Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Wow, I guess I am not the only one who cares about Aki! 10 comments really? And I am not giving something away? This is a first for me and that excites me even though I am still pissed! The Rays organization had been famous for making GOOD trades and acquisitions before they went to the World Series. Trading for Ben Zobrist, Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza, Edwin Jackson and Jason Bartlett… These were all genius, under the radar trades. Free agent signings of Pena and Aki-genius as well. Smart drafting-picking up James Shields. Jeff Niemann, David Price, Wade Davis, Fernando Perez, BJ Upton, Carl Crawford and developing them through their system is also genius. But of late, the trades haven’t made sense and there hasn’t been much return. Before the season they literally gave away Jason Hamel and Edwin Jackson-two proven starters. Don't get me started on them showing Adam Kennedy, Jonny Gomes, Erik Hinske and Rocco Baldeli the door either. The Kazmir trade was mainly about dollars, but they shouldn’t have offered him that contract if they couldn’t afford to pay it. If I work at Taco Bell and my boss gives me a 50 cent raise and then fires me because I make too much is along the same lines. The Rays offered him the contract, he signed it, and then they complain that they can’t afford him and ship off a frontline starter without getting big league talent in return. I don’t see the log-jam in the infield so much. Ben Zobrist has been amazing filling in wherever needed and doing a decent job defensively, but he is not a great fielding second baseman long-term, his future is in right field. Reid Brignac is a very talented shortstop, not a second baseman. The other two second basemen in the organization just aren’t ready for the big leagues just yet. Aki is part of the anchor of that infield, without him it is just an average infield. I saw the writing on the wall, too. I didn’t want to read it, but I knew that his time was limited, I don’t agree with it, but I knew it was coming and I saw a lot of teams interested. I had actually hoped, deep down, that he would go to Baltimore and revert back to third base and replace Melvin Mora and help Roberts at the top of the order to set the table for Markakis, Scott, Jones and Reimold. I also saw Florida being very interested and willing to give up real pitching in exchange for him. Another possibility seemed to be Los Angeles and there he would at least be playing for a contender. I would be very surprised if he is in Pittsburgh on opening day and I think that Pittsburgh will get more in return for him than the Rays did. If they keep him through the All Star break and he stays healthy, then his stock will rise even more. Either way, it seems a dumb move, unless somehow that Pat Burrell is the player to be named later, then it would be fine with me, but I really doubt that the Pirates would be that dumb. I agree that the Rays have talent within their organization to replace him next year and even save a few pennies, but I don’t want to see the defense drop off. I am interested to see what Aki's final destination is, if he starts the season in the Burgh, I really feel for the guy... I am still way too irked to make a sensible argument and I have much to do today, so I will end this with my latest awesome Aki card. It is the first card I have got of him not in a Rays uniform, the first of many I am sure. It came from Master Mike of JD Wild Cardz and it is refractor-fiffic! A 2009 Topps Chrome WBC REFRACTOR! Card #W89, serial numbered 207/500. Thanks Mike, this is one Aki trade I like! Oh, the super awesome 2007 Bowman Heritage Signs of Greatness Certified Auto of minor league second baseman Elliot Johnson is another new card for me and this seemed like a good time to post it. I like Elliot's upside and at 25 years old I still think he can be a big league player, but I don't think he is a starter for a team that is going to contend, not yet. He's still a personal fav of mine, but I don't wanna trust second base to him just yet... This is another great 'graph from New York Joe of the Cobb and Halladay blog, thanks Joe! Thanks again Mike! Go Rays or whoever… Troll out.