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Transaction Analysis

The Atomic Roadrunners made two trades this week in hopes of advancing in the standings, or at worst case, hanging on to 4th position. 

In the first trade, AaRr acquired Jason Bay, Roy Oswalt, and Mike Jacobs.  Stanimals received Adrian Gonzalez, Tom Gorzelanny, and Ryan Langerhans.  Since the trade was 1B-OF-P for both, we can do a simple comparison.

First basemen first.  Adrian Gonzalez has exploded onto the scene, finally showing the talent with the bat (in a pitchers’ park, no less) that made him the No. 1 overall pick by the Marlins in the 2000 draft.  Always a whiz with the glove, Gonzalez was shrewdly drafted by the Roadrunners in the 2006 draft as a draft-and-follow, as he was blocked by Klesko, and the Roadrunners had both Prince Fielder and Ryan Zimmerman to promote to the starting positions.  Initially Prince Fielder was under discussion by Stanimals, but apparently Gonzalez’s lower salary won out.  Jacobs isn’t the bargain that Gonzalez is, but he’s a solid $16 young first basemen, who bats about 20 points lower than Gonzalez, with a little less power thus far (though Jacobs is projected for more than he’s displaying this season).  While the players are comparable in age and performance, Gonzalez gets the nod. ADVANTAGE: Stanimals

In the pitching department, Tom Gorzelanny was a 7th-round minor league selection, and had received his call-up with the demotion of the Pirates Oliver Perez.  Gorzelanny put in two excellent outings, three decent ones, and also four mediocre ones – basically your average talented pitching prospect – inconsistent.  Oswalt, however, is an ace, and has the ace price tag of $32.  A likely protection, the Roadrunners look set for 2007 in the starting pitching department, and Oswalt makes a nice combination with Brandon Webb.  The goal here was to make a talented and inconsistent young starter – free talent, essentially – with an elite starter that can assist in the long run as well as the short term.  ADVANTAGE: Roadrunners

Lastly we have the outfield battle – seven weeks of Jason Bay – he’s a WBRL free agent in the offseason, for the throw-in of Braves 4th outfielder Ryan Langerhans.  I was discussing with Derek Levesque last night that the world is full of two types of people – those that think Langerhans is still good and is a “prospect” with a starting job, and the other group has actually looked at the stats and realized that Langerhans is batting under .250 with inconsistent power and is in a three-way platoon with Matt Diaz and Scott Thorman.  Levesque is obviously one of the latter group, as he released him in early July.  The Roadrunners picked him up on a flyer to see if he could turn it around – more free talent – and basically found a member of the first group to trade him to.  For Jason Bay.  ADVANTAGE: Roadrunners

Overall – While the Roadrunners lose upper echelon protection Adrian Gonzalez, and Tom Gorzelanny was likely to be protected as well, Jacobs is a solid protection, and Oswalt is another No. 1 starter for now and one more year.  More salary, more impact. Let’s hope.

The second trade was with Maxell 10-Pack.  AaRr sent pitcher Aaron Cook and super-utility guy Rich Aurilia to the 10-Pack in exchange for Reds starter Aaron Harang and a 2007 7th-round minor league draft pick.  While Cook has been solid, he strikes out very few batters, which is fine, except when you’re trying to gain strikeout points.  Which is where Harang comes in.  Currently a 12-game winner on a wild-card contender, Harang will likely have more impact than Cook.

Losing Aurilia is a challenge, and not because he’s $1.  Aurilia is a free agent after the season, but he’s a very versatile player – filling in at 3B, 2B, and 1B during the season, and he’s been stellar.  The Roadrunners didn’t really want to give him up, but with the recent promotions of Stephen Drew and Carlos Quentin, perhaps the team can withstand the loss of his bat.

To balance the 2-for-1 Harang deal, the Roadrunners picked up Rockies free agent OF Ryan Spilborghs, who is supposed to receive an extended trial in center field for the remainder of the season.  If he shows anything, he could be worth $5 as a starter in Coors next season.

It ought to be an exciting finish!