Office of the League Commissioner----In a pair of deadline deals, two playoff perennials (the Yuma Firebirds and the Frostbite Falls Flying Squirrels) made moves to fortify their lineups for October and the rigors of the (expected?) post-season as Game Day 110 passed. In at least one deal, the players being moved had to shake their heads, as both teams dealt players they had acquired only a few months back.
The Firebirds acquired RHP Francisco Cordero, who had been amazing for the D-Backs, who had themselves only picked up Cordero in a major deal involving ‘Dice-K’ and J.D. Drew a few weeks ago. How amazing? Cordero had appeared in eight games, and had a win and seven saves to show for it! How could the D-Backs justify moving him? You can read their litany of excuses here for the deal, in which Cordero was sent to Yuma for reliever Brandon Morrow and IF David Eckstein, who himself had spent only a brief time in a Firebirds ‘uni’ after coming over in a trade from Pottsylvania. Eckstein truly proved to be a ‘rent-a-player’ with Yuma SS Miguel Tejada sidelined, hitting a soft .258 (17 hits, all singles) in 20 games with the Firebirds.
What about the Squirrels? Their deal with S-Mart (!) was remarkable in that it was the first that many in the league had even heard from the sagging Boom Sticks since play began back in April. It was also awkward: the Boom Sticks insisted on Frostbite Falls reacquiring former ace Jason Schmidt for salary purposes even though Schmidt is attempting to come back from career-threatening shoulder woes. FF owner Andrew Haynes was apparently willing to do the deal to get a proven veteran at 2B (Luis Castillo) along with backup C J.D. Closser and prospect-turned-suspect Edwin Encarnacion. Their take can be found here!
For its trouble, the Boom Sticks got OF Rocco Baldelli (out for the year with injuries), versatile IF Julio Lugo, LF Dave Roberts and RHP Tim Wakefield—none of whom apparently figured much in the Squirrels’ post-season plans. The workhorse Wakefield will get plenty of work on the Boom Sticks side, and will probably both start and relieve.