Over Spilled Milk: Free Agent Compensation Picks 2004

With the deadline for each team to offer their free agents arbitration passing on the 1st, I thought it would be a good time to look back at what those gambles did for their teams in 2004. 

First Round

22. Twins (from Mariners for Eddie Guardado): Glen Perkins, lhp – Glen’s been an innings-eater for the team for the past couple seasons.

23. Yankees (from Astros for Andy Pettitte): Philip Hughes, rhp – Hughes would become one of the top pitching prospects in all of the minors.  He just started filling his potential with the big league club while pitching out of the pen this past season.

24. Athletics (from Red Sox for Keith Foulke): Landon Powell, C – His biggest season was 2007 when he hit .292 at Double-A with 11 home runs and an .893 OPS.  But he hasn’t hit well since.

25. Twins (from Cubs for LaTroy Hawkins): Steven Waldrop, rhp – Converted to a reliever in 2009. He fared better in relief, but he’s still in Double-A.

28. Dodgers (from Yankees for Paul Quantrill): Blake Dewitt, 2B – Able to play second base and third well, Blake was a good defensive presence last season, but has been an offensive black hole this season.

29. Royals (from Giants for Michael Tucker): Mathew Campbell, lhp – Campbell never got past High-A ball.

30. Rangers (from Braves for John Thomson): Eric Hurley, rhp – This starting pitcher has shown promise, but Eric sat out all of 2009 with a shoulder injury and his future is questionable.

Supplemental First Round

31. Royals (for Raul Ibanez): James Howell, lhp – A decent return for Ibanez at that point in his career. Bad trade though that sent him to the Rays for Joey Gathright and Fernando Cortez.

32. Blue Jays (for Kelvim Escobar): Zachary Jackson, lhp – Jackson was dealt to Milwaukee as part of a package of Lyle Overbay and then to Cleveland as part of the package for C.C. Sabathia.  He’s fallen apart at Triple-A though.

33. Dodgers (for Quantrill): Justin Orenduff, rhp – Struggled at Triple-A like Jackson, switching to reliever.

34. White Sox (for Bartolo Colon): Tyler Lumsden, lhp – Traded to the Royals in package for Mike MacDougal and then traded to the Astros.  He too has switched to relief at Triple-A, but a 1.91 WHIP won’t get far.

35. Twins (for Guardado): Matthew Fox, rhp – Fox has put up decent numbers at each stop, but he’s been old for each level.  He may have eventual success as a middle reliever.

36. Athletics (for Foulke): Daniel Putnam, cf – Outfielder has stalled at Triple-A.

37. Yankees (for Pettitte): Jonathan Poterson, c – Poterson had troubles hitting above the Mendoza line in A-ball and most recently played Indy ball in 2008.

38. White Sox (for Tom Gordon): Giovany Gonzalez, lhp – The promising starter has been traded three times.  Now with the Oakland A’s, Gio has to overcome his high walk rate to become a decent starter in the majors.

39. Twins (for Hawkins): Jay Rainville, rhp – Hasn’t fared well in Double-A, may be switching to relief.

40. Athletics (for Miguel Tejada): Huston Street, rhp – Huston rose quickly and served as the A’s closer before being dealt to the Rockies for Matt Holliday.

41. Yankees (for David Wells): Jeffrey Marquez, rhp – Although he’s been hittable, he’s pitched decently in the minors.  But after his trade to the White Sox he hasn’t pitched well at all.

Second Round

42. Yankees (from Padres for Wells): Brett Smith, rhp – Brett pitched well at Double-A in 2007, had shoulder surgery, and has only seen a little time on the mound in 2009.

49. Athletics (from Orioles for Tejada): Michael Rogers, rhp – Rogers was hit hard and hasn’t pitched in the minors since 2007.

53. White Sox (from Angels for Colon): Wesley Whisler, rhp – Although he hasn’t been great (4.38 career ERA), the White Sox haven’t given up on him yet.

63. Royals (from Mariners for Ibanez): Eric Cordier, rhp – Eric Cordier was traded to the Braves for shortstop Tony Pena Jr.  Although he’s been riddled by injuries, Eric pitched decently for the Braves in ’09.  But he gives up plenty walks (74 in 121 IP).  Tony didn’t hit enough to justify a regular starting job.

69. White Sox (from Yankees for Gordon): Raymond Liotta, lhp – Liotta didn’t pitch well for the White Sox, but the Royals took him in the Triple-A phase of the Rule-5 draft.  He’s unlikely to pitch in the majors.

Third Round

83. Blue Jays (from Angels for Escobar): Adam Lind, 1B – Came in 15th in the AL MVP race this season.  Decent compensation for Kelvim Escobar don’t you think?

Looking Back

Looking back on the compensation picks now, it doesn’t look like that good of a gamble, unless  you are sure they’re not going to accept arbitration.  This is usually the case though (22 of 24 players offered last off-season didn’t accept) and once in a while you can find something worthwhile.

The best of this class includes Phil Hughes, Huston Street, Gio Gonzalez, possibly Eric Hurley, and Adam Lind.

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