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Looking Back at Some Pre-2009 Trades

I think it’s been enough time to give a decent amount of analysis and reflection on some of the trades that transpired prior to the start of the 2009 season:

Tigers receive: SP Edwin Jackson
Rays receive: OF Matt Joyce
Advantage: Tigers

This one will have to go in the Tigers’ direction, as Jackson sported a 3.62 ERA, 4.28 FIP, and 4.39 xFIP for Detroit in 2009, adding up to a very nice 3.5 WAR season. Jackson, who is having an even better season for the D’Backs this year, helped net the Tigers SP Max Scherzer and OF Austin Jackson. Matt Joyce, on the other hand, has been a disappointment. He produced -0.1 WAR for the Rays in 11 games last seson and has been in Triple-A for 2010.
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Indians receive: RHP Joe Smith, INF Luis Valbuena
Mariners receive: CF Franklin Gutierrez, RHP Aaron Heilman, CF Endy Chavez, 1B Mike Carp, SP Jason Vargas, RHP Maikel Cleto, CF Ezekiel Carrera
Mets receive: RHP J.J. Putz, OF Jeremy Reed, RHP Sean Green
Advantage: Mariners

I don’t think there’s much doubt here that the Mariners absolutely dominated this deal. Not only did they get the incredibly valuable Franklin Gutierrez, but they also received some decent prospects and an MLB-caliber starting pitcher in Vargas. The Mets got a whole bunch of misery, although Sean Green can be a valuable ROOGY when healthy. The Indians didn’t think Gutierrez was ever going to be an everyday player and were looking at Smith and Valbuena as possible pieces to a playoff run in ’09. Unfortunately for them, Joe Smith has not panned out at all and Valbuena has been awful.
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Yankees receive: OF Nick Swisher and RHP Kanekoa Texeira
White Sox receive: INF Wilson Betemit, SP Jeff Marquez and P Jhonny Nunez
Advantage: Yankees

It’s clear that Kenny Williams overreacted to a medicore year from Swisher in 2008 driven by a very low BABIP. The peripherals were still there, and in the end the Yankees have gotten 5.8 WAR out of Swisher in just 207 games. Wilson Betemit is now toying around Kansas City.
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Nationals receive: SP Scott Olsen, OF Josh Willingham
Marlins receive: 2B Emilio Bonifacio, P P.J. Dean and INF Jake Smolinski
Advantage: Nationals

I understand this was a money move by the Marlins, but, man, did they get ripped off here. I wrote about this deal a little under a year ago, and it looks even worse now. Willingham was worth 2.4 WAR last year and has matched that already this year, while Scott Olsen has rejuvenated himself lately.
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Cardinals receive: INF Khalil Greene
Padres receive: RHP Mark Worrell and a PTBNL
Advantage: Padres

This one seems pretty benign at first. Greene was awful in St. Louis (-0.9 WAR) and Worrell never did anything for San Diego. However, the PTBNL in the deal turned out to be Luke Gregerson, whom we have profiled a few times here at FanGraphs. Gregerson put up a 2.50 FIP last year and is at 1.99 this year entering from the Pads pen. He’s awesome.
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Athletics receive: OF Matt Holliday
Rockies receive: OF Carlos Gonzalez, CL Huston Street, SP Greg Smith
Advantage: Rockies

We basically just have to compare what the Rockies gave for Holliday to what the A’s wound up getting for him. Oakland would deal him to St. Louis for INF Brett Wallace, OF Shane Peterson, and P Clayton Mortenson. Wallace was then dealt for OF Michael Taylor. Taylor has struggled mightily in Triple-A, while Gonzalez has 3.2 WAR in less than a season’s worth of playing time in Colorado. Huston Street was also fantastic for the Rockies last year, posting a 2.93 FIP.