Trade Analysis: Randy Wolf
Astros get: Randy Wolf
Padres get: Chad Reineke
A head-scratcher if there ever was one. With the Astros 14 games out of first place and fighting both the Pirates and the Reds to stay out of the cellar, it’s curious to see them as “buyers”. Astros GM Ed Wade explained that the deal was done to introduce Wolf to city of Houston and therefore have a leg up on signing him in the offseason. I see it as pure insanity.
Wade had two motivations for this deal. One, since he was just hired as General Manager, he has to look like he’s doing something. Second, Wolf is a known quantity — Wade was the GM of the Phillies when Wolf came up through the Philadelphia system — so he overvalues him. There was one year that Wolf won 16 games, and he’s a lefty, and as a result he’ll sucker someone into giving him an MLB job for as long as he’s willing to take the money (see: Shawn Estes). Since that year (2003), Wolf hasn’t even won as many as 10 (though he’s LOST 10 twice). He’s had arm problems throughout his career, and couldn’t be termed an “innings eater”. At age 32, he’s not likely to get better, and I’m not seeing a bidding war for him in the winter. But then, he IS a lefty who once won 16 games, so I could be wrong.
To their credit, the Astros didn’t surrender much. Chad Reineke is tall – 6’6″. That’s about it. But if you’re that tall and can throw a baseball without falling off the mound, scouts salivate over you. He was a prospect a few years ago, when his height “projected” that he’d through in the upper 90s. Unfortunately, it rarely works that way (though the scouts continue to pluck every tall guy they can find). At 26 years old, Reineke has entered suspect status. He throws a straight fastball that touches 90 and he can’t get it over the plate. If he remains with the Padres organization beyond this year, they’ll likely convert him to the bullpen and hope he picks up a few MPH. Time is running out on him, but if I’m San Diego, I’m pretty happy with getting something in return for Wolf. They just might catch lightning in a bottle.
Next trade analysis: Jon Rauch