Friday, December 7, 2007

Hooking a Salomon

To echo countless other articles, apparently the winter meeting weren't so fruitless for the Brewers after all. The day after their Nashville departure, the front office emerged with a transaction, dealing minor leaguers Mariano Salas and Kevin Roberts to Pittsburgh for 35-year-old former closer Salomon Torres.

A deal of this magnitude won't likely significantly change the state of any team involved, but what it does tell me is that the Brewers know their needs, however they won't sell the farm to address them.

Though this move further all but cements Turnbow into the 2008 closer, the aquisition does also bring another experienced arm into a bullpen that basically spelled the weakness (Minus Coco, that is) of the crew one season ago. I doubt I'm going too far in assuming that Torres will be used primarily in a non-closer relief role, but if needed, he too can close out games. He notched 12 saves last season before surrendering his role to Matt Capps and another 12 the season before that. If needed (and no further bullpen arms are brought in) Torres would probably be the fourth reliever called upon to fill a game-ending role behind Turnbow, Riske and McClung.

I never like to see two pitching prospects (23 and 26 respectively) go to bring in a veteran name, but this does tell me is that Melvin wants to, and believes his team can, win now. Torres is a short term potential leak-stopper who isn't breaking the bank with his 3.2 MM salary. His walk totals have always been low (the anti-Turnbow, if you will), he can throw virtually every day and his arm is only 31 because he took a four season hiatus to coach in the he can teach our young arms a thing or two. As a fellow member of the "I plunked someone in the face" club, he could start his veteran coaching with the now headcase Matt Wise. He's also the guy responsible for shattering Sammy Sosa's helmet when he plunked him in the head with a heater and you have to love that!

I'm not singing from the rooftops on this move, but I like what it says about this year's implications - changes are necessary but not desperately necessary. Hopefully this deal doesn't mark the conclusion of a fairly uneventful offseason. I hope Salomon is just an apetizer and the main course still to come.

A Mench/Sheets/prospect for Carl Crawford/prospect deal is what I'm craving. Will it come? No. But a man can dream.

Posted by Tyler


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