Ok, so this is slightly out of the range of FR, but it involves some of our once and future “Future Redbirds”, so I thought it would be an appropriate venue. And of course, you know you would like a break from the draft reviews.
Either way, today I will endeavor to prove that the Cardinals have improved their organization through the two trades they made this offseason.
Cardinals trade RHP Blake Hawksworth to LA for SS Ryan Theriot.
Cardinals trade SS Brendan Ryan to SEA for RHP Maikel Cleto.
I’m going to start out with an assumption, but based on how the Cardinals have gone about their business, this is obviously their decision.
1. Ryan Theriot > Brendan Ryan
Whether you agree with this or not (or whether I agree with this or not) is not the point. The Cardinals believe this to be true, so we will use it as our assumption.
a. Fernando Salas > Blake Hawksworth
Over both of their short times in the majors, Salas has more strikeouts per nine innings and a better strikeout to walk ratio. The same can be said for both players minor league careers as well. And Salas is not even known to have overpowering stuff.
b. Eduardo Sanchez > Blake Hawksworth
The Cardinals have another up and coming right-handed bullpen arm in Eduardo Sanchez. Over his minor league career, Sanchez has struck out almost 10 batters per 9 innings. Although both Hawksworth and Sanchez have similar K/BB ratio, Sanchez’s higher strikeout rate seals the deal.
Obviously, strikeouts and walks do not show all that a pitcher can do, but it gives a quick look at a players control and ability to miss bats, both of which are crucial out of the bullpen on a major league ballclub. Additionally, Hawksworth’s subtraction can be seen as an addition by subtraction because it makes room for both Salas and Sanchez in the major league bullpen in 2011.
2. Maikel Cleto > Blake Hawksworth
We have already made the points why the moves are for the best for the major league team, but now we can dig further and see why the moves have made the farm system stronger as well. For evidence on this, we do not have to dig into the stats, just a quick tweet from Baseball Expert Joe Sheehan:
Cards got more for Ryan than they gave up for Theriot.
So, if we use that evidence from Mr. Sheehan, Cleto is a better prospect and better pitcher than Hawksworth.
So, with all the evidence presented, I have now proved the Cardinals have made their franchise better with these two trades. Obviously, I take the largest point of contention and put it as the assumption, but since this is Future Redbirds, we will leave those types of arguments to Viva El Birdos and other outlets that cover the major league club. The Cardinals added Cleto into a position of strength, right handed relief, but they have also added to a position of weakness in the system: power arms.
So, have at me in the comments and math people can let me know how badly I butchered proofing.