Monday, July 31, 2006

Rangers get Stairs, Kip. Rockies Find a Home For Shealy

A couple of good vulture-like moves by the Rangers. Texas picks up a hitter who is average as the lefty side of a DH platoon, something they probably needed; I don't feel that Jason Botts is as good as advertised. Most of the other AL contenders either already had a good DH or need the spot for convalescing outfielders, so once the M's picked up Broussard there wasn't much the Royals were going to get for Stairs. Joselo Diaz, the Royals' return on the deal, probably won't amount to anything, but Stairs, though cheap, isn't bringing much to the table for a team with no shot at contending.

Jesse Chavez, whom the Rangers dealt for Wells, is a mildly endearing middle relief prospect, so I kind of like the deal from Pittsburgh's side. But Wells clearly represents more value to the Rangers, even if he's only marginally better than the alternatives on hand.

The Royals did pretty well in picking up Shealy, I think, and the Rockies may have been over-motivated sellers. Affeldt is kind of an upgrade over Dohmann, and the Rockies have more use for Bautista as a long-term project than they think do for Shealy. Colorado may have gotten better value from simply using Shealy as their starter at first against LHP, which would add several runs per year. Shealy isn't really good enough that he makes sense as a major league regular, so the idea of trying to move him to somewhere where he would start probably trumped consideration of how to extract the most value for him. That being said, I don't think the Rockies really think sitting Helton against southpaws is necessary (it isn't), and if such a move is unnecessary and might alienate the star, I at least understand the reluctance to give it serious consideration.

Shealy probably has as much of a shot at breaking out as Bautista does, and given that he adds consistent value as a reasonable starter for a few years, it's pretty clear that his edge over Bautista for KC outweighs the marginal difference between the relievers.


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