It’s not secret that baseball GM’s have preferred business partners, and if we were to look at White Sox GM Kenny Williams’ track record, we could almost bet on the kind of trades he’d make.The past three years, for instance, he’s traded a starting pitcher (Garcia), a number of relievers (Gio Gonzalez, among others), a center fielder (Rowand), and a second baseman (Iguchi) to the Phillies in four different occasions.
Then there’s the knack for picking up former Yankee starters (Contreras, Hernandez, Vazquez, Wells).
One team Williams has negotiated with in the past, the Angels, just became another notch in his trade gun belt.
Williams sent Jon Garland to the Angels for short stop Orlando Cabrera and some cash.
By trading Garland to the Angels, Williams finally rid his team of one of its most dependable and consistent starters in the past three seasons to the team that really wanted him. As some of you may know, a Garland-to-Angels deal was in place in 2002 for a then all-star, Darin Erstad.
Of course, Erstad was picked up the ChiSox last year when the Angels wouldn’t find a spot for him.
But really, the crux of this trade is the cash the Angels are sending along with the original OC, Orlando Cabrera.
The White Sox have an opening at center, and there have been rumblings that Williams wants to pry Hunter off the Twinkies’ baggies in the Metrodome. (Williams does have a history of acquiring players once belonging to division rivals – See Colon, Bartolo). Here’s hoping we sign someone other than Hunter. Bringing back Rowand would be nice, but I feel he’d ask for too much money.Of course, there’s Andrwu Jones…hmm, then again, let’s just move on.
In reality, this deal was a must for Williams. The Tigers have already pulled two big trades with nary a month since the last out of the World Series.
Is Cabrera an upgrade over Uribe at short? Yes. Did the White Sox just sign Uribe to a $4.5 mil one-year-contract? Yes. Will Uribe continue to underachieve now that he’s bound for the utility role no veteran covets? Most Def.
Cabrera, however, is in the final year of his contract, which means the Sox might be simply be renting him for 2008. Which could also mean he’ll have a career year.
And then, what’s in it for the Angels?
After emaling back and forth, two UmpBump staffers said it best:
Coley Ward: I’m guessing Garland’s addition will allow the Angels to part with Colon and Ervin Santana.
Their staff would then look like this: Jered Weaver, Garland, Lackey, Escobar and Saunders. Nasty, nasty nasty.
But who will play SS? Chone? I bet they sign Eckstein.
Paul Moro: Not sure if I’d call Joe Saunders “nasty”. He’s pretty damned hittable. But Garland should have an easier time away from The Cell and away from the AL Central.
And while I can’t underestimate the knack for MLB scouts/GMs to overestimate Eckstein, I’d like to think that people realize the guy’s a pretty bad SS. Granted, 2007 was his worst defensive year, but at his age I don’t see it improving much year-to-year. He has the arm of a first baseman for god’s sake. To me, he’s a utility middle-infielder.
Maybe they’ll put Chone there, but he’d be terrible. Maybe they still see Brandon Wood as a SS?
Coley Ward: Paul, I agree that Saunders isn’t “nasty”. But he’s got pretty good numbers for a number five starter. And Weaver, Lackey, Garland, Escobar is a really good top four.
Like most of the blogosphere, I think Eckstein is wildly overrated. And I think the fact that he’s chasing a four year $36 million is hilarious. But I also think he’s the kind of player MIke Socia loves and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up in Anaheim.