Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chase Wright Trade, the Bench, the Dodgers, More UConn Basketball

Alright first, I'll touch on the minor trade the Yankees made. They dealt the DFA'd Chase Wright to the Brew Crew for Minor Leaguer Eric Fryer. Fryer raked in the low A South Atlantic League, which is great...but he was old for the league so we'll see how he does moving up a level. I'd assume they're gonna start him for the "regular" A Tampa Yankees as a jump from the Sally League to the Eastern League may be too dramatic.

Fryer doesn't seem to be anything special but getting him for Wright--who is probably the better end of the deal--is better than getting nothing at all, which probably would've happened if Wright passed through waivers. I'll keep an eye on Fryer and Wright throughout the season, and I wish Chase the best of luck in Milwaukee.

The only thing left to look out for on the Yankee horizon is a bench infielder. River Avenue Blues raised the possibility of adding Mark Grudzielanek. I like this idea. Grudzielanek is a solid player who could probably start somewhere else. However, he said himself (via the RAB article) he wants to win, and the market has been D E A D silent on him. Adding him would mean taking someone off the 40 man roster--probably Dan Giese--which I would be fine with. The pitching depth is fine without Danny Boy and the bench is a more pressing issue now.

Next, there's the Dodgers and Manny. Manny rejected the team's one year, $25 million offer after rejecting a 2 year, $45 million dollar deal right after the season ended. At this point, no other market for Manny has surfaced. Brian Cashman, along with Jim Bowden and Omar Minaya, has said that his team will not be in the Manny sweepstakes. That leaves only the Dodgers and the Giants. Albert Pujols wants the Cards to make a play for him, but I doubt that happens.

Basically, there are two things the Dodgers can do: move on or make another offer. What would I do if I were Ned Coletti and company? I'd move on. There are other corner outfield options--Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu--and that money could also be used to bring in another player or two, such as Randy Wolff or maybe even Orlando Hudson, relegating Blake DeWitt to the bench.

By my calculations, Manny will be worth 2.61 Wins Above Replacement in 2009--his -15 defensive projection from CHONE really kills him. Adam Dunn projects to be worth 2 WAR and Orlando Hudson projects to be worth 3.09 WAR. Added together, Dunn and Hudson project to be worth 5.09 WAR, 2.48 more WAR than Manny alone. So, two heads seem to be better than one here, even if the one is one of the best hitters ever. There is also the price issue. Manny will cost anywhere from 20-25 million a year. Right now, the market is so low on Dunn and Hudson that the Dodgers could probably get them both for 10-20 million combined.

Onto UConn basketball. They're the number one team in the land. Woo! I know that doesn't mean much in early February, but UConn is really clicking. They have upcoming tests against Michigan and Syracuse, and the latter will be very tough. Regardless, the Huskies are looking absolutely fantastic and look poised to make a long run.

Sorry for the lack of posts. The semester's just started so I'm still getting into the academic swing of things and as we all know, baseball news is in an incredible lull. Hopefully more will come when Spring Training starts. Anyway, have a good one guys.


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