We Got Wood - 40.54 - Recapping the Opening Night Reliever Moves

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We Got Wood - 40.54 - Recapping the Opening Night Reliever Moves

Post by 7teen » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:23 am

This will be a multi-part series as I recap how all the moves turned out this season that we made in Portland. Opening night saw a flurry of activity. As touched on, the Lumberjacks started the season about 30 million over the cap and had to make some interesting and creative moves to get under the cap. Some of those moves were pre-determined. Some were not. The biggest names that were sent packing on opening night involved some relievers. Two of those moves involved Las Vegas and Nashville who acquired Joe Whittaker (who oddly enough was later traded from Vegas to Nashville), Jason Morris, Zhi-xin Chien, Manuel Orozco, and Antonio Cruz.

The Trades:
To Las VegasPositionLevelWAR
Joe WhittakerRPBBA0.6
Jason MorrisRPBBA2.1
Zhi-xin ChienRPBBA0.7
To PortlandPositionLevelWAR
Sadaharu OhRF/DHBBA1.4
Matsuo YamamotoPWaivedN/A
Ryosei AkahoriPTradedN/A
An interesting turn of events all around on this trade. Whittaker, as mentioned, as sent away by Vegas to Nashville. Whittaker had a 0.6 WAR with Vegas at the time of the trade. But for Portland, the end result was not so good. Sadaharu Oh III will likely be a staple in the Lumberjacks lineup for quite some time. Or at least while his salary remains reasonable for a fringe OF/DH type. He spent most of this season in the OF where it likely hurt his overall WAR total. With Steve Dempsey moving on at season's end, Oh is expected to shift back to DH in 2041. The rest of the haul didn't pan at well for Portland.

Yamamoto pitched in 10 games with Portland and had a -0.6 WAR. Looking for roster space, the Lumberjacks put him on waivers and he was claimed by Nashville. The Blue Birds were able to push him through DFA and he flourished in the minors at AA where he had a 2.1 WAR. Akahori never made it to opening day with the Lumberjacks as he was traded off to Edmonton less than a month later. I'll recap that move later.

Who Won the Trade
In the end, I'll have to give the edge to Vegas here. They got what they wanted and that was quality relief arms that that utilized to a post-season spot. The quality of players they acquired in the end pushes them over the edge. Granted the Lumberjacks did get out from under a lot of salary and acquired a young, cheap, cost controlled player in Oh III for a few seasons but for now, he doesn't overcome the solid trio of relief arms that Vegas got.

The Nashville Trade:
To NasvhillePositionLevelWAR
Manuel OrozcoPBBA1.3
Antonio CruzInfielderBBA0.1
To PortlandPositionLevelWAR
Jaime Cuevas3BAA2.0
Arthur DanielCFA3.2
The big name here is Orozco who had a solid season in 37.2 innings pitched. He put up some solid innings for a Nashville team that fell short of its goal of making the post-season. Portland gets two guys that the jury will still have to wait out but put up solid numbers in the minor leagues. Cuevas still projects as a possible platoon option at 3B down the road. His defense isn't super but he hit 18 homeruns and had an .834 OPS in AA this year so that could be useful in Portland. If he can boost his power rating and maybe produce an above average Lefty split, he could be a possible replacement for the Wolverine down the road. Daniel is a superior fielding CF option who used his outstanding glove to produce over 3 WAR this season in single A. The Lumberjacks have a couple of these types of guys in their farm currently. Daniel does show the ability to be an average hitter that if he continues to progress could make an impact in the BBA thanks to his defensive ability.

Who won the trade?
Still a toss-up here due to the youth of Cuevas and Daniel. Considering the Blue Birds only got about 38 innings from a reliever and a utility infielder that only produced to replacement level, I may say we won out in the end just because I could see Daniel producing more WAR long term than either piece we gave up in this trade. Cuevas will have to produce offensively (the opposite of Daniel) to make his mark in the BBA.
Chris Wilson

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