Red Sox trade Manny Delcarmen to Rockies for pitching prospect Chris Balcom-Miller

6 Comments

Earlier this week the Rockies were said to be looking for some bullpen help and this afternoon they acquired reliever Manny Delcarmen from the Red Sox for Single-A pitching prospect Chris Balcom-Miller.
Delcarmen was one of the Red Sox’s best relievers in 2007 and 2008, combining to throw 118 innings with a 2.81 ERA, .197 opponents’ batting average, and 113/45 K/BB ratio, but has a 4.60 ERA and 76/62 K/BB ratio in 104 innings since then and slipped down the bullpen pecking order this season.
His velocity has declined a bit from 2007/2008 while his strikeout rate fell and his walk rate rose, but Delcarmen still has good raw stuff and seems capable of rebounding into a useful setup man in the National League. He’s also under team control for two more seasons as an arbitration eligible player, so the Rockies may have brought Delcarmen in as much for 2011 and 2012 as for this season. They’re currently seven games back in the NL West and 3.5 games out of the Wild Card race.
Chris Balcom-Miller was the Rockies’ sixth-round pick last year and has posted incredible numbers in the low minors so far with a 2.72 ERA, .194 opponents’ batting average, and 177/26 K/BB ratio in 166 innings between rookie-ball and low Single-A. He’s a long way from potentially reaching the majors, but represents a nice haul for a player who had clearly fallen out of favor in Boston.

Evan Longoria: ‘I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base’

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
12 Comments

The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.