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Minor Moves: Torrealba to SD, Eveland to TOR, Kennedy to WAS

Posted By David Golebiewski On February 7, 2010 @ 11:47 am In Catchers,Second Base,Starting Pitchers,Trades | No Comments

San Diego Padres signed C Yorvit Torrealba to a one-year, $1.25 million contract with a $3.5 million mutual option for the 2011 season.

Torrealba, 31, is expected to split time behind the dish with Nick Hundley. Dusty Ryan, designated for assignment by the Tigers and picked up by the Padres in a December trade, is likely ticketed for Triple-A Portland.

In part-time play last year, Torrealba turned in his best offensive season since he was a Giant back in 2004. He batted .291/.351/.380 in 242 plate appearances with the Rockies. However, there’s little reason to believe that he’ll replicate that production in 2010.

Torrealba’s BABIP was .355 in 2009, compared to a .298 career mark in the majors. And clearly, the change in home ballparks is massive. When you take Coors Field into account, Torrealba’s ’09 production at the plate was still 16 percent worse than average (84 wRC+). His career wRC+ with Colorado is 77.

So, with plenty of extra hits dropping in and the benefit of Coors, Torrealba was still a tepid batter. Now, he’s going to cavernous Petco, anathema to all things offense. CHONE projects a .242/.301/.353 line in 2010, with a 73 wRC+.

Oakland Athletics traded LHP Dana Eveland to the Toronto Blue Jays for a PTBNL or cash.

A husky left-hander, Eveland has now been traded three times during his career. The Brewers’ 16th-round pick in the 2002 draft was swapped to the Diamondbacks in November of 2006, and then headed to Oakland in December of 2007 as a sweetener in the Dan Haren deal.

In four seasons at the Triple-A level, the 26 year-old punched out 7.7 batters per nine frames, with 3.4 BB/9. He struggled in three cups of coffee in the majors from 2005-2007.

But Eveland tossed 168 frames in 29 starts with the A’s in 2008, with 6.32 K/9, 4.13 BB/9 and a 4.55 xFIP. There’s nothing awe-inspiring about that line, and he did often back himself into hitter’s counts (54.7 first-pitch strike percentage, compared to the 58-59% MLB average).

However, Eveland’s four-pitch mix garnered ground balls 48.7 percent of the time. His 90 MPH fastball was worth -0.31 runs per 100 pitches, with his high-70′s curve (-0.18) and low-80′s changeup (-0.49) also in the red. But Eveland’s bread-and-butter offering was a low-80′s slider, thrown over 23 percent of the time with a +1.76 run value per 100 tosses.

2009, by comparison, was a disaster. In 44 frames with Oakland, Eveland struck out just 22 batters and issued 26 free passes. He wasn’t 7.16 ERA-level bad, but that 5.20 xFIP was still plenty grim. Eveland’s fastball velocity dipped to 88.7 MPH. At Triple-A Sacramento, the southpaw posted rates of 6.7 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9, with a 4.33 FIP in 124 innings.

There’s little downside from Toronto’s perspective, as they pick up the recently DFA’d Eveland at little cost. If he can find the form that allowed him to pitch at a league-average level in ’08, Eveland could fight for a spot at the back of the Blue Jays’ rotation. It’s an awfully crowded competition, however. His CHONE forecast for 2010? A 4.59 FIP in 144 innings, with 5.44 K/9 and 3.94 BB/9.

Washington Nationals signed INF Adam Kennedy to a one-year, $1.25 million contract with a $2 million club option for the 2011 season.

Kennedy will man second base for the Nationals, meaning that Cristian Guzman will remain at shortstop for the time being and that Ian Desmond does not have a defined role with the club at the outset of the 2010 season.

Signed to a minor league deal by the Rays last year, Kennedy was traded to the A’s and split his time between second and third base. In 587 PA, Kennedy batted .289/.348/.410 with a 108 wRC+. He nabbed 20 bases in 26 attempts to boot.

Kennedy didn’t come anywhere near that offensive level from 2006 to 2008 (a combined 77 wRC+), and he turned 34 in January. It’s not surprising, then, that the projection systems aren’t too fond of him: CHONE calls for an 89 wRC+, as does Marcel. Given his multi-position eligibility and ability to swipe some bags, Kennedy could have a tiny bit of value in NL formats early next season. Just don’t expect an ’09 repeat.


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