Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dissecting the Bill Smith era: The other 2009 trades

Craig Breslow: Not a wise discard by the Twins
When: Feb. 18, 2009
What: Waived Bobby Korecky
Value: He has pitched six major league innings since then, allowing nine runs.
Motivation: Opening a roster spot for free agent Luis Ayala

Not much to see here. Arizona claimed Korecky, but he washed out with them. He spent the 2010 season in independent ball, then pitched in the Toronto system last season.

When:  April 17, 2009
What: Claimed Juan Morillo on waivers from Colorado
Value: Pitched all of two innings for the Twins, allowing five runs.
Motivation: He threw hard.

Juan Morillo threw a legitimate upper 90s fastball. Colorado couldn't tame it; neither could the Twins. He was released to a Japanese team in November 2009.

When: May 20, 2009
What: Sold Craig Breslow to Oakland on waivers
Value: Breslow has had 17 win shares in 2009-11, 3.2 WAR with Oakland
Motivation: Over-reaction to 14 innings.

As I noted in the 2008 acquistion of Breslow, Ron Gardenhire was reluctant to use the lefty in game situations. With the departure via free agency of Denys Reyes, Breslow entered 2009 as the primary lefty in the pen. He struggled early, and the Twins waived him, intending (so they've since said) to outright him to Rochester to get straightened out.

Instead, Oakland claimed him. He has made 202 appearances with the A's since, compiling an ERA of 3.14. The 2011 season was easily his least effective, however. Still, on the whole, the Twins would have been better off keeping him around. (Oakland traded him to Arizona this winter.)

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