...Two American kids hittin' lefties the best they can. (Hat tip to Talking Chop community member TBuzz for the Mellencampiness.) Here are some trade reactions from around the blogosphere after the Atlanta Braves acquired Matt Diaz from the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Jack Wilson from the Seattle Mariners yesterday at the deadline.
From Lookout Landing, here is their trade story, snipped:
The least interesting angle of this trade is the return. Thewill receive a player to be named later - surely of little consequence - and a tiny bit of salary relief. For all intents and purposes, Wilson was handed away like a small gift. [...]
Jack Wilson isn't a whole lot better than terrible, but he is better, and better is good. Better should get him added to the playoff roster, so long as he's healthy.
And that makes me feel good. It's weird in a way that it does, since Wilson was nothing but a disappointment during his time in Seattle. Jack Wilson, Seattle Mariner, hit .243/.278/.304 with one home run that I can't believe I forgot. He made a lot of money, and he missed a lot of games. But Jack Wilson, from everything I've ever heard, is still a great dude, if a confused and emotional one sometimes, and I like when good things happen for great dudes.
And a little less analysis was needed by U.S.S Mariner:
Braves needed a back-up shortstop/late-game defensive replacement for their playoff run, and the M’s needed to stop paying Jack Wilson so much money. A great trade is one that helps both parties, and if you set the bar for ‘help’ low enough, this afterthought of a move might qualify.
From Bucs Dugout, here is there take on the Diaz trade:
A little good news to go with six weeks of losses. The off-the-field events continue to outshine what is happening on the field for the Pirates. If you're reading this post I don't have to add much in terms of the complete disappointment that Matt Diaz turned out to be, regardless of what he brought to the clubhouse. .259/.303/.324 with an OPS of .627 and no home runs. Fortunately his speed and defense made up for any shortcomings at the plate....wait...
The fact that the Braves were willing to take him certainly points to his past success with the team and not his current level of performance.
Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke was a little more sobering in their analysis of the time Diaz spent with the Pirates:
It's possible that the cash will cover Diaz's 2012 salary and the Pirates could, in return, get a very marginal prospect back for Diaz, but I'm guessing that the player is going to be named, "You Should Be Thankful We're Taking This Guy Away From You and Helping You Out With Your Roster Crunch Since You Gave This Washed Up Bum a Two-Year Deal."
Diaz was one of those acquisitions that worked in theory when it happened, but never panned out on the field. The idea that Garrett Jones isn't an every day player and that he shouldn't play against lefties is sound. The idea that a 33-year old who'd had two bad years in his previous seasons coming into 2011 was going to be the guy to spell him was not and it was something that I was pretty iffy about from day one, though I'll admit that the signing turned out even worse than I expected it would over the winter. Diaz wasn't awful against lefties (.295/.342/.362), but he was just brutal against righties and his power has deserted him completely. That made him a wasted roster spot and probably a sure thing to be released after the season, even though he was signed through 2012. He's pretty much a mortal lock to bomb a home run in his first at-bat as a Brave.
He didn't hit a home run, just some Rick Flares in his own awkward way. Diaz could be one of those players who just thrives on the Braves and no where else. Let's see if he was a Bobby Cox guy, or if he'll be able to thrive under Fredi as well. Of course, we may have to define-down what thrive means.