Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Swaps!? - a look back at some major Troy trades

Troy, NY: As the Haymakers prepare for what looks to be their second consecutive playoff appearance, the sports department decided to take a look at some past major trades made and how they worked out for both teams:

1. 2008 Draft Day: Chase Utley, Carl Crawford and Matt Capps to Lehigh Valley(I can't remember if this was with Kevin or the old franchise) for Jered Weaver, Matt Holliday and Mark Ellis. After their first full season, Haymaker GM was looking to make their own stamp on the franchise and looking to pick up young pitching talent. The team lost 103 games and Ellis and Halladay were both gone after just one season with the team; Holliday traded and Ellis cut. Lehigh Valley on the other hand won 96 games and the TG South title. Weaver and Holliday netted a couple of quality players in future trades, so this may be a push.

2. 2007 Offseason: Ichiro Suzuki to Seattle for Andrew Jones, Andre Ethier and David Eckstein. Boy did this one backfire....Continuing with the making a stamp on the franchise, GM Ken Anderson traded the long time Canyon County leadoff hitter for three part time players. The front office staff was sure that Andrew Jones recent struggles were only temporary, but after one season with the team where he hit only .182 he was cut. Eckstein also only lasted one season while Ethier stayed three seasons as the cleanup hitter against righties going about .255 with 46 homeruns during that span. Suzuki enjoyed four successful seasons as the leadoff hitter in Seattle before recently tailing off due to age.

3. 2008 Pre-cutback trade: Matt Holliday to Grundy County for Brandon Phillips, Yuniesky Betencourt and Jason Marquis. This deal worked out to be Matt Holliday for Brandon Phillips as both Betencourt and Marquis were cut from the team a short while later without playing at all for Troy. Phillips is still with the team and is a fan favorite and fixture at second base. His numbers have not been overwhelming, only averaging .250 batting average, 18 homeruns and about 20 stolen bases; but the front office is very happy with his play as one of the best defenders in the league. Holliday spent three very productive seasons with Grundy County and is currently with Slatington looking to win a championship.

4. 2010 Draft Day: Adrian Beltre to Outlaw for a round 4 pick. Boy this was a doozie...after picking up Pablo Sandoval earlier in the same draft (4th overall), Beltre was deemed expendable and moved for a 4th round pick which netted....Brandon Lyon! Lyon enjoy two somewhat successful seasons with Troy, even going 7-1 in the bullpen during the championship run last season. Beltre, coming off his worst season with Seattle (only a .683 OPS) signed with Boston and only became the best 3Bman in baseball over the next three years. Probably the most lopsided trade in the Haymaker franchise.

5. 2010 Postseason: Jered Weaver, Andre Ethier and Omar Infante to Springfield for Josh Hamilton and Mike Adams. After seeing that Josh hit .400 against righties GM Ken Anderson had to have him on his team and ponied up; moving breakout ace Jered Weaver. Josh Hamilton and Mike Adams helped bring the first championship appearance to Troy and are pivotal to the current year playoff push. Weaver, Infante and Ethier helped bring a 101 win season to Springfield last season. Weaver has solidified his stance as a staff ace while Hamilton is still one of the best hitters in the league. I'd call that a Push.

6. 2012 Block 2: Jose Bautista to Slatington for Edwin Encarnation and a VFS round 1 pick. Lots of heads were scratched when Bautista was moved from what was considered a playoff lock team to a division rival. Troy GM, playing a hunch in what can only be called a mad scientist kind of way, decided it was time to move the breakout star. Bautista is only contending for a triple crown while making Slatington look like a championship team. His 51 homeruns and 115 RBI's are currently leading the NASBL. E5 is having a Bautista like breakout and currently tied for 7th in MLB in OPS with .947 (tied with teammate Josh Hamilton, no doubt) and the VFS round 1 pick is looking to be a top 6 pick in what will be a deep draft. We may not know for a few years who will get the better end of this deal, but a championship to Slatington will push the pivot in their direction.

So that was a look back at the six biggest trades in Troy history. With no clear wins and a couple obvious losses (Ichiro and Beltre), it may be possible that tinkering too much can be a bad thing...