An NL advance scout analyzes the Monday trade in which the Phillies sent third baseman Scott Rolen and a prospect to the Cardinals for third baseman Placido Polanco, starter Bud Smith and reliever Mike Timlin.
Rolen's numbers (.259, 17 homers, 66 RBIs through Sunday) are down, but this year has been an aberration. St. Louis is a perfect fit for him—more warm and fuzzy than Philadelphia. And I'll take a big sensitive third baseman who plays as hard as he does every day. The Phillies got some value in return, but not as much as they would have gotten last winter. There are no impact guys here. Polanco is a good utility player who gives Philly some insurance if prospect Chase Utley isn't ready next year. Timlin is inconsistent but still has good stuff. Smith is a fourth starter with an above-average changeup. The one to watch is the prospect the Cardinals got, Doug Nickle; he's been lights out as a closer in Triple A.