This is Better than Dave Roberts

This just in:

The Milwaukee Brewers today acquired C Johnny Estrada, RHP Claudio Vargas and RHP Greg Aquino from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for LHP Doug Davis, LHP Dana Eveland and OF Dave Krynzel.

How about that! I've been ready for Davis to find a new home for a while now, but I didn't expect it would be in a transaction like this. Estrada has only four years of service time, so he'll be under the Brewers control for two more years. Call him "Bridge to Salome." I'm not sure if he's much better than Mike Rivera, but he has had a couple of solid years, and it would appear we got him on the cheap.

I think the key part of this deal is Davis for Vargas. Statistically, they are very similar pitchers; Davis has a longer track record, but Vargas is younger, cheaper, and will be under the Brewers control for three more years. And he dominated the Crew a time or two last year, so it's good to have him on our side.

The only way in which this deal comes out a net loss for the Brewers is if Eveland immediately comes into his own as a starter. If he does, it's the reverse of the Richie Sexson trade--we're getting lots of value from Chris Capuano and will continue to do so. Eveland could come back to haunt us, but on the other hand, he's shown very little at the big-league level yet, so it's a reasonable gamble.

Long story short: net win for the Brewers. Krynzel has no value on this team, Eveland wasn't someone we could confidently write into our 2007 plans, and Davis would've been nice to have around, but we would've lost him after the end of the season. Vargas will probably do just as well as Davis did, we get a high-upside arm for the bullpen, and we have two or three guys now who are legitimate major-league starting catchers. I like it.

After the jump, I have a bunch of stuff from the press release, including profiles and Doug Melvin's comments on the three new Brewers.

Update [2006-11-25 16:15:46 by Jeff]: Here's the story from the official site, and here's a set of ZiPS projections for the D-Backs. Estrada is projected at .290/.340/.435, while Vargas comes out at (gasp!) 6-13, 5.54. Ouch. Keep in mind that AZ plays in a very hitter-friendly park, not that those numbers can be saved by any environment.

"Estrada has been a very good offensive catcher during his career," Melvin said.  "His ability to switch hit and his high contact/low strikeout approach is something that the Brewers offense has been missing."

Vargas, 28, went 12-10 with a 4.92 ERA in 2006.  He made 30 starts and a relief appearance last season with Arizona.  His 12 wins were second on the Diamondbacks, behind N.L. Cy Young winner Brandon Webb.  A four-year Major League veteran, Vargas holds a career record of 32-32 with a 4.92 ERA.  

A native of the Dominican Republic, the right-hander began his Major League career with Montreal/Washington (2003 - 2005) before joining Arizona in June of 2005.

"Vargas appears to be coming into his own," Melvin said.  "He is a big, physical starter who has a power arm and will fit right into our rotation."

Aquino, 28, recently completed his third Major League season with the Diamondbacks where he went 2-0 with a 4.47 ERA in 42 relief appearances.  Aquino is currently pitching for Estrellas de Oriente of the Dominican Winter League where he holds a 2-0 record alongside a 0.00 ERA with 7 strikeouts and no walks through 3 games.  

In 2004, his rookie season with Arizona, Aquino recorded 16 saves.  Also a native of the Dominican Republic, Aquino has spent his entire career with Arizona and owns a career record of 2-3 with a 4.93 ERA in 111 relief appearances.

"Aquino has always had a power arm, throwing in the 94 - 96 mph range," Melvin said.  "He will add depth to our bullpen and he has the ability to pitch late in the games as evidenced by his 16 saves in 2004."


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