Byrnes Gets His Lefty

Byrnes Gets His Lefty

We all knew that Arizona GM Josh Byrnes was in the market for a left-handed starter. Byrnes got his man this weekend in a six-player deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Diamondbacks sent catcher Johnny Estrada and pitchers Claudio Vargas and Greg Aquino to Milwaukee for southpaws Doug Davis, Dana Eveland, and outfielder Dave Krynzel.

The last time these two ballclubs dealt was in the nine-player deal that brought Richie Sexson to Arizona.

Though Davis is arbitration eligible, his 2007 contract will likely prove a bargain over any of the left-handed starters available through Free Agency. 

Davis fits the workhorse mold that Byrnes so coveted, having pitched over 200 innings for three straight seasons.  The quality of those innings remains a question mark, however, as the 31-year old Davis has become progressively more of a power pitcher as his career has worn on.  Upside: strikeouts.  Downside: walks. 

Dana Eveland is a 23-year old prospect who has enjoyed several quality minor league seasons as a starter, but has struggled to adapt to his major league role as a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen.  He could compete for a spot in the back of the Arizona rotation, but more likely he will try his hand once more at relief work, as the Diamondbacks lack left handed arms in their bullpen.

Krynzel, a first round pick of the Brewers six years ago, has shown flashes of his top-tier talent on both sides of the ball, yet has failed to display the kind of consistency that the Brewers organization was hoping for.  He stands a good chance to land the fifth outfielder's slot with the Diamondbacks, as he shows a lot of tools on defense, swings from the left side, and can provide plus speed as a pinch runner.

Catcher Johnny Estrada had expressed his displeasure at the youth movement taking place in Arizona, so his departure comes as no surprise.  The organization is confidant that prospect Miguel Montero is ready to assume the majority of the work behind the dish.

While Claudio Vargas turned in a solid performance for the Snakes last year, he was neither the workhorse nor the lefty that the ballclub so desperately needed.  Greg Aquino had struggled to fit in with the Diamondbacks ever since he lost his closer's job to Brandon Lyon at the start of the 2005 season.  Both pitchers get a fresh start in Milwaukee.

With the first three spots in the Diamondback rotation now set with Brandon Webb, Livan Hernandez, and Doug Davis, the remaining two spots are expected to be filled from within the organization.  The leading candidates are Enrique Gonzalez, Edgar Gonzalez, Dustin Nippert, Ross Ohlendorf, and Micah Owings

Read more from Keith Glab at Recommended Stories

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