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Cyber-Monday Speculation

Much of my baseball energy this weekend has been spent trying to dissect the D-backs/Brewers trade and determine how it will effect our chances of winning the division next season and beyond. I think I have to grudgingly admit that at least on paper, the Diamondbacks got the better of this deal, but because there are so many pieces involved and so many questions surrounding those pieces it's difficult to ascribe any measure of certainty to that. For instance, what the D-backs gave up -Vargas, Aquino and Estrada- will cumulatively have more value in 2007 than what the D-backs got back. As far as 2008 and beyond? It's hard to say. I see Eveland as a likely bust, but there's enough upside potential there, and he's young enough ,to make this a good risk for Arizona. Krynzel doesn't matter as the D-backs already have much better talent at any position he might play.

Where the deal I think will turn in Arizona's favor is with Davis. I don't think he'll bounce back to his 2004-2005 form, but I do see him coming back a little from a rough start in 2006. What's key, however, is that as a left handed starter his trade value will go up dramatically as we approach the deadline, and Byrnes should be able to flip him to a contender for a quality prospect or two.

One crucial aspect of this trade is that Arizona is committing to a Montero/Snyder backstop combo and I think that decision could very well backfire on them. There is just not enough evidence to suggest that Montero is ready for a full time MLB role yet -unlike Martin in LA, or Iannetta with us- and should he stumble, Snyder has proven slightly substandard in being a team's primary catcher. Snyder's only going to be 26 next season, but he hasn't shown much pop yet, and I doubt he'll develop any more. I know Estrada desperately wanted out, but Arizona could have made a mistake capitulating to his demands so willingly.


As far as trades with the Rockies are concerned, One ramification of teams spending outlandish sums to fill one or two holes, means that they will look to fill the rest of their needs more cheaply via trade. The Astros are in that boat, and the Cubs are likely to be as well. Expect more multi-player and multi-team trades in the next month or two as teams try to get creative in filling their weak spots.

In all, this promises to be one of the most frantic off-seasons in recent memory as there are a lot of teams that feel they have a chance to contend next year with the right additions. Randy Wolf going to LA, for instance will set off a panic in at least four other teams that targeted him. I think the Rockies are well positioned right now and should continue to sit and let offers come in and expect a high bounty for what they have available.