Thursday, July 13, 2006

Trade #1: Bye Clayton, Tex, and Bray! Hello Kearns and Lopez!

Brian from NFA got the press release:
The Washington Nationals today acquired outfielder Austin Kearns, shortstop Felipe Lopez and right-handed pitcher Ryan Wagner from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for right-handed pitcher Gary Majewski, left-handed pitcher Bill Bray, infielder Brendan Harris, shortstop Royce Clayton and right-handed pitcher Daryl Thompson. Nationals Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.

Snap judgment, it's a good deal!

Kearns is a legit outfielder with decent power. He's played good to great defense in RF. He's a low-average slugger, who walks a lot, strikes out a lot, but just hasn't been able to stay healthy for any lengths of time -- at least til this season.

Lopez is a switch-hitting shortstop who can hit! He cranked out 23 homers last year (the park helps), and he has some wheels. He's not a gold-glover, but he's far from a mediocrity. Worst case, he's as 'good' as Clayton. Regardless, he's a HUGE step up offensively.

I love Majewski, but he's a middle reliever. If you can trade him for something of value, you do it. Same with Bray. I don't like seeing either go, but relievers can be replaced.

Off goes Royce Clayton -- you know my feelings about him. They shipped away Brendan Harris, too. I like the kid, but it's clear that they're not going to give him a shot here -- especially if they don't find a dumping ground for Vidro. They also traded away minor leaguer Daryle Thompson, someone you really shouldn't care about.

The Nats also acquired Ryan Wagner, a college reliever drafted in the first round by Jim Bowden.

I haven't considered the contracts or anything, but it looks like a terrific haul. Some spare parts and two useful relievers for a legit outfielder and a major league shortstop. Great move, for now!

  • more later....

  • Reds Fans don't seem happy, initially, at least.

  • If this guy's site is right, it's looking wonderful for the Nats.

    Entering the season, Kearns had 3.145 years of service time. He's arbitration eligible, but will be under Nats' control for two more years. He's makign $1.8 this year, which will surely go up -- but not to something crazy.

    Lopez is in the same boat, with just over 3 years of service team, making him Nats' property for two more full seasons. He's already making $2.7, so his price is sure to rise. It might behoove the Nats to try to lock him into a deal soon.

    Sure, it's a blow to lose Majewski and Bray, but they're relievers. They can be replaced fairly easily. Whether that's with Ryan Wagner or Roy Corcoran (who's getting the deserved callup from New Orleans). But when you can acquire that kind of talent, talent that's sticking with the team for two more years, it's a HUGE win.

    The question will be what other dominoes are going to fall. Kearns is best in right, but he has played center. And Guzman's coming back next year. Might Lopez slide to second if Vidro gets traded? We'll find out!


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