Friday, November 19, 2004

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Lads and the Washington Expos have agreed to a deal trading Jose Guillen for Juan Rivera and a minor leaguer. There is apparently a press conference scheduled for 1 PM Pacific Time to announce this.

Rivera hit 307/364/465 in 391 AB last season (an OPS+ of 118), at the age of 26. He spent most of his time in right field, and has been a corner outfielder for practically all of his career. Last season was by far his best so far in the majors, and also the first time he has had considerable playing time in the majors. He hit 325/374/466 in Columbus in 2003, and 325/355/502 there in 2002.

So we have another free-swinging corner outfielder on the team. He's got a little upside, but ... he doesn't solve either the middle infielder problem, the center field problem, or the starting pitching problem. He might fill the DH spot, either by playing in left and putting Garret there or DHing himself.

A lot would depend on who the prospect is, but it looks like Guillen has been dispatched for a comparable player, and not one that directly addresses our needs. Given the baggage, maybe that's the best we could do.

UPDATE: There is some speculation that the prospect may be Maicer Izturis, a shorstop prospect in the D.C. system blocked by their recent acquisition of Cristian Guzman. Following that link takes you to a page including Izturis' minor league numbers, which include a 338/428/423 tear last year in AAA at the age of 24. Of course, the 'Spos' AAA team is based in Edmonton, and the Angels know all about getting burned by Edmonton stats. Per Clay Davenport at BPro, Izturis had an EqA of .283 at Edmonton -- which translates to a measly .238 in the show (there's about a 40-point difference between the majors and AAA by this measure). Izturis does look good in Davenport's projections, however.

I don't want to get too far ahead of facts with speculation, but if this is all true, Izturis could start at short, booting Eckstein to second while the team is on Adam Kennedy Health Watch.

UPDATE II: The AP also runs the story, but the prospect is still unidentified.

Can Rivera play center a couple of times per week? If so, he could platoon with DaVanon, assuming they don't add another CF or DH.
On the conference call, Stoneman says he sees Rivera as more of a corner outfielder than a CF.
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