Late last night, the Toronto Blue Jays sent Corey Koskie and Cash to Milwaukee for minor league pitcher Brian Wolfe. While the official breakdown of the trade has yet to be released, from the reports of Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail and Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun, an estimated 6-7 million dollars will be sent along with Koskie to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Wolfe, 25, pitched a relatively successful campaign for Milwaukee's high-A and AA affiliate; between the two levels, he went 4-2 with 8 saves, and a 2.19 ERA. He has been playing pro ball since 1999 when he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 6th round of the amateur draft. While he has had some success in his career - including a no hitter on his resume - his development has been stunted by a number of injuries. Because of his age, I feel like he is at best a fringe prospect and I don't see him playing a significant role, if any, in the future for the Jays.
Corey Koskie had a disastrous 2005 season, hitting .249 with 11 HRs and 36 RBIs while playing only 97 games, the fifth consecutive season in which his number of games played has decreased.
With the glut of corner IFs that the Blue Jays had, obviously one had to be traded. However, I wonder if trading Koskie (over Hillenbrand or Hinske) was the right decision. Coming off his disastrous campaign, Koskie's value is at rock bottom right now. Not only did the Jays have to fork over a large sum of cash to Brewers, the Jays only got a fringe prospect in return. I feel like it is a good bet that Koskie will rebound somewhat next season to be the above hitter that he has been over his career. However, much of his success in the upcoming season would be dependent on his health, and quite honestly, I feel more confident on my chance of winning the lottery than Corey Koskie staying healthy for a full season. I believe JP might have felt the same way. Additionally, Koskie, at age 32, is clearly at the declining stage of his career. In comparison, Hillenbrand and Hinske, 30 and 28 respectively, are in the prime of their career and still have room to improve. Therefore, while the Jays may not have gotten the best value out of the trade, they kept the pieces that are most likely to produce over the next two years.
Dollar for dollar, I would feel apprehensive about making this trade. However, the future of the Blue Jays is now. In order to assemble the best roster for the upcoming seasons, this might be something that JP had to do.