Well, the first mega-deal of the trade deadline week finally came down today, as Carlos Lee was delt to Texas along with minor leaguer Nelson Cruz for Kevin Mench, Laynce Nix, , and minor league hurler Julian Cordero (no relation to Francisco).
Maybe I just don’t know the full story or something, but this seems like a horrible deal for the Brewers. Despite what you think about Alfonso Soriano’s alleged greatness, Carlos Lee was probably the best outfielder out there on the market, projected by Baseball Prospectus to add about 11.9 runs over a replacement player down the stretch, whereas Soriano is projected to add only 8.8 runs. (As an aside, assuming that teams are replacing a slightly better than replacement level player with Lee or Soriano, and given that 10 runs only equals about one extra win in the standings, the whole point of trading for someone at the deadline is somewhat called into question).
Meanwhile, Laynce Nix and Kevin Mench have proven to be fourth outfielders, at best, and Francisco Cordero is a headcase who not only once assaulted a fan with a chair but also blew a Major League record 5 saves in a single month earlier this season.
But worst of all, the Brewer’s best option to replace Lee in left field next year was none other than Nelson Cruz, who was batting .302 with 22 doubles, 20 home runs, 73 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 104 games for the Brewers AAA afilliate in Nashville.
So the Brewers not only got crap in return for the best outfielder on the market, but they actually gave away his replacement to seal the deal.