Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Trade for a Trade

The Giants have traded...

...A left handed reliever for a backup catcher...For a minor league pitcher...

Not exactly the eye popping news story most fans have been clamoring to hear this off season. Pretty certain most fans first...second...third...and fourth thoughts were hoping around hope that the Giants brought in a bat. Someone, anyone who might give us just a sliver of more hope for offense heading into the season, because really, that is all we really need. Still, I think this is a decent deal for the Giants.

Jack Taschner's days have been numbered ever since Jeremy Affeldt signed this off season. Even before that, the emergence of Alex Hinshaw last season allowed rumors to surface of his departure. Taschner's late season performance, combined with his fairly awful spring, made me wonder what he could fetch in return. He has shown enough promise in the past to make me think he has the ability to be a setup man, 7th inning, maybe 8th, but certainly a lefty specialist. His wildness...not so much. If you had asked this time last spring what he could fetch, I'm betting it was about a backup catcher and a low to mid level minor leaguer, so all in all this ain't bad.

Ronny Paulino, acquired from the Phillies for Taschner, is a solid backup catcher. A career .278 hitter with Pittsburgh, last year saw him struggle at the plate as a backup and dealing with a nagging ankle injury. As the starter the two previous seasons he was solid. While the Giants didn't exactly have a screaming need for an improvement at backup catcher, never the less he would have been one. The current backup, Steve Holm, performed very well in that roll last season, but had made the jump a few levels to get there, and only has most of last year under his belt in the big show. Paulino, at the very least, would have given the Giants a bit more experience as well as more proven hitting. One thing Holm brings that no one else not named Jason Kendell is, Barry Zito's trust. For some reason, Zito preferred Holm to Molina last fall and once the transition to his personal catcher was made, Zito pitched terrific...If for no other reason, that is reason enough to keep Holm around about 5 more years.

About an hour after completing the Taschner for Paulino trade, the Giants turned around and flipped Paulino to Florida for Hector (not Kevin) Correa. According to Chris Haft, at, Correa was "the #3 prospect in the N.Y./Penn league in '07, earning allstar honors with the short-season Class A Jamestown club, going 6-2 with a 3.22 ERA in 11 starts". According to, Correa just turned 21 and has only pitched in the minors since 2006. It looks like a very short sampling in '06 in Rookie ball, then a full '07, followed by a very short '08 where he only pitched to 63 batters over 12 2/3 innings. In a google search, it appears he had shoulder problems last year forcing him out. Still, he was widely considered one of the Marlins top Prospects so if he bounces back from the injuries, the Giants could have made one hell of a deal. If he never pans out, they still don't come out looking too bad. Taschner was the third lefty in the depth chart, so he wouldn't have provided much in useful situations this year. Good Move.

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