Nationals start dealing
Well, if you haven't heard already, the Nationals dealt Tomo Ohka to the Brewers for Junior Spivey. They then picked up Ryan Drese off waivers.
All in all, I am pretty ambivalent about this. Ohka seems a bit too valuable to me to give up for Spivey--I would have much rather traded Armas I think.
Here is what will make or break this trade being good or bad for me. Spivey needs to play short (certainly against lefties, but I think all the time). If we just traded away a guy with a 3.33 ERA and a .684 OPS against for a backup second baseman just because Frank isn't thrilled with him, I will not be happy.
In the last 4 seasons, Ohka has only had an ERA above 3.40 once (4.16 in 2003). On the negative side, his career OPS against isn't all that great, he doesn't strike many people out, and he has had bunches of control problems lately and takes a lot of pitches to get people out making it so that he is averaging under 6 innings per start.
However, Spivey isn't having a very good season for himself at all, albeit way better than Cristian Guzman's. In fact, Spivey's season is very Jamey Carroll like with a bunch more power. No doubt Spivey would be an upgrade at second, but with Vidro back (crossing fingers) in a month, we need a Guzman upgrade way more. I would even be happy if they wanted to give Brendan Harris a try at second with Spivey at short.
Ryan Drese was a bit of a surprise move, especially since the big criticism of Ohka is that he has more walks than strikeouts. So does Drese (24 vs. 20). And he has been just CRUSHED this year, giving up a hit and a half per inning for a 6.46 ERA and a .858 OPS against. And to me, anyone that gets released by the Rangers...well, that is saying a lot. SuperNova made some good points in a quick chat with me just now and he points out that Drese's historic strikeout rate is twice as high as his 2005 rate and his BABIP is .345, so he has been very unlucky. I'm just wondering whether maybe the Rangers saw more than bad luck, and whether we are about to find out.
Personally, the thing I am really excited about is that Sunny Kim is getting a start tonight. And it is my personal belief (probably shared by very few) that Sunny Kim has some really solid stuff and I hope he shows it tonight.
In sum then, if Kim pitches well and Drese can duke it out with Armas. And if they actually use Spivey at short and not just to play some innings at second until Vidro gets back, this could be a solid trade. If, however, Spivey is merely a backup 2B for us, that will be very disappointing, because while Tomo may have never been a star, you can't argue that he was at least average to pretty solid for a #4 pitcher. As I stated above, I would have rather traded Armas, who also doesn't give you more than 6 innings a start, who strikes out even FEWER batters, and whose ERA is 50% higher and OPS against is 100 points higher. I have no idea if Bowden tried this and got rejected, but I at least hope he gave it an effort before giving up Ohka.