The Louisville Steamboats, always a team at the trading table, and Charleston River Dogs agree to the first deal of S2 in Billy Beane. Charleston receives 20 year old pitcher Tomas Ozuna in exchange for 23 year old C Norman Jodie. Jodie will begin his Steamboats career in Double-A to work on his arm strength and accuracy. Last year he knocked out 31 HR and 129 RBI while hitting for an avg. of .338 in Low A. Ozuna will begin his work at the High A level for the River Dogs and has nice projections for splits and pitches. He started in 35 games for the Steamboats in Low A last season, finishing with a 2 – 4 record in 106.2 innings with a 2.78 era.
Owner hurricane384 spent a few minutes away from the trading tables to talk to us about the deal: “Norman Jodie gives me a big bat who can put up good numbers behind the plate without being too big of a liability to his pitchers and will catch in 150+ games with his durability. Ozuna is going to be a good pitcher, but would likely top out as a long reliever and a catcher who can give me 150+ games a season is more valuable.”
The Steamboats keep their reputation as a team that likes to trade as owner hurricane384 was overheard this off season as saying, “Of course, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I didn't trade.” This time they shook hands with owner bonk36 and the Rochester Redbirds that sent 30 year old C Carter Burks to Rochester in exchange for 22 year old P David Sanchez. Burks is in the final season of his $3.8M contract and will be paired up with 24 year old C Stan Stephens. Burks caught 960.2 innings in 115 games last year for Louisville where he was solid behind the plate and in the batter’s box. He hit 22 HR with 86 RBI with an avg. of .304. Sanchez will start out in Double-A where he’ll look to develop a little more against vR otherwise he’s real close to his projected numbers. He found himself starting 30 games for the Redbirds High A team last season, logging in 151.0 innings with a record of 13-6 and an era of 4.71.
Owner hurricane384’s thoughts on the trade: “Carter Burks is a good catcher, but when I got offered Sanchez out of the blue, it was a no doubter. Sanchez has the qualities to be a #2 for years to come in this organization.”
Owner bonk36 on the trade: “While giving up a very good prospect, our team wants to contend this year and by bringing in a veteran C with good offensive upside we felt the need to make this move.”
Louisville kept their seat at the trading tables and across from them the Ottawa Outlaws took a seat. 30 year old 3B Jimmy Chapman was dealt to Louisville for 22 year old LF Sammy Stuart. Stuart looks to defensively project into a CF/2B type player for the Outlaws with tremendous speed as he finds himself in Double-A ball. In 130 games at High A he hit for an avg. of .259 and swiped 63 bases. Chapman is in the final year of his $4.0M contract and will be able to play different positions for Louisville this season.
Owner hurricane384 on why he made the move: “Sammy Stuart was blocked in the organization by a really good CF'er and he really didn't fit in with the overall power philosophy of the organization. Chapman gives me a stopgap until my rookies roll in next season. He can play 2nd, 3rd or either corner outfield slot and gives me the flexibility needed to compete this season without disrupting the plan.”
Owner mlhutch: “The Louisville trade was a pure salary dump. Chapman was a real black hole at 3B last year. I was especially disappointed in his terrible defensive numbers. The .946 fielding % and 12 negative plays could not be tolerated another season. Also, I needed the extra money to make sure I could sign all of my arb guys. The prospect I got may be a 25th man bench player to pinch run and play solid 2B defense.”
While hard to believe, trades don’t just go through Louisville and the Columbus Aeros and Pittsburgh Crawfords proved that as they inked a deal together. Columbus lands 30 year old LF Jerry Fisher by giving up 30 year old P Hooks Danks, 32 year old P Howard Lyon, and 35 year old P Roberto Soto. Both Danks and Lyon have 2 seasons left on their $5.2M contracts and will be in the rotation for the Crawfords while Soto takes his 2 yr. $3.4M contract to AAA. Last season Soto pitched 62.2 innings in AAA with a 4.16 era. Danks started in 29 games at the majors, pitching 170.1 innings and going 11-8 with a 4.86 era while Lyon started in 27 games, pitching 165.1 innings and going 10-9 with a 3.54 era. Fischer is in the last year of an $8.0M contract which he earned last season by hitting out 34 HR and 129 RBI in 156 games.
Owner jeanpaul22 on the trade: “Since I joined the Pittsburgh Crawfords last season, my main goal is to reinforce the rotation. Danks and Lyon become our SP2 and SP3 on our rotation, they're both solid, maybe not aces but solid SPs. For Fisher, I new he wouldn't sign with us after this season.”
Owner anml34 on why he made the trade: “After struggling on offense last year we wanted to add a big bat to protect Tommy. With Fisher we found that bat we were looking for while freeing up some payroll to add some depth to our bench in free agency. Unless something unexpected occurs this will be the team we are going to run with this year.”
Last year’s world series champs, the Ottawa Outlaws, met up with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and worked out a deal that will send 23 year old 1B George Borbon to Colorado in exchange for 30 year old 3B Eric Castillo. Borbon starts out his Sky Sox career at AAA. Last season he found himself in 144 games at AA, hitting 26 HR and 156 RBI with a .338 avg. Castillo still has 2 seasons left on his major league contract where he’s reported to make $5.8M/yr. He was traded last season only 11 games in and ended hitting for a .263 avg. with 16 HR and 69 RBI.
Owner joekendall on his side of the trade: “We had other catchers as options so we swung a deal.”
Owner mlhutch on why he made the deal: “The Colorado Springs trade was a reaction to moving Chapman. I really wanted a defensively solid 3B with a decent bat and Castillo fits both of those requirements. I liked Borbon but with reigning MVP Morgan Johnson firmly ensconced at 1B for the foreseeable future, he was expendable. Hopefully, a win-win for us both.”
After a short break, Louisville jumped back into the trading game, partnering up with the same team they made their first deal with. The Charleston River Dogs will get 27 year old SS Roger LeCroy in exchange for 22 year old P Mitch Adkinsson and 23 year old 2B Burt Wendell. Wendell gets shipped to Double-A after spending last season at AAA, hitting for a .234 avg. in 126 games. Adkinsson will join him in Double-A getting called out of the bullpen where last year in AA he found himself in 49 games, logging 73.0 innings of work to earn a 2-5 record and a 3.21 era. LeCroy was an arb eligible player this season and bumped his contract to $3.1M this season before being traded. He’s no stranger to changing teams as he was picked off waivers last season, getting in 2 games with New Orleans before playing the other 109 in Louisville. He managed a .236 batting avg. although he’s more of a defensive type player.
Owner hurricane384 on the deal: “I hated helping out a divisional foe for the immediate season, but LeCroy wasn't going to play much this season and I got a pitcher who gives me flexibility in the future and a 2B/PR who, with a little help, can possibly contribute in the future.”