11.09.2006

The trade season officially begun

Yesterday the first major move of the offseason took place. The San Diego Padres traded 23 year old Josh Barfield to the Cleveland Indians in return for Kevin Kouzmanoff and right handed reliever Adam Brown.

I like this trade on both sides. The Indians have a very good offense and Kouzmanoff really didnt have any spot in it. He was blocked by Marte at third, Garko at first, and Hafner at DH. Kevin has hit everywhere he has gone in the minors. He has a career minor league line of .333/.396/.561. He is also coming off a fantastic year. However he has been hampered by back problems and he will turn 26 next season. In return the Indians got Barfield who fills their second base vacancy admirably, and leaves the Indians with an infield that are all 25 and under. Barfield had a good rookie year but I believe his numbers were hampered a lot by playing in Petco. Petco seriously suppresses right power, with Cleveland I expect his power numbers to increase pretty significantly. He also has above average stolen base ability. I see the Indians opening the year with a lineup something like this:
CF-Grady Sizemore
2B-Josh Barfield
DH-Travis Hafner
C-Victor Martinez
1B-Ryan Garko
3B-Andy Marte
SS-Jhonny Peralta
LF-Shin-Soo Choo
RF-Blake

If they can acquire some bullpen help and a better right fielder they will be my favorites for the central.

On the Padres side they filled their third baseman hole with a guy who can purely hit. They also got a promising reliever. Most Padres fans I have heard from seem to think this is an indicator that the Pads are going to acquire Marcus Giles. That would give them a very good lineup and would keep them competitive in the up and coming West.

Overall I liked this trade from both sides. This is my first writeup and after now I will probably only look at the major moves. If you need more coverage of the offseason I would reccomend http://mlbtraderumors.com

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