View Full Version : Baseball Prospectus' take on the Ritchie trade...

12-29-2001, 09:16 AM
Here it is...

Re-signed RHP Keith Foulke to a two-year contract. [12/11]

Acquired RHP Todd Ritchie and C-B Lee Evans from the Pirates for RHPs Kip Wells, Sean Lowe and Josh Fogg. [12/13]

Acquired LHP Corey Lee from the Rangers as the PTBNL in the Herbert Perry deal. [12/17]

Re-signed IF-R Tony Graffanino to a two-year contract. [12/20]

Acquired OF-L Scott Bikowski and SS-L Josh Shaffer from the Angels for LHPs Dan Mozingo and Jim Sweeney. [12/21]

Todd Ritchie was waiver-wire fodder just three years ago, and he's coming over from the NL being mistaken for the surprise of 1999, and not for the adequate space-filler he's been for the two years since then. Ritchie is a useful major-league starter, a sinkerballer who gets a lot of ground-ball outs, but is he so useful that you would trade three major-league pitchers for him?

There's a danger that the White Sox think they're getting the guy that their scouts might have seen shut out division rivals the Indians and Royals last year, instead of the guy who started the other 31 games. Unfamiliarity is a key component of any pitcher's arsenal; it should be considered troubling that the teams that got to see Ritchie the most (Cubs, Reds, and Cardinals) all started tagging him in their later outings against him.

Glib comparisons of Todd Ritchie to Jon Lieber and Jason Schmidt are just silly, based on little more than that they were all Pirates, had all been acquired by the Bucs in various big-ticket dumps, and were all subsequently traded. Ritchie is 30, and had spent the majority of his career relieving before moving to the Pirates on waivers. Schmidt and Lieber were both 28, and were both considered top starting pitcher prospects who had failed to realize their potential in the bumblebee suits. Lieber did realize his potential, while Schmidt had a nice couple of months in that city by the Bay. Both stayed in the NL. Ritchie is moving to the DH league, where he will have a little more trouble hanging around as a league-average starter, especially one with an essentially limited repertoire. Worse yet, Ritchie wasn't even as effective as Sean Lowe as a starter last year, and nobody should pretend that Ritchie's future is as laden with potential as Kip Wells's.

Kenny Williams is treating this deal, like last year's Jumbo Wells deal, as the one that will win the division for the White Sox. Somebody needs to remind Williams he inherited a division winner and an organization with enough talent to sustain it. There's a difference between making a move that might help, and knowing when to just get out of the way. Williams hasn't done either this winter.

Pretty scary - echoes the thoughts of a lot of you earlier. Kermit, you might make me eat crow on Ritchie yet... Although I still think the existence of Enron and Pac Bell and Coors field nullifies the advantage of not having a DH for pitchers...

12-29-2001, 09:18 AM
oh great...

12-29-2001, 11:00 AM
That is why i threw a fit when i heard about that trade.It pissed me off then,i'm still angry.Like i said the day of the trade,picking up Ritchie is fine,hes' a good 4 or 5th starter.But trading away Sean Lowe was a BIG MISTAKE!I have no idea how Kip Wells will pan out,but one thing that i am totally sure of is that trading away Sean Lowe was a BIG MISTAKE!!!

12-29-2001, 11:07 AM
Well, If we had given up any two of those three, I would think that it would be a good deal. But to lose all three - jeez... I don't mind particularly losing any one of them, but the three combined is quite a lot to give up.