I've sat here for the last couple of hours unable to decide if the Sox "won" or "lost" this deal. The fact that it's taken that long, and I still don't have a solid answer, probably says all you need to know about the deal.
I was not opposed to trading Cotts at all. In fact, back in September I was plotting his departure to help usher in the Boone Logan Era. Unfortunately, Boone never showed the control that made him appear as if he could be a dominating LOOGY in the bigs. I was content to go into spring training without touching any of the lefties, letting Cotts and Boone fight it out for second lefty.
Cotts departure, without getting a major league lefty in return, either puts Logan in the role of LOOGY out of camp or forces Kenny to find something of use on the free agent or trade market. I've read rumors about the Sox looking at Alan Embree, but the Padres would like to keep him around.
As for the players the Sox received. I'm not going to claim to know anything about them, instead I asked Al from Bleed Cubbie Blue to give me a scouting report on Aardsma.
He did seem to have more success with his control in the last couple of months of 2006. In September he had a 1.72 ERA in 15.2 IP, with 21 strikeouts and nine walks and a 0.96 WHIP.
I was a bit disappointed at this deal, as I like Aardsma a lot and IF he can get his control harnessed, he's closer material.
I'm not even going to talk about the Vasquez kid. I don't think much of any minor league reliever. And it looks like Vasquez would have to be put on the 40-man roster to keep him safe from the Rule 5 draft in December.
I was hoping to get players with a proven major league track record when I was proposing deals in my head, but the Aardsma-Coop connection could work out even better. Overall the deal comes down to how you feel about Coop's ability to harness erratic talent. He's got history on his side.