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Saturday, July 10, 2010

blake beavan

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Hello Cliff Lee; goodbye Justin Smoak & Blake Beavan


blake beavan
What an emotional day in my baseball world.  This morning, it looked like Cliff Lee was surely headed to New York.  I already had visions of another Yankees World Series. Commence nausea.  Then, out of nowhere, that deal fell apart, and "another team" had jumped in.  I suspected that "other team" was my team, but I was afraid to think about what they had offered to make a strong case for Lee.  My fears came true, so I have mixed (but mostly happy) feelings about the trade.
To sum up the terms -- Rangers get Cliff Lee, Mark Lowe and cash.  Seattle gets Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke and Matt Lawson.

The pros
Cliff Lee is an innings-eater and a proven winner. Heck, the guy has a Cy Young somewhere in his house, and he's one of the most coveted pitchers in MLB.  That is evident by his recent resume -- Texas is his fourth team in just two years.  I am excited to see him in a Rangers uniform, and I really do think he is the piece that could put another division championship flag up in Arlington.  Mark Lowe is also a decent arm, even though he's on the DL.  He was off to a decent start prior to his injury, appearing in 11 games in the first month and working to a 1-3 record and 3.48 ERA.  He has Texas roots too, raised in Houston and went to college at UT-Arlington. 
Although it's not a popular opinion, I'm also ready to see Chris Davis in Arlington again.  Defensively, he's an upgrade from Justin Smoak.  Offensively, it's almost a wash.  I do believe this is his last chance to show he can hit major league pitching though.  If he doesn't prove himself, I see the Rangers scrambling for another 1B before September.
Also, the Rangers were able to make this trade happen without including Tanner Scheppers, Martin Perez or Derek Holland.  That's a huge sigh of relief. 

The Cons
Justin Smoak has a lot of potential.  While his offensive numbers weren't inspiring, I think it's only a matter of time before he becomes an absolute beast at the plate.  He's probably the new Ranger Killer in the AL West.  That will probably sting.  Maybe even burn a little.  I wish Smoak all the best, no matter what uniform he's in. 
I'm also sad to see Blake Beavan leave.  I have been following his career pretty closely (thanks to his wonderful cousin, Megan Nemec), and I was looking forward to maybe seeing him in Des Moines in a few weeks (he had recently been promoted to AAA Oklahoma City).  Alas, that won't happen. It's a good move for Blake though, as it sounds like he could be making his major league debut in the next few weeks. Again, I'll be rooting for Blake for a long time.

The Inbetween
I don't see Cliff Lee signing with the Rangers when the 2010 season is over.  He'll likely be a Yankee, which makes him a half-season rental.  This looks bad when you look at the loss of Smoak. On the other hand, if he does sign elsewhere, the Rangers will pick up some first round draft picks.  

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