All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Reds Deal Hamilton

The Reds, with a glut of lefty-hitting outfielders, were rumored to be shopping some of them. They moved one of them today: Josh Hamilton. He was dealt to Texas today for two pitching prospects.

I can't say I'm surprised. Hamilton was obvious trade-bait. The Reds weren't going to get a lot for players like Freel or Hopper. Veteran stars Dunn and Griffey were unlikely trade candidates. And the Reds have declared Jay Bruce untouchable. Which left their other young stud center fielder, Hamilton.

There were other signs that Hamilton was not long for Cincinnati. One reason the Reds took a chance on him was his connection with Jerry Narron. But Narron was fired mid-season. His brother, Johnny, who was basically kept on the payroll to be Hamilton's babysitter, was let go at the end of the season. To me, that was the handwriting on the wall. Either the Reds were planning to trade Hamilton, or they were done coddling him. Whichever it was, it didn't bode well for his future with the team.

Hamilton was very popular with Reds fans, but they are taking this deal better than I thought they would. Perhaps they read the tea leaves the same way I did, and were expecting it. Most of them seem to understand that Hamilton is a great risk as well as a great talent, and that the Reds are short of pitching but have a glut of outfielders.

Rangers fans, OTOH, are not taking it well. Which is odd, since Texas blogger Jamey Newberg thought the Reds would get a lot more than they got for Hamilton.

However, most of the experts seem to think this is a good deal for both teams.

(And let me take this opportunity to offer some advice to the Yankees pitching staff. Do not throw fastballs to Hamilton. It doesn't matter how well-located they are. He's got the strength and the bat speed to hit them, even on the edges of the strike zone. Even outside the strike zone. Stick to breaking stuff.)

No trade news on the Yankees front. I'm guessing that we won't hear any news about Santana, or Bubba, or Andy Phillips, etc., until after New Year's...but the way things are going, I could be wrong.

It used to be that MLB pretty much shut down for the week of Christmas and New Year's. But with Blackberries, cell phones, etc., that's changing. Last year, the Randy Johnson trade was big news in the days after Christmas, which I wasn't expecting, and several other small deals were done around the league. So who knows? I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:36 PM


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