Since when did it make sense for an under .500 ball club to trade one of their best players for a pitcher who has two seasons of Independent baseball experience??
Apparently the Schaumburg Flyers thought it was a good idea to do just that. When I came across the news of RF Victor Ferrante being sent to the Tuscon Toros (Golden League) in exchange for LHP Reid Price (10-3, 3.26 ERA) and a player to be named later in an article on the Flyers website last week, I couldn't believe it. Ferrante was one of their most consistent, fundamentally sound players from the Flyers 2009 roster and to trade for a southpaw who appears to be good on paper doesn't sit well.
Granted I have not seen Price pitch so I don't know if he's got the goods to be a strong anchor in the Flyers starting rotation. Pitching was a bit of a struggle for the Flyers last season, so it seems right to make that a priority in the off season.
If that's one of the issues the Flyers need to address for next season, than trade a player like TJ Wilson (.180 BA, 31 H in 172 AB), who had relatively strong defensive skills, but wasn't as developed offensivley or Travis Brown (.228 BA, 74 H in 323 AB), who had moments of great defensive proweless at shortstop, but failed to produce in the leadoff spot.
Ferrante finished the 2009 season with a solid performance and quickly established himself as an impact player on the team. The 2009 Great Lakes All-Star received Northern League Player of the Week honors for the week ending August 23rd for an oustanding display of baseball excellence. He led the league in total bases (23) and slugging percentage (.920), batted .440 with seven runs scored, four doubles, a triple, two home runs and a league-leading 9 RBI.
By the time the season was over, Ferrante tied several players at 68 RBI, placed third in slugging percentage with .545 and led the league in triples with 9.
I can see how a left-handed pitcher who posted a 1.51 ERA and struck out 29 batters while pitching 35.2 innings last season is appealing to any general manager, but I'm just not sure if that's enough to exchange a true power hitting player like Ferrante who easily could have been a dependable leader and game changer for the 2010 team.
At this point, there is nothing left to do but speculate until the Flyers season opener at the end of May.