Our long national nightmare is over.
No more Pedro Feliz weighing down the bench like a 50 ton anchor. I really hoped his signing would have worked out better for him and wish him luck with St. Louis.
But, let's talk about all the implications of this deal:
We knew for a while that Tommy Manzella would create an interesting roster crunch. Most of us speculated that one of the infielders would be let go or sent to Round Rock, but assumed it'd be Angel Sanchez. Not so. Credit Ed Wade for giving up on his mistakes when there are clearly better players on the roster. First, it was Kaz Matsui being let go in favor of Jeff Keppinger. Now, Feliz gives way to Sanchez and Manzella.
The real problem I have with this is Feliz offered not a whit of value to the Astros during his five months on the team. In fact, he hurt them in a number of ways. Yes, his negative-1.5 WAR is worse than a replacement-level player and hamstrung the team at a crucial position early in the year. But, in a bigger picture, the Astros missed out on giving Chris Johnson a full season in the majors to see if his bat is legitimate. By sticking with Feliz, even with his defensive regression in the field and utter lack of batting skill, the Astros will now be less sure if this is the Chris Johnson they'll get next season or if this is just an extended hot streak. That's much worse for the franchise than Feliz eating up almost 4 million dollars and providing negative value for it.
Let's also not overlook that the Astros got a warm body back for Feliz in the form of 25-year old David Carpenter. An actual player who is relatively young and has some skill level. Sure, he is a converted catcher and hasn't pitched above High-A ball, but he's SOMETHING. Carpenter has a good ERA at High A ball this season and his FIP compares favorably to that ERA according to Minor League Splits. That was more than I expected the Astros would get for Feliz. I thought they'd simply have to release him to get him off the roster. Now, they added another low-ceiling bullpen arm who may or may not develop. But, the odds are tipping in their favor with all these minor league arms.
Oh, and did I mention that Feliz will get a chance to play crucial roles for the Cardinals down the stretch? How do you see that one working out? Not well, not well at all. Did this trade just effectively give the Reds the division title? I'm probably being too harsh on Feliz, but I cannot believe he's any better in the short-term than Alan Craig would be. I really expected the Cards to want Geoff Blum in the trade, maybe giving up a guy like Mitchell Boggs to get him. That would have been a low-cost, high-reward trade for St. Louis, especially since Blummer has a history of those clutch hits. Maybe Houston just figured they needed his wily, veteran presence instead and snookered the Cards into Feliz.
Whatever the reasons, Ed Wade just made an impossible trade. I give him lots of credit for that, even if the rest of the blogosphere may not.