Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Andy hit on an important point in his last post: depth. Specifically, our lack of depth in certain areas and how finding the right trading partner can fix that. Specifically, the Phillies and the Angels. The Phillies have the following players for 2B and SS: Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, and Chase Utley. They have the following OF's: Kenny Lofton, Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, Marlon Byrd, Jason Michaels. Now, there's nothing wrong with having depth, but any of those players would be significantly more valuable to other teams (such as the Astros) than they would be to the Phillies. So...what do they need? Probably starting pitching or bullpen help. Maybe they still like Duckworth. Maybe they need prospects. I don't know. But doing some trade like Tim Redding for Marlon Byrd would really help both teams, I think.

Now for the Angels. They have the following guys signed for OF, 1B, and DH: Vladi, Garret Anderson, Erstad, Steve Finley, Casey Kotchmann, Juan Rivera, Jeff DaVanon. Vladi and Anderson and Finley are probably locks in the OF, and Erstad (ugh) at 1B. That leaves Kotchmann, a damn good 1B prospect, Juan Rivera (a young athletic OF) and Jeff DaVanon, who goes crazy every year in a backup role, as expendable parts. What do they need? Heck, I don't know. The point is, you need to take advantage of teams that have depth where you do not.

A good question at this point would be: where do the Astros have depth to trade from? Our minor league prospects are ok: Chris Burke is probably untradeable, we have some good AA arms in Astacio and D.J. Houlton, Brooks Conrad would make a fine backup infielder, Luke Scott, Willy Taveras....where our real depth lies, I think, is in that 5th starter role. You might remember how I listed all the possibilites, and did that weird percentage thing to show one of them will probably break out. Well, that's true, but it might be more worth our while to trade one (or two) of them to fill in some holes. Every year a team's bench ends up being very important (injuries, late-inning PH at-bats, trade bait), so we gotta stock up. Brandon Duckworth and Brooks Conrad for Chase Utley and Tim Redding for Jeff DaVanon. DO IT.

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