Perth Scorchers steal James Muirhead

The trade deadline is one of my favourite times of the NBA season for no other reason than I look forward to seeing what sort of crazy deals teams manage to pull together.

So when the Cricket Australia announced that they were introducing trade periods for the Big Bash League I was intrigued by the possibilities that it could bring, however it’s taken two years for us to see the first actual trade occur.

The Perth Scorchers have sent left-arm orthodox Michael Beer to the Melbourne Stars in exchange for leg-spinner James Muirhead.

I have no idea why.

It is a trade that appears to make little or no immediate sense for either side.

James Muirhead will go from being the likely first choice spinner in the Melbourne Stars squad to presumably being, at best, the second choice behind Brad Hogg in the Scorchers lineup.

I suspect he will be ahead of Ashton Agar in the Scorcher’s spin-bowing pecking order, a result that is also potentially terrible for Agar’s progress.

If we assume that this season will be Hoggy’s last hurrah (you never know…), then James Muirhead would find himself in prime position to inherit Hogg’s spot as the Scorcher’s main spin option in 12 months time.

For the Perth Scorchers this is very much a forward looking trade, they have swapped their 30-year-old for a 21-year-old as the back up for their 43-year-old.

From the Melbourne Stars perspective they’ve lost a guy who was possibly their breakout success last year, with James Muirhead unseating Clive Rose as their primary spin option after just a couple of matches.

The big positive for Michael Beer is that he’s now out from under Brad Hogg’s shadow, and while he’s not a bad bowler – a career T20 economy rate of just 6.27 is pretty good – his overall career trajectory is heading in the opposite direction to Muirhead’s.

I also struggle to see how Michael Beer, or Clive Rose for that matter, makes it into a full strength Melbourne Stars side that seems likely to be based around a couple of specialist quicks and an assortment of all rounders – including the part-time spin options of David Hussey and Glenn Maxwell.

The Stars now look set to be in the market for a long-term specialist spin option for the 2015-16 edition of the Big Bash League – unless, of course, Michael Beer proves me wrong and has a blinder of a season.

Overall, the Scorchers have clearly got won this trade by picking themselves up a steal in a young developing talent like James Muirhead, and a genuine successor to Hogg, at the same time offloading a guy they’ve only occasionally used last season.

Perhaps had the swap been between Ashton Agar and James Muirhead  it could have made slightly more sense.

At this point I’m undecided, maybe “trades” don’t really work in cricket, maybe there is a reason its taken two years for the first once to take place.