Some quick thoughts on the trade of Bob Wickman:
- The numbers don't lie, Wicky's the best closer in Indians history. He'll forever be remembered as being, umm, a tad heavyset, as well as the thrilling ninth innings he provided. Love him or hate him (I loved him), he always got the job done, even if it did raise your blood pressure to, well, somewhere near what his probably is.
- We don't need a closer for this year. We're like 87 games behind Detroit and Chicago in the Central. Plus, Wickman is probably going to retire at the end of the year, so he wouldn't benefit us at all down the road. He's been close to retiring for two years now (there's a reason why Shapiro went after Trevor Hoffman and B.J. Ryan in the offseason, he didn't know if Wickman would still be around). Might as well give Fausto Carmona a shot now and see what he can do.
- Since Wicky is only around for maybe 2 more months, I don't think his trade value was very high. Which explains why we got a single-A catcher in return for a closer who saved 45 games last year and would be near the top of the league again this season if the team didn't stink.
- When I saw that we got a catcher, I initially figured he'd be in AA or AAA and ready to compete for a job in spring training next year. Victor Martinez would move to first (bye bye Benny Brou), Kelly Shoppach would catch full-time, and the new guy would possibly backup. But since he's so low in the system and likely at least three years away from the bigs, status quo might reign at catcher and first base.
I'm going to miss Bob Wickman. I hope that he pitches well for the Braves this season, maybe leads them back to the postseason. Now let's cross our fingers and hope that Carmona has the same type of success, only without developing the beer gut and the knack for dramatic endings.