Monday, July 25, 2011

WB2PB Trade Evaluation: Koji Uehara

This is the fourth installment in a nine-part series leading up to the Major League trading deadline on Sunday. Today's player is Baltimore Orioles reliever Koji Uehara.

How the pitching staff looks with the addition of Uehara:

Starters: Paul Maholm; Kevin Correia; Charlie Morton; James McDonald; Jeff Karstens
Relievers: Jason Grilli; Chris Resop; Jose Veres; Joe Beimel; Daniel McCutchen; Uehara
Closer: Joel Hanrahan

  • Excellent K-to-BB ratio, balancing a fastball with a forkball as his main pitches to strike out 59 batters while walking only 8 in 2011, pitching to a 1.80 ERA

  • Not much really. Not a power pitcher but he has really been lights out.
The starting pitchers have logged a lot of innings but the bullpen has its share of appearances because of Hurdle's desire to play matchups in key situations. I'm not sure I'm a big fan of this move because my projections sends Tony Watson to the minor leagues and leaves just one lefty in the bullpen. Maybe it's Resop who is sent down but he appears the only other vulnerable pitcher if the Pirates add a reliever.

The salary I think would be the concern in this situation. Uehara is owed a little more than $1 million the rest of the year but would be arbritration-eligible and likely earn in the $4 million next season, something the Pirates may not want to spend on a bullpen arm with pitchers like Karstens, Hanrahan, Morton and possibly McCutchen owed raises already.

Another move that wouldn't address the offense but possibly a necessity to add an arm or two to help get this team to the finish line innings-wise that simply just cost a minor prospect if the Bucs will pick up the salary.

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