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Saturday, October 20, 2012

A’s acquire CF Chris Young from D’backs

The A’s have acquired veteran centerfielder Chris Young from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for infielder Cliff Pennington and minor league infielder Yordy Cabrera, the club announced today.

The A’s also received cash considerations.

Young, a 2010 National League All-Star, has produced three 20-homer, 20-stolen base seasons during his seven years with the Diamondbacks.

Repoz Posted: October 20, 2012 at 04:36 PM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks, oakland

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   1. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 20, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4277564)
... but he doesn't get on base!
   2. Danny Posted: October 20, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4277566)
And Arizona sent Cabrera to the Marlins for Heath Bell and cash.

I assume this means they're going to pick up Drew's option or sign him to an extension. It probably also means that Crisp will be moved, as Young is a very good defensive CF.

In terms of talent, Young's much better than Pennington, and Cabrera has struggled at the plate and in the field in the minors--though some scouts still seem to like his tools. Young's owed $8.5 million for 2013 and has a team option for $11M (with a $1.5M buyout) for 2014.
   3. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: October 20, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4277574)
I don't understand why Arizona is doing this. Florida is doing this because #### Heath Bell, that's why, and Beane is doing this because it makes the A's noticeably better. Why is Arizona giving away Chris Young for a pretty good defensive SS who is awful with the bat?
   4. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: October 20, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4277575)
Is it unusual for this kind of move to occur during the postseason? I don't remember seeing any other trades during the playoffs in recent years, at least of this magnitude.
   5. Tripon Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4277577)
Its a three way trade with the D'Backs getting Heath Bell.
   6. The District Attorney Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4277579)
Why is Arizona giving away Chris Young for a pretty good defensive SS who is awful with the bat?
They still have Gerardo Parra and the hopefully-decent version of Adam Eaton to play CF, and they have no SS at all. Pennington's not as good as Young, but for those reasons, he fits their needs, and it saves some money. If Pennington returns to his pre-2012 form (and he is not old), it should be fine. Still don't love it for Arizona, though; even given that CF-for-SS generally makes sense for them, they perhaps could have pulled that off better, and then they agreed to take on Bell too. It is damn hard to find a SS, though.
   7. Steve Treder Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4277581)
they have no SS at all. Pennington's not as good as Young, but for those reasons, he fits their needs, and it saves some money. If Pennington returns to his pre-2011 form (and he is not old), it should be fine. Still don't love it for Arizona, though; even given that CF-for-SS generally makes sense for them, they perhaps could have pulled that off better, and then they agreed to take on Bell too. It is damn hard to find a SS, though.

It's a good thing, then, they hadn't just handed Stephen Drew to the A's in August -- oh, wait.
   8.     Hey Gurl Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4277582)
I agree that this is really weird. I assum all the players still had to clear waivers as the season isn't over yet, even though it is for these teams?

I've been using the BB-ref transactions on this date tool to find other mid-october trades, but other than playes getting sent over to complete PTBNL trades there is almost nothing.

Edit:
October 20, 1972 Standings
The Chicago Cubs traded Tom Phoebus to the Atlanta Braves for Tony LaRussa.


There were still two days left in the World Series.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4277583)
ARod got raked over the coals for opting out during the postseason ... so, yeah, this seems unusual. But if I recall the last CBA moved up all the FA and arb offer dates pretty dramatically so maybe we'll see more of these deals.

As to why Arizona did it ... (a) tbey need a SS; (b) Young is owed $8.5 in 2013 and an $11 option for 2014 while (c) Pennington is only entering his first year of arb eligibility and will be under team control through at least 2015. So they're getting 3 years of Pennington at probably the same or lower total cost than they could have had 2 years of Young. Amazingly, this year, they were about equal in WAR but Young wins easily over the last 3 years.

Pennington's a bit all over the place but he's probably an average AL SS so maybe an above-average NL SS. It's a bit odd for the A's too given they have Crisp signed for 2013 pretty cheaply. And obviously Cespedes will not be a CF. I'm kinda surprised I'm saying this but I'd be happy to have Crisp on the Cubs for 2013 while Jackson works some things out in AAA. (No idea what we'd give up.)

And at the moment I'm not sure I can name more than 4 Dbacks and that's only because 2 of them (Bell and Pennington) are mentioned here (Upton and Goldschmidt being the others). Willie Bloomquist still there?
   10. Steve Treder Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4277584)
I agree that this is really weird. I assum all the players still had to clear waivers as the season isn't over yet, even though it is for these teams?

No, the waiver requirement ends at the close of the regular season. Teams still active in the post-season can't make trades, but everyone else is free to do so.
   11. asinwreck Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4277587)
Billy Beane LOVES ex-White Sox prospects. He picked up Chris Carter and Brandon McCarthy after Kenny Williams had dealt each away, and got Gio Gonzalez and Ryan Sweeney in the horrid Nick Swisher deal.
   12. The District Attorney Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4277588)
It's a good thing, then, they hadn't just handed Stephen Drew to the A's in August -- oh, wait.
Unless they were willing to pay him $10M next year, that wouldn't have helped anyway...

October 20, 1972
The Chicago Cubs traded Tom Phoebus to the Atlanta Braves for Tony LaRussa.
LaRussa, over the bullpen phone: "What? Phoenix doesn't even have a team yet!"

Willie Bloomquist still there?
Yeah. Remember when I said they had no SS at all? ;-)

EDIT: On the other hand, don't remember the part where I said "it saves some money"...
   13. Swedish Chef Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4277589)
Arizona pays $13M of Bell's contract. Greatest trade ever or what?
   14. Tripon Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4277591)
Walt, playing SS doesn't magically become easier if Pennington moves to the NL. There's probably better SS talent in the NL anyway, with Tulo, Starlin Castro, Jose Reyes, Andrelton Simmons in the NL compared to Jeter, Hardy, and Alcides Escobar in the AL.
   15.     Hey Gurl Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4277595)
Walt, playing SS doesn't magically become easier if Pennington moves to the NL
Being a bit silly and pedantic, it probably does, in some ways. I imagine the pitchers hit fewer balls to the shortstop than the AL #9 hitters do.
   16. shoewizard Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4277600)
Drews option was a mutual option and boras had already indicated to az that drew was going to decline and become a FA.
   17. hokieneer Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4277607)
So who is Oakland's SS in 2013?
   18. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 20, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4277608)
For some reason I thought there was a transaction freeze during the postseason
   19. shoewizard Posted: October 20, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4277610)
Arizona pays $13M of Bell's contract. Greatest trade ever or what?


THIS LINK says Marlins picking up 8 million of 18 million owed to Bell, also says AZ sending money to Oakland, but not how much.
   20. The District Attorney Posted: October 20, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4277614)
Drews option was a mutual option and boras had already indicated to az that drew was going to decline and become a FA.
Really. Jeez, I dunno. I don't think Arizona would have been willing to pay him the $10M, so that's a pretty big difference of opinion...
   21. Tom (and his broom) Posted: October 20, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4277617)
Not seeing what this does for the A's, pending other deals Young would've been about the 6th best outfielder for the A's (Cespedes, Reddick, Gomes, Crisp, Smith) and this is awfully pricey for a bench bat and defensive caddy.

Of course if he is being penciled in as a starter they must have other deals in the works. Hopefully improving them somewhere else to compensate for the dropoff in hitting Young represents.
   22. Tom (and his broom) Posted: October 20, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4277619)
stupid tablet double post
   23. Swedish Chef Posted: October 20, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4277621)
THIS LINK says Marlins picking up 8 million of 18 million owed to Bell, also says AZ sending money to Oakland, but not how much.

That link says Marlins are picking up 8 of 21 million owed to Bell...
   24. PreservedFish Posted: October 20, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4277628)
Not seeing what this does for the A's, pending other deals Young would've been about the 6th best outfielder for the A's (Cespedes, Reddick, Gomes, Crisp, Smith) and this is awfully pricey for a bench bat and defensive caddy.


I think that Young is pretty similar to Coco Crisp, and better than Smith and Gomes. They don't need both Crisp and Young, of course. I wonder what will happen with that.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: October 20, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4277630)
Actually, you could argue that Chris Young is nearly Josh Reddick's equal. Reddick's younger, but their hitting numbers are really close.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 20, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4277634)
Not seeing what this does for the A's, pending other deals Young would've been about the 6th best outfielder for the A's (Cespedes, Reddick, Gomes, Crisp, Smith) and this is awfully pricey for a bench bat and defensive caddy.

I think you're under-rating Young. He profiles as a league averagish bat, and a very good defensive CF. He's Crisp with much better D.
   27. shoewizard Posted: October 20, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4277648)
THIS LINK says Marlins picking up 8 million of 18 million owed to Bell, also says AZ sending money to Oakland, but not how much.

That link says Marlins are picking up 8 of 21 million owed to Bell...


Oops. Either i mis read or they edited. Bell had a 3 mil sighing bonus...but those are usually pro rated over life of contract...so marlins may have already paid 1 mil of signing bonus.
   28. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: October 20, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4277652)
Crisp: 13:$7M, 14:$7.5M club option ($1M buyout)
Gomes: FA (was 1 year/$1M (2012))
Smith: Arb 2?
Cespedes: 13:$8.5M, 14:$10.5M, 15:$10.5M, then FA per contract
Young: 13:$8.5M, 14:$11M club option ($1.5M buyout)
Moss: FA (was MiLB FA sign)
Carter: Auto resign

Gomes is clearly gone.
They could let Moss walk, Smith/Carter 1B platoon, Cespedes/Crisp/Reddick/Young OF rotation? Plus one of 'em gets to DH. They could even keep Moss, 7 guys for 5 spots. Continue the Moss/Carter 1B platoon, Cespedes/Crisp/Reddick your nominal everyday OFers, Young/Smith combine to be the DH/4th OF. The group of guys have complementary skillsets, I think.

In 2012:
Gomes got 333 PAs
Ka'aihue 139
Barton 136
Cowgill 116
Total: 724 PA to be replaced with Chris Young/more play for the 1B guys who can actually hit.

Gomes had 28 starts in the field, Smith 58. Moss had 15 more OF starts. 101 starts in corner outfield by players half as good defensively as Young.

Now obviously there are a lot of ways to pick apart these numbers, but fundamentally I don't see much of a PT crunch here. Young basically just replaces Gomes and the procession of helpless first basemen the Athletics ran out there the first half of the season.
   29. shoewizard Posted: October 20, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4277662)
Heath Bell Notes
1. Velocity still the same, but last two years vertical movement reduced, (less sink) and therefore inducing fewer ground balls on fasts balls and allowing more line drives on fastballs. That’s not a park factor issue.
2. However overall he still induces a slightly above average percentage of ground balls . That leaves some hope that as he ages, and if he loses more K’s, he may be able to adjust and actually increase his GB rate.
3. He was not as bad as he appeared last year. The Marlins defense, both infield and outfield, was HORRIBLE, in the bottom quartile in baseball. This definitely contributed to Bell’s highest BABIP since his days with the Mets, and Career High Extra Base Hit percentage. So did the flatter fastball. It was a combination of factors. Heath Bell would have like pitching in Chase a lot more with CY in CF, but then we would be messing with space/time continuum
4. Clearly Bell provides insurance and depth for the closer position, and the D Backs now have 3 guys that can close games. He is also trade bait at the deadline if the D Backs are out of it, as is Putz. The D Backs may not end up paying all of this money.
5. KT probably imagines a potential return to the dominant form he showed in 2009-2010, but I don’t see that happening. In 2011 he was actually lucky to have a 2.42 ERA, thanks to a .261 BABIP. His other numbers had already slipped badly. His BABIP, thanks to crap Marlins defense and a flatter fastball and more LD Jumped into the .340’s in 2012. But FIP pegged him at 3.23 in 2011 and 3.72 in 2012. That is probably a realistic range and expectation for Bell in 2012. 60-70 innings at that level of run prevention is probably worth about half a win, or about 2-2.5 Million dollars
6. Assuming the D Backs are covering anywhere from 6 M to 6.5 M per year over the next two years, that’s not very good value. So Bell will need to be much better than that projection to be worth the money he will be paid. There is some value to be found in the Depth and experience factor. As we have seen, KT is always willing to overpay for insurance, and he has done so once again.

Cliff Pennington
1.) The guys is a poster boy for inconsistent results in the fielding metrics. His numbers jump up and down from very negative to very positive over the last 4 years. It adds up to average, but man….which one are you going to get in 2013 ?
2.) His BABIP was very low in 2012, but hitters have more control over BABIP than pitchers do, so you can’ t just automatically assume a rebound is in store.
3.) However he is a little bit more of a FB hitter than expected, and could end up showing a bit more pop and XBH skill in Chase field than he did playing in Oakland, above and beyond the normal park factor boost.
4.) The D Backs are covering part of Young’s salary. We don’t know how much yet. Whatever that amount is, you have to add to Pennington’s cost. Some reports say 500 K.
5.) Although he is a switch hitter, his OPS is 100 points lower against lefties for his career, and he was REALLY bad vs. lefties last year. So look for Willie to get most of the starts vs. lefties if his back is still in one piece.
6.) Having all 3 of Pennington, Willie, and MacDonald on the roster at the same time doesn’t make much sense to me. This isn’t like last year when they knew up front they were going to be missing Drew for at least 2-3 months. So maybe another move coming.

Summary: CY is a hard guy to get full value for. Despite his impressive WAR totals for 2010-2011, he is looked at, rightfully so, as an inconsistent guy prone to long slumps, low batting average, poor numbers vs. righties, and a no longer cheap contract. If he hit for 20 points more of batting avg and half as many homers,, with his defense he would probably be valued a lot more highly in the Market, even if it didn’t add up to more WAR. I think he struggles in Oakland big time. He is a real FB hitter, and it’s hard for me to imagine him being able to raise his BA there. I think it stays in the low .200’s and his HR count takes another hit. I wish him good luck though.
I’m not sure KT got the most he could have out of CY…….this sure happened fast and he might have jumped the gun. Whether or not he would have done better letting the market play out a bit is a legit question. But due to the reasons stated above it was always going to be hard to get full value for CY. Bell and Pennington are both “buy low” candidates, and there is upside potential for their 2013 performance. They should both be better in 2013 than they were in 2012. While the WAR/Dollar ratio doesn’t quite add up right for the D Backs, I don’t hate these trades.
   30. Tom (and his broom) Posted: October 20, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4277678)
wow, you guys are way overestimating Young's hitting, especially moving to a much tougher park in a tougher league.

I see no way he comes close to the numbers the A's got from any of the outfielders this year. I love his defense as much as anybody but this is a team that has black holes of suck in half their lineup, they can't afford to punt another position for defense.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: October 20, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4277682)
Walt, playing SS doesn't magically become easier if Pennington moves to the NL.

Yes, but the pitching is easier or the hitting is worse -- either way, Pennington _should_ be more valuable offensively in the NL. Don't blame me, blame those dudes with the fancy projection systems always saying the AL is better ... to the point where I think league average in the NL is 1.8 bWAR and it's 2.2 bWAR in the AL. Anyway, as I said, Pennington has been a bit all over the place but he's got 6.3 WAR over the last 3 years and was producing at an average pace in 2012 despite being horrible with the bat.

There's probably better SS talent in the NL anyway

This is a good point.

   32. trtaylor6886 Posted: October 20, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4277685)
Anyone think the D-Backs may be trading Young with an eye toward signing BJ Upton?
   33. Walt Davis Posted: October 20, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4277689)
I see no way he comes close to the numbers the A's got from any of the outfielders this year.

Well Gomes isn't posting a 140 OPS+ again, Moss isn't posting a 160 and Carter's not posting a 137. Or at least you shouldn't expect any of them to come close to those numbers again.

Over the last 3 years, Young's averaged a 103 OPS+. He's put up nearly 12 WAR in less than 3 seasons of playing time.

Now, he's a "high" money player going to Oakland so we can assume that for at least the first half of the year he will hit 100/150/197. But once they get rid of him, he'll go back to being Chris Young.
   34. shoewizard Posted: October 20, 2012 at 08:28 PM (#4277690)
Anyone think the D-Backs may be trading Young with an eye toward signing BJ Upton?


Absolutely not. They are in love with Adam Eaton, and will give him every opportunity to hold the CF job next year.
   35. flournoy Posted: October 20, 2012 at 09:47 PM (#4277719)
Moss: FA (was MiLB FA sign)


I could be wrong, but I don't think his MiLB FA status from last year means anything. He doesn't have six years of service time, so he's not a free agent unless he negotiated that in his contract. He shouldn't even be arbitration eligible.
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 20, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4277742)
I believe that flournoy is correct.
   37. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 20, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4277758)
yup
   38. base ball chick Posted: October 21, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4277800)
not surprised billy wanted to get started trading and couldn't wait.

the team disappointed lew wolff by winning this year and they are determined to make sure THAT doesn't happen again
   39. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: October 21, 2012 at 12:58 AM (#4277817)
Oh c'mon, bbc, Beane seems to land on his feet more often than a cat in these funny deals. In fact, he is a big fan of 3-ways, so I am sure he put it all together.
   40. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 21, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4278441)
Young seems like he's a lot better than Pennington. I'm pretty happy with this deal even if the A's don't re-sign Drew, unless the A's are paying all of Heath Bell's salary or something.
   41. shoewizard Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4278685)
The only problem with Young for Oakland is that he is an extreme FB hitter with already very low batting average in one of the best hitters ballparks in the majors. So it's REALLY hard to imagine Young hitting over .230 in Oakland, although he will still get his share of homers probably.
   42. It's a shame about Athletic Supporter Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:49 AM (#4278704)
I've always really liked Chris Young, so really happy to see the A's get him. I don't know if he'll necessarily play well, but I'm going to enjoy watching him.

This definitely makes it seem like Crisp is gone, I imagine he'll be easy to trade, he's very much worth his contract. I'll miss him and it's a little unfortunate to break up the magical 2012 team but hey, Billy doesn't spend an offseason sitting still and Pennington is not really much above replacement level.

Biggest issue: we need a real third baseman. Donaldson did yeoman's work but he's not really adequate on either side of the ball.

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