The Pitch: Julio Borbon

“Hey there, Mr. Prospective Buyer, welcome welcome, good to see you today. How you enjoyin’ this weather we’ve been having? Ah you know what, never mind, I can tell by looking at ya that you’re not here to make small talk. You’re here to do business, and your business is to find just the right machine at just the right price. My business is to make that happen. 

Say, I didn’t catch your name? Ah, you’re a military guy, are you? Well alright, Mr. General Manager (do you mind if I call you GM for short?) let’s talk about what you’re looking for. I can tell by the looks of you that you are looking for something that can cover a lot of ground in a hurry, for a low price, without a long-term commitment. Oh boy, are you in luck today Mr. GM.

I’m sure you’ve done your homework and surveyed the market; I’d be insulted if you hadn’t. So you got a chance to look at the Vernon Wellses and the Endy Chavezes and the other what-have-yous, but you don’t won’t those old broken-down, over-priced pieces of junk cluttering up your garage, do you Mr. GM? No, no, you want something that can still run, something that’ll still give you some pop, something that still has some of its good years left in it.

Well have you come to the right place today. Right here, 100% available to you, I have this sleek Julio Borbon. I’m telling you, in all my years, I’ve never had a garage where I didn’t have room for a Julio Borbon, but just this one year, it’s my third choice to go in my two-car garage. I’ve gotta move it, Mr. GM, I tell ya what, and I think if you walk away with this fine-lookin’ Borbon today I could just kiss ya. He’ll be headed to auction next week, and sure you could take a crack at it there, but Mr. GM I’m giving you the exclusive invitation to negotiate with me directly on it today, instead of fighting over this one with the rest of the market.

You remember when the Julio Borbon first came out in 2009, don’t ya Mr. GM? Boy, this thing was on fire for me. It was speedy, inexpensive, and handled the curves like a champ. All that performance is still in there, even though you haven’t seen it in a couple years.

We realized we pushed the Borbon too far, asked a little too much of it in 2010 and 2011. We tried to make it out to be something it ain’t. But since then, we stepped off the gas a bit, and he’s responded beautifully. Now it’s ready to hit the open road again. You should see the way it’s tearing up the practice track.

If I know you, Mr. GM, and I think I do, you know you don’t need your next acquisition to be something you drive for the next five years, and maybe not even for the next five months. But you’ve got a short time frame here while you wait for your Curtis Granderson to get out of the shop, or your Aaron Hicks or George Springer to receive its last tune-ups before it’s road-ready. This little Borbon here could be your bridge.

To get a little more personal with the Borbon, you can see it has lofty goals for itself, will fit in well in your garage with both the domestics and the imports (which we know to be of great importance), and has added a little extra muscle to its frame over the winter.

I hear you, Mr. GM, you’re saying this all sounds great, but what’s it gonna cost? That’s the great news – all we’re looking for is a trade-in, no money down, no financing necessary. If you’ve got something in your garage that is only good in short bursts, and maybe even specializes in driving on the left side of the road, we’ll take it. Maybe you’ve got something that’s still in the development phase at the farm, that’d work too. Getting something that runs like a Borbon, at that cost, is a steal, Mr. GM. You’ll be the envy of all your peers.

That’s great, Mr. GM! I’m glad we could strike a deal today – I don’t think you could’ve done better.”

*The record will show the only team to be successfully involved in a Vernon Wells trade was the Toronto Blue Jays. Of course, then they made the Napoli-Francisco deal afterwards.

*The first two cars being Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry, naturally.

*Challenge from my wife to hide the word “kiss” in the article completed.

*Auction being league-wide waivers, which Borbon will surely be run through if he isn’t traded.

*Borbon hit .312/.376(!)/.414 in 179 PA in 46 games in 2009.

*Borbon his .275/.308/.342 in 2010-11. 

*Borbon hit .289/.366/.422 in the minors in 2011.

*Borbon has hit .347/.400/.490 this spring.

*Represents the Yankees, Twins, and Astros, who could all actually use Borbon on their roster in 2013.

*Bilingualism is less important for a CF than a C, but still, that’s something. 

*Trading Borbon for a reliever makes loads of sense, and the Rangers could use a true LOOGY.

*If no reliever available, get something for the farm system instead of losing him for nothing in waivers in a week.


“Hey, Thad! You’ll never guess what I just moved off the lot!”

Peter Ellwood is a Senior Staff Writer for Shutdown Inning. You can email him at or reach him on Twitter @FutureGM

Peter Ellwood

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