Eddie Guardado was traded to the Twins today, his original organization. Eddie was one of those guys that when we first signed him back in January, I thought “What the heck are we doing?” Turned out Eddie was a great guy, pitched pretty well, if not spectacular, and had a fire in him that you wished more guys had. Still, we’re not going anywhere, and if he can help the Twins, I wish him well.
In return, we get minor league prospect Mark Hamburger. My first thought upon hearing that was not how well can he pitch, was “how badly can Josh Lewin go off on the obvious jokes there”? Since I’d never heard of him, I’m going to shamelessly steal from Jamey Newberg’s update about him (since Jamey seems to know everyone in every minor league team everywhere)…
The player Texas has acquired from Minnesota for Eddie Guardado is 21-year-old right-handed reliever Mark Hamburger, a Minnesota native who is 1-2, 4.17 with 13 saves in 14 tries for Elizabethton in the Short-Season Appalachian League. The lanky 6’4″ righty has held the league to a .250 average (righties have been particularly inept, hitting .221/.292/.305 off of him), striking out 40 and walking 13 in 36.2 innings while inducing 1.27 as many groundouts as flyouts. He posted a 1.20 ERA in 2007, logging 15 innings (12 hits, four walks, 12 strikeouts) after signing with the Twins as an undrafted free agent out of Mesabi Range Community College.
To take Eddie’s roster spot, the team purchased the contract of Bill White, who made a handful of appearances for the Rangers last year. Nine appearances with a little over 9 innings pitched, and an ERA of 4.82. Not the greatest numbers there, but by all accounts has been having a bangup year in 2008. Given that we’ve effectively tanked in August, we’ll probably see a lot more guys come up once the rosters expand next Monday.
The bigger question is – who will be the formal closer, or are we going to hear that phrase that ends in the word “committee” again?
UPDATE: The closer will be Frank Francisco. Probably not a terrible idea.
Also, the flip side of the Guardado trade is that Mike Lamb was designated for assignment by the Twins to make room.