|Clemens has been grounded for most part in 93' -- until departing for more pleasant scenery at break.|
The Alternate 1993 Project continues on...
To give you an idea of the pennant races, I will add pics of the standings as the season went on.
In early June (above), you can see that even the 5th place Boston Red Sox were playing pretty well at a .566 clip, while four teams were over .600. The American League West of course, was more deluded with Chicago leading the division at around 42 wins at this time.
Then came June 25th, and the Cleveland Indians started rolling, while the Tigers started sliding. The Tigers would eventually lose 8 straight here.
At the All-Star Break, this is where both leagues stand....
The Chicago White Sox start to stretch that division lead, breaking away from the Kansas City Royals. The Texas Rangers have dealt with injuries to their rotation, otherwise they would be more of a factor -- They picked up Armando Reynoso prior to the season (due to the Colorado Rockies not existing) and he made the rotation more stable, but have since traded him at the All-Star break to the Cleveland Indians.
The Indians suddenly buyers, acquired Cal Eldred from the low-functioning Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers also traded Jesse Orosco away for P-Allen Watson & a 3rd Round Draft Selection. Milwaukee added Mark Clark, a couple vets & a 1st Round Draft Selection, not to mention the fact that the Brewers are in for a solid pick at the end of the season.
The way the draft works is that it will have the players from the expansion teams (Colorado & Florida) and the players cut from other rosters, basically a free agent draft. Now, players such as Jeff Conine (who's with the Tigers) & Joe Girardi (Braves) will stay with those teams until their actual expansion team stints end, I want to say Conine's contract is through 1998 & Joe Girardi's is through the end of 1995.. Once those stints end, they go to the actual team they were with that year, so Girardi will be joining the New York Yankees in 1996.
The expansion team players in the 1994 free agent draft is new players that were not drafted from the 1994 teams, for example 1995 will be a big draft with Larry Walker (who joined Colorado in 1995) will be a free agent & probably the top selection -- which means early teams with a shot at him, would most likely be teams such as the Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Diego Padres.
Here is the mid-season trades that went down, with one major blockbuster. I will explain these trades in more depth afterwards, keep in mind, that I tried for most part to trade as if I don't know what will happen in future on some of these. Some people would argue that the Brewers would get more for Jesse Orosco....
A) Orosco actually only has about 20 quality innings left for the season, so his worth to the Cards is not as big as it seems, he is also only under contract through 1994, then he would join his actual club in Baltimore in 1995.
B) Allen Watson, who the Brewers acquired will give the Brewers, who are in need of rotation pitchers some innings the next few years. Plus Milwaukee gets a 3rd Round draft selection, basically a prospect or vet signing to the mix.
The Cardinals only made the Orosco deal, which is strange considering they are on the Philadelphia Phillies' tail. The Cards have an excellent future, and don't want to break the bank, they just called up reliever Paul Kilgus, who is a grade 24*-X and has 28.2 innings or more to use. They flirted with the idea of making a deal for Gary Sheffield of the Los Angeles Dodgers, which Bernard Gilkey & possibly Ray Lankford were both involved, but they have Lankford through almost 2000, and the combination of those two players with Gregg Jefferies (currently batting .402) and Todd Zeile have the Cardinals wanting to stay put. Their starting pitching isn't great, they added Pat Rapp prior to the season, who's only perk was innings. St. Louis might make a small deal later....
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies, since they had a rough 1992, picked a valuable Bryan Harvey up for the season. Harvey was made closer, at first I thought of using him as a great set-up man for Mitch Williams... then realized that Harvey should be closer, this left Mitch even out of a set-up role, due to David West's strong 1993 season. Mitch has been in limbo, and as the All-Star break approached and as the Phillies watched some pennant chasers pick up some starting pitching, the Phillies called Houston & made a deal for Mark Portugal, who hits the free agent market at season's end. Houston gets Mitch Williams, along with Ben Rivera & infielder Alex Arias, who will be under contract through 1997 -- he provides good infield depth; Mitch ends up with Astros in 1994 anyways, so now he's under contract through 1994. The Astros would also deal reliever Xavier Hernandez for OF momentarily bench help in Bob Zupcic & a 3rd Round Draft selection,
- The Milwaukee Brewers trade RP-Jesse Orosco to the St.Louis Cardinals in exchange for P-Allen Watson & 3rd Round Draft Selection.
- The Cleveland Indians trade 2B-Jeff Treadway, RP-Heathcliff Slocumb, SP-Mark Clark & a 1st Round Draft Selection & 3rd Round Draft Selection to the Milwaukee Brewers for SP-Cal Eldred.
- The Toronto Blue Jays trade RP-Mike Timlin, P-Woody Williams & their 1st Round Draft Selection to the Los Angeles Dodgers for SP-Tom Candiotti & their 3rd Round Draft Selection.
- The Baltimore Orioles trade 3B-Leo Gomez, OF-Sherman Obando & IF-Manny Alexander to the San Francisco Giants for OF-Darren Lewis.
- The Detroit Tigers trade SP-John Doherty, OF-Danny Bautista, P-Mike Gardiner, RP-Buddy Groom & their 1st Round Draft Selection to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for SP-Frank Viola.
- The Philadelphia Phillies trade RP-Mitch Williams, SP-Ben Rivera & IF-Alex Arias to the Houston Astros in exchange for SP-Mark Portugal.
- The Boston Red Sox trade RP-Jeff Russell to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for RP-Mike Stanton, C-Greg Olson & Atlanta's 2nd Round Draft Selection.
- The Chicago White Sox trade RP-Scott Radinsky to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for RP-Carl Willis.
- The Houston Astros trade RP-Xavier Hernandez to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for OF-Bob Zupcic & Boston's 3rd Round Draft Selection.
- The Cleveland Indians trade 1B/DH-Paul Sorrento to the Texas Rangers in exchange for SP-Armando Reynoso, RP-Gene Nelson & P-Brian Bohanon.
- The Boston Red Sox trade SP-Roger Clemens, 1B-Mo Vaughn & Boston's 1st Round Draft Selection (for 1995 Draft) to the California Angels in exchange for SP-Chuck Finley, SP-Mark Langston & 1B-J.T. Snow.
- The Atlanta Braves trade OF-Deion Sanders to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for OF-Roberto Kelly.
Now let's go to all the Boston Red Sox activity, the Red Sox headed into the break as sellers, but ended up as buyers with some excellent retooling for the future.
As I started the 1993 season, I looked over at the Boston roster, and went ughhhh...
Nothing exciting, Andre Dawson looks confused in an American League outfield, while Rob Deer is well-beyond his better Brewers years, plus Frank Viola is aging. So when the free agent draft came about they got speedster Eric Young and added vet Daryl Boston for pop & depth to the roster. Boston during the season got with 6 games of division lead, and now fell back to 12 games back...
|Boston's projected lineup prior to alternate 1993 season.|
|Boston's bench, rotation & bullpen.|
The Detroit Tigers gave them two bullpen arms for next year (Buddy Groom and Mark Gardiner) and rotation help for this season at least in John Doherty (nothing special), but landed a 1st Round Draft Selection which will help, along with outfielder Danny Bautista, all for starting pitcher Frank Viola.
The Atlanta Braves meanwhile, could use another bullpen arm, end up inquiring about closer Jeff Russell, who is under contract with Boston through 1994, but his only worth is the 93' season (since he is so-so in 1994). Boston has only Tony Pena behind the plate, and the Braves are not currently using Greg Olson, due to the addition of Joe Girardi before the season to go along with Damon Berryhill. Even though, Olson is done after 1993, he is productive enough to help with catching duties, definitely a step up from current backup -- Plus, Boston adds reliever Mike Stanton and another draft selection (Atlanta's 2nd Round Draft Selection) -- Boston would turn around and acquire Xavier Hernandez from Houston for cheap, who has same relief grade as Russell.
Then things got really interesting, I looked at Roger Clemens with his Grade 6-X (worst in his career, or at least for sure at this point), and I started thinking about how Dan Duquette was probably festering over there in the corner & the fact that him & Roger hated each other. I looked at Boston's roster and thought... who can I package with Clemens that would bring in quite a bit, and at the same time make Boston not selling, but retooling with a shot at this season still?
I then fell onto the California Angels, what if Boston can land two big starting pitchers, and have them under contract for some time. Enter Chuck Finley & Mark Langston, Finley will be under contract through 1999, then I believe he joins Cleveland in 2000... while Langston will be under contract through 1997.
It's a gutsy move, especially since Mo Vaughn is the other piece being sent to California. As we all know, California had Finley, Langston & later Ken Hill, but not much else in rotation for the rest of the decade -- but now they have value to trade down the road to get the pitching back & more. The Angels will have almost all of Mo Vaughn's great part of his early career (this time). Prior to the season they also signed Vinny Castilla, so his value only will go up. Plus adding Mo Vaughn & Castilla to a lineup that will feature Tim Salmon, Darin Erstad, Garret Anderson, Jim Edmonds, among others... Yowzers!
Sure, Clemens is only under contract through end of 1996, and they will be better years than 1993, but still on the downside 94'-96'; By the way, teams can bid for the players to resign with their team, if they trade players of that new team's liking -- For example, if the Angels can package some players or make the deal sweet for the Blue Jays in 1997, Clemens could stay in Anaheim; The Angels due to this trade, now have plenty of flexibility from now until then.
The Red Sox and Angels swap first basemen in Vaughn and J.T. Snow. Snow brings glove to first for Boston, they will focus to make the team built on defense & pitching. Their starting pitchers for remainder of season will be Finley, Langston & Danny Darwin, plus a little left in the tank for Aaron Sele to make a push late in this season actually, while retooling the future. Eventually John Valentin & Nomar Garciaparra will blossom, and make this incarnation of Boston very interesting, and definitely more pleasant to watch.
Plus how does this trade look, involving WAR?
SP- Chuck Finley (through 1999) - 27.2
SP- Mark Langston (through 1997) - 9.8
1B- J.T. Snow (through 1996) - (neg 1.0)
SP- Roger Clemens (through 1996) - 16.9
1B/DH- Mo Vaughn (through 2000) - 23.7
*Boston sends 1st Round Draft Selection for 1995 Draft
Boston's package is worth 40.6 WAR to California's 36.9; Boston gets more of the impact up front adding two B-Starters for this season to a pennant race, and the long contracts for Finley & Langston. Angels have a void in pitching for rest of decade, so that's where Boston throws in 1995's 1st Round Selection. Angels have plenty of time to acquire pitching to make the deal worth it, while Boston holds onto their 1st Round for 1994, plus the one that they acquired from Detroit, along with two 2nd Round selections (theirs & Atlanta's).
So for Boston....
SP- Roger Clemens
SP- Frank Viola
1B/DH- Mo Vaughn
RP- Jeff Russell
1st Round Draft Selection (1995)
3rd Round Draft Selection (1994)
SP- Chuck Finley
SP- Mark Langston
1B- J.T. Snow
RP- Xavier Hernandez
RP- Mike Stanton
SP- John Doherty
C- Greg Olson
OF- Danny Bautista
RP- Buddy Groom
RP- Mark Gardiner
1st Round Draft Selection (Detroit - 1994)
2nd Round Draft Selection (Atlanta - 1994)
The future looks better for both franchises in the aftermath.
Now back to the last couple of deals...
Atlanta trades Deion Sanders to the Cincinnati Reds for Roberto Kelly. Getting a case of deja vu? Indeed, this actual deal would go down in late May 1994 between the two franchises. The other trade may make Giants fans scratch their head, Darren Lewis was traded to Baltimore for Leo Gomez, Sherman Obando & Manny Alexander. The thing is Darren Lewis was sitting on bench & minors due to the Giants pickup of Chuck Carr prior to the season -- it was not a move to help the Giants now, but gives them flexibility in the future -- having Leo Gomez playing third (15 HR & .868 OPS in 1994 / 17 HR & .775 OPS in 1996), in case the Giants want to unload Matt Williams early, who is only under contract with Giants through 1996.
Tom Candiotti, returns to the Toronto Blue Jays in a trade that sent reliever Mike Timlin and pitcher Woody Williams to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Candiotti will help head the rotation this season, while stabilizing it the next few seasons; The Dodgers add bulk to the bullpen for a few years, plus a starter at end of the contract in Williams.
... and that is all for now.