Monday, July 13, 2009

Bad Trade Friday

Good morning Fackers. Monday mornings are never fun, especially after a brutal three game sweep. But look on the bright side. It could be worse; you could be a fan of the Mets or the Royals, both of whom made awful, awful trades on Friday.

Friday morning, we touched on some the troubles around the Royals. Things only got worse for them that afternoon, as they traded two minor league pitchers, including their third best prospect, to the Mariners for shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. Joe Posnanski already detailed how bad this trade is. Simply put, Betancourt is bad ballplayer. He's bad in the field at a premium defensive position, he's bad on the bases, and he's awful at the plate. His career high in OPS+ is 93, his career average is 84, and this year he's at a career low 63.

The Royals felt they needed a shortstop, because thus far they've sent out Mike Aviles (22 OPS+), Tony Pena Jr. (-35, that's minus 35), Willie Bloomquist (90, with a UZR/150 of -22.9) and Luis Hernandez (19). So, they went out and got Betancourt with his 63 OPS+ and and -18.0 UZR/150. Brilliant work Mr. Moore. This one has sparked headscratching and outrage from all corners of the Royals universe.

Meanwhile, Omar Minaya made a boneheaded move of his own. It's no secret that the Braves were dying to unload Jeff Francouer, who at long last lost his starting job. After an impressive debut in 2005, Frenchy has been on a downward spiral. His OPS+ since that rookie year: 87, 103, 72, 68. His walk rate is currently under 4%. He was demoted to AA last summer. He's an absolute mess.

So Minaya went and traded for him, sending Ryan Church to Atlanta. Church was also a rookie in 2005, posting OPS+ of 118, 131, 114 in his first three seasons, before concussion problems - that were mishandled by the Mets' medical team - dropped him to 106 in limited duty last year. This year, he's only at 88, which by they way is 20 points better than the guy the Mets got in exchange for him.

Of course, Jerry Manuel openly despised Church, so such a move was inevitable, even if Church was the Mets CFer with Carlos Beltran and Fernando Martinez on the DL. I just can't see this one working out well for the Mets. But, umm, at least Frenchy plays a lot of games.

Just for good measure, the Mets signed our old friend Angel Berroa to a minor league deal on Saturday. It was bang up weekend for Minaya.

As July 31st approaches, as we all cringe at another bad appearance from Joba Chamberlain or Andy Pettitte or Brian Bruney, as we salivate over the latest Roy Halladay rumor, pray that Brian Cashman doesn't make a trade like either of the two above.

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