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Trio Of Trades

As I continue to hold off from writing, trades keep piling up! Here are all three from the offseason thus far, one from today, one from the weekend, and one from last week:

Really, the only reason that this trade is somewhat interesting is because it involves an AL West team. With that being said, I like all three players involved in the trade, but at the end of the day, this isn't the kind of deal that changes a franchise's fortune or identity. This is about swapping hopefully useful pieces for hopefully useful pieces.

Lookout Landing did an entertaining piece on how DeJesus is such an Oakland ballplayer, and frankly, they are dead on about that. However, I'm a bit higher on the players KC got back than they are.

I think Mazzaro has a ceiling of Jake Westbrook, and a basement that screams dime-a-dozen AAAA starter. He likely ends up somewhere inbetween, as a number four starter that can be counted on for six innings good enough to keep his team in the ballgame.

As for Marks, I had him 19th on my 2009 prospect list, so he has been on my radar for a couple years now. He has struck more guys out than I've expected, but the overall results aren't all that exciting. He doesn't seem likely to become much more than a fringe starter.

In the end, I will give the A's the advantage in this trade. They have pitching depth, and more or less pruned it a little bit to get a player that will help there lackluster offense without hurting their strong defense. Kansas City built some depth in the trade, and while Royals fans will forget that DeJesus was on of their better hitters once Mike Moustakas busts on the scene, the team doesn't have the kind of depth that will make them forget David was there in the first place.

That deal happened a weak ago, by the way. Here's the next trade I am well late on writing about:

I suppose this deal also has added intrigue, since it involves the M's bitter interleague rival, the Padres. However, the main intrigue is around Maybin. He used to a top prospect, but he is yet to become a superstar. In fact, he is yet to become a useful hitter at all - at least in the majors. His minor league numbers are quite promising, and the athletic talent is clearly there. Still just 24 years old, he has legitimate upside, but he is also out of options. That hurt his value.

We will see how this trade plays out in 2011, but I think the Padres made a killer trade. Maybin's skillset fits Petco park perfectly, and it is darn hard to find legitimate starting centerfielders in baseball. Cameron doesn't have to become a star to make this a good trade for San Diego, but given his minor league track record and sporadic MLB opportunities, he could become one. I think he is at least similar to Franklin Gutierrez, and could be as good as Mike Cameron in his prime.

The deal makes some sense from Florida's side, but it is lackluster. They clearly needed bullpen arms, and they got some. I just don't think they are the kind of guys that warrant giving up Cameron Maybin. 

Ryan Webb is young, and he looks intimidating on the mound with his 6'6" frame, but he has never been a strikeout pitcher. That doesn't bode well for him as a legitimate late-inning option. He could be solid for a while, but he looks to me like the type of guy you love to see trotting out as the bridge to the guys at the end of the game, but not the guy you necessarily feel great about when a game is close in the eighth or ninth.

Meanwhile, Edward Mujica did look like the type of guy you'd like to see in the late innings - at least last year. He posted career highs in virtually every category imaginable, with the notable exception of home runs. So, did Mujica find something in San Diego, or did he have a fluky good year? The home runs trouble me, especially given Petco's spacious confines, so I'm leaning towards fluke. I see Mujica also living in the sixth or seventh inning in a good bullpen.

Both Webb and Mujica had real nice 2010 seasons, while Maybin was disappointing. The Padres are buying low and selling high. They are taking a bit of a risk anointing Maybin their everyday centerfielder, but it is a worthwhile one. This trade could look really bad in hindsight for the Marlins.

That was the trade from the weekend. Finally, today's trade:

Florida tried to keep Uggla around, and reportedly offered him a 4-year, $48 million contract that he turned down. That's pretty good money, and if that is truth, I would have looked to trade him as well.

The Marlins got a couple useful pieces in the trade. Infante could replace Uggla and be a downgrade, but more than hold his own at second base. However, on a good team Infante is a super sub, because his real value is in being able to hit and field well enough to plug holes at multiple positions when needed. As for Dunn, he very well could be the primary left-hander in the bullpen for Florida next year.

As for Atlanta, the upgrade is tremendous. While Infante was real good last year, they just got his career year. Uggla will give the Braves a threatening force in the middle of their lineup, and all they gave up was a super sub (and now Martin Prado can become a better version of that super sub), and a reliever in AAA. The Braves are the clear winner of this trade.

While the Marlins weren't dealing out of a real good bargaining position in either the Maybin or Uggla trades, their returns are still disappointing. Granted, their bullpen is better, but not better enough to warrant giving up all the talent that they did. I would not have accepted either deal in their position. I would have taken a chance on Cameron Maybin developing, and would have preferred whatever compensatory draft picks when Uggla left in free agency over what they got in this trade.

Well, that is the entire offseason to date in one blog post. There is not much else to say.