The Yuma Firebirds, with an talented surplus of relief pitching, dealt
forme The Yuma Firebirds, with an talented surplus of relief pitching, dealt former bullpen cornerstone Scott Linebrink to nemesis Frostbite for heralded youngsters LHP Scott Elbert and 2B Howie Kendrick.
"We were going to have to deal a reliever, and he was the most expendable and sexy one to deal. Knowing that many teams were in desperate need of pitching, we felt like we maxmized Linebrink's value at the right time. Elbert has a chance of becoming a premier pitcher in the league, and though he is currently resting his arm, we have no doubt that he should return to full strength and pitch to his potential. Kendrick has the tools to be star, and gives up good depth in the middle INF," said GM Billy Beane. "I think this deal was a steal!"
"I felt this was a great deal for the 2007 team," said Flying Squirrels General Manager Andrew Haynes. "Relief pitching was our biggest weakness, and we are deep in prospects. So giving up a future batting champion and a possible number two starter for a setup guy was OK, even if it comes back to bite us later."
Linebrink is expected to become the top setup man for closer Joe Nathan. Kendrick was available to be used by the team, but an unexpected glut of position players kept him in the minors. Elbert is nursing a sore shoulder and hasn't pitched since mid-April, and Frostbite Falls management felt he was expendable because he was just the third or fourth best pitching prospect in the system.