Wilson Valdez has done a serviceable job for the Phillies over the past two seasons as a utility infielder. He logged time at 2nd, 3rd, and SS, playing adequate defense. He even won a game in relief last season. His bat wasn't much (.254/.652 in 210 games), but most UTL players aren't. He was set to earn $930K in 2012. Trading him to the Reds seems like nothing more than a salary dump. How much does it save? Only about $500K, because Michael Martinez, Valdez's replacement as utility infielder, will make league minimum ($480K), but wouldn't have in the minors. This trade just doesn't make sense unless Amaro is upgrading the utility infielder via trade or free agency.
Michael Martinez is shit (.540 OPS in 2011) and always will always be shit (.683 OPS in 5 minor league seasons). He's not young (29). He's already reached his potential, and his potential is shit. I'm okay with him playing in Triple-A and coming up in September, but not for a full season getting lots of at bats due to our elderly infielders maladies.
Not much remains on the free agent market. Jeff Keppinger looks like he's going to the Rays. Wilson Betemit signed a cheap deal with the O's. Aaron Miles and Ryan Theriot are still out there, but not really an upgrade over Valdez. Miles hits for average at least I guess. Edgar Renteria says he's willing to become a utility infielder, but he's not played 3rd nor 2nd base. Carlos Guillen would be an interesting signing on a minor league deal, but he can't handle SS.
Really, I just don't understand this trade. Unless it's a precursor to another deal, what's the purpose?
Jeremy Horst was the player the Phils received from the Reds. He's a 26 year old lefty reliever. He made his MLB debut last season, pitching in 12 games with a 2.93 ERA. Over 5 minor league seasons he posted a 3.08 ERA and 1.24 WHIP, averaging 8.5 K per 9 IP. He may end up being useful, but with Antonio Bastardo and Dontrelle Willis already in the bullpen and Joe Savery at the ready in Lehigh Valley, I don't see the pressing need. So, once again I say "salary dump" to this trade, and because it's for such a minuscule amount and leaves the team worse off, I therefore hate this trade.