Saturday, January 1, 2011

Flashback: The Mark DeRosa Trade Revisited


New Years Eve  is usually not a big day for transactions in major league baseball but the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs completed a Decemeber 31st trade in 2008.  The Indians sent three pitching propsects, Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer, and John Gaub to the Cubs for infielder Mark DeRosa.  The Indians were receiving a versatile player who played six different positions in 2007 (95 games at 2b, 38 games in RF, 27 games in LF, 22 games at 3b, 10 games at 1b, and 10 games at ss) and had a slash line of .293/.371/.420 with 21 HR, 87 RBI, and scored 103 runs. 



At the time of the deal many Indian fans believed that DeRosa would play 2b for the Tribe.  A move that would allow  Jhonny Peralta, who was playing 3b in winter ball, to finally make the move to thrid base.  Additionally, Asdrubal Cabrera  would be able to assume his natural position at shortstop.  The Indians braintrust had other ideas and were quick to say that although DeRosa had spent most of his 2007 season at 2b for the Cubs, the Indians would play him at 3b since playing him there would cause the least disruption and cited that 3b was his best defensive position.  

WHAT THE INDIANS GAVE UP:
In order to acquire Mark DeRosa, the Indians gave up three pitching prospects, Jeff Stevens (25 years old), Chris Archer (20 years old), and John Gaub (23 years old).  Jeff Stevens was the most known name at the time. Mostly, Stevens progress had been tracked since he was the player received from the Reds for Brandon Phillips.   Although, never appearing for the Indians time of the trade, Stevens had pitched well through the Indians minor league system and was deemed major league ready at the time of the trade.
JEFF STEVENS STATISTICS (12/31/08):
YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLERASVIPWHIPHR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
200723KinstonCARLA+CLE322.31035.00.7710.52.39.54.11
200723AkronELAACLE313.17248.11.1590.73.012.14.06
2008242 Teams2 LgsAAA-AACLE543.24658.11.1140.84.212.53.00
200824AkronELAACLE512.51128.21.0470.63.511.63.36
200824BuffaloILAAACLE033.94529.21.1800.94.913.32.75
Generated 1/1/2011.

Chris Archer, a right handed pitcher, was selected by the Cleveland Indians with the 25th pick in the 5th round of the 2006 June Amatuer Draft out of Clatyton, High School in Clayton, North Carolina.  At the time of the trade, Archer had completed his first full season at Low A Lake County and was regarded by Baseball America as a pitcher "who has a low-90s fastball, a solid-average curveball and a changeup that could become an average offering. He needs to straighten out a few things in his delivery, such as his timing and finding a consistent release point, to become a more prolific strike thrower."

CHRIS ARCHER STATISTICS (12/31/08):
YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLERAGGSSVIPWHIPH/9HR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
2006172 Teams2 LgsRkCLE037.7186021.01.7628.10.97.79.41.22
200617IndiansGULFRkCLE037.4576019.11.7597.90.57.99.81.24
200617BurlingtonAPPYRkCLE0010.801001.21.80010.85.45.45.41.00
2007182 Teams2 LgsRk-ACLE175.881311056.21.5009.70.63.88.42.21
200718IndiansGULFRkCLE175.641211052.21.4629.60.73.68.22.29
200718Lake CountySALLACLE009.001004.02.00011.20.06.811.21.67
200819Lake CountySALLACLE484.2927270115.11.5267.20.66.68.31.26
Generated 1/1/2011.

John Gaub, a left handed pitcher, was selected by the Indians 25th pick of the 21st round of the 2006 June Amatuer Draft out of the University of Minnesota.  Gaub had been a dominant sophmore at the University of Minnesota where his fastball would be clocked at up to 96 mph.  He had arthoscopic shoulder surgery following the season and his velocity had dipped to 81-84 mph as a junior. After he was drafted by the Indians Gaub had another shoulder surgery which limited him to only 4 innings in 2007.  Gaub was able to return to the mound in 2008, notching 64 innings out of the High A Lake County bullpen and struck out 100 batters in 64 innings pitched, while reaching 90-91 mph on his fastball.
 JOHN GAUB STATISTICS (12/31/08)
YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLERASVIPWHIPHR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
200722IndiansGULFRkCLE002.2504.02.0000.09.09.01.00
200823Lake CountySALLACLE113.38264.01.1880.44.514.13.13
Generated 1/1/2011.

HOW THE TRADE HAS WORKED OUT:
Mark DeRosa had a typical Mark DeRosa trade for the Tribe in 2008.  DeRosa would have a slash line of .270/.342/.457 with 13 HR, 50 RBI, and scored 47 runs.  Unfortunately, on June 28, 2009 the Indians were off to another bad start and had a record of 31-46 and were in last place in the AL Central.  So, after another disappointing 7-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds the Indians announced they had traded Mark DeRosa to the St.Louis Cardinals in exchange for right handed reliever Chris Perez and a player to be named later. On July 26, 2009, the Cardinals sent Jess Todd to the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade .  DeRosa would battle back and wrist injuries while with the Cardinals. He would play in 68 games and put up a slash line of .228/.291/.405 with 10 HR, 28 RBI, and scored 31 runs.  Follwoing the 2009 season, DeRosa would sign as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants.  DeRosa would miss the majority of the 2010 season as the wrist surgery after the 2009 season was unsuccessful and had to be performed again.

Entering the 2008 season, Chris Perez was rated as the #97  prospect on Baseball Amercia's Top 100 Prospect list nad moved up to #91 prior to the 2009 season.  He had developed a reputation as a hard throwing reliever with closing potential who had trouble consistently throwing strikes.  In 2009 with the Cardinals, Perez lived up to that reputation as he appeared in 29 games with 23.2 innings pitched and was 1-1 with a 4.18 ERA and had a 11.4 K/9 and a disturbing 5.7 BB/9.  After a more memorable Indians debut  (video), Perez would settle in and finish the year with 32 games and pitched 33.1 innings pitched and was 0-1 with a 4.32 ERA, and  had 10.3 K/9 and a much improved 3.2 BB/9.   In 2010, Chris Perez would assume control as the Indians closer after injuries and subsequent trade of Kerry Wood.  Perez finished 2010 with a record of 2-2 with an ERA of 1.71 and 23 saves.  He had a K/9 rate of 8.7 and a BB/9 rate of 4. 

Jess Todd was selected by the St.Louis Cardinals with the 18th pick of the 2nd round of the 2007 June Amatuer Draft out of Arkansas.  Todd, working as a starter, quickly ascended up through the St.Louis farm system getting to AAA by the end of his 2nd year winning the organizations pitcher of the year award.  In 2009, the Cardinals would transition Todd to the bullpen where he would continue to dominate hitters by going 4-2 with a 2.20 ERA, 24 saves, and a K/9 rate of 10.8 with a very respectible BB/9 of 2.4.  Todd would finish 2009 in the Cleveland bullpen where he would struggle in 19 games and 20.2 innings pitched.  Todd would have a record of 0-1 and an ERA of 7.40 while having a K/9 rate of 7.8 and a BB/9 rate of 3.  Todd would spend the majority of 2010 pitching out of the Columbus Clipper bullpen going 4-2 with an ERA of 3.31 and a K/9 rate of 9.7 and a BB/9 of 3.3.  Although Todd's star has fallen since 2008, he still may be a viable option for the Indians 2011 bullpen.

WHERE ARE THEY TODAY?
Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer, and John Gaub have had two years to develop with the Chicago Cubs organization.  Let's take a look at where each is as we head into the 2011 season.  In both the 2009 and 2010 seasons, Jeff Stevens  spent time with the Cubs AAA affiliate (Iowa) and in the majors with the Cubs.  As seen below, Stevens would peform well in AAA and sturggle at the big league level.

JEFF STEVENS MINOR LEAGUE STATISTICS
YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLERASVIPWHIPHR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
200521BillingsPIONRkCIN442.98054.11.0860.72.59.63.87
2006222 Teams2 LgsACLE,CIN974.420116.01.2590.83.08.02.64
200622Lake CountySALLACLE734.42073.11.2000.52.87.42.61
200622DaytonMIDWACIN244.43042.21.3591.33.49.12.69
2007232 Teams2 LgsAA-A+CLE632.81283.10.9960.62.711.04.08
200723KinstonCARLA+CLE322.31035.00.7710.52.39.54.11
200723AkronELAACLE313.17248.11.1590.73.012.14.06
2008242 Teams2 LgsAAA-AACLE543.24658.11.1140.84.212.53.00
200824AkronELAACLE512.51128.21.0470.63.511.63.36
200824BuffaloILAAACLE033.94529.21.1800.94.913.32.75
200925IowaPCLAAACHC132.03257.21.0400.23.99.52.44
201026IowaPCLAAACHC023.161042.21.3360.65.59.11.65
6 Seasons25233.2720412.11.1400.63.49.82.85
AAA (3 seasons)182.8417130.01.1690.54.610.22.21
A (1 season)974.420116.01.2590.83.08.02.64
AA (2 seasons)822.92377.01.1170.73.211.93.78
Rk (1 season)442.98054.11.0860.72.59.63.87
A+ (1 season)322.31035.00.7710.52.39.54.11
Generated 1/1/2011.

JEFF STEVENS MAJOR LEAUGE STATS:
YearAgeTmLgWLERASVIPWHIPHR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
200925CHCNL107.11012.21.7371.45.76.41.13
201026CHCNL006.11017.21.7552.05.17.61.50
2 Seasons106.53030.11.7471.85.37.11.33
162 Game Avg.206.530711.7471.85.37.11.33
Generated 1/1/2011.


John Gaub had an impressive 2009 season with the AAA affiliate Iowa which earned him a spot on the Baseball Prospectus Top 11 Prospects at the conclusion of the season.  Unfortunately for the Cubs, Gaub would take a step backward in 2010.  He would finish 2010 with a record of 3-4 with an ERA of 6.52 and a staggering loss of control as seen by his 7.8 BB/9 rater.  Gaub will have to regain his control if  he wants to have a shot at working out of the Cubs bullpen in 2011. 
JOHN GAUB MINOR LEAUGE STATS:
YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLW-L%ERAGSSVIPWHIPH/9HR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
200722IndiansGULFRkCLE002.25004.02.0009.00.09.09.01.00
200823Lake CountySALLACLE11.5003.380264.01.1886.20.44.514.13.13
2009242 Teams2 LgsAAA-AACHC42.6672.250560.01.1505.40.65.012.02.42
200924TennesseeSOULAACHC31.7502.830428.21.2566.00.95.312.62.35
200924IowaPCLAAACHC11.5001.720131.11.0534.90.34.611.52.50
2010252 Teams2 LgsAAA-RkCHC35.3757.361329.11.8758.60.38.312.01.44
201025CubsARIZRkCHC01.00081.00100.19.00027.00.054.027.00.50
201025IowaPCLAAACHC34.4296.520329.01.7938.40.37.811.81.52
4 Seasons88.5003.66110157.11.3226.40.55.512.82.32
Rk (2 seasons)01.0008.31104.12.53810.40.012.510.40.83
AAA (2 seasons)45.4444.030460.11.4096.60.36.111.61.90
A (1 season)11.5003.380264.01.1886.20.44.514.13.13
AA (1 season)31.7502.830428.21.2566.00.95.312.62.35
Generated 1/1/2011.

As the star on Jeff Stevens and John Gaub may have fallen, the potential of Chris Archer has risen dramatically since the trade.  Currently, Archer was rated #2 Prospect on Baseball America's Top 20 Florida State League.  Archer would go 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA between Daytona and Double-A Tennessee.  Prior to 2010, Archer fastball was clocked at 90-91 mph but 2010 saw a leap in velocity as his fastball is now coming in at up to 97 mph.  By all accounts, Archer's best outing of the year came in Octrober while pitching for Team USA against Cuba in a PAN-AM qualifier.  Archer would throw six innings, giving up 0 runs while striking out 10 as Team USA defeated Cuba 4-1.  Archer will only be 22 years old when the 2011 season begins and the Cubs will be keeping a close eye on him as he continues his path to the major leagues.  Archer appears to have figured out the mental part of pitching as well as making the mechanical adjustments that has allowed him to harness his control and add the extra mph on his fastball and breaking pitches. 
CHRIS ARCHER MINOR LEAGUE STATS:
YearAgeTmLgLevAffWLERAIPWHIPH/9HR/9BB/9SO/9SO/BB
2006172 Teams2 LgsRkCLE037.7121.01.7628.10.97.79.41.22
200617IndiansGULFRkCLE037.4519.11.7597.90.57.99.81.24
200617BurlingtonAPPYRkCLE0010.801.21.80010.85.45.45.41.00
2007182 Teams2 LgsRk-ACLE175.8856.21.5009.70.63.88.42.21
200718IndiansGULFRkCLE175.6452.21.4629.60.73.68.22.29
200718Lake CountySALLACLE009.004.02.00011.20.06.811.21.67
200819Lake CountySALLACLE484.29115.11.5267.20.66.68.31.26
200920PeoriaMIDWACHC642.81109.01.3216.40.05.49.81.80
2010212 Teams2 LgsA+-AACHC1532.34142.11.1736.40.44.19.42.29
201021DaytonaFLORA+CHC712.8672.11.1066.70.53.210.23.15
201021TennesseeSOULAACHC821.8070.01.2436.20.35.08.61.72
5 Seasons26253.67444.11.3717.10.45.29.11.75
A (3 seasons)10123.67228.11.4366.90.36.09.11.50
Rk (2 seasons)1106.2373.21.5489.20.74.88.61.79
AA (1 season)821.8070.01.2436.20.35.08.61.72
A+ (1 season)712.8672.11.1066.70.53.210.23.15
Generated 1/1/2011.

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