Off the top of my head reaction to the Giants’ moves at the trading deadline.
Beat writer Henry Schulman got it right on Twitter when he tweeted, “Two obvious ???s for Sabean... 1) did he overpay for Lopez? 2) Is Ramirez better than Casilla/Mota/Bautista?” The second one is the easiest to answer. Ramirez is nothing special … he’s a ROOGY, righty hitters are .210/.287/.336 against him in his career. But all four of these guys are middle-relievers. Wilson and Romo, who are both having excellent seasons, have the late innings sewed up. So Ramirez isn’t worthless, but he does seem superfluous, especially since they picked up Chris Ray earlier. I don’t think Daniel Turpen will amount to much, but he has a bigger upside than Ramirez, which makes the trade pointless at best.
So, Lopez. The lefties in the bullpen have had trouble with walks. Actually, the mid-relief righties have, as well. Lopez isn’t much of an improvement in that regard, since he walks his share, as well. He’s a LOOGY: lefties are .243/.337/.351 against him for his career. Your sense of his value depends largely on how valuable you think a one-out lefty reliever is. The Giants could use a lefty reliever, it is true.
What did they give up? Joe Martinez is a great human-interest story, but beyond that, he is about as useful as Lopez. Martinez for Lopez is a reasonable trade … nothing much, really.
But the Giants added John Bowker to the deal. I am not a big Bowker fan, and the Giants had clearly given up on him, so I doubt they thought very hard before adding him to the trade. Bowker hasn’t shown much in the big leagues over his 500+ plate appearances. In fairness, the Giants haven’t done much to make it easy for him. His glove sucks, he can’t hit lefties, but of all the players involved in the two trades, Bowker is the one who might explode. Like I say, I don’t think it will happen. But adding him to the deal suggests Sabean overreacted to the absence of a lefty in the bullpen. I don’t think the Giants got noticeably better or worse for 2010, and while they didn’t get any big names (yet), they didn’t trade Sanchez or Bumgarner, either. The Padres helped themselves … the Dodgers may be sorry in the future if they don’t make anything of what they got … the Giants basically stood pat. I’d rather they did that then mortgage the future.
Now, if they pick up Adam Dunn on waivers in the next couple of days, that would be a big deal.