Sunday, July 19, 2009

Trade Deadline: What to do

In the past couple of days, there has been a lot of discussion about the Brewers and what they intend to do. Names like Roy Halladay, Doug Davis, and Jon Garland have surfaced. The question that needs to be answered is if the Brewers are willing to part ways with either Alcides Escobar, or Mat Gamel (or, possibly both).

Last year, the Brewers traded top prospect Matt LaPorta, along with some other pieces, for the top pitcher on the market C.C. Sabathia. This was the first time in my lifetime that the Brewers traded a top prospect for an immediate impact player. Looking back at the trade, it seems like the Brewers, although they made the playoffs, could regret this trade for years to come. Matt LaPorta is absolutely crushing the ball for the Columbus Clippers, posting a .307/.385/.533/.918 line in 244 ABs. It has been well documented that Sabathia left Milwaukee for New York in the offseason.

A trade for Halladay would not be the same however. Sabathia was signed through the end of the 2008 season, thus making him a rent-a-player. Halladay is signed through the 2010 season, making him locked up for a year and a half. The Jays have made it known that they are looking for a young major league ready young arm. The Brewers have two pitchers that fit this bill, Manny Parra and Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo is not going anywhere, so the pitcher would be Manny Parra.

Parra has been a very frustrating pitcher in his career for the Brewers. Arm injury after arm injury held him down in the minors much longer than the Brewers would have perferred. I, myself, am not ready to give up on Parra and trade him along with either Escobar or Gamel for a season and a half of Halladay.

The other names that I listed above are both pitching for the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks. The Brewers have seen Doug Davis before in a Milwaukee jersey before shipping him out for Johnny Estrada and Claudio Vargas. While in Milwaukee, he was a workhorse. In his three full seasons for the Brewers, he pitched an average of 215 innings per season. Since going to the Diamondbacks, his innings have went down. This was for many different reasons, including a bout with thyroid cancer. Davis is a pitcher that strikes out his fare share of hitters, but also walks a high amount too. Over the last couple of years, he averaged 7Ks/9 while walking just over four hitters per nine. He would be a serviceable starter for the Brewers for the remainder of 2009 (his final year of his contract).

Jon Garland is another name the Brewers have mentioned. The Brewers almost signed him in the offseason before Garland decided on Arizona, allowing the Brewers to sign Braden Looper to a one year deal. He is signed through this season with a $10 million mutual option for next year. His numbers this season are nearly identical to Jeff Suppan. There is no reason to fork out his remaining $3 million in order to pay for someone who would become arguably our worst pitcher. I would much rather see Parra every fifth day than Garland in a Brewers uniform.

The one name that I am most interested in Carl Pavano of the Cleveland Indians. After a dissapointing four season in New York, Pavano has pitched nicely for the Cleveland Indians. His 5.13 ERA is extremely misleading. He has struck out 77 batters over 107 innings while only walking 20. In his most recent start, Pavano shut out the Detroit Tigers over eight innings, striking out six while not allowing a walk. There have been rumors that the Brewers sent scouts to watch that performance. His ERA has been also due in part to the Indians bullpen. When he has left games this year, inherited runners have scored more than 50% of the time. He is only owed $700,000 for the remainder of this season and seems like a no brainer for the Brewers. Pavano has the potential to be the Brewers second best pitcher and would only cost us a low-level prospect. Why would you want to sell the farm for Halladay when you can get a good pitcher for next to nothing?

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