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Carlos Lee a Ranger

ESPN is reporting that the Rangers have traded for Carlos Lee, giving the Brewers Kevin Mench, Laynce Nix, and Francisco Cordero for Lee, outfield prospect Nelson Cruz, and a PTBNL.

Really interesting deal here. Nix, I believe, has little value. Lee replaces Mench, Nelson Cruz provides the Rangers' minor league system with some outfield depth, and the PTBNL we'll have to see about.

You can see Cruz's minor league numbers here. I'll see what I can find on him.

Update [2006-7-28 11:34:6 by Adam J. Morris]: -- BA had him ranked as the #8 prospect in a pretty good Brewers system coming into the season. He's about to turn 26, but as a switch-hitting corner outfielder with on base skills and some power, he's a good addition to the organization. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up replacing Fab Five Freddy on the 25 man roster and getting regular playing time down the stretch.

I like this move. The Rangers have a ton of options in the bullpen. They have few young outfield prospects. Carlos Lee has been much better than Kevin Mench this year, although I think historically there hasn't been that much difference between them.

This makes the bullpen weaker, but by getting Cruz, the Rangers are no longer locked into having to have DeRosa and Wilkerson play every day, and it gives them a young hitter to join the "core". And if Lee walks after the season, the Rangers could be looking at as many as 7 first rounder/sandwich round picks in 2007, which would be huge for rebuilding the farm system.

So my initial reaction is, good trade.

Update [2006-7-28 11:36:11 by Adam J. Morris]: -- John Sickels had Cruz 9th in his pre-season Brewer rankings, and had this in his mid-season report:

Hitting .302/.380/.525 for Triple-A Nashville, with 17 steals and 19 homers. Impressive power/speed combination. Contact is an issue and his batting average may not hold up in the majors, but he should at least be a decent player.

Update [2006-7-28 11:48:20 by Adam J. Morris]: -- CBS Sportsline says that the PTBNL is going from Texas to Milwaukee, and is minor league pitcher Julian Cordero. ESPN, whose story I originally linked, now doesn't mention a PTBNL.