The baseball season is hardly a month old and several major trades have been completed between teams looking to improve after rough starts or experienced older teams with talent to unload:
The Salem Volcanoes were looking to get cheaper and younger as they traded stud pitcher Walt Falk to the Milwaukee Beer Swillers in return for a young player and two prospects. The 33 year old Falk is the second year of a three year contract making $7.3 mil this year and $6.3 mil next year with a $1.0 mil bonus. During his 10 year career with the team he has won 2 Cy Young awards and been named to the All Star Team 6 times with a 145-82 record. He also has a liftime ERA of 3.69 and a WHIP of 1.21 and has never been on the DL. The right hander is expected to remain a great pitcher for the rest of his contract.
The St. Louis Kamikazes traded young prosects Willy Bergeron and Sammy Figureoa to the Colorado Crush in return for six young players. The trade was reported to be made so that St. Louis could get three good players in return for a great one. Bergeron is a 23 year old 2B and outfielder who was a 1st round draft pick last year who should be a great contact and speed hitter. In the less then a year time that Bergeron has been playing in High A and Double AA he has 11 HR's and 72 RBI's with 36 Steals and a average of .325. Figureoa is a 19 year old outfielder who was a international free agent signing last year for $4.1 mil who should be a great defender and good contact hitter. In about the same playing time as Bergeron, Figureoa has been playing in Low A, High A, and Double A and has 10 HR's and 88 RBI's and a average of .296.
In another move to get younger and cheaper, Salem traded pitcher Ahmad Griffey to the Kansas City Coconuts for three young players. The left handed Griffey is 34 years old and is in the third year of a four year contract making $8.8 mil a year with a $8.0 mil bonus. During his 10 year career with the team he has won a Cy Young and been named to the All Star Team twice with a 134-115 record, a lifetime ERA of 4.28 and a WHIP of 1.34 and has never been on the DL. Although not quite as great as Walk Falk, he is also expected to remain good for the rest of his contract.
Yet another Salem pitcher was traded, this time Stan Uribe to the Detroit Shuffle for three young players. Uribe is 32 years old and throws right handed. He is in the third year of a four year contract making $6.8 mil a year. The first pick of the first round in the first season, he first played in the bigs in Season 4 and has racked up a 99-75 record with a liftime ERA of 4.45 and a WHIP of 1.34. He has only been on the DL once, a short stint when he was in the minor leagues. Uribe has won no awards in the bigs but is another solid pitcher.
The Texas Steers traded young promising closer Dolf Spencer to the Colorado Crush for three ML players, again a case of getting three good players for one (hopefully, in this case) great one. Spencer is 19 years old and was the second pick of the first rounf last season. He throws left handed and scouts rave about his nasty slider and just as deadly cut fastball, and has the stanima to be a setup pitcher as well. In 30 games in the Rookie and Low A levels, Spencer has a 1-2 record with 4 out of 5 saves, a lifetime ERA of 4.99 and a WHIP of 1.56.
In perhaps the biggest and most surprising trade so far in this young season, star pitcher Sean Donovan was traded from the Louisville Wild Turkeys to the Portland Rain in return for Victor Rodriguez. Considered by many one of the best pitchers in baseball, Donovan is a left handed pitcher and 35 years old. During his award winning 10 year career, he has a 166-65 record with a lifetime ERA of 3.16 and a WHIP of 1.18. Donovan has won 4 Cy Young's and been named to the All Star Team 7 times, and has only been on the DL once, a short stint. He's on his final year of a two year contract making $7.8 mil. Rodriguez is a 25 year old Shortstop and considered to be one of the best young players in the game. He's both a great contact and power hitter and plays good defense. An international free agent signing in Season 5 by Helena, he was traded to Portland the following year and made his major league debut later that season. During Rodriguez's four complete and two partial years in the majors, he has 132 HR's, 382 RBI's, 46 steals and a average of .272 and is in the second year of a five year contract making $6.6 mil this year and a bonus of $3.0 mil. Reports indicate that Louisville was willing to tarde Donovan as he was getting past the prime of his career in return for a young and blossoming stud player.
The Seattle Lightning and Columbus Flatlanders worked out a major trade with three players from both teams moving, the major guys being closer Joe Gibbons from Seattle for hitter Rick Boswell. Gibbons is a right hand throwing 33 year old pitcher who was traded from Colorado to Seattle in Season 5 and took over the primary closing duties in Seattle the following year. He ws a great closer for three years before being delegated to backup in Season 10 and made expandable this year with young closers ready to take over in Seattle. Saettle was shopping him around for a while before finally coming to terms with the Flatlanders. During his career, Gibbons has a 17-20 record with 146 out of 168 saves, a lifetime ERA of 3.97 and a WHIP of 1.34 and has been on the All-Star Team twice. He uses a Sinker and a Slider and has never been on the DL, and is on the last year of a two year contract making $3.4 mil. Boswell is a 27 year old 2B and outfielder in the prime of his career, on a min salery. Drafted by Columbus in Season 6, he made his MLB debut in Season 9 and is a great power hitter with good defense. In about two years total of being in the bigs, Boswell has 46 HR's, 156 RBI's, 6 steels and a average of .266.