Monday, September 10, 2012

Trade Official, Rapids Get Draft Pick

Here's the official announcement, the Rapids get a conditional draft pick from Chicago in exchange for Wells Thompson.

There's a good deal of consternation in the on-line Rapids fanbase about wells asking to be traded to find playing time, but it doesn't bother me.  Look at what's happened this season:

*Wells was on pace for 727 minutes this year, his lowest season total of his career.
*In Pareja's 4-3-3 there really isn't a defensive winger spot, so Wells' minutes were coming as a central/d-mid (which he also played at under Gary Smith at times).
*Currently in that role the Rapids have LArentowicz and Thomas as starters, with Nane apparently moving past Thompson on the depth chart, based on recent play.
*Shane O'Neill was recently signed as the new young player and has already been announced as Larentowicz's primary backup, subbing in for him last game instead of Wells.

Its not a surprise that a player in that position who's already seen his playing time diminish and a younger player quickly moving up on him would want to move.  If anything the requested trade by Kimura earlier in the season would me more concerning, but even then Koz had (rightfully or not) been supplanted as the starter by Freeman and, in a contract year, Kosuke knew he needed to go somewhere he would start.

Obviously you don't like to see the locker room unsettled by trade requests, but both of these were cases where the players asking to be traded were being pushed out by better players.  That's certainly better than a Moor or Pickens, who are clearly starters, asking for a trade.

As to the return value of a conditional draft pick, its not ideal.  At the same time I never thought that highly of Thompson.  He had a role of coming off the bench as a defensive replacement to protect a lead, but beyond that he never seemed to fit anywhere else.  He didn't have the skills to  be a regular starter when everyone was healthy, and he didn't particularly add skill to the attack when subbed in while the team was losing (though in full credit to him, he tried to attack more than most players).  His tackling was always an adventure, he didn't earn the Holy Hacker nickname for nothing, but you knew that he'd give 100% while he was out there.  A (hopefully high) draft pick is probably a fair trade, if the Rapids can put it to good use by finding the next Cascio.

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