The trade mart is officially open

As Bruce Buffer says before the start of big UFC matches, “It’s TIME.”

In this case, it’s time for trading to begin in CDRL and to no one’s surprise, the four-time defending champion Collierville Kings took the gift wrap off the season by making a deal with the Usual Suspects, sending Drew Storen ($20, 2-year contract) and Clint Barmes ($2, 2 years left) for Matt Holliday ($35, OPT) and Jonny Venters ($5, OPT).

For head Suspect Justin Kreis, the deal was all about closing his closer hole.

“My motivation was first and foremost to get a closer,” Kreis said. “But I also have realistic expectations for this year, so I wanted someone who could help me next year too. Kerry was the most obvious trade partner as the only owner of 3 closers. And of course, within a few hours of my posting I was looking for a closer, Kerry had contacted me.”

The always-loaded Kings came into the season with Drew Storen, J.J. Putz and Heath Bell. Bell has struggled a bit, but Storen is hurt and likely out until midseason.

“I chose Storen as my target because Bell seems a bit overpriced, especially with the cap going down to $260 next year,” Kreis said. “Putz is a FA for the DBacks next year and as an owner of David Hernandez I hope they let Putz walk and give the job to him.

“I wanted a bat coming back that gets regular ABs. I look at the deal as upgrading my pitching at the expense of my hitting. Also I traded two guys who are in the last year of their deal. So I’m getting a year and a half of Storen and 2 years of Barmes for 1 year each for Holliday and Venters.”

Sewell, who said, “The offseason is a long time to go without a trade and I was beginning to twitch from the DT’s,” already had a plan to divest himself of a closer.

“I really wanted to move the higher priced Bell for more prospect type bats, but the Suspects wanted Storen and his attractive contract,” Sewell said. “I still see myself as rebuilding and considered walking away to keep Storen for next year. However, when there is a deal to be made I hate to walk away.

“Maybe this deal can solidify my offense while my pitchers all hit the DL (Carpenter, Dempster and Lee). Who knows? Worst case, I fall out and look to unload all my high price guys once the true contenders start to show themselves.

Around the league, the talk was that the trade master had worked his magic again.

“Just saw Kerry-Justin deal. I think that could be considered (a crime) in 48 states,” said one owner.

Said another of Sewell, “If he makes some more trades like this, he could win again.”

When you see trades announced, feel free to send me e-mails about them. Anonymity is guaranteed.

Gary Robinson posted at 2012-4-22 Category: Poker

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