I'm not quite ready, nor is there enough meat out there right now to create the next Random Thoughts posting but here is a teaser:
Chris Archer, who we traded, along with John Gaub, for Mark DeRosa, was just named the Cubs' #1 prospect. Here are some thoughts:
1. I was OK with that trade at the time (and I NEVER like trading prospects for veterans) and am more OK with it now as Shapiro turned DeRosa into Chris Perez and Jess Todd...and I would trade Archer and Gaub right now for Perez and Todd any day of the week and twice on Saturdays. BTW, I think Todd is vastly underrated and may end up going the way of Brendan Ryan, formerly of the Cardinals, who was traded for some organizational filler guy in an addition by subtraction move by the Cardinals this off-season. But more on Todd and Ryan in my column later this month.
2. It is interesting how Archer, who was an intriguing arm but, due to control issues, was a borderline top 30 prospect in the Indians' organization, has blossomed in another organization. That should, at least, cause the Indians' developmental staff to undergo a little intraspection to see if they need to do anything differently. I think it is obvious if this organization had the skills and developed the history of turning arms like Archer's into qualiity major league pitchers (see Atlanta a number of years ago) that the Indians would be less likely to trade a guy like Archer when he was in low "A" ball and would more likely hold onto him until he got to the majors or enhanced his tradeability by polishing up and becoming a top prospect by the time he got to the high minors. Given his current prospect status, do you think Archer would, right now, bring more than a DeRosa-like return himself now? Although I don't know if I would value him THAT much more highly now compared to when we traded him, looking at his peripherals and development path, I think that many teams would. He would a prime trading chip, in my opinion, if he was here...and I don't like to trade prospects. Archer, to me, is the classic guy that Atlanta traded when he got all hyped up before anyone found out that he wasn't going to be the next coming of Roy Halladay. Of course, that's what the talking heads were saying when the Braves traded Adam Wainwright to the Cardinals and look how that turned out. But I digress.
Look for this column about the 20th of January and, of course, if anything significant breaks between now and then, I will be writing about it.