Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trade Review - Ryan Howard for Nelson Cruz/Adam Wainwright/Roy Halladay

The final trade prior to the league's deadline, and the second of the day for the Macafeys, involves two teams heading for the consolation bracket during the playoffs. The Macafeys move Nelson Cruz, Adam Wainwright, and Roy Halladay to The Balls for Ryan Howard, as both teams look towards future keeper plans.


I think Tim gave up too much to get Ryan Howard. Howard is a beast who can hit 50 HR a year, but he's hit .262 since his MVP season in 2006, and he'll be 30 to start next season. When Howard was named MVP, he hit .313 with 58 HR, astounding numbers that I think will be an outlier for his career stats. Howard has power, but I don't like his chances to hit over .300 again. Tim did receive a talented player, as Howard will be his best first baseman and power hitter heading into the 2010 season, but I think he could have received a little better deal for the players he offered.

Those players include two of the best pitchers in the game, Adam Wainwright and Roy Halladay. Halladay is putting up one of the best strikeout rates of his career, and he continues to be one of the most dominant pitchers in the league. Halladay will be 33 to start next season, but there's no reason to assume that he will not continue to be an ace in the AL. With 200 less starts in his career than Halladay, Wainwright has less of a track record of success than the Cy Young winner, but the young pitcher has shown this year that he has the talent to be one of the top 10 pitchers in the MLB. It's a sign of his talent that his numbers have gotten better as the year has moved along. If Brubaker keeps both pitchers along with new White Sox ace Jake Peavy, he will have a collection of pitching talent that could top any other team in the league. Typically I don't like to keep pitchers, but if you can amass a group of talented aces it can be worth the risk to keep them.

The third player in the trade, Nelson Cruz, looks like he could be a rich man's Mike Cameron. I was down on the late-blooming OF at the beginning of the year, but he has put up some impressive numbers this year with 26 HR and 17 SB. Brubaker may have to drop someone he likes to make room for Cruz on his keeper list, but he could be getting a top-20 OF if Cruz can keep his batting average in the .270-.280 range.

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