Friday, August 28, 2009

Rays Acquire Sweeney, Torres from Angels

As you might have heard by now, the Rays have traded left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir to the Angels for minor-leaguers Matthew Sweeney, Alexander Torres, and a PTBNL.

Sweeney is a first baseman masquerading as a third baseman. He was the Angels' 8th round pick out of a Maryland high school in 2006. He tore up the Arizona Rookie League and earned a promotion to full-season ball in 2007. In the Midwest League(a pitcher's league), he hit .260/.324/.458 as a 19-year old. His 2008 season was wiped out due to an ankle injury, and he returned in 2009 to hit .299/.379/.517 in the California League. Reports are he has some pretty good power potential, and his stats also show that he can draw a walk. His fielding at 3B is extremely rocky, and he'll almost certainly have to move to 1B or a corner outfield spot soon. He doesn't have great tools, and his future hinges on how his power develops.

Torres was an international signee out of Venezuela. He made his state-side debut in 2006 in the Arizona Rookie League. He evidently had an injury in 2007, as he pitched just 5 innings. He split time between the AZL and the Cal League in 2008, posting decent strikeout numbers with iffy control. That continued in 2009, where between the Cal(A+) and Texas(AA) leagues he's struck out 149 batters in 147 innings while walking 80. The left-hander has shown the ability to generate groundballs, but he needs to iron out the control issues before really emerging as a good prospect. He turns 22 in December.

There are a ton of other places to get analysis of the deal from, so I'll just say this, all with the full disclosure that Kazmir was my favorite player and basically the reason I became a Rays fan: The problem for me isn't so much that they actually traded Kazmir, it's that they traded him for a pretty unimpressive haul because his value was low, and they didn't really give him a chance to rebuild it. I would have at least let him pitch the rest of the season(he was fantastic against Toronto last time out) and see where his value is then. The Rays have the minor-league depth to absorb losing Kazmir(Wade Davis is the possible replacement), but it seems to me they really sold low on Kazmir.

At any rate, we'll see where the two new prospects are assigned to. Sweeney could join Charlotte for the playoff push, while Torres has thrown 147 innings already and it's possible the Rays shut him down for the rest of 2009.


  1. The Rays are really starting to confuse me. They keep getting rid of their own "good" players. Kazmir must feel as though he got slapped by the Rays--traded for only 2 minor league players and both had injuries? (remember , also, that 1st few 2009 draftpicks had injuries,too)What's going on in the front office?

  2. That's the part that I don't get. Kazmir's "injury-prone" and a "ticking time bomb" but they 1) drafted a lot of injured guys and 2) the guys they traded Kazmir for both have injury concerns.

  3. The Rays also get a player to be named in the deal. Now they have the money to be able to keep Carl Crawford. Good deal Rays!

  4. Hopefully the PTNL turns out to be the rumored RHP Jordan Walden.He is very similar to Wade Davis in size,stuff,and ability.He may even throw harder, just he is younger and raw.He was shut down this summer with an elbow strain.Perhaps the Rays are checking him out physically.If healthy,this could turn out to be a really good trade for the Rays,getting there 3.

  5. I dont really know the rules to this that much but is there a chance the player is Kevin Jepsen?I really like the kid and hoped we could have gotten him in a Kaz trade earlier

  6. Wow...still looking forward to the end of the 09 season tho.