Pirates Catcher Jason Kendall(30) traded to the Oakland A's for LH Starter P Mark Redman(31) and LH Relief P Arthur Rhodes(35).
Good pick up by Oakland, IMO Catchers are always an underrated position to pick up because there is so very few good overall ones. Being in the American League will also help as Kendall can take off days from his position duty and still play DH if they want to... On the other end, Rhodes seems to be at the end of the line last year, he's an average set-up man at best. Redman pretty good as you can always use a left hander starter, but this is going to be his 4th team in 4 years (Det, Fla, Oak, now Pitt), don't know if there's more to that but that's kind of strange.
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This trade brings up a few interesting points: Considering the A's are shopping members of the Big 3 because they can't afford to pay all of them, why they invested around $8-$9 million per in a mediocre Redman and a historically poor closer in Rhodes should be questioned. And, why they are taking back even more money for a catcher with no pop in his bat really has to be questioned. I know OBP and OPS are sacred in the Billy Beane School of Thought, but at some point perhaps he'll realize that without the top shelf pitching, all the OBP and OPS in the world will be worth ZERO.
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To me it seemed that Rhodes was at the end of the line as NHS said. So that would make the trade Redman for Kendall straight up. I always go with the philosophy that pitching is better to have than hitting, but really, Redman was a sub .500 pitcher for good team and had an ERA that was above the league average, whereas Jason Kendall is a three-time All-Star and a career .300 hitter. I'd say pretty good move for the A's.
I've seen an awful lot of Kendall the past few years, and it's never seemed like his salary justified his offense. His power numbers have been really down (even for him), and we used to joke that he was a 10 millon dollar singles hitter. He won't drive in a ton of runs, and he really needs guys behind him to drive him in.
He'll steal more bases than the usual catcher, and he's not awful behind the plate, but with 34 million left to pay him over the next three years, he's a very expensive pickup. The past few years he's also supposedly been a complainer in the locker room, but he DID play for the Pirates.
Originally posted by GrimisRhodes was probably moved becuase of his contract. It more equalizes the money chanigng hands and allows Oakland to take Kendall's contract.
Rhodes will probably get picked up by the Yanks...not that I heard that anywhere, it just makes sense. He is making closer money, NY needs a lefty in the pen, and they can probably eat his salary along with anyone else they send to Pittsburgh for him (Heredia et al).
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Pittsburgh gets rid of an albatross around their neck. This gives JR House a chance to try to come up and get the position or for them to sign another guy. Redman will do much better in the NL in my opinion. Rhodes will be swapped somewhere for a middling prospect to a team that needs a lefty (NYY is a good pick).
Oakland gets a good catcher (and great trade bait) for some spare parts. If Kendall plays well, Beane will move him to some rich team for prospects to replentish his system.
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Why make this trade? First, as has been said, Arthur Rhodes is near the end of the line. He lost his closer job about a month in to Octavio Dotel of all people, who was far from reliable. His value is minimal, especially considering his salary. Redman isn't a bad pitcher, with the outstanding second half Rich Harden put up last year he's clearly the #5 guy, and a team like Oakland can't afford to tie up money in a #5 guy. Kirk Saarloos put in a couple quality starts early in the summer when they had injury problems, and if not him I would assume they at least have somebody in the system who can come in and do what Redman did at a fraction of the cost.
With Kendall, the A's needed a catcher anyway. Damian Miller has long been rumoured heading to Boston to replace Varitek, so they had to get someone. The Pirates are gonna still pay, according to that article and others I have seen, 19 million of Kendall's salary through 2007, so the A's effectively got him for five mil a year. Whether you're going to keep him or think you can trade him up, a top flight catcher at less than half his salary is a valuable commodity, no matter who you are.
Arthur Rhodes never should have been a closer to begin with, and he failed in '03 when Sasaki got injured as the temporary closer, so I have NO IDEA why Billy Beane thought he'd be the answer for Oakland. I'd expect him to bounce back if someone returned him to his set-up role, but he has been on the downslope for the last couple of years.
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Kendall's defense is somewhat suspect. He's slightly lazy behind the plate and is often slow in getting his glove up for his pitchers. Offensively, he looked to be sputtering out until the midway point in 2003.
Leaves a hole at the top of Pitt's order. I'm guessing Tike Redman is once again the hope for lead-off man. The emergence of Jack Wilson as a potent #2 doesn't hurt at all, either. I suppose JR House and Humberto Cota will take over at catcher. Craig Wilson could also return to catching more often (I think he's caught roughly 10 games in his four seasons). Rumors have the Pirates looking for a RF via free agency, making Wilson's switch a possibility.
Mark Redman should fit right in. He can make up some of the innings that were projected for Sean Burnett (who's out until 2006!). It also gives the Pirates the luxury of keeping Jon Van Benschoten and Bryan Bullington in the minors for further development. If they opened spring training today, the Pirates would only need to hold auditions for their #5 spot. Oliver Perez, Kip Wells, Josh Fogg and Redman look to be set. Dave Williams, Ryan Vogelsong and Whoever They Pick Up in February are the #5's.
Arthur Rhodes, I'm ambivalent about. Trade bait is the obvious idea. The Pirates have two young lefties in the bullpen: John Grabow and Mike Gonzalez. However, aside from Jose Mesa and (maybe) Salomon Torres, the bullpen is fairly unexperienced.
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Miller's also the first Wisconsin native to play for the Brew Crew since Bob Wickman's stint with Milwaukee. He's the 8th Cheesehead to ever don a Brewers uni. The others? Glad you asked...Jerry Augustine, Gene Brabender, Matt Erickson, Jim "Gumby" Gantner, Willie Mueller, and Paul Wagner.
And here's the official Brewers article on the signing.
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