The Giants traded Russ Ortiz to the Braves today for Damian Moss and a Single-A pitcher. Moss is two years younger and did pitch better than Ortiz last year, but I'm surprised that the Giants gave up on Ortiz. They must feel that Moss has a better shot at becoming a staff leader than Ortiz. Ortiz has had his ups and downs in his 4+ seasons, but has won at least 14 in each of those years. Moss has never won that many games.
Maybe the Giants got tired of waiting for Ortiz to become that staff leader. His strikeout-to-walk ratio has been under 1.5 for most of his career while his strikeouts per 9 innings have plummeted (career low 5.75 in 2002).
The only problem is that Moss's numbers are even worse: 1.25 strikeout-to-walk and 5.58 strikeouts per nine innings.
I have to believe that the Braves are pleased. Here's a guy (Moss) who languished in their farm system for 7 years. He has a better year than expected in 2002. He is not expected to be more than a tail-end starter in 2003. And then they use him to land a well established pitcher in Ortiz just when their staff appears to be falling apart.
I would have to think that there is a very low possibility that this will be a big win for the Giants (I don't foresee Moss as a staff leader). But it is not difficult to imagine Moss falling flat in 2003 while Ortiz continues to pitch well for at least a few years. I have to tally this a big win for the Braves.