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AaRr Mortgages Future for 2006

On the anniversary of D-Day, the largest military offensive in history, the Roadrunners mount their own offensive towards the top of the standings. The Roadrunners trade stud $1 3B Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals) and Brewers SS J.J. Hardy to Goodfellas for Chipper Jones, Geoff Jenkins, and Chad Cordero.

Chipper plugs right into the lineup in Zimmerman’s place, and while he’s no bargain at $24, he will likely out-produce Zimmerman over the course of the season. He’ll provide a similar average (as Zimmerman’s projected .340 hasn’t really happened yet – he’s in the high .260’s) and more pop, in a better ballpark, in a better lineup. His health is (as always) questionable, and he’s already missed time this season. Zimmerman, on the other hand, has missed a few games this past week due to a stiff back.

Jenkins, a former Roadrunner on two different occasions, re-joins the squad after being traded for Aaron Heilman a year ago. The Roadrunners were running out a combination of Damian Jackson, Cody Ross, Jeff DaVanon and Joe Borchard for two OF spots, so the addition of Jenkins helps solidify the OF, along with Moises Alou coming off the DL today.

Addressing the other big issue is Chad Cordero. Cordero, whose WBRL contract will expire following the season, plugs into the bullpen and brings a second legitimate closer to the (still) slow-starting Armando Benitez. Bannished will be Danys Baez, who really hasn’t done much at all except suck. Baez still has the label of “closer”, though, so we’ll hang onto him in case a trade comes through.

The Roadrunners will miss J.J. Hardy, but not as much as expected. He has been out for the past three weeks with a sprained ankle, and rumors are that he’ll platoon with Bill Hall at SS upon his return. A good protection from last season, Hardy was originally acquired as a pickup after The Pi Train cut him after his dislocated shoulder in 2004. The Roadrunners still have Jose Reyes and Khalil Greene at SS, along with uber-prospect Stephen Drew at the position, along with utility guys Rich Aurilia and Damian Jackson available, so Shortstop is set for the time being.

In order to make room on the roster, Jason Vargas was released, as he wasn’t pitching well in AAA Albuquerque for the Marlins, and Taylor Buchholz was let go following another disasterous outing. Kip Wells was snagged as a free agent, and he may prove to be useful later on. Buchholz was also facing the return of Roger Clemens, so he might have been headed to AAA as well.