Friday, November 19, 2010

Ed Wade Being Ed Wade!

Nothing spectacular has happened today, so I figured I'll cover one of the small trades that went down last night.

The Deal
Astros receive: Clint Barmes
Rockies receive: Felipe Paulino

Like most of Ed Wade's trades, I'm not sure I understand this at all. Clint Barmes is what he is -- a decent defensive option at SS and 2B with a weak bat. His career high wOBA in a single season was .344 in 2008, where he had drastic home/road splits: .932 OPS at home, .639 OPS on the road. His isolated power (ISO) was .240 that year at home, versus .114 on the road. Yeah, that sounds like someone taking serious advantage of the hitter-friendly conditions of Coors Field. I'm not sure what role the Astros have planned for Barmes, but he's likely to make over $4M in arbitration this winter, and you just can't be paying that kind of money for player like him.

What's more puzzling though is the necessity to make this trade. Barmes was likely headed towards being non-tendered, so what is the point of trading for him now when you could wait a little bit before signing him next month? Are his services really that valuable? Ed Wade must think so, as he gave up Felipe Paulino, who has a seriously live arm, to get Barmes. Paulino pitched a bit in 2007, but he truly splashed onto the scene in 2009 where he made 17 starts and 6 relief appearances. The actual results weren't pretty (5.11 FIP), however his xFIP was a nice 4.10, which made one believe his poor HR/9 of 1.84 would improve, and it did. In 2010, Paulino allowed a rate of 0.39 HR/9 in 91.2 IP, which is very good, probably too good for a pitcher who doesn't get a ton of groundballs, hence the reason for his xFIP (4.54) being over a run higher than his FIP (3.44). Paulino's career splits are what make you pause for a second: 5.74 FIP, 5.04 xFIP vs LHB opposed to a 3.72 FIP, 3.93 xFIP vs RHB, and that makes you a envision a guy whose future is probably in the bullpen.

However, with that said, the Rockies flipped a guy who was headed towards being non-tendered for a cheap, hard-throwing right-handed pitcher that can help them out at the back of their rotation or in the bullpen. That's a great move. Ed Wade on the other hand gets rid of a quality arm for a player he could have gotten if he had just a little bit of patience. Unfortunately for the Astros, its just another case of Ed Wade being Ed Wade.

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