Monday, November 19, 2007

Did not see that coming

Orlando Cabrera, The wizard of OC, gold glove winner, tablesetter for Vlad, the man they wanted to replace the great Eckstein. Now gone, traded for Jon Garland.

Trading OC looks like a good move. Maicer Izturis can step in and play short, and his CHONE projection (282/353/390) is a bit better than OC's (277/331/384). Last year my projection for him (287/341/411) was a bit more optimistic than most, and he lived up to it, but now I think his best days are past. Maicer is 27, Orlando is 33. Maicer is probably not the longterm solution and that is OK, as Brandon Wood and Sean Rodriguez are behind him. As a defender Orlando is very good but I'm not convinced he was the best shortstop in the league. He won the gold glove with fielding percentage, his range is average and likely to get worse.

Tony Reagins traded a player likely to decline, at the top of his value, and eliminated any talk of the type of extension that has given us unproductive aging former stars in the past. Orlando was a fine Angel for his three years here, and I'll miss him, but shortstop is a position this organization has a surplus in.

Now what did he get? Jon Garland is not a carnivore. Nor is he a herbivore, or even an omnivore. He subsists on a diet of innings, consuming them in large quantity. He's not going to contend for a Cy Young, but should give us 200 innings of about league average pitching. That is , unless his low strikeout rate means he's going to go Weaver the elder on us. Getting Garland allows us to trade one of our young pitchers for a Miguel (Tejada or Cabrera), or put Santana in the bullpen, where he could be dominant, or just have a 6th starter handy when someone gets hurt.

Garland's projected ERA is 4.39 in our park, making him the 5th best starter on our staff and somewhere between Santana and Saunders.


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