Today’s trade of Ronald Uviedo to the Blue Jays for Dana Eveland was perplexing to say the least. First of all, I don’t consider Uviedo a huge loss. I had him ranked as the organization’s 21st best prospect entering the season. He is an undersized, right-handed relief prospect with fly ball tendencies. He probably would have struggled to hang on the 40-man roster this offseason, and he only has one option remaining. His chance of turning into anything at the major league level is pretty slim.
But that’s not really the point. I find almost nothing even remotely interesting about Eveland. He is essentially a poor-man’s Zach Duke, without the good control. The only thing he does well is keep the ball on the ground. His strikeout and walk rates are both awful. I have no idea what Neal Huntington sees in him, other than the high ground ball rate. Here are his career numbers, which are heavily influenced by his solid 2008 season. He has been much worse the past two years.
Maybe the team’s scouts see something in Eveland that can be tweaked in order to transform him into a Duke-type back-of-the-rotation starter. Maybe Huntington thinks this will ease the difficulty of dealing Duke or Paul Maholm at the trade deadline. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Eveland is your typical replacement-level waiver wire pitcher. It just does not make sense to give up a young guy with a good arm to acquire someone who has such a limited upside.
This is likely to be an inconsequential trade in the end, but it is definitely a head-scratcher at this point.