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March 30, 2006


Texas traded pitcher JUAN DOMINGUEZ to Oakland for infielder FREDDIE BYNUM and pitcher JOHN RHEINECKER.

Texas trade infielder FREDDIE BYNUM to Chicago (NL) for pitcher JOHN KORONKA.

Depressing, even if Dominguez flops as an Athletic. He represents yet another homegrown arm that won’t blossom for Texas. I was skeptical that he would ever develop into more than a league-average pitcher, but guys like that currently have much greater marginal value for Texas than, say, Oakland. One more vanilla league-average starter could have delivered a division title to Texas in 2004. The possibility of Dominguez growing into his talent in Oakland is a waking nightmare. Somehow, in the space of three months, “the team with no pitching? traded Juan Dominguez and Chris Young, both of whom are under 27 and have better-than-league-average ERAs.

Texas immediately flipped Bynum for Koronka, who has eight years experience and 920 professional innings of which 905 have accrued in the minors. He also has a career minor-league RA of 5.17 and an ERA of 4.39. Texas drafted him as a Rule 5 pick from Cincinnati back in 2003 but surrendered him before the start of the season. Koronka spent most of the last two years in AAA; let’s compare him to Mystery Pitcher X:

AAA, 2004-2005
John Koronka
Mystery Pitcher X

Mystery Pitcher X allowed a few more homers but otherwise pitched marginally better than Koronka. Given these numbers and a rather unpalatable decision to make, you’d probably select Mr. X.

X is John Wasdin.

Koronka excelled in the Arizona Fall League as a reliever and, unlike Wasdin, impressed this spring, but Texas intends to return him to the rotation. Wasdin might do better. As mentioned by Newbergreport.com’s Mike Hindman, so might A.J. Murray. Dig around the Ranger farm system and find your own example.

Oakland selected Rheinecker as a supplemental first rounder in 2001. He doesn’t strike out many batters either but does have a minor-league ERA of 3.79 while pitching in several hitter-friendly leagues (California, Texas, Pacific Coast) and is more reluctant to allow walks and homers than Koronka. Still, he’s a pretty marginal prospect.

Posted by Lucas at March 30, 2006 11:16 PM