The cool thing about SB Nation (aside from the awesome free pens) is the incredible network of experts we have. We pinged those experts to give us their reaction to the Conor Jackson for Sam Demel trade.
John Sickles of Minor League Ball ranked Demel 18th in his preseason list of prospects in the A's farm system. 18th.
Oakland Athletics Top 20 Prospects for 2010 - Minor League Ball
18) Sam Demel, RHP, Grade C+: Funky delivery with above average stuff, could help in pen soon if command sharpens up.
That was before the season started, here's what John had to say about Demel (via email) today:
He's improved his command this year while maintaining a good K/IP ratio and still picking up grounders. I can see him as a strong C+ or a B- prospect, with a good chance to be a successful reliever and an outside chance to close eventually.
So Co-Jack for a C+ or B- prospect isn't exactly what one would have hoped for but as is often the case, there's more to this deal than just performance. There's money.
From our own Jim McLennan at AZ Snakepit who digitally penned this in-depth look at Jackson's struggles just a few days ago:
It's a trade that was probably inevitable - Jackson was due for a large pay increase this year, as a third-year arbitration player, and his production has just not been up to par.
His power has basically evaporated completely in the past couple of seasons, and even after his recovery from valley fever, he hasn't been hitting anything like he did over the first couple of years with the Diamondbacks.
Adding to the financial picture of this deal is this Olney tweet:
Twitter / Buster Olney: Heard this: The $ relief t ...
Heard this: The $ relief that the A's are getting in the Conor Jackson deal is close to $400,000...
You certainly can't blame the D-backs for dumping Conor now when facing the prospect of having to pay him more than his production warrants. The question remains, was Demel the best deal possible?
We will have to wait and see how he pans out to answer that question but any possible upgrade to the dismal bullpen has to be considered at least an attempted step in the right direction.
A's fans reacting to the trade here