Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cubs Trade Aardsma

With this move, the Cubs have now, in effect, equalized the trade that sent Latroy Hawkins to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for SP Jerome Williams (who the Athletics picked up for free) and minor-league RP David Aardsma. The Cubs sent Aardsma to the White Sox for reliever Neal Cotts yesterday in a move that makes almost no sense.

Cotts had a terrible year in 2006. His K rate dropped by nearly 1.5 per nine, his hit rate was 5 higher than 2005 at 10.67 (.283 BAA). And even though his walk rate dropped, it dropped to 4.00!

The problem here is that pitchers don't just stop walking guys all of a sudden, unless we're talking reconstructive surgery. In the minors Cotts had a walk rate of nearly five. This is exactly the type of pitcher that David Aardsma is, which really leaves me at a loss for words because this is one of those Esteban Loaiza for Orlando Hernandez trades that may or may not work out but really shouldn't happen. Are both teams really convinced that the change of scenery will help? I don't know.

In reality I'm more pissed that Oakland got Jerome Williams for free. I don't care how high his WHIP was at Iowa (1.69, what the hell?), he starts before Juan Mateo, Ryan Phillipe and nearly every other rookie starter the Cubs sent out last year (excluding Hill, Marshall, and, as a concession to the A-Train, Carlos Marmol), because he is still very young and has shown that he can compete on a major league level. It was a lost season. You let Sean Marshall put up a 5.59 ERA in 24 starts.

When Jerome Williams makes Oakland's rotation coming out of spring training, I will take action, something like in 2002-3 when the Cubs still had Six-Shooter Alfonseca closing games and A-Train and I decided that we ought to stand outside of Wrigley during every home game with "Trade/Release/Kill Alfonseca" signs. We would have done it, too, if Borowski didn't have that ridiculous season.

I might still do it.


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