In a surprising trade that makes a little more sense several hours after it happened, the White Sox have traded closer Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays for prospect Nestor Molina. Don’t get excited, this isn’t the fourth member of the Flying Molina Brothers, the kid is a pitching prospect. There won’t be any spangly suits behind home plate at The Cell next year.
The trade didn’t make much sense from a talent standpoint or from a money standpoint. With this trade the Sox are only freeing up about $9 million. That could be enough to lure a good reliever for one or two years, but other than that it’s just good money to have. (I know I’d gladly take it.)
Nestor Molina, a 22-year-old right hander, has a pleasing 8.5 K/9 ratio compared to his minuscule 1.4 BB/9 ratio. For those of you who don’t know what that means, he strikes out about seven more guys than he walks. Which is good. Really good. I searched for some videos of him and I was very impressed with what I saw. Good movement on his pitches, a little bit of deception in his delivery, a fairly basic pickoff move – nothing too special there – and decent command. He’s only been as high as double-A and Kenny Williams has already said he doesn’t want to rush this kid. He could be a middle of the rotation guy or possibly even a #2 starter but as of right now he’s nothing more than a prospect.
How does this affect the Sox bullpen? Well, obviously we don’t have a closer anymore. That’s a problem. The only other guys who could maybe do that are Matt Thornton (*shudder*) and Jesse Crain (*slightly less violent shudder*). Thornton’s name has been tossing around in the washing machine of trade rumors so he might not be around for long. Crain is more of a set-up man, so who does that leave us with? There’s a fine-looking young pitcher by the name of Addison Reed who might be exactly what we’re looking for.
Reed has a career 1.41 ERA in the minor leagues with a 12.9 K/9 and a 1.7 BB/9. His HR/9 is what made me smile – 0.3. He gives up a home run once every 28 or so innings. That’s pretty dang good. Reed pitched in 7.1 innings for the Sox in September of last year and did pretty well in that short of a timespan. Hopefully he’ll get a more intense look when pitchers and catchers report on February 23 and throughout Spring Training.
So what do you think about the trade? Good? Bad? We’ll see? I’d love to hear your thoughts