Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Rangers trade Nivar for Riley 

The Rangers have apparently dealt OF/2B Ramon Nivar to the Orioles for LHP Matt Riley and veteran minor league catcher Keith McDonald.

Rumblings about the Rangers picking up Riley have been going on for a while, and I've got concerns about whether Riley is a good fit here, given that he's a flyball pitcher who walks a ton of guys and gives up homers...a bad combination for TBIA.

But he's a lefty who throws hard and was once a top prospect, and he should be able to fill the last spot in the bullpen until Francisco is ready to return. He's a worthwhile player to take a flyer on if he doesn't cost much, and by getting him for Nivar -- whose future is as a utility man, at best, and who was a questionable use of a 40 man roster spot -- the Rangers have made a very nice move.

This is really a no-downside move by Texas...Riley can work out of the pen and provide depth for the rotation while the injury situation with the pitchers sorts itself out, and Hershiser can see if he's salvageable. If he gascans here, you put him on waivers and try to slide him through and stick him in AAA, and you've lost little as a result. If he can turn it around, you've got an arm with a ton of upside that you picked up almost for free.

Nivar broke out in 2003 by hitting for a huge average in AA and AAA, but he's got no power and no plate discipline, and his baseball instincts are reportedly very poor, meaning that even though he has a ton of speed, he isn't a good basestealer or defensive outfielder. McDonald is a journeyman minor league catcher, who will caddy for Laird in AAA.

Very good acquisition for Hart & Co. here.

Well, its kinda sad to see Nivar go. I enjoyed watching him play at the end of the '03 season, but he's fallen off a cliff since then. I enjoyed watching him chop balls to 2nd and beat it out at 1st. Ohh well.
That would be Hart, SHOWALTER & Co.
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