The Diamondbacks were 25th in the majors in team ERA. Oakland was 21st in the majors in team SLG. The two teams might be able to help each other.
Arizona used 25 pitchers for their 12 pitching spots. Of the 25, only 7 pitchers had an ERA under 4.50 and only 2 of their starters had an ERA under 4.50. 14 pitchers had a WHIP of over 1.50 Their fifth starter (by committee) had a combined win - loss record of 6-14 covering 30 starts. AZ is faced with free agency of four of the 25 including, unfortunately for them two of their "best", starter Shawn Estes (7-8 4.80 ERA) and RHR Tim Worrell (1-1 2.27 ERA). Their number two starter, Vasquez (11-15 4.42 ERA) can force a trade, a right he gained last winter when he was dealt in the middle of a multi-year contract. THIS TEAM NEEDS PITCHING.
On the offensive side, Arizona just extended 1B Tony Clark for two years with a no trade clause for the first 1 ½ years.
Crowded Outfield: Louis Gonzalez, Chad Tracy, Shawn Green Scott Hairston, Connor Jackson, Carlos Quentin.
Trading Gonzalez and his $10 million dollar salary would be difficult at best, and Shawn Green has a no trade clause. Quentin (.301/.400/.520/920) has done all he can do in AAA and is expected to start in 2006.
Hairston might be moved to 2B (his natural position) moving slick fielding Counsell from second to SS, after the departure of Royce Clayton via free agency. However, Hairston is coming off of a shoulder injury is a question mark for the season. If AZ plays Gonzalez in LF, Quentin in CF, Green in RF, and with no DH and with 1B played by Clark, it blocks Tracy, and Connor.
Now naturally having Tracy (3B/1B/LF/RF) and Connor on the bench would please any team. However, Tracy (.308/.359/.553/.911) is much more than a bench player and Connor (.354/.467/.553/1020) is just not a versatile enough to be a bench player. In fact his play at 1B is suspect. He seems to be destined for a DH roll. Unfortunately for AZ, the NL does not use the DH.
Ok here is the proposal. First - Joe Kennedy: 26 year old Left hander. (4.45 ERA w/A's 3.66 ERA 2004 in COL)Kennedy will have a salary of $3 million plus via his last yr of arbitration, far too much for a relief pitcher, and that is all he would be for Oakland. Kennedy is really a starter. In fact he was Colorado's opening day starter just last year. AZ is losing their LSP (Estes) to free agency. Second - Juan Cruz: 24 year old Right handed pitcher. His arbitration figure would be close to a million, which is a lot of money for pitching in AAA for the A's who don't have room for him, while AZ would find him an improvement over most of their starting pitchers. Third - Justin Duchscherer: he is an All Star with a 2.21 ERA who can start, go long relief, and close. Finally - Kieth Ginter. Oakland got Ginter as insurance if injuried Mark Ellis could not make it back. The attraction to Ginter was his pop. (23 doubles, 19 HR for a .479 SLG 2004) Ellis not only made it back but played like an MVP. Therefore Ginter was not used. The A's would include $4.0 Million in cash to offset the salary difference.
Arizona gets a Left handed starting pitcher in Kennedy, a potential Right handed starter in Cruz, and an inning eating pitcher that can start, go long relief, or close, a second baseman with power, during an off season free agency market which is void of power at the 2B position, and Cash.
Oakland gets two potential bats in Chad Tracy and Conor Jackson.
Is this a balanced trade that would this deal help both teams?