Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Other Side of Wily Mo

Jim Bowden is hot for Wily Mo Pena. The Zach Day rumors persist, although USA Today reported that Mike Hinckley could be shipped over, instead.

If it's just Day, I'm lukewarm about the deal, although I'm definitely overvaluing Zach Day. Other than HRs, his peripheral numbers (K and BB rate) aren't anything that scream out long-term success. Because of that, he's the kind of player who's dramatically affected by his defense. If the infielders are getting to the many grounders he induces, he looks great. If they're missing them, he turns into a pumpkin.

Distinguished Senators likes the Day deal. So does Nationals Pastime.

Our Cheese Coney-loving friends at Red Reporter don't seem that enthused about a Day/Pena trade either. But, if we throw in The Southpaw Assassin, Mike Hinckley, they love it. (And I can't blame them for that!)

While we can never be sure what Jim Bowden is going to do, I feel pretty comfortable saying that he won't give up Day AND Hinckley for Pena. And I definitely wouldn't give up Hinckley straight-up for Pena either. Why? Just read why the Red Reporter is salivating at the prospect (I think that's a pun?):
If acquired, Mike Hinckley would probably immediately become the Reds best pitching prospect, or close to it. He's 6'3 and lefthanded, and he's put up terrific numbers in the minors. Last year he was only 21 years old and yet he dominated at the AA level, posting a 2.87 ERA while striking out 7.7 batters every nine innings and walking just 2.2. He's exactly the kind of pitcher the Reds should be trying to acquire for Pena

The Reds have had scouts poking around the ashes of our minor league system. Sift through enough carbon, and maybe they'll find a diamond.

Hinckely's extra important to this team. He's one of the few upper-level prospects this team has -- one of the few who's going to be old and experienced enough to be useful when the team plans to contend when the new stadium opens up.

Hopefully the INTERIM GM realizes this. And hopefully he won't be mortgaging the future for an upgrade that still won't win us the World Series this year. I wouldn't be thrilled with, but I'd accept Day for Pena. (Even if we threw in a few low-level prospects). But, to me, the only way we should trade Hinckley is if he's being used to acquire the final piece to a World Series callibre team. And the 95 losses they had last year mean there's a long way to go before the Nationals are at that level.


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