Thursday, December 10, 2009

Analysis of the Rafael Soriano Trade

And to think, GM Andrew Friedman once said that the Rays were not looking for a closer. Pshhh.

Rays acquire: Rafael Soriano

Braves acquire: Jesse Chavez

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Rays Perspective
  • Acquire a quality closer
  • Tremendous bullpen
  • Short term commitment
  • Did not give up anything spectacular to acquire Soriano
  • $7 million is a lot for the Rays to pay a closer
  • Contenders in 2010?
  • Dioner Navarro's days with the Rays numbered?
Conclusion: $7 million is a lot for the Rays to spend on a closer, but this move signals to me that the Rays are indeed going for it in 2010. Soriano will become one of the Rays highest paid players (at least in the top 4) and there's no doubt that a lot will be expected of him. I'm surprised that the Rays were willing to take on all of Soriano's contract given their reluctance to acquire another closer, but given the situation, I guess the Rays felt that this was too good to pass up.

Look at the trade this way: the Rays traded Akinori Iwamura and the $4.25 owed to him in 2010 for Jesse Chavez, who was then traded for Rafael Soriano, who will probably command at least $7 million from the Rays. So in a sense, the Rays picked up Rafael Soriano for Akinori Iwamura and roughly $3 million. Not too shabby.

Braves Perspective
  • made the best of a tough situation
  • Chavez has potential to help the bullpen
  • Fortunate that they don't have to pick up any of Soriano's salary
Conclusion: Once Rafael Soriano accepted the Braves' arbitration offer, GM Frank Wren was caught in a tough spot. The Braves could not afford to keep Soriano after signing Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, so they had no choice but to deal him. Even though the Braves did not receive the two draft picks they were hoping for when they offered Soriano salary arbitration, Wren did nicely for the Braves given the situation he was put in. Wren was able to maintain the Braves' payroll flexibility and at the same time, he acquired a hard throwing right hander in Chavez, who can become a mainstay in the Braves bullpen.

***What do you think of this trade? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section******

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