Cruz, Halsey Change Addresses Again

Two pitchers accustomed to getting traded had it happen again on
Sunday as Juan Cruz went to the Diamondbacks in a deal that sent Brad
to the Athletics. Cruz was traded twice in 2004, first from the
Cubs to the Braves for prospects and then to the Athleticsfor Tim Hudson. Halsey was part of the Randy Johnson trade with the Yankees in January 2005.

Cruz, a 27-year-old righthander, was one of the game’s top
pitching prospects when he was coming up through the Cubs system. He
has dominated in his last two stops in Triple-A, going 4-0, 1.95 at
Iowa in 2003 and 5-1, 2.40 at Sacramento in 2005, but has yet to find
his niche in the majors. He pitched well in relief for Atlanta in 2004
(6-2, 2.75), but went 0-3, 7.44 in 28 games for the A’s last year. In
33 innings, he had a 34-22 K-BB ratio, and opponents batted .290 with
five homers against him. At times, Cruz will show a variety of plus
pitches: a sinker that runs into the mid-90s, a curveball, slider and
changeup. But he’s inconsistent with the quality of his secondary
pitches and his ability to locate all of his offerings, so his big
league success has been sporadic. He avoided arbitration and signed a
$575,000 contract in January. Cruz, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in
10 spring innings, will open the season in Arizona’s bullpen but could
be a candidate to join the rotation if an opening arises. He has a
14-24, 4.36 record in 156 career games (23 starts).

Halsey, a 25-year-old lefty, went 8-12, 4.61 in 28 games (26
starts) last year, his first full season in the majors. He’s a finesse
pitcher, as evidenced by his 82-39 K-BB ratio, .300 opponent average
and 20 homers allowed in 160 innings. He doesn’t have an out pitch, and
his changeup is his best offering. He also throws a fringe-average
fastball and a slider. Halsey has had a rough spring, allowing 18 hits
(including five homers) and 11 earned runs in 11 innings, losing ground
to Claudio Vargas in the race to become Arizona’s No. 5 starter. He has
options remaining, and Oakland likely will send Halsey to Triple-A to
begin the year. He has a lifetime 9-15, 4.92 mark in 36 big league
games (33 starts).