Sean Rodriguez, Victor Zambrano, and Mark Langston Attend a Wake

On Monday I addressed the Scott Kazmir deal and portrayed the player to be named later someone who probably wouldn’t impact things too much.

I was wrong.

He is Sean Rodriguez, confirmed by a minor league teammate on Twitter yesterday and shortly thereafter an official team press release.

He’s a 24-year-old middle infielder with a ridiculous line of .301/.402/.622 in Triple-A. It comes in a hitters park where the team average line is .273/.342/.434, but Rodriguez still possesses some skills that appear to separate him from a figment of the ballpark. Baseball America had him amongst the top 10 prospects in the Angels system in their 2008 pre-season rankings and didn’t appear on the 2009 list because he received more than 150 plate appearances last season causing him to lose his prospect status.

He has some questions as to his contact rate and where exactly he’ll play. At the same time he’s close to the majors – as in, he’ll make his Rays debut within the next four weeks – and should contribute in a meaningful manner almost immediately.

Who knows where he takes the diamond for the Rays. If I had to guess, I’d peg him for a super utility role to begin 2010. Meaning he’ll play some outfield and a lot of infield in the same manner that Ben Zobrist did this season before becoming Ben Zobrist. This gives the Rays some added roster flexibility with regards to Akinori Iwamura’s pending option and Jason Bartlett who will enter his second year of arbitration off a career year.

Consider this: the Rays turned a few seasons of Victor Zambrano into six years of Scott Kazmir. They’ve now turned two-three seasons of Kazmir into six of Matthew Sweeney, Alexander Torres, and Sean Rodriguez. Obviously there’s a non-zero chance at each of them busting or working out, but that’s quite a haul for a pitcher with a career FIP of 4.95.

Maybe Victor Zambrano could be the gift that keeps on giving for another few years, much like the Mark Langston deal for the Mariners. For those who don’t know, Langston was dealt in May of 1989 for Randy Johnson, Gene Harris, and Brian Holman. Johnson was dealt in 1998 for Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen, and John Halama. Garcia was dealt for Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed, and Mike Morse. Morse brought back Ryan Langerhans; meanwhile Reed was in a three-team deal that brought back a boat of players that included Aaron Heilman who was dealt for Ronny Cedeno and Garrett Olson. Cedeno was then dealt in a package for Jack Wilson and Ian Snell. That deal was made about 7,405 days ago and still may add branches.

Maybe someone will write about the Zambrano deal in another 7,405 days – sometime in 2029.




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22 Responses to “Sean Rodriguez, Victor Zambrano, and Mark Langston Attend a Wake”

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  1. Joe R says:

    In other words, Kazmir may now be on the wrong end of a one sided home run trade debacle from a high-payroll team?

    Nice!

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  2. rw23 says:

    What a haul. I general fan in me hopes Kazmir stays on the field so this doesn’t become a laugher. It sure is difficult to find reasons not to like the Rays…

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    • Joe R says:

      Probably the best organization per dollar in MLB right now. I just find it funny that some people *cough*Joe Morgan*cough* think they’re some sort of “anti-Moneyball” team for stealing bases and stuff, so once again, the dumb flat earthers I’ve seen on less analytical sites will use them as an example of Moneyball futility. Which is obviously crap.

      Now the Rays have even shown the willingness to part with well known players for the right price. It’s hard to find a player on that roster right now that isn’t at least a useful piece for the money.

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      • CH says:

        Yeah, Joe Morgan thinks the name of that book was “Stolen Bases Don’t Help You Win” by Billy Beane.

        It was called “Moneyball.”

        It’s about finding market inefficiencies and exploiting them. But Joe Morgan doesn’t know what that means, so he continues to bury himself with the same poor argument. Even though that book clearly discusses the positive value of stolen bases, provided that you keep the success rate high.

        I wish I could make millions talking shit about a book I never read. Maybe I’ll start a “This Is Why Finnegan’s Wake Didn’t Work” podcast.

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      • Joe R says:

        Moneyball’s my favorite book, but I do think it did two things wrong.
        1) while I know that wasn’t what they fully meant, the book’s wording could be seen as completely de-valuing the stolen base, which is obviously untrue. Just do it > 75% of the time. Of course, those who don’t understand it will immediately think the nerds hate Carl Crawford and Co, which is obviously untrue.
        2) A real line between old school and new school was drawn. Obviously to show how much Billy Beane differed from the old guard, but it could definitely be a polarizing force as well. If I’m some 55 year old guy who still has my wagon hitched to the RBI-machine, and then some random writer writes a whole book on why Billy Beane is way smarter than me, well, that may peeve me a bit.

        But the hate is still silly. Sometimes I think Morgan’s adjusted his on screen persona to essentially try to be a trump card. I remember one Rays-Sox game where Upton and Crawford performed a double steal and you could practically hear Morgan perform a verbal orgasm. Of course, they didn’t score in the inning, too. Even in yesterday’s JoeChat (I love reading them, see what dumb, easily refuting points Joe or whoever is pretending to be Joe makes), he drops some doozies.

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      • MU789 says:

        At least ESPN is kind enough to give him a job so you don’t have to worry about him coming at your car with a squeegee.

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      • Joe R says:

        That made me laugh at work. Thanks.

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  3. Steve C says:

    Interesting concept of “Trade Trees”

    If I had the patience they certainly would be fun to put together.

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  4. Glanzer says:

    I always like seeing how trades continue to pay off years down the road. Excellent example with the Langston and Zambrano deals.

    One of my favorites is the Twins-Yankees Knoblauch deal, where the Twins received Eric Milton, Cristian Guzman, Brian Buchanan, and Danny Mota. Milton netted Carlos Silva and Nick Punto… okay, not the greatest haul. Buchanan was traded to the Padres for a young Jason Bartlett, who of course was sent to Tampa Bay with Garza for Delmon Young and Brendan Harris. So in a way, Punto, Young, and Harris are still direct products of the Knoblauch deal, not to mention supplemental draft picks the Twins may have received for losing Guzman and Silva to free agency. I wonder when, if ever, the Knoblauch deal will be completely dead for the Twins?

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  5. The Ancient Mariner says:

    If you count compensatory picks, it doesn’t even begin with Langston — he was taken with a draft pick Seattle received for the loss of 3B Bill Stein, whom the Rangers signed as a free agent. Stein, incidentally, was an original Mariner, which means that there are six players on the current Seattle roster (Snell, Jack Wilson, Langerhans, Jason Vargas, Franklin Gutierrez, and Mike Carp) who can trace a connection all the way back to the club’s Opening Day roster in 1977. That’s rather cool.

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  6. scatterbrian says:

    The A’s drafted Mark Mulder with the second pick in the 1998 draft. They traded him to STL in 2004 for Dan Haren, Daric Barton and Kiko Calero. Haren was traded three years later (with Connor Robertson) for Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland, Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Smith. Gonzalez and Smith were packaged with Huston Street to get Matt Holliday, who was then flipped for Brett Wallace, OF Shane Peterson, and RHP Clayton Mortensen. That’s five guys on the 40-man roster, plus Carter and Wallace, who figure to be big contributors in the future.

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  7. Ed Nelson says:

    His 32% K rate is a little concerning though. I think the Rays might be prudent to get him out of the launching pad that is Salt Lake (elevation of about 4300 feet), and get him to a place that doesn’t reward swinging for the fences so much. Durham (elevation 404 feet) should be the perfect place to develop a little more patience. I think he’s still likely to be overmatched if they try to let him start next year in Tampa.

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  8. Bot says:

    Anyone explain to me how a guy like Sean Rodriguez makes it through waivers?

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  9. Ed Nelson says:

    Good point. There’s some rough edges, but that guy can obviously play.

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  10. Steve says:

    Hideki Irabu —> Jake Westbrook —> David Justice —>Robin Ventura —> Scott Proctor —> Wilson Betemit —> Nick Swisher

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    • Joe R says:

      Less direct but:
      Sox let Lowe go to LA
      Sox draft Craig Hansen and Michael Bowden in compensation
      Craig Hansen -> Jason Bay

      /approves

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    • Joe R says:

      Also forgot, got to draft Buchholz as compensation for Pedro to the Mets.

      Thanks Mets, love Pedro but we ran him out there like crazy for 7 years.

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  11. Matt W says:

    Well, Craig Hansen + Brandon Moss + some other guy who wound in LA-> Jason Bay.

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