July 19th, 2009
West Virginia receives:
SP Tim Higgins (34, ML) - $9.6/$10.3
SP Jason Oliver (28, ML) - $1.8/$2.6/$2.6
SP Juan Flores (23, AAA) - $0.39/$0.39/$0.39/$0.39/arbitration/arbitration/arbitration
SP John Gaines (19, A) - minor league contract
Connecticut's 1st round 2010 draft pick via New Orleans (compensated to Aurora for Mel Kennedy FA signing - 20th pick)
Connecticut's 2nd round 2010 draft pick (SP Vernon Sullivan - 4th pick)
SP Hamilton Cole (26, ML) - $7.5/$7.5
2B Tom Kirkland (28, ML) - $5.0/5.0/$5.0
RF Bernardo Marín (35, ML) - $11.9/$12.7
Higgins, who was traded to Connecticut by West Virgina half a year ago, went 1-3 with a 5.26 ERA in 14 games with West Virginia in '09. The aging Higgins has steadily decline and should be relegated to a back-end rotation or spot starting role.
Oliver went 3-5 with a 4.46 ERA in 10 starts with West Virginia in '09. Currently considered a below average starter, Oliver has seemingly lost his solid productivity previously displayed in the '07 and '08 sesaon.
Flores pitched well after the trade after being reassigned to West Virginia's AAA affiliate. Lacking big league stuff, Flores relies on his above average movement and control on his pitches. He has the potential to grow into a serviceable back-end rotation starter in the big leagues.
Gaines had a stellar Class-A season in '09. A former SS-A All-Star, Gaines has the upside to become a frontline caliber starter. He has excellent velocity on his pitches and raw big league caliber stuff. He needs to continue maturing and refining his pitch control in order to make the jump to the next level.
Cole pitched superbly in '09 with Connecticut after the trade. He went 4-1 with a 2.19 ERA in 10 starts with Connecticut in '09. Overall, Cole is a solid and steady middle rotation pitcher.
Kirkland had a stellar '09 season. An All-Star in '09, Kirkland batted .304 with 3 homeruns and 34 RBIs in 67 games with Connecticut after the trade. Currently in the prime of his career, Kirkland is one of the league's best infielders. He hits for a high average and is a doubles machine.
Marín flourished in '09 with Connecticut in his return. He batted .302 with 8 homers and 35 RBIs in 65 games with Connecticut. In his mid-30's, Marín still remains a productive hitter. He hits for a high average and possesses decent power. Overall, he serves well a complementary run producer.
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