D-Backs Acquire Rauch from Nats

July 23, 2008 at 7:31 am 11 comments

(AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

The Arizona Diamondbacks, unhappy with their late inning relief situation, acquired 6-11, 291 pound reliever Jon Rauch from the Washington Nationals for minor league secondbaseman Emilio Bonifacio.

This has been one of the easiest no-brainer trades I have seen.

The Diamondbacks get a late inning reliever that can pitch in high leverage or low leverage situations, he can close or pitch in the 7th inning. Rauch was sporting a 2.98 ERA to go along with his 17 saves and 4-2 record with the Nats. His WHIP was 1.01 and had 44 strikeouts against just 7 walks in 48.1 innings. Last season he was 8-4 with 4 saves, 33 holds, and a 3.63 ERA to go with a 71/21 K/BB rate in 87.1 innings. In 2006 he pitched 91.1 relief innings with a 3.35 ERA and a K/BB of 86/36. The man is a great reliever that can pitch almost anytime on any day. Rauch is also under control until 2010, another plus for the D-Backs in this trade.

The Nats get light hitting secondbaseman Emilio Bonifacio. Bonifacio was hitting .167 (2-12) since his call-up to the D-Backs. He was hitting .302/.348/.387 in Triple-A with 1 homer, 18 doubles, 5 triples, 27/64 BB/K rate, and 17 steals (8 times caught) in 367 at-bats.

I had Bonifacio ranked 6th in the D-Backs prospects rankings but the D-Backs only have the 20th best system in my rankings so his 6th ranking wouldn’t crack the top 10 in most systems.

Bonifacio will put the ball in play and slash all over the field with little authority. He has good speed but isn’t a plus runner. He has good hands and can field his position well above average.

Nats GM Jim Bowden just added a lesser version of Cristian Guzman to the right side of the infield. This comes at the same time Bowden gave Guzman a stupid 2 year $16M deal. Talk about a weak hitting middle infield that doesn’t talk a lot of walks either. Nats fans might be stuck with watching their double play duo hitting under 10 combined homers the next two season and sporting OBP of less than .335.

Arizona GM Josh Byrnes got a great addition without giving up anything of real value to them. Jim Bowden on the other hand made a few more below average moves. In the last year he has signed Cristian Guzman, Dmitri Young, and Ronnie Belliard to ridiculous extensions and he failed to get an impact player for Jon Rauch when the market for relievers is a very good one for return. He also screwed the team by not trading Chad Cordero for multiple prospects the last two years. We see how well that has worked out for them and how well the Young and Belliard trades have worked out as well.

A few things that came to mind with this trade: Will this bring the Rockies back to Earth with their ridiculous demands (Clay Buccholz, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis, Ian Kennedy…) for Brian Fuentes? Will the D-Backs give Orlando Hudson a big deal to be their secondbaseman in the offseason? Will the Nats front office realize that Jim Bowden isn’t helping this team rebuild at all and he is handicapping it with his stupid extensions?

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Erik  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:23 am

    It probably should be mentioned that Rauch has had a nagging arm injury of late but clearly the D-backs got the better of this deal for next to nothing. This will definitely put AZ close to the top in the NL West. Now if the dodgers get a SS or 3rd baseman watch out…

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:30 am

    I still don’t think the Dodgers need a 3B. Stick Andy LaRoche in there and let him do his thing. He gets on base enough when given playing time. Joe Crede won’t hit in that park and it’s not worth it to get Beltre. I do believe they need a SS badly though. Angel Berroa is the worst SS not named Tony Pena Jr.

  • 3. Erik  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I see the dodgers dealing to Seattle for Adrien Beltre…

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:13 am

    I think that’s a waste if they do. They need SS more and the Mariners probably want a nice prospect in return.

  • 5. MikeMcGinnis  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:57 am

    the worst move/non-move the nats made that has really hurt this franchise was not trading alfonso soriano when they claealy had the chance to 2 years back. now look where they’re at now.

  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Almost forgot about that. Bowden has made so many bone-headed moves/non-moves since then that I forgot about that.

  • 7. Erik  |  July 23, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Bowden once the youngest GM in the Major leagues has made bonehead trade after bonehead trade.

    Here is a list of his significant trades:
    * November 17, 1992 traded Norm Charlton to the Seattle Mariners for Kevin Mitchell
    * November 2, 1993 traded Dan Wilson and Bobby Ayala to the Seattle Mariners for Bret Boone and Erik Hanson
    * December 10, 1993 traded Larry Luebbers, Darron Cox and Mike Anderson to the Chicago Cubs for Chuck McElroy
    * May 29, 1994 traded Roberto Kelly and Roger Etheridge to the Atlanta Braves for Deion Sanders
    * July 21, 1995 traded Deion Sanders, Scott Service, John Roper, David McCarty and Ricky Pickett to the San Francisco Giants for Mark Portugal, Dave Burba and Darren Lewis
    * July 31, 1995 traded C.J. Nitkowski, Dave Tuttle and Mark Lewis to the Detroit Tigers for David Wells
    * May 27, 1996 traded Chuck McElroy to the California Angels for Lee Smith
    * July 31, 1997 traded Jeff Branson and John Smiley to the Cleveland Indians for Danny Graves, Damian Jackson, Scott Winchester and Jim Crowell
    * November 10, 1997 traded Jeff Brantley to the St. Louis Cardinals for Dmitri Young
    * March 30, 1998 traded Dave Burba to the Cleveland Indians for Sean Casey
    * July 4, 1998 traded Jeff Shaw to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Paul Konerko and Dennys Reyes
    * November 10, 1998 traded Bret Boone and Mike Remlinger to the Atlanta Braves for Denny Neagle, Rob Bell and Michael Tucker
    * November 11, 1998 traded Paul Konerko to the Chicago White Sox for Mike Cameron
    * February 2, 1999 traded Reggie Sanders, Damian Jackson and Josh Harris to the San Diego Padres for Greg Vaughn and Mark Sweeney
    * July 31, 1999 traded B.J. Ryan and Jacobo Sequea to the Baltimore Orioles for Juan Guzman
    * October 30, 1999 traded Jeffrey Hammonds and Stan Belinda to the Colorado Rockies for Dante Bichette
    * February 10, 2000 traded Mike Cameron, Antonio Perez, Jake Meyer and Brett Tomko to the Seattle Mariners for Ken Griffey, Jr
    * July 12, 2000 traded Denny Neagle and Mike Frank to the New York Yankees for Drew Henson, Ed Yarnall, Jackson Melian and Brian Reith
    * March 21, 2001 traded Drew Henson and Michael Coleman to the New York Yankees for Wily Mo Pena
    * June 15, 2001 traded Rob Bell to the Texas Rangers for Ruben Mateo and Edwin Encarnacion
    * July 11, 2002 traded Juan Encarnacion, Wilton Guerrero and Ryan Snare to the Florida Marlins for Ryan Dempster
    * July 30, 2003 traded Jose Guillen to the Oakland Athletics for Aaron Harang, Joe Valentine and Jeff Bruksch
    * July 31, 2003 traded Aaron Boone to the New York Yankees for Charlie Manning and Brandon Claussen


    * November 19, 2004 traded Juan Rivera and Maicer Izturis to the Los Angeles Angels for Jose Guillen
    * July 13, 2005 traded J.J. Davis and Zach Day to the Colorado Rockies for Preston Wilson
    * December 8, 2005 traded Brad Wilkerson, Terrmel Sledge and Armando Galarraga to the Texas Rangers for Alfonso Soriano
    * July 31, 2006 traded Bill Bray, Royce Clayton, Gary Majewski, Brendan Harris and Daryl Thompson to the Cincinnati Reds for Austin Kearns, Ryan Wagner and Felipe Lopez
    * December 18, 2006 traded Jose Vidro to the Seattle Mariners for Chris Snelling and Emiliano Fruto
    and now Rauch for Bonifacio.

    He has signed the following players:
    * December 1, 1992 signed John Smiley as a Free Agent from the Minnesota Twins
    * January 19, 1993 signed Jeff Reardon as a free agent from the Atlanta Braves
    * January 4, 1994 signed Jeff Brantley as a free agent from the San Francisco Giants


    * November 16, 2004 signed Cristian Guzman as a free agent from the Minnesota Twins

    and his draft picks have included:
    * 1993: Lost orginal pick for signing John Smiley
    * 1993: 32nd overall OF Pat Watkins – East Carolina University
    * 1994: 9th overall P C.J. Nitkowski – St. John’s University
    * 1995: No Pick (lost for signing Damon Berryhill)
    * 1996: 25th overall OF John Oliver – Lake-Lehman High School
    * 1996: 32nd overall P Matt McClendon – Dr. Phillips High School
    * 1997: 14th overall SS Brandon Larson – Louisiana State University
    * 1998: 7th overall OF Austin Kearns – Lafayette High School
    * 1999: 14th overall P Ty Howington – Hudson’s Bay High School
    * 2000: 23rd overall SS David Espinosa – Gulliver Prep High School
    * 2000: 34th overall P Dustin Moseley – Arkansas High School
    * 2001: 20th overall P Jeremy Sowers – Ballard High School Did Not Sign
    * 2002: 3rd overall P Chris Gruler -Liberty Union High School
    * 2002: 40th overall P Mark Schramek – University of Texas
    * 2003: 14th overall P Ryan Wagner – University of Houston

    Reds Other Notables

    * 1994: 3rd round (72nd overall) 3B Aaron Boone – USC
    * 1995: 2nd round (54th overall) P Brett Tomko – Florida Southern College
    * 1995: 5th round (139th overall) OF Jason LaRue – Dallas Baptist University
    * 1997: 2nd round (66th overall) SS Travis Dawkins – Newberry High School
    * 1997: 9th round (278th overall) P Scott Williamson – Oklahoma State University
    * 1997: 2nd round (50th overall) OF Adam Dunn – New Caney High School
    * 1998: 17th round (500th overall) P B.J. Ryan – University of Louisiana at Lafayette
    * 1999: 2nd round (65th overall) 1B Ben Broussard – McNeese State University
    * 2002: 2nd round (44th overall) 3B Joey Votto – Richview Collegiate Institute

    Nationals 1st Round Picks

    * 2005: 4th overall 3B Ryan Zimmerman – University of Virginia
    * 2006: 15th overall OF Chris Marrero -Monsignor Pace High School
    * 2006: 22nd overall P Colton Willems – John Carroll High School
    * 2007: 6th overall P Ross Detwiler – Missouri State University

    It is clear this guy is a lousy judge of talent, and team chemistry. He should be no where near a baseball club let alone a GM for one. The Nats are in a world of hurt!

  • 8. Erik  |  July 23, 2008 at 11:19 am

    ammendment to my previous post and he is the genius that did paul oniell for roberto kelly.

  • 9. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 23, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Man! His drafts with the Reds were awful! That Paul Oneil trade is ridiculous. Also, how do you sign Damon Berryhill, a 2nd string catcher, and lose a draft pick?

  • 10. Erik  |  July 23, 2008 at 11:30 am

    at the time Berryhill was listed as a type B Free Agent

  • 11. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 23, 2008 at 11:36 am

    I hate the grading system for the Free Agents. They really need to get rid of it and allow trading draft picks.


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