mlb 08/04/08 3:30 PM ET Jonathan Mayo is a senior reporter for]]> Of course, that doesn't mean we've seen the end of all trades for this year, but we can all pretend to pause, reflect and catch our breath.

As promised, this week's Exchange is all Deadline related. I can't say I'll touch on every single Minor Leaguer involved in a deal over the past couple of weeks, but I'll try to come close. The best is that it fits nicely into the usual format, with traded prospects in each of the categories you've come to know and love. Obviously, with the way deals went, you're going to see a whole lot of Pirates in this week's edition.

In the bigs

I might be in the minority, but I'm still a believer in Craig Hansen. He was probably rushed to the bigs by the Red Sox, and his confidence level took a beating. That might not seem like something that would make for a good closer, but he might be the perfect change-of-scenery guy. He certainly still has the stuff -- command has been a bigger issue for him -- but he's only 24. Matt Capps is about two weeks away from returning, and while Hansen's not going to be handed the closer job in the meantime, he could sneak into the committee if he pitches well in his next couple of outings. He might be worth a flier in keeper leagues if you think he'll close down the line.

By now, you may be aware that Jeff Karstens threw six shutout innings in his debut with the Pirates. Don't expect that every time. Not that he's bad, as he produced a 3.52 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP in the Minors. It's just that from a fantasy standpoint, there's not much to write home about. Karstens could stick in the back end of the Pirates rotation and maybe provide some help in NL-only play, but that's about it.

Andy LaRoche is with his brother, which made me think maybe Adam will hit in April next year with his bro' around. As for Andy, I know there are those who no longer believe he can be an impact player. I am not one of them. Yes, he's got some holes he needs to address, but with extended playing time, he's going to close them. He's got legit pop and knows how to get on base. The only question is what position he'll play in the long term. For now, he's going to get a lot of PT at third, and I think he could even wind up helping out mixed-league owners in need of corner help.

Brandon Moss is a bit of an enigma. He's not bad, but he doesn't scream "everyday player" to me. His left-handed stroke in PNC Park is enticing, but I'm still not sure how much he's going to play with Steve Pearce in right and Jason Michaels around to take at-bats away. For now, the injury to Adam LaRoche has created the need for Doug Mientkiewicz to handle first, which means there's one fewer guy competing for starts in the outfield. If Moss gets hot -- he's already homered for his new club -- then he'll stick in the lineup. But until you see that happen, I think it makes more sense to just keep an eye on him.

A phone call away

Daniel McCutchen fits in roughly the same category as Karstens, maybe even a touch better. The walk rate is what I like; he's recorded 35 in 135 1/3 innings, along with 116 Ks this year. McCutchen has made two starts for the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate, and while the results were mixed, his second outing was much better than the first. He'll be 26 at the end of September, so we're not talking super-prospect here, but I like him as a back-end starter and a solid NL-only gamble in 2009.

The best thing the Indians did when they got Jon Meloan was to put him back in a bullpen role. Not only do I think his stuff plays better there, he's got a much better chance to make a fantasy impact as a short reliever. Meloan spent nearly the entire season as a starter with Triple-A Las Vegas in the Dodgers organization, going 5-10 with a 4.97 ERA in 105 innings. Compare that to last year, when he saved 20 games, struck out 91 batters and posted a 2.03 ERA in 66 2/3 relief innings across two levels. Given the state of the Indians bullpen, it's possible Meloan could soon get called up and given a chance to close once he gets adjusted. Be ready to pounce if that happens, as new sources for saves don't come around too often at this time of year.

Let's call Ross Ohlendorf the anti-Meloan. He's made the switch back to the rotation, and I like that the Pirates -- who need starting depth -- are keeping him there. Ohlendorf has made two starts in Indianapolis, the second one of which was very encouraging (7 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 Ks). He's got the best pure stuff of the pitchers Pittsburgh received in the Nady deal, and the potential is there for him to be more than just a rotation filler.

Danny Richar has been a little snake bitten this year. He carried nice sleeper potential as an offensive-minded second baseman with the White Sox, but he suffered through one mishap after another (visas, injuries), and now he's in an organization with Brandon Phillips cemented at second in the bigs. Richar is only 25, but he's got "Minor League vet" written all over him at this point. Unless there's an injury or a trade, you needn't worry about him, which is too bad because he possesses genuine hitting ability.

A year away

Finally, something other than Pirates talk. Gaby Hernandez was traded for the second time in his brief professional career. This may end up benefiting the right-hander, who was stuck in a Marlins system chock full of young pitching and now might have a clearer line to the bigs with the Mariners. Hernandez has to pitch better, of course, but he has the ability with a four-pitch mix that's still improving. Keep in mind he's only 22 and has always been one of the youngest at his level. Hernandez's first post-trade start was not a good one, but keep an eye on him. If he gets things together, he could find himself in Seattle's rotation at some point in '09.

Remember Matt LaPorta? Figured I should update you on how one of the newest members of the Indians is doing. LaPorta batted just .212 in 14 games for Double-A Akron, and now he's off to China for the Olympics. I'm not too worried about the little rough patch there. LaPorta is a hitter -- period -- and he should get the opportunity to show it in the bigs by next year.

Stephen Marek is another starter-turned-reliever, and the Braves do know a bit about cultivating power arms. He didn't close much before the trade, but he did accumulate 57 Ks in 46 2/3 innings for Double-A Arkansas. I can see him perhaps starting 2009 in Triple-A, and he should impact the Braves bullpen at some point that season. Even as a setup guy, the K rate should be of value to owners.

Josh Outman once made the adjustment from the rotation to the bullpen, and now he's being moved back to the rotation again. If I were the one running the A's development system, I'd do the same thing. Outman pitched well as a starter in the past, albeit with command issues, and I think you have to let a lefty with his stuff exhaust all the starting possibilities before pinning him down in a relief role. The 23-year-old is stretching himself back out at Double-A Midland, and he allowed just one earned run over four innings in his last outing. Outman seems like a good candidate to go to the Arizona Fall League to continue readjusting. If the command locks in, you'll want to keep him in mind.

Jose Tabata has to be perhaps the biggest enigma in Minor League Baseball. He's got as much natural ability as anyone, though it seems he's lacked the motivation to do much with it lately. Maybe the trade will wake him up. Tabata is currently rehabbing from a hamstring injury, and he should eventually make it to Double-A Altoona. He could be a special player if something ignites a fire under him, so pencil him down if you've got a long keeper list. He is just 19, after all.

Down the road

Adrian Cardenas is one of my favorite guys in the Minors. He's shown the ability to hit for average, has some extra-base pop that will develop over time and can steal bases Cardenas got off to a pretty good start in the A's system following the trade, and I'd look for him to just keep on raking. He's worked hard at becoming a second baseman, but the A's have played him at short in recent games; they like to have guys who can play on either side of the bag, just in case. To me, that just ensures his bat will get to the big leagues when it's ready.

I'm not sure Darren Ford can hit enough to be a regular big leaguer, but to ignore a guy with his speed would just be plain stupid. He struck out 123 times in as many games in 2007, and he's batting just .232 between two Class A stops this year. But the San Jose speedster is drawing more walks, which has helped him ring up a total of 55 stolen bases. If Ford can learn to make better contact, he'll be the type who single-handedly helps you compete in the stolen-base category.

The key to the Jason Bay trade for the Pirates, I think, is Bryan Morris. The team received other good players, but Morris is the one who has the chance to be a frontline starter. He's still rounding into form after Tommy John surgery wiped out his 2007 season, but he's posted a 3.20 ERA with 72 Ks in 81 2/3 innings in the Class A Midwest League. Morris is only going to get better as he gets stronger.

I'm already tired of all the music jokes surrounding Carlos Santana. All I know is the dude can hit. He crushed California League pitching before being traded (.323/.431/.563), and all he's done since joining Class A Kinston is bat .379 with a 1.006 OPS in seven games. A switch-hitter who can catch, Santana will likely start moving more quickly next year.

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