BALLERS: DRAWING THE DREWS
Oakeyland----The smoke and mirrors continue, as Ballers GM Daniel Petropolous, a surprise contender in the moribund Central Division, has made a pair of deals that (not surprisingly) have led to a lot of second-guessing....even by the owners they traded with! In the process, Oakeyland has united veteran RF J.D. Drew with his younger brother, promising SS Stephen Drew, who no doubt becomes the club’s shortstop of the future.
To get J.D., the Ballers had to deal a little quality, including their club’s closer (RHP Francisco Cordero), a possible ace in RHP Josh Beckett, and a promising young pitcher (Boof Bonser)—a truly surprising move given the state of pitching in the league. Still, Oakeyland got more than Drew, too, adding volatile young OF Elijah Dukes, catching prospect Jeff Mathis and solid starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, You had to think that Arizona thought they got the better of this and their other deal, whereas it was mystery as to whether or not the Ballers had any buyer’s remorse after coughing up so much pitching.
On the other hand, to hear Brooklyn GM Eric Caskey tell it, they fleeced the now-suicidal Moabs by giving up only LHP Joe Kennedy and a player to be named to acquire Drew, and one senses increasing desperation for Brooklyn. Whether or not the sum total of all this activity will make Oakeyland a better team on the mound is highly debatable....
In a late-breaking move, the Ballers have opened up an outfield spot for J.D. Drew by sending OF Curtis Granderson to Yuma for 2B Howie Kendrick and lefty prospect Mark Pawalek. Still no comment from Yuma on either of their deals!
Pottsylvania----Eager for some reason to stockpile second baseman, the Creepers essentially conceded their season, moving SS David Eckstein and prospect Neil Walker to Yuma (which needed insurance for Miguel Tejada) to get IF Aaron Hill and Nick Punto, then acquiring 2B Ricky Weeks from Arizona for not one, but two struggling pitchers: Derrick Turnbow and Anthony Reyes.
With tons of injuries, Randy Johnson iffy for next year and plenty of team need, it will be interesting to see which of the 2B the Creepers will hang onto, or, for that matter, what next year’s strategy will be. Pottsylvania rode veteran pitching to their first divisional title last year, but Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Mike Mussina have all disappointed this year.