Felipe Lopez Trade

Sunday, December 15 2002 @ 06:56 AM EST

Contributed by: Coach

The Blue Jays, Reds, A's and Diamondbacks have completed the first big deal of the winter meetings. Oakland got the guy they wanted -- Erubiel Durazo, who Billy Beane called his "Holy Grail" -- and Toronto will receive at least one terrific prospect, an excellent return for Felipe Lopez, who didn't fit into the Jays' plans anyway. The identity of the Oakland prospect(s) can't be officially revealed until after tomorrow's Rule 5 draft, but it's no secret. There have been several conflicting reports; ESPN first made it sound like the Jays were getting three youngsters, and it's still unclear whether it's one or two.

In BB #59 I already stated my enthusiastic endoresement of Jason Arnold and John-Ford Griffin, as reasonable value for Orlando Hudson, who was then rumoured to be going to Colorado. When the big Matt Williams-for-Larry Walker deal collapsed, so did that three-way plan. Give J.P. Ricciardi and Billy Beane credit for keeping this one alive, and selling it to their gullible counterparts in Arizona and Ohio.

In fact, this is better news for Toronto fans than the previous idea. The Jays still have Hudson, instead of the undisciplined (on and off the field) Lopez.