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July 31, 2006

Texas acquires Stairs, Wells (Kip, not Vernon)

Texas traded minor-league pitcher JOSELO DIAZ to Kansas City for outfielder MATT STAIRS.

Stairs has a zesty career line of .273/.367/.501 against righties but hasn’t actually slugged .500 since 2003. This season, he’s a more vanilla .264/.361/.447. He obviously improves the roster, and yet I wonder how much he’ll actually help. Mark DeRosa has backslid rapidly during July but probably will continue to start every day because… well, because he’s Mark DeRosa. Thus, Stairs would supplant Brad Wilkerson, who despite his struggles isn’t that much worse than Stairs against righties (.240/.327/.471). Likewise, if Texas continues to bench Hank Blalock against tough lefties, Stairs seems a bit superfluous. Considering how infrequently Buck Showalter employs his bench, does having two quality lefty bats mean anything?

I don’t dislike the trade. I just think its impact is very marginal.

Texas traded minor-league pitcher JESSE CHAVEZ to Pittsburgh for pitcher KIP WELLS.

Wells missed almost three months while recovering from shoulder surgery. In seven starts he has an ERA of 6.69, a WHIP of 1.76, and 2.6 fewer strikeouts per nine innings than his pre-’06 career. Though he’s allowed only four runs in his last three starts, he’s allowed permitted 30 baserunners in those 19.2 innings. Frankly, he hasn’t pitched well since 2003. Nevertheless, ousting John Rheinecker for Wells certainly improves the rotation.

Neither Chavez nor Diaz ranked among John Sickels’s pre-season Top 20 Ranger prospects. DVD-H remains intact. (That's Danks-Volquez-Diamond Hurley for you non-Ranger fanatics.)

Posted by Lucas at July 31, 2006 06:20 PM