Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Trade Talk: Yunel Escobar for Alex Gonzalez

So, I still don't have my computer, but should have it very soon at which I will resume posting tri-weekly. At this point I'm really just posting when I have free time and access to a computer.
Luckily I have both of those things right now, and an interesting trade happened today. Here is the basic run-down of the trade if you don't want to click on that link:

Braves Get:
Alex Gonzalez (SS)
Tim Collins (Double A LHRP)
Tyler Pastornicky (Single A SS/2B)

Blue Jays Get:
Yunel Escobar (SS)
Jo-Jo Reyes (RHRP)

Personally, I see this trade as a win for the Braves in many ways. The Braves off-loaded two players who they don't seem particularly keen on. Apparently the braves were not exactly thrilled with Escobar, and that extends to some of the players. Many of them viewed him as lackdaisical, and as an anonymous player said in the article I linked at the beginning of this post, "His behavior is easier to put up with when he's hitting .300". Escobar is batting below .240 right now. While it's fairly unlikely someone with Escobar's track record and talent will continue to play so poorly, the Braves clearly felt that his attitude was no longer tolerable.

Reyes on the other hand is a 25-year-old who doesn't seem like he will ever reach the vision that the Braves had for him, as being at the very least a set up reliever.

The Braves received Alex Gonzalez who is having a career year, although apparently aided by the park dimensions in Toronto, and has always been a very good defensive short stop with some decent pop. He's also got a good reputation in every club house he's ever been in, something that Escobar can't say he has.

The Braves also received two fairly solid prospects in Tim Collins and Pastornicky. Collins and Pastornicky are both in their early 20s (21 and 20 respectively), and Collins is already playing at Double A, and putting up fairly good numbers as a relief pitcher (2.51 ERA, 15.3 K/9). Something strange about Collins is the fact that he is only 5 ft 7 and 160 pounds but apparently sports a mid-90s fastball.
Pastornicky is progressing a little more slowly tgat Collins, but Collins has progressed exceptionally fast thanks to his K/9.

Pastornicky is in High-A Ball at this point, and is putting up a .258/.348/.376 line. That line is not super impressive or anything, but if he turns it on in the second half of the season it is likely that he ends up in AA by season's end. It's also important to note that he has 6 Home Runs in around 300 At-Bats, which may not sound like many, but many minor league prospects have zero power at the age of 20.

So, overall, I think the Braves come out on top in this trade. There is some chance that the trade and the comments about him light a fire under Escobar causing him to be more motivated, and maybe becomes a better player. The one thing that the Blue Jays DO get is a Shortstop who SHOULD hit well in the future, and will not be a free agent for three years.

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