a slick defensive SS. he wont make the spectacular plays that will get you on the evening highlight reels but he is consistently good and will make the plays he needs to make. The gamblers in return got a right handed power hitting specialist in RF J.D. Howard. When Howard isn't bashing 550ft homeruns he will be striking out a lot as he doesn't have the best tools to make contact. Howard is basically a one trick pony who can hit the ball a ton. Ludwick wont hit like Howard with the power but Ludwick is more valuable to a team then Howard so the edge in this deal clearly goes to Cheyenne.
The Herd has been busy since the new regime took over and their still cleaning house. For the 2nd time this season Yonder Siqueiros has been shipped out of town, this time to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Seems like hes good enough to get but not good enough to stay. Arizona sent younger and cheaper SP Aurelio Castro. The Dbacks were looking to bolster their rotation with a playoff push run. The Herd, as its been their staple since the new regime took over has been getting younger and they succeeded. This deal is a tie as it seemed like Castro needed a change of scenery and Siqueiros wasn't in the long term plan of the Herd franchise.
The Cleveland Criminals solidified their lineup with making a last minute deadline deal with the Herd. The criminals acquired 1B Rex Abbott and power hitting RF R.J. Overbeck. R.J. Overbeck has been the only real threat in the Herds lineup and the Criminals paid a hefty price to get him away from Helena. The Herd got catcher Freddie Goodwin and SP prospect J.D. Veres. Goodwin is a pitch calling specialist and has a great arm from behind the plate. Veres is a future number one or two top of the rotation arm. His curve ball, when he fully develops could possibly be the best in the biz hands down. He can easily log 220 plus innings pitched. He is a workhorse. The sad reality for the city of Helena is setting in. Once they dealt fan favorite, and the only offensive weapon in Overbeck it looks like its time for a relocation next season and probably wont see Helena anymore. I actually like this deal in favor of the Criminals as they are doing what they can to make that playoff run and this sure helps their lineup today. This deal goes to Cleveland.
An after deadline deal between the Royals of Rochester and Syracuse had a few experts scratching their head on this one. Rochester sent setup guys Odalis Espinoza and Luis Suarez to the Orange Iguanas in return for DH and emergency catcher George Bonham. Bonham has the contact and batting eye of the best of the best in the world. He is not anything great defensively and you would expect a little more power from a DH but hes more then respectable hitter. Any team would love to have a professional hitter like Bonham. Syracuse must have needed some arm depth to make this deal. The Royals clearly win this deal. Syracuse dealt a young talented DH for two run of the mill arms that they probably could have just went to the waiver wire or the free agents out their and could have found two similar arms to the ones they got and didn't have to give up a DH like Bonham.
Sorry for the lengthiness, but there you go! From now on they will get out on time. Enjoy!
Written By: basebalguru