Buster Gunns - Cobb Times Herald
In what has been the biggest trade of the offseason, and what will probably be the biggest trade of the year, perennial all star and future hall of famer Dean Hernandez was dealt to the Tacoma Jerry Gang in exchange for talented young hurler Darren Howry and throw in RP Bip Riley. Hernandez's accomplishments speak for themselves, with a 248-112 W-L record, a career WHIP/ERA of 1.08/2.55, and 2,435 strikeouts, the former Dean of Pawtucket is one of the two greatest pitchers in Cobb World history, matched only by King Kaz Ong. With Hernandez showing no signs of decline it is a good bet that even at the age of 34 he still has 4-5 good seasons left before he slows down. Following is a detailed breakdown of the trade:
Tacoma gets: Dean Hernandez
--As was mentioned earlier, Hernandez is quite simply legendary in Cobb World. Capable of tossing 300 elite innings on a yearly basis, one can only imagine how his stats will be amplified by playing half of his games in Tacoma's Cheney Stadium, far and away one of the more pitcher friendly locales in the league. He should get a great amount of run support too, as Tacoma's offense has recently matured into one of the better ones i the league. The risk for Tacoma is that in his final year of a 5 year max deal, Hernandez refuses to resign and walks at the end of the season, leaving the Jerry Gang with nothing to show but some compensation picks. Still, for a team wanting to win and win now, no bigger statement could be made than acquiring Hernandez.
Verdict: Home Run!
Pawtucket gets: Darren Howry & Bip Riley
--Howry is 9 years younger than Hernandez, which was the major draw for Pawtucket in acquiring the talented right hander. For a team looking to rebuild around younger talent few young starters are as good as Howry. Howry's ratings are fairly comparable to the Deans, except that he doesn't show the workhorse stamina, and isn't as good vs. left handed hitting, otherwise he could go toe to toe in most other areas. It will take some getting used to for Pawtucket fans accustomed to seeing Hernandez pitch every 4th day to only get a start every 5 from Howry, but he's a keeper and has a very bright future. Riley will be serviceable as a reliever, but doesn't really show a whole lot to distinguish himself from his peers, whereas Howry has Cy Young potential.
Verdict: Home Run (bordering on a triple, simply because Hernandez was so awesome it would be hard to get absolutely equal value)
So in summation this appears to be a win-win for both teams, and this deal has to vault Tacoma back into the drivers seat for the AL pennant, while keeping Pawtucket competitive while they retool the lineup and rotation.