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Monday, June 28, 2004
Evaluating the Trade

In each trade there is thought to be 'winners' and 'losers', and at first glance it appears that the Sox have ended up on the short end of this deal. They gave up a 25 year old catcher, who's been underutilized offensively, and is just starting to develop as a hitter after being rushed to the majors; The 2003 Minor League Player of the Year in Jeremy Reed; and a AA Shortstop who is far from a non-prospect. In return they got an anchor to their starting staff for the remainder of the year, though nothing is guaranteed after that, a underperforming, light-hitting former #2 pick catcher, and some cash.

Lets take a look at some numbers.

Garcia vs. ALC
             W     L     IP     H      R     ER     HR     BB      K    ERA   WHIP

vs.CLE 3 3 56.33 55 27 22 6 22 39 3.51 1.37
vs.DET 5 3 77.00 67 30 30 7 32 62 3.51 1.29
vs.KC 4 6 69.33 89 49 45 11 21 42 5.84 1.59
vs.MIN 4 1 53.67 52 24 22 4 15 37 3.69 1.25
16 13 256.33 263 130 119 28 90 180 4.18 1.38

Those are some impressive numbers. He seems to have a little bit of trouble with the Royals, who we face 10 more times this season, but they should be a shell of a team by the time we see them again, so I'm not worried about them.

Here's some more troubling numbers. Take out the Home games vs. the ALC and you get something completely different.

Garcia vs ALC(road)
                    G    W   L     IP     H     R   ER  HR    BB     K   ERA  WHIP

Jacobs Field 5 2 2 30 32 16 13 4 7 27 3.9 1.3
Comerica Park 4 0 2 26 26 14 14 3 17 18 4.85 1.65
Tiger Stadium 1 1 0 8 6 2 2 0 4 7 2.25 1.25
Kauffman Stadiu 6 2 3 33 50 28 25 4 7 19 6.82 1.73
Metrodome 4 1 1 23.67 28 19 18 4 10 17 6.85 1.61
20 6 8 120.67 142 79 72 15 45 88 5.37 1.55

This just shows how much Garcia has truly benefited from pitching in Safeco Field. USCF is not a pitchers friendly park. Garcia is an upgrade, no doubt about it, but he's not a savior.

Comparing his road stats to that of the 4 man rotation of the Sox and it looks even less impressive. While the Sox starting staff has a combined ERA of over 5 (that includes the 5th starters), their road stats have been much better.

Sox Starters (Road)
NAME             G   GS   W   L     IP    H    ER   HR   BB   SO   K/9  WHIP   ERA

E. Loaiza 8 8 3 2 58 57 22 6 18 27 4.19 1.29 3.41
Mark Buehrle 6 6 2 0 39.33 43 15 6 10 26 5.95 1.35 3.43
S. Schoeneweis 7 7 3 3 44 42 17 4 22 26 5.32 1.45 3.48
Jon Garland 7 7 4 1 50.33 39 21 5 18 25 4.47 1.13 3.75
28 28 12 6 191.67 181 75 21 68 104 4.88 1.30 3.52

Garcia's Road Stats (2004)
NAME             G  GS   W   L  IP    H  ER  HR  BB  SO K/9 WHIP  ERA

Freddy Garcia 7 7 2 3 48.1 54 21 6 12 29 5.4 1.37 3.91

Garcia actually has a higher road ERA than any of the Sox starters. That could spell trouble for Garcia at USCF which is giving up HR's at a greater rate than any other park in baseball.

So The sox gave up two guys who should contribute to the Mariners for some time, and all they got in return was about 18 starts? Well not quite. Kenny Williams indicated that he was going to do everything in his power to try an sign Garcia to an extension, RIGHT AWAY. He was also coy about making any future moves. The one caveat is if the Sox are able to resign Garcia, and all signs are good that they will. Ozzie and Garcia are "friends." Garcia and Ozzie's daughter are 'more than friends'.(read engaged) The White Sox are on pace to draw more people to Comiskey than any year since 1993. Reinsdorf has given KW the ability to take on more contracts. I expect something to get worked out VERY quickly.

I also don't think that this is the last deal that KW does. Yesterday the popular rumor floating around the net sent Maggs and Jon Rauch to the Braves for Andruw Jones and Russ Ortiz. The deal makes sense for both teams, as the sox have proved that they can still produce runs without Maggs in the line-up, they pick up Jones for 3 years at 13MIL/yr, and rent Ortiz for a playoff push. Atlanta would be rid of two large contracts, that would allow them to throw their money at Maggs, who they covet. I see no reason why, just because the Sox acquired Garcia, they wouldn't still want to consider this deal. Adding another arm would strengthen the rotation, and the bullpen significantly. If you're going to go for it, trading away your top prospect and your catcher of the present/near future, then why not go all out?

Goodbye Miggy, You'll be missed
The most upsetting thing about this trade is the loss of Miguel Olivo. Mo was just starting to come into his own as a major league hitter. I guess there was some problems with the way he called games, though he did have the 3rd best Catchers ERA in the AL last season, much of that may have been attributed to catching Esteban Loaiza. Miguel caught all 28 of Loaiza's victories in a White Sox uniform. The writing was on the wall, I guess most of us just missed it. The Sox had called up Jamie Burke, a third string catcher, when Maggs went on the DL, and when Alomar couldn't go one day when Buehrle was on the hill, MB said he'd prefer to throw to Burke. We should have seen it coming, but we were all blind-sided by losing Miggy. I can still here that commercial with Ozzie, "Miguel Olivo, He's a crazy man."

Miguel was a pleasure to watch. He made his mistakes, but you could almost see him learning the game daily. I'll remember the one AB he took about a month ago where he got down 0-2, fought back to a full count, then fought off 3 or 4 pitches, before depositing the ball over the outfield wall. I knew Mo was growing up as a hitter, but that showed me he was actually ready to be a major league hitter. Miguel will become a fan favorite in Seattle with his big smile and all out effort. He had a good teacher in Sandy Alomar with the Sox, and he'll have another one in, Barrington High School product, Dan Wilson in Seattle. Good Luck Mo. I'm sure you'll receive quite an ovation when you return as a M in a couple weeks.