Earlier this evening, Chicago announced two major trades and the Toronto Nomads joined them with a deal of their own. But there is late-breaking news that two more trades were completed today, making this the busiest day for trades in league history.
This season, teams are not waiting until the trade deadline to make their move and jockey for better positions going into the second half of the season, which starts imminently.
The fourth and fifth deals for today will see the Arizona Cowboys send last year’s #2 prospect, RHP Alex Orellana, and minor league RF Gus Rodriguez to the Miami Storm in exchange for 5-time Platinum Glove first baseman Jose Ortiz, and two minor league infield prospects, short season SS Ricky Gonzalez and 1B Orlando Escobales, and finally the Dallas Deputies will ship Venezuelan 2B Elias Huerta and prospect RHP Cecil Paterson to the Louisville Sluggers and get veteran rotation arm Thomas Maldonado back.
In the Arizona-Miami deal, the Storm were looking to offload an under-performing veteran with a sizable salary in Ortiz, who will earn $6.9 million this year but is only batting .225 with a pair of homers. The Cowboys look at Ortiz as a potential veteran defender to anchor their infield while they retool for next year with a crop of younger players. Miami picks up a high-potential rotation fixture to improve their flailing starters.
Storm GM Troy Vogel was said to be especially pleased with the deal as he works out ways that could get Miami back into contention in the tight AEL East Division.
The Dallas-Louisville trade is a bit of a tough read, as Louisville ships their best starting pitcher in what is already a very weak rotation. The team’s starters have the worst ERA in the Lake League, and they just sent their “best” arm to a team that is not even in contention for this season. In return, they pick up a mediocre infielder who hits for average and not power, when they already have three players who hit for average and power in Les Groves, Ed Langston, and Jason Nelson.
Time will tell if the Dallas-Louisville deal with benefit either team to a measurable degree, but the Miami move to grab Orellana should have an immediate impact starting with his next start, which could come tomorrow against Dallas, or Sunday againsst Norfolk.