WARNING: This post is remarkably long, and was something I wrote mostly for the purpose of my own curiosity.
Recently, mfan2010 posted a link (go to January 4 post) onto a comment thread which showed every trade, free agent signing, and first- and second-round draft pick made by Josh Byrnes in his time as General Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a job he started in 2006. So, for all of the questioning about whether or not Byrnes' trades have proven to be, especially as questions swirl about his moves this off-season, I decided to delve in deeper. I looked at each of the trades and evaluated how they've all turned out for us after the fact. It's important to know that this isn't an end-all assessment of Byrnes' decision-making as General Manager, but just a quick review of how his moves have happened to work out for us.
Reference of Grades:
- An "A" trade is one in which multiple of the following events occur as a result of the trade: The Diamondbacks receive player/s who outperform their expectations / The Diamondbacks give up players who fail to perform according to their expectations / The Diamondbacks' budget is handled appropriately within the trade / The players acquired by the Diamondbacks contribute significantly while on the roster during a successful season.
- A "B" trade is one in which perhaps just one of the events listed above occurs as a result of the trade, or multiple occur, but each to a lesser extent than in "A" trades.
- A "C" trade is one in which the main purpose of the trade is accomplished, but without exceeding expectations, or in which the overall success of the team is unaffected.
- A "D" trade is one in which the main purpose of the trade is not met, the players received fail to meet expectations, the players traded away outperform expectations, the team's budget is mishandled, and/or the overall success of the team is less than expected as a result of the trade.
- An "F" trade is, well, a disaster...
December 7 - Diamondbacks trade RHP Lance Cormier and RHP Oscar Villarreal to Atlanta for C Johnny Estrada:
Josh Byrnes' first move as the new General Manager of the Diamondbacks was one welcomed warmly by most fans, as he shipped off two bullpen arms. The first was Cormier, who hadn't been close to league-average in his two years with the D-Backs, and wouldn't be league-average until he left Atlanta two years later. Since, however, he has managed to carve a nice niche for himself as a 70-inning workhorse the last two years with Baltimore and then Tampa Bay. The other arm, Villarreal, had an absurdly good rookie season with the D-Backs at age 21, making 85 relief appearances and one start with a 182 ERA+. However, he threw 98 innings that year, which clearly took a toll on his young arm, as his next two seasons saw him throw just 31.2 innings, and give up 22 earned runs in that span. He had a good year in his first season with Atlanta, throwing 92.1 innings and maintaining a 123 ERA+, but his ERA+ and innings pitched per season fell each of the next two seasons, and he was out of the majors by 2009.
Estrada had a bit of a disappointing '06 season for Arizona, with his OPS+ (92) being closer to his '05 number of 74 than his '04 number of 113. Estrada made a fair amount of contact, hitting over .300, but he couldn't draw a walk to save his life, just 13 in 443 plate appearances. So we took his "All-Star" status and flipped him and spare arms for Doug Davis and some spare parts the following year.
Overall: The deal doesn't look so great when you view it strictly from what we got from Estrada, and since I'm giving a separate grade out for the Estrada-for-Davis deal later on, I'll just stick with that perspective. Giving up Villarreal isn't a huge deal since our bullpen couldn't have been much better (or luckier) in '07, and Villarreal certainly wouldn't have brought us into contention in '06. Cormier hurts though, because a 138 ERA+ bullpen arm would be a pretty big asset for us now. Then again, Cormier only got a new start in Baltimore because he was designated for assignment by Atlanta, so with our great bullpen work from '07, who knows if Cormier would have been able to stick long enough to prove his worth. So we got a decent year of catching for two guys who probably wouldn't have hung around for much longer. Then again, although Villarreal wouldn't have helped us succeed in '06, Estrada certainly didn't make things great himself, so it's hard to say we got anything in return for our nothing. Grade: C
December 20 - Diamondbacks trade RHP Javier Vazquez to the Chicago White Sox for RHP's Orlando Hernandez and Luis Vizcaino, and CF Chris Young:
This was the first major trade of the Josh Byrnes Era, and while this once was viewed as a potential heist when CY was in the middle of his Rookie of the Year campaign, time has demonstrated that a good wine can go sour in a hurry. CY bottomed out last year, and we're looking for a rebound season in '10 to try to squeeze more value out of his bloated contract extension. Hernandez made nine awful starts before we dealt him to the Mets. Vizcaino, however, did give us a good season of 132 ERA+ relief before being a part of the package to bring Randy Johnson back from New York. Nonetheless, just imagining that that money we're giving CY could be used on Vazquez instead, giving us potentially the best top-3 of any major league rotation instead of those miserable Yankees (Haren, Vazquez, Webb, Jackson, Kennedy anybody? Yes, please), makes me a little bit queasy. Heck, there's a chance that we've favored to win the NL West with that simple change.
There are many things that can be said in Byrnes' defense, though. Vazquez failed to demonstrate just how good he is in his time in Arizona, putting up a mediocre 100 ERA+, especially disappointing considering he just put up a 143 ERA+ last year with Atlanta. Nobody expected CY to have his confidence collapse in '09. Nobody expected Orlando Hernandez to have an ERA over 6 in his 9 Arizona starts. It certainly made sense at the time, but whether or not a deal makes sense at the time isn't really how people will view a trade after all is said and done.
Overall: The short-term returns from this deal made this one seem like a winner, especially once Young first reached the show. But, despite us supposedly getting the best young talent in this deal, time has made this deal look worse and worse, rather than better and better. Heck, in the last season, this probably went from a B- or so to the pathetic ranking below. If CY can rebound and explode into an All-Star performer to match Vazquez, perhaps we can look at this as favorable long-term. Although, sadly, the chances of that seem slim since we're currently praying to the baseball gods that Young can manage to be even an average everyday regular. The glimpses of hope we saw from CY at the end of last year keep this from the lower-D territory. Also, it must be taken into account that we would have had to re-sign Vazquez, although he never has filed for free agency. Next year will really let us know how this one works out. Grade: D+
December 27 - Diamondbacks trade 3B Troy Glaus and SS/RHP Sergio Santos to Toronto for RHP Miguel Batista and 2B Orlando Hudson:
This is certainly an interesting one. Beginning with the outgoing players, we signed Glaus to a $45M deal (which just expired) when the Angels felt that Dallas McPherson was ready to take the third base reigns from Glaus (roflcopter!), but Glaus's defense was so horrific that, despite his power production, we were comfortable with dealing him away one year into that contract. Santos is even more intriguing, a former first-round pick who was in AAA-Tucson at age 21 when we dealt him, but whose bat never got him to the major leagues as a shortstop. Last year, at 25-years-old, Santos was converted to pitcher with poor results at each of the four levels he pitched at, but remains intriguing because of his rocket arm.
As far as what we got in return, Batista's second stint with Arizona lasted just one year, a solid season with a 103 ERA+, before he left in free agency for Seattle's money. Essentially, we got what we expected from Batista. Hudson is another story, and one that has tipped the scales of this trade in our favor. Hudson posted three straight seasons of over-100 OPS+, and, while more flashy than necessarily great defensively, was good in the field.
Overall: We got rid of Glaus's contract before it really became devastating (and it would have become really devastating), and Santos could never get it together. Batista gave us pretty much what we expected, a solid year in the rotation and a departure for greener pastures. Hudson, however, made this deal, because while his defense wasn't plus as advertised, his bat was far better than what was expected from him, or from most people at that position. We got more than we expected, and got it cost-efficiently. You can't complain about that. Really, the only way you could look at this negatively is that, perhaps, if we'd kept Glaus, we wouldn't have been so quick to sign EB to that gigantic extension... Perhaps... Grade: B+
February 28 - Diamondbacks trade RHP Jason Bulger to Anaheim for Alberto Callaspo:
The first trade of the Byrnes Era exclusively dealing with prospects, Byrnes acquired Callaspo from Anaheim, who has since broken out in his extended time with Kansas City, accumulating a 113 OPS+ last year. However, Callaspo has been a bit of a headache in his career with respect to off-the-field issues - enough of one to cause us to eventually downgrade him for Billy Buckner.
Heading to Anaheim was a former first-round pick in Bulger who just had his first productive major-league season in '09 out of the bullpen at age 30. It was a very productive season, as he posted a 127 ERA+ in 65.2 innings. And especially with the headache that comes with Callaspo, it's hard to say that the Angels are wishing to have this one back.
Overall: An acquisition of superior talent with makeup problems for an even-keeled but so far disappointing arm. Not much to say here, as I'm betting that neither team would be in a huge rush to undo this one, even with the follow-up talent downgrade from Callaspo to Buckner. Grade: C
March 8 - Diamondbacks trade SS Alex Cintron to the Chicago White Sox for RHP Jeff Bajenaru
The D-Backs literally got nothing for Cintron, as Bajenaru was out of baseball the year after this trade was done. He had put up a decent year in '05 in the Sox's AAA affiliate, with just a 1.41 ERA, but had only a 4.50 ERA in the D-Backs' AAA affiliate in '06, and allowed four earned runs (and three home runs) in his one inning of work with the big-league club.
The Sox retained Cintron for a couple of years before he took the MLB exit tour - a stint with Baltimore and then a stint with the Nationals - but at least his OBP was over .300 and his OPS was over .700 for one of those years, right? Better than one inning of bad relief.
Overall: We traded a declining player for a flier on a bullpen arm. Hindsight will tell us that we got nothing for something, but you can't be heartbroken by this. Grade: C-
March 26 - Diamondbacks trade LHP Brad Halsey to Oakland in exchance for Juan Cruz:
Josh Byrnes' third move of 2006 sent away Halsey, a 24-year-old left-handed starter who had started 26 games (with two relief appearances) in 2005, posting a 96 ERA+. Halsey would spend the '06 season mainly as a middle reliever for Oakland, although he saw time both in AAA and as a spot-starter. He was left off of the postseason roster, and after that season, he was beat out for an Oakland rotation spot in 2007 by a familiar name, Joe Kennedy, and started the season in the minors. That year, he needed torn labrum surgery, was let go by the Athletics, signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers, but never reached the majors again.
In exchange, we were given rocket-armed Juan Cruz, who wound up exceeding all expectations. He had been a key piece of the Tim Hudson-to-Atlanta trade the year before, having posted a 157 ERA+ in 50 relief appearances with the Braves in 2004 as a durable, promising, 25-year-old power arm. But in his season with the Athletics, he made just 28 major-league appearances, spending a large portion in the minor leagues due to ineffectiveness. He ended that season with a 98-point ERA+ free-fall from '04, to 59. But in his three seasons with the Diamondbacks, he had a 136 ERA+ in 207.1 innings, accumulated in 15 starts and 126 relief appearances. After a 2008 season with the D-Backs in which he posted a 178 ERA+, Cruz was a free agent, pinned with a Type-A free agent tag, and unwanted by a D-Backs squad looking to cut costs and add draft picks. Cruz eventually signed with the Royals after a deal was negotiated to reduce the draft pick compensation Arizona was to receive.
Overall: It's hard to call this deal a complete heist, since Halsey's career may have ended far differently had he not suffered the torn labrum, and had a (temporary) ace-in-the-making in Kennedy not been ahead of Halsey on the depth chart in Oakland. Perhaps he would have had a longer and more successful career as a starter had this deal not gone down and Halsey had remained in the desert. Also, since it's so long ago, I have no idea whether or not there were any pre-existing injury risks with Halsey that could be used to adjust how this deal is to be perceived, but we certainly got more than the A's from this deal, so it has to be considered a win. Grade: B+
May 24 - Diamondbacks trade RHP Orlando Hernandez to the New York Mets for RHP Jorge Julio:
After Hernandez's horrendous start to 2006 with the D-Backs, Byrnes decided to do a little damage control and send Hernandez off to the Mets, where Omar Minaya was just jonesing to acquire a 40-year-old starter with a 77 ERA+. However, the deal worked out very well for Minaya, as Hernandez had a 107 ERA+ with the Mets in the remainder of '06, and then a shockingly-good 116 ERA+ in his swan song season in '07.
In return, the D-Backs snagged Julio, who had just been sent to the Mets the previous offseason in the deal that also sent Kris Benson to the Orioles and Scott Maine to the Mets (LOLOrioles!). Julio had, however, gotten off to a rough start in the Mets 'pen that year, with an 86 ERA+ in his 18 appearance with the Mets. However, Julio turned around his season in the desert, with a 123 ERA+ for the remainder of that year in 44 D-Backs appearances, before being shipped off to Florida the following summer.
Overall: This was a deal designed to give two struggling pitchers with histories of success a fresh start in new environments to see if some better results could be squeezed out of either of them. It worked perfectly from both sides, as each player took their ERA+ from the wrong end of league-average to the right end of league-average. Although Minaya wound up getting the better production post-trade from Hernandez's wonderful 2007, this is a deal both GMs can be happy about considering what they were getting prior to the trade. Grade: B
August 7 - Diamondbacks trade RHP Garrett Mock and LHP Matt Chico to Washington for RHP Livan Hernandez and cash:
Come August 2006, the Diamondbacks, who had already flirted with the idea of adding to the rotation through trade, found themselves wanting a starter after Brandon Webb had been forced to miss one of his scheduled starts. So they went out and grabbed the other Hernandez brother, Livan, who had been in the midst of an awful season with the Nationals, with an ERA+ of just 80 in 24 starts. But something in those Hernandez genes just loves being traded, as Livan finished out that year with a 125 ERA+ in the 10 starts he made with Arizona, and then was a solid innings-eater for the D-Backs in their magical '07 season, throwing 204.1 innings with a 96 ERA+ with 11 wins. The veteran presence in Hernandez was extremely helpful on such a young squad, probably most notably with his young battery-mate, Miguel Montero.
And we didn't have to give up much, either. Mock broke into the majors in '08 with a solid 41-inning, 103 ERA+ stint in which he mainly served as a reliever. But he broke down in '09 when the Nationals tried to start him more often, seeing his ERA+ plummet to 75, and he'll be fighting for his roster spot in Spring Training. Chico is a similar story, having showed a decent amount of promise in 2007, when the then-24-year-old started 31 games and had an ERA+ of 91. But his breakdown would be worse than Mock's, and in '08 Chico sported an unfortunate ERA+ of 69 in 48 innings, and hasn't been in the majors since.
Overall: The D-Backs needed an innings-eating starter badly at the time of the trade, and while they had to take on a fairly lofty '07 salary, Livan filled the role perfectly. A guy you could count on to give you six or seven innings every fifth day and a mentor to the young kids, Livan was a significant reason for the success of that '07 team. And, seeing as how the early indications show that the prospect we gave up aren't anything to get riled up about, this has to be considered a big win for Byrnes. Grade: A-
August 22 - Diamondbacks trade RF Shawn Green and cash to the New York Mets for LHP Evan MacLane:
Byrnes inherited Shawn Green from the previous regime, and, 115 games into his second season in the desert, his OPS+ had fallen from 114 in 2005 to 95 in just one year. So the D-Backs sent him to the Mets to purge his contract from the roster of a struggling '06 squad. Green would finish out '06 and play '07 for the Mets before exiting the majors. The Mets finished first in their division in '06 and reached the NLCS, but didn't make the post-season in '07. In '07, though, Green did have almost 500 plate appearances for the Mets with a slight ERA+ rebound to 103. For a contending Mets team with a big budget, Green's production (overall OPS+ of 102) was solid.
For the D-Backs, MacLane spent the remainder of '06, all of '07, all of '08, and two starts of '09 at the AAA affiliate, but in the two full seasons he posted poor ERAs of 7.70 and 4.96, respectively. That spurred the Diamondbacks to eventually trade him to the St. Louis Cardinals for "future considerations," and he finished his time with AAA-Memphis in '09 with a 3.75 ERA.
Overall: This was a salary-dump trade. Despite the solid '09 in the Cardinals' system, MacLane's mid-to-high 80's fastball didn't project a long major-league career. It would have been nice if we could have gotten something from the prospect return, but as it stands this deal served its primary purpose from the moment it was completed. Perhaps we could reap a little extra benefit if the word "future considerations" implies more than a paycheck or a coupon for a nice steak dinner. Also, don't forget that the D-Backs wound up playing pretty well in 2007 without the services of Green. Grade: C+
August 31 - Diamondbacks traded RHP Kevin Jarvis to Boston for future considerations:
The D-Backs signed Jarvis prior to 2006 as a fill-in guy, and in one start and four relief appearances he carried a 40 ERA+. So, unsurprisingly, we dumped him for nothing. Not sure if we wound up getting anything from Boston, but Jarvis did end up giving them 16.2 innings of near-league-average performance.
Overall: Pretty irrelevant deal for the Diamondbacks, and, one way or another, Jarvis was gone. It's disappointing to see him perform well for Boston after being miserable for us, and it would have been nice to have had those innings ourselves. Nonetheless, those innings wouldn't have made a difference on the D-Backs season anyway. A deal you've certainly forgotten about prior to this, and one you'll probably forget about again by tomorrow. ;-) Grade: C-
December 13 - Diamondbacks traded SS Jerry Gil to Cincinnati for RHP Abe Woody:
In the offseason between the '06 and '07 seasons, the D-Backs sent away a young shortstop in Gil who had made a cameo in the majors in 2004, but whose bat was so horrid in his time there that he was subsequently put in AA for both 2005 and most of 2006. Upon his arrival in Cincinnati, he played in one game in 2007 (in the majors) before being converted to pitcher (with the occasional appearance in the field, assumedly for nostalgia's sake) prior to the 2008 season. Since the conversion, he has been horrific at every stop in the minors, and appears headed for nowhere, about to be 27-years-old, and having a K:BB ratio of close to 2:3. Heck, even in
In return, the D-Backs got Abe Woody, a 23-year-old who had dominated Hi-A ball, and has since risen as high as AAA-Reno. However, Woody completely lost his K-Rate in Reno, and his ERA ballooned as a result. But he's the same age as Gil, much more advanced as a pitcher, and has been playing pretty well in Winter League action. Sudden bullpen depth means it might be a while for Woody to get an opportunity, but he's got a shot at the major leagues.
Overall: Gil has been awful, Woody has steadily climbed up the ranks of the system. '09 was a bit of a mess for Woody, but every year since this deal was completed has been a mess for Gil, so this one has definitely been a win. If Woody becomes a valuable major-league piece, this grade shoots up. Grade: B
November 25 - Diamondbacks trade C Johnny Estrada, RHP Claudio Vargas, and RHP Greg Aquino to Milwuakee for LHP Doug Davis, LHP Dana Eveland, and OF Dave Krynzel:
A year after acquiring Estrada from the Braves, Byrnes found an opportunity to send the "All-Star" catcher to Milwaukee for some much-needed starting pitching, and pulled the trigger. Estrada posted a miserable 79 OPS+ in his lone season with the Brewers, and then had his major-league exit tour with the Nationals in 2008. Aquino, who possessed a big fastball and had pitched 115 innings in relief with the Diamondbacks, has only pitched 39.1 major-league innings since, although he's still floating around the league. The best piece sent away in this deal has actually turned out to be Vargas, who had been claimed by the Diamondbacks off of waivers as a starter. Since the trade, he has been converted to a reliever and was extremely effective in that role in 2009, posting a 230 ERA+ in 41.1 innings split between the Dodgers and Brewers.
But the haul the Diamondbacks received puts those 41 innings of superb relief to shame. Eveland didn't play much as a Diamondback, but was one of the pieces sent off to Oakland to acquire Dan Haren, and even had a decent, if fluke-ish, 29 start season in 2008 with the A's before being released in 2009. Krynzel, a former first-round pick, never played in the major leagues for the Diamondbacks, and is now in the Orioles' system (LOLOrioles!). The big haul, as everyone knows, was getting Davis, who provided us with three seasons with respective ERA+ numbers of 112, 108, and 111, despite some scary metric patterns in 2009. Especially in that 2007 NLCS season, where pitching fueled a large part of our success.
Overall: The two biggest pieces were supposed to be Estrada and Davis, and the winner of those clearly was Arizona. Eveland's value with the A's in 2008 was greater than Vargas's value in 2009 due to the greater bulk of quality innings. And Aquino/Krynzel is a a fairly irrelevant swap. Arizona made the playoffs the year after this trade was completed. The only time the Brewers have been to the playoffs since this deal was after Estrada was gone, due to the acquisition of C.C. Sabathia at the trade deadline in 2008. I think it's fairly obvious how great this trade was for Arizona. The only thing preventing this from being a solid "A" was the hefty extension we had to give Davis after this deal was completed. Grade: A-
January 9 - The Diamondbacks trade RHP's Luis Vizcaino, Steven Jackson, and Ross Ohlendorf, and SS Alberto Gonzalez to the New York Yankees for LHP Randy Johnson and cash:
Byrnes continued to try to build a great rotation for 2007 by bringing back a big name in The Big Unit for a trio of right-handed arms, both in the minors and one of our most reliable major-league bullpen arms from '06, and a shortstop with a limited bat. But, despite being warm and cuddly and a good influence on the younger arms, Randy only started ten games for the Diamondbacks in 2007, when the Diamondbacks made their big playoff run. When he returned and pitched a whole season in 2008, the Diamondbacks did not encounter the same level of success as the previous season. So although the Diamondbacks played well the season after Johnson's acquisition, Johnson wasn't exactly the reason why.
And, despite Johnson posting a 90 ERA+ in his last season with New York, we gave up quite a lot for him as well. Vizcaino posted an ERA+ of 132 in his lone season with the Diamondbacks, although he appears to be running out of time in the majors at 34 years old, having seen his ERA never surpass 105 since the trade, and having only pitched 15.1 innings in 2009. Gonzalez spent last year in the majors with Washington, but had an OBP just shy of .300, and doesn't look to be too special. Jackson pitched well in relief for Pittsburgh last year, with a 131 ERA+ in 43 innings, but only struck out 21 batters and walked 22, so it's not hard to imagine that he was the recipient of some remarkable luck. The piece that hurts to lose is Ohlendorf. Ohlendorf posted a 105 ERA+ in 29 starts spanning 176.2 innings, and is just 26 years old. Having Ohlendorf as another guy in the mix for a rotation spot next year would be invaluable, and having him last year would have meant fewer starts for Yusmeiro Petit and an unpolished Bryan Augenstein.
Overall: Johnson's ten starts had some value for us in '07, and he pitched very well in 2008, but it's not exactly the return we expected for the four-player package we sent to New York. Especially with the emergence of Ohlendorf, I'm not sure that if we were given an opportunity to go back and undo this one that we wouldn't, especially since RJ's good 2008 season was wasted on a bad team, but that can't exactly be blamed on Randy. This opinion, also, is contingent on Ohlendorf continuing to develop. But there also is the fact that Johnson proved to be a good clubhouse influence in his second stint in the desert, and the clubhouse mojo was certainly working for us in '07. So I've gotta give this one a "no-factor" grade as a way of saying "hard to measure as of now." Grade: C
February 26 - Diamondbacks trade RHP Jorge Julio and cash to Marlins for RHP Yusmeiro Petit:
We've already covered Julio above, and we all know about Yusmeiro Petit, so, to spare us the pain, I'll keep this one shorter than the rest. We dealt a reliever who posted a 123 ERA+ for us for Petit, who wound up being one of the worst starting pitching options this team has ever known. However, what saves this is the fact that Julio also flamed out after this deal, sandwiching a decent 2008 season with poor 2007 and 2009 performances. Basically, mediocrity was traded for mediocrity.
Overall: A wash. Grade: C
May 30 - Diamondbacks trade LF Dee Brown to Oakland for cash:
Overall: The first-round pick flameout Brown never played a game for Arizona, and played in eight games for Oakland. Even if "cash" referred to the fifty cents left in Billy Beane's piggy bank of saved-up childhood lunch money, this is a time where you're ok with a player being sold. And where a deal is almost completely irrelevant. Grade: C
June 16 - Diamondbacks trade 2B Danny Richar to the Chicago White Sox for OF Aaron Cunningham:
Another strictly minor-league deal for Byrnes, and one that's a bit difficult to judge. Richar did very little in his season with the White Sox, and then was packaged to Cincinnati in the deal that brought Ken Griffey to the South Side for his awkward stint of Chicago fail. It doesn't look like Richar will ever amount to anything than a AAAA infielder.
What makes this one awkward to deal with is how to judge the D-Backs' acquisition of Cunningham. Sure, Cunningham was a good prospect, even with Arizona, but he wound up being packaged in the deal to get Dan Haren from Oakland. But that deal is starting to look wobbly, due to pretty much everyone else but Haren both involved in the deal and on the D-Backs. So, it's hard to say that we definitely got a great value for Richar since we didn't directly reap any benefits of it, and the indirect benefits of Cunningham's acquisition have been less than stellar.
Overall: But yet, regardless of what we turned Cunningham into, we got a good prospect who appears destined for some major-league success for a player who had pretty much no major-league success and doesn't appear destined for any in the future. So it has to be viewed as at least a slight win for Arizona. Grade: B-
July 27 - Diamondbacks trade OF Scott Hairston to San Diego for RHP Leo Rosales:
A move made by Byrnes that was met with groans and sighs over the general belief that we had received cents for our dollar due to our outfield log-jam. We gave up Hairston and quickly saw him surge with the Padres at spacious Petco Park, clubbing eight home runs amongst his 25 hits in his '07 cameo with the Friars, and leading to wide-spread depression over the fact that we had loosed a monster within our own division. While he didn't maintain an ISO over .350 over the next year-plus with the Padres, he did end his career in San Diego with a 131 OPS+ when he was dealt to the Athletics for an assortment of low-value prospects. But he only posted a 70 OPS+ in his first half-season with the Athletics, and was around league-average on the year in '09.
In return we got a pitcher who arrived with a broken hand from punching a cooler, making the subsequent Hairston outbreak all the more frustrating. But, as Mr. McLennan pointed out to me, Rosales has been much better than my impressions of him have made me believe. Career ERA+ of 101 in the majors, and apparently all of that minor-league closing history (79 career minor-league saves) has helped him develop a knack for performing better in high-leverage situations, as his splits demonstrate.
Overall: This is one that has a chance to become much less disastrous in the next couple of years. Hairston is already going to be 30 years old in '10, so if the end of last year was really a demonstration that he is on the decline, then Rosales could have an opportunity to make up for some of that lost value. However, Hairston could also just as easily bounce back next year and cement this as a completely awful trade. It must further be taken into account that Hairston was blocked in the system by multiple players, and we couldn't find playing time for him. For now, though, I mark this deal as a failure with a glimmer of hope of being simply bad. Grade: D+
August 21 - Diamondbacks trade OF Chris Carter to Washington for RHP Emilio Fruto
Byrnes' next trade acquisition was Fruto, who had pitched out of the 'pen for Seattle at just 22 years old. However, this one didn't quite work out as planned, as Fruto never pitched in the majors for Arizona, and was eventually let go as a free agent.
Meanwhile, Carter has made a name for himself killing AAA pitching for the Red Sox system. He's a bit old, but he could help a team in the majors right now.
Overall: We traded a guy who wound up having no major-league value for a guy who probably will have some major-league value. Pretty clearly a move that leaves something to be desired, and one of the few prospects-for-prospects moves where JB didn't win in the end. Grade: D+
The next post will continue from here - had to cut it in half due to size.