Per Jamey Newberg, the Texas Rangers have traded left-hander Daniel Haigwood to the Boston Red Sox for right-hander Scott Shoemaker and cash considerations. Haigwood was designated for assignment last week to make room for Jamey Wright on the 40-man roster.
Shoemaker is 25 years old, and was originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 34th round of the 1999 amateur draft. He would be selected two more times: by the New York Mets in the 21st round of the 2000 amateur draft, and by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 48th round of the 2001 amateur draft. However, he opted for college instead, pitching for Long Beach State University in 2003 and San Diego State University in 2004. The Red Sox signed Shoemaker as an undrafted free agent on June 1st, 2004.
Shoemaker began his minor league career strong, putting up a 2.48 ERA in 32.2 innings for the Lowell Spinners in the short-season New York-Penn League. He was promoted to the Red Sox A-ball affiliate, the Greenville Drive, to begin 2005. After going 6-3 with a 3.50 ERA in 16 games (15 of those being starts), Shoemaker was rocketed through the Boston system, progressing all the way to AAA Pawtucket before the season was over. He was poor at every stop, and why he was pushed so far so quickly is a question I can't answer at this time.
Where he began the 2006 season is a mystery, but I do know that he was demoted from Pawtucket back to high-A Wilmington at the beginning of August. Shoemaker did better overall in 2006, going 9-2 with a 4.05 ERA at Wilmington and pitching decently at Pawtucket and AA Portland.
Here's a scouting report on the 6'4", 215 pound right-hander from SoxProspects.com:
Makes use of a solid fastball and an above average slider. Also has a workable curve and a change in his arsenal. Gets ahead in the count well. High strikeout totals. Very relaxed and mature on the mound. Good fielder and athlete. Excellent k/bb ratio. Showed the ability to go deep into games in college.
For his minor league career through the end of 2006, Shoemaker is 19-10 with a 4.19 ERA in 69 games, with 36 of those appearances being starts. He's struck out 7.43 batters per nine innings and walked 3.10 per nine, with his WHIP sitting at 1.35.
What do I think about this deal?
I don't like it.
The entire Fabio Castro sequence of events has turned into a bigger disaster than it was before. Dealing Castro away in the first place was a bad decision, but Buck Showalter shoulders the majority of the blame for that debacle due to his failure to use him more often (including blowouts), even after he was clear he was a competent pitcher.
However, the blame in this latest talent downgrade falls solely at the feet of Jon Daniels. Daniel Haigwood is no Castro, but he has several advantages over Shoemaker: he's over two years younger, he's left-handed, and he's had better minor league success.
The biggest problem I have with all of this is not that the Rangers traded Haigwood; he's a decent pitching prospect, but nothing spectacular. No, the problem I have is that Haigwood was traded as a result of him being designated for assignment. And why was he DFAed? To make room for the mediocre (and as we now know, injured) Jamey Wright, who turned in a miserable start on April 10th against the Devil Rays. Giving him the #5 rotation spot in the first place when he had failed to earn it over Kameron Loe or Bruce Chen was a poor decision to begin with, but when it starts costing the Rangers minor league talent as well - that's going too far.
The whole thing smacks of poor roster management. Maybe there's some things I don't know about Haigwood and Shoemaker, and I certainly wish both of them the best. I really hope that Scott turns into something for the Rangers.
But for the first time since Daniels was hired as general manager, my faith is beginning to waver in his ability. Not too much, just a little bit, but enough to leave me concerned.