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A Real Trade!

Update [2006-11-9 10:38:13 by Eric Hz]: From this morning's San Diego Tribune:

Convinced the Yankees were on the verge of acquiring Kouzmanoff for slugger Gary Sheffield, the Padres pulled the trigger on the trade, which also brings them Triple-A reliever Andrew Brown.

The Padres and Indians have gotten together to fill two needs - the second base job in Cleveland and the third base one in San Diego.

The Padres send 2B Josh Barfield to the Indians for 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff and  RHP Andrew Brown.

From a fantasy perspective, Barfield offers proven production, and in AL-only keeper leagues, should be a $15-$20 player based on the 21 SBs and 13 HRs.  With rampant inflation, I can see him in the low $20s.

Kevin Kouzmanoff should get the chance for regular ABs at 3B by either winning the job outright from Russell Branyan or falling into a platoon with that lefty HR/BB/K machine.

Kouz had a great AVG in the minors last season, but his walks were not good (33 in 346 ABs).  However, he hit 22 HRs to go with that excellent AVG, though.

I see him in the low single-digits if he cannot win the starting job.  If he does win the 3B job, then I can see him going for $8-$14 dependent upon his spring performance and attendent hype.  Petco should serve to dampen his power expectations.

RHP Andrew Brown is a free agent pool pick-up or $1 end-of-draft flyer based on pitching half his games at Petco Park.  His minor league strikeouts are OK, but his walks are very high (36 in 62.1 AAA innings.  Another 8 in 10 major league ones.)

(FWIW, I'd have looked for a 3B to acquire if I were making-up possible Padres trades, but would not have settled on Kouzmanoff from the Indians.  However, the addition of a reliever to even-off the deal validates my working hypothesis that pitching is going to be over-valued.)