2010: The Arizona Diamondbacks traded Edwin Jackson to the Chicago White Sox for David Holmberg (minors) and Daniel Hudson.
As with the Dan Haren trade that we looked at a little while ago, let's crank up the SnakePit Wayback Machine, and see what we thought of this trade at the time, and how it looks with the benefit of hindsight. The general reaction was a good deal more favorable, with two-third of votes describing it as "great" or "good". Probably the most amusing thing about the story is my description of the fifth member of the 2011 Diamondbacks rotation as being "Rodrigo Lopez (35) or RHP Jarrod Parker (21), depending on the latter's return from surgery.." Yeah. Didn't quite work out that way, did it?
Anywhere, more copy-pasting of comments and stuff after the jump.
I like this trade - we seem to have almost got more back than in the Haren deal. I'd have been happy with a straight-up swap of Jackson for Hudson: the latter seems to be not much worse a pitcher already, and has a full five years of control, whereas Jackson will be a free agent after 2011. This definitely counts as more evidence that the team is now building for the longer-term, in 2012 and beyond, and Hudson looks to be a cornerstone of the rotation for the rebuild. With the arrival of Pat Corbin, Holmberg and - in all likelhood - Tyler Skaggs, that means that the Diamondbacks now control eleven of the top 95 players chosen in last year’s draft.
The above was my opinion at the point, while kishi tracked down an interesting nugget about pitchers traded after throwing a no-hitte. He had to go back to Lefty Chambers, who "pitched a no-hitter in May 1951 for Pittsburgh, and then went to St. Louis. He had 8 walks in his no-hitter, too." Credit SeanMillerSavior for just about nailing it, saying "Cut the cost of Edwin Jackson and get a replacement who is more than capable of doing the job." Most people generally liked it, though had to smile at blue bulldog's (not so serious) suggestion: "releasing joe saunders, completely tanking next year, and using it to figure out which parts of our young pitching are usable for 2012."
What has happened to the participants since? Jackson turned out to be better for the White Sox (and since) than I expected, considering he had only an 82 ERA+ for us. In 30 starts, he gave them an ERA+ of 117, which is fractionally better than Daniel Hudson (115) has given Arizona in his 53 starts. Jackson was then spun off by Chicago to Toronto for a couple of arms of no real value to them thus far. The Jays turned round and dealt Jackson to the Cardinals, and he signed as a free-agent with the Nats this winter. He's 6-6 for Washington with a 3.52 ERA thus far, and has been a solid major-league starter since leaving Arizona.
Hudson has, of course, been considerably cheaper than Jackson, so we've got close to the same production, for much less cost. As I also noted at the time, this was largely a salary dump for the Diamondbacks, though my statement that "the team is now building for the longer-term, in 2012 and beyond," turned out not be quite the case. The downside is equally obvious: Hudson being sidelined for the rest of the year and, in all likelihood, most of 2013 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. However, I'm optimistic he'll bounce back and return to the form he showed us in 2011, when he was a key cog in our rotation.
If Hudson and the cost savings are part of what makes it a win: the other component is David Holmberg. He is still in the lower sections of our farm system, but that's not something to be concerned about as he remains very young, having only turned 21 earlier this month. Holmberg was promoted to Mobile last month - probably a little ahead of an ideal schedule, but it was a move that was needed because of the heavy attrition suffered by the BayBears rotation of late. Jack Magruder had a nice piece on Holmberg last week, quoting player development director Mike Bell as saying,
"He’ll be a big league starter at some point. He just has to keep logging innings.. The way he looks now and the way the approaches the game, the way he does his work, I don’t see how it couldn’t happen... He’s extremely consistent. You know what you are going to get from him. He’s a strike thrower. He commands all four pitches. He is a really mature kid. His is pleasant to be around. A nice, nice person. His personality is such that attention is so unimportant to him. It doesn’t interest him."
All told, I would still regard this as a win for Arizona. Jackson did perform better for the White Sox, but they got little or nothing of value for him at the end of his tenure, and the money saved for Arizona more than covered any performance gap. If Holmberg continue to develop - obviously, always an uncertain - then this could be a gift that keeps on giving for some time to come, with he and Hudson both in the D-backs rotation around Opening Day 2014 or so. But I'll leave you with this though from piratedan, which seems almost precognitive in view of what's happening, two days to the year later: