Thoughts about the baseball world.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

V. Castilla to Padres, B. Lawrence to Nationals

The San Diego Padres trade SP Brian Lawrence to the Washington Nationals for 3B Vinny Castilla.

More bad decisions from San Diego GM Towers, who also dealt Oliver Perez and Jason Bay to Pittsburgh for Brian Giles back in 2003. Vinny Castilla, as you all know, the aging (he'll be 38 this year), power-mashing third baseman who only power-mashes when in Colorado. At .253-.319-.403, he's a barely serviceable 3B, and at his age will only be worse next year.

Brian Lawrence, who was really the Padres #3 pitcher behind Jake Peavy and Adam Eaton, has been one of the more reliable starters that the Padres have had. He pitched 195 2/3 innings last year, just behind Peavy, and had the most starts on the team with 33. Without Lawrence, Peavy and Eaton are the only sure things on this rotation, and Eaton, oft-injured last year, only made 22 starts and 128 2/3 innings.

This move was bad for the Padres in every way. At a pitcher's park like Petco, it's futile to be trading away your only strength advantage to somehow attempt to build a power hitting team. Like a pitching-dominant Rockies, trying to build a team that plays to your weaknesses will not work, or at least will cost much more resources than building a team around strengths. Second of all, Castilla is nowhere near a decent hitter anymore, if he ever was outside of Colorado. He's aging, has never had OBP skills (His career OBP is .324 - outside Coors Field it's .297), and the player the Padres already traded for midseason at third, Joe Randa, is already at his level, if not better.

Worse than acquiring Castilla, is losing a player like Lawrence. No, he's not ace stuff, but for 4 straight years he's eaten up around 200 innings per season, with an ERA of 4.20. A lot of teams would love to have a serviceable guy like that, especially someone who's been so consistent with regards to starts. The Padres got the short end of this deal, but moreover lose one of the most consistent and vital parts of their rotation. Who's going to replace Lawrence this year? After Peavy, Eaton's been banged up, and Woody Williams/Chan Ho Park are not options.

On the other side of the continent, the Nationals have got to be feeling like they came away with a steal. This is the best kind of trade they could have possibly made. They get a solid frontline starter, and get rid of the aging players (and their accompanying salary) who can't contribute any more. Their rotation next year should be rock-solid; Livan Hernandez, John Patterson, Esteban Loaiza, and Brian Lawrence to round out the top 4. Moreover, by moving Vinny Castilla, the Nationals open up room for their 3B prospect, Ryan Zimmerman, who was the #4 overall pick in the draft this June, and already has came up in late September. In 58 AB's he went .397-.419-.569 (AVG-OBP-SLG), and looks to be a franchise cornerstone at the position. Moving Castilla frees up room for him to play full time next season.

So, a frontline starter, and playing time for their young superstar third baseman for the Washington Nats. An old washed-up 3B who'll be cut by mid-season, to the San Diego Padres. What a rout.

Brian Lawrence Stats
Vinny Castilla Stats


Post a Comment

<< Home