Last week, Alejandro put his Spanish-speaking skills to use and translated an interview that Edgar Renteria did with a Colombian newspaper, where he suggested the Braves trade him. His wish has been granted.
The Braves today traded Renteria to the Detroit Tigers for a couple of prospects.
But what does it all mean?
We have answers to all of your Edgar Renteria trade questions.
Q: Who are these prospects?
A: According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Rookie right-hander Jair Jurrjens went 3-1 with a 4.70 ERA in seven starts for Detroit after being promoted from Class AA Erie, where he gained notice by going 3-0 with an 0.78 ERA in his final three starts, with 24 strikeouts and only one walk in 23 innings.”
Baseball Prospectus says Jurrjens had a 7.51 K/9 ratio, 1.27 WHIP and a 3/1 K/BB ratio in 19 starts at AA. Not bad.
Then there’s Center fielder Gorkys Hernandez, who the AJC says “just turned 20 in September and was named the MVP of the Class A Midwest League after batting .293 with 25 doubles, four homers and 54 stolen bases in 124 games. He was voted the league’s most exciting player and fastest baserunner by league managers.”
The Detroit Free Press describes Jurrjens and Hernandez as “two of the Tigers’ top four prospects”. That’s a steep price to pay for what might be a one year rental.
Q: Renteria sucked as a Red Sox. Will he suck again in the AL?
A: Renteria’s 2005 struggles had more to do with playing in Boston than they did with playing in the AL. After all, it wasn’t just his offense that dipped. Renteria made a career high 30 errors in 2005. The consensus is that he simply didn’t respond well to playing in the high pressure Boston market. Detroit is an AL team, but Tigers Stadium is not Fenway. Renteria should be fine.
Q: Renteria is pretty old. How much longer can he keep it up?
A: A legit question. But Renteria doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. And he’s only got one more year left on his contract. It’s a chance worth taking, I think.
Q: Who will replace Renteria at shortstop in Atlanta?
A: For the Braves, sending Renteria to Detroit means Yunel Escobar will finally get a shot to play everyday. The Braves are way high on Escobar. Of course, they were way high on Andy Marte, too. And he hasn’t exactly lit up the big leagues. But Escobar looked like the real thing playing in place of an injured Chipper Jones this summer. He’s earned his shot.
Q: Who got the best of this deal?
A: There’s little doubt that the Tigers got the best of this trade in the short term. It seems likely that Renteria will out perform both Jurrjens and Hernandez in 2008. We are, after all, talking about an above average defensive shortstop who very nearly won the batting title this season. Besides, it’s unlikely Hernandez will even play in the bigs next year.
Beyond 2008? That’s where it gets interesting.
Q: When will the Tigers run out of prospects to trade?
A: Last season, they traded not one, not two, but three pitching prospects to the Yankees for Gary Sheffield. The Yankees got right-handers Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett.
Here’s what ESPN had to say about Sanchez, Whelan and Claggett:
The 23-year-old Sanchez was a combined 10-6 with a 2.53 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 123 innings with Triple-A Toledo and Double-A Erie this year. He is a hard thrower and was mentioned in trade speculation last summer before hurting an elbow.
Whelan, 22, was 4-1 with a 2.67 ERA and 27 saves for Class A Lakeland. Claggett, 22, was 7-2 with an 0.91 ERA and 14 saves for Class A West Michigan.
Now the Tigers are giving up one more young arm for what may be a one year rental. When will the Tigers run out of young pitchers to trade?
Q: Does this mean the Red Sox are off the hook for Renteria’s salary?
A: According to ESPN, when Boston traded Renteria to Atlanta after the 2005 season, they agreed to “pay $8 million of the $26 million Renteria is owed for the next three seasons. In addition, the Red Sox must pay the $3 million buyout if his $11 million option for 2009 is declined.”
Sarah tells me the Sox paid $3 million to the Braves in 2007 to help with Renteria’s contract. And Boston was scheduled to pitch in some more money in 2008. But I don’t know if the Sox will now be sending money to Detroit, or if they’re done paying for Renteria. Anybody out there know something about this?