Sunday, February 13, 2005

Minor trade

The Nationals have swapped injury-prone outfielders with the White Sox, acquiring Alex Escobar in exchange for prospect Jerry Owens.

Owens has been less injury prone, and is almost a waste of a minor league roster spot. PECOTA projected him for 324 at bats and a paltry .233 AVG/.286 OBP/.297 SLG, good for a -16.6 VORP. With the outfield log jam, this guy would have been lucky to see one AB, but the point is, he sucks.

Escobar is absent from PECOTA projections, and it's not clear why (he's going to be ready for spring training). As the article said, he had definitely been considered a top prospect, at least before all of his injuries.

Despite making the outfield log jam even worse, Escobar is definitely going to make the 25-man roster. There's now close to no chance that people like Ryan Church and J.J. Davis will get a bench slot (which is better for their personal development). Escobar is a much needed right-hander off the bench, and he might even do well enough that Robinson will platoon him with Sledge or Chavez.

The Sox made this trade because they were going to have to put Escobar on waivers to try to send him down to the minors when he finally comes off the DL in a couple of days. He'd get picked up for sure, so they are at least trying to get something for the loss.


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