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Monday, February 13, 2012

A’s to sign Yoenis Cespedes

#Athletics about to sign Cespedes for four years, $36 million.

JJ1986 Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:20 PM | 109 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, prospect reports

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   1. Swedish Chef Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4059823)
If this is true, they are totally ####### out of their minds. What did they demolish the damn team for again?
   2. Transmission Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4059824)
I am confused.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4059830)
Were they under the salary floor or something?
   4. Bug Selig Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4059828)
Because he's the missing piece in their drive toward...

Hey, Brad Pitt is up for an Oscar!
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4059831)
If this is true, they are totally ####### out of their minds. What did they demolish the damn team for again?


Doesn't acquiring 6 years of control of a young raw talent fit into a re-building plan?
   6. Danny Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4059832)
Soler would have made much more sense, but I don't think this signing will prevent them from continuing the rebuild given the coming restraints on draft/IFA spending.

Will they still control him for years 5 and 6, or is there a "can't offer arb" clause?
   7. Derb Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4059837)
Didn't see that coming.
   8. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4059839)
#6 - per, mlbtraderumors, he will be a free agent at the end of the four years.
   9. Repoz Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4059840)
But, but San Jose has only 1001 Cubans! (0.11%)
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4059843)
According to MLBTR, the A's have traded Yoenis Cespedes to the Marlins for four minor leaguers.

Just kidding. So far.
   11. OsunaSakata Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4059844)
It was that wonderful history with Ariel Prieto.
   12. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4059847)
Seems like a pretty good deal, at least from a simplistic, back-of-the-napkin type of analysis. He obviously rates well tools-wise ("CORE STRENGTH!"), and I seem to recall that both Dan's and Clay Davenport's projections* put him as around a 3 win player. I certainly would have been very pleased if the Sox got him at this price.

*Which likely have huge error bars, but are still the best projections that I know of.
   13. Guapo Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4059848)
Moneyball II: The Human Cespedes

"Driven insane by his attempts to keep a small-market team competitive, Billy Beane opts to surgically implant a new Cuban recruit into the world's most disturbing batting order"
   14. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4059851)
Moneyball II: The Human Cespedes

I'm ashamed to admit that that made me LOL.
   15. Accent Shallow Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4059852)
Primey for #13.
   16. A triple short of the cycle Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4059855)
Does Grant Green stay in center field ?
   17. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4059856)
This is ... surprising. If anyone I thought they were going after Soler.
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4059858)
If anyone I thought they were going after Soler.


Maybe they are. Nothing says they can't sign both.
   19. Danny Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4059863)
Maybe they are. Nothing says they can't sign both.

Slusser sez this ends their pursuit of Soler:
The A’s also had interest in another Cuban outfielder, Jorge Soler, but this signing ends that pursuit. The team is still likely to sign Manny Ramirez, however.

Sounds like the A's will have Smith in LF, Cespedes in CF, and Crisp in RF. That likely puts Reddick and Gomes on the bench and Cowgill in AAA. It also looks like Kila has the inside track at DH, which leaves 1B for Barton and Sacto for Taylor and Carter.
   20. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4059866)
God what a weird team.
   21. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4059867)
So even though he's a free agent after 4, they can still offer him arb after 2015, correct?

I'm very interested to see when they plan on the theoretical new stadium opening. They've got him now through 2015, which is the theoretical first year in San Jose.
   22. Willie Mayspedes Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4059868)
Crisp in RF


That would be pretty funny considering his noodle arm. That being said this signing doesn't make much sense to me.
   23. RJ in TO Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4059872)
So even though he's a free agent after 4, they can still offer him arb after 2015, correct?

It will depend on the terms of his contract, but it's likely that he'll have a clause (like Matsui did with the Yankees) that states they can't offer him arbitration.
   24. Willie Mayspedes Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4059874)
Second guy the A's have acquired this millennium with water rescue experience.
   25. winnipegwhip Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4059876)
He looked good in his first pair of American jeans.
   26. billyshears Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4059877)
This won't end well.
   27. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4059880)
The A’s also had interest in another Cuban outfielder, Jorge Soler, but this signing ends that pursuit. The team is still likely to sign Manny Ramirez, however.

I'm guessing this is a budget issue, but still. Soler's going to cost what, $8-10 million? Maybe 6 or 7 upfront? I wouldn't declare myself out of the race at that price. Or am I wrong on what he's expected to sign for?
   28. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4059884)
It will depend on the terms of his contract, but it's likely that he'll have a clause (like Matsui did with the Yankees) that states they can't offer him arbitration.

With the new terms of the collective bargaining agreement, is arbitration really that scary any more? If you're going to have to offer $15m (or more, in 2015) for one year to keep a guy, you're talking about only pretty good players who are going to get arb offers. Good enough that one would expect teams aren't going to be (as much) scared off by the thought of losing a draft pick to acquire. Nobody worried about arb picks in signing Reyes or CJ Wilson or whoever.
   29. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4059888)
Soler is going to cost much more than that, IMO.

Recent reports have the Cubs ready to offer in the mid 20's.
   30. JJ1986 Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4059890)
With the new terms of the collective bargaining agreement, is arbitration really that scary any more? If you're going to have to offer $15m (or more, in 2015) for one year to keep a guy, you're talking about only pretty good players who are going to get arb offers. Good enough that one would expect teams aren't going to be (as much) scared off by the thought of losing a draft pick to acquire. Nobody worried about arb picks in signing Reyes or CJ Wilson or whoever.


Would he be eligible for FA arb? Or would he get a 2nd arb year (4 years service time) award?
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4059892)

With the new terms of the collective bargaining agreement, is arbitration really that scary any more?


The player would rather free agency...
   32. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4059900)
Sounds like the A's will have Smith in LF, Cespedes in CF, and Crisp in RF.


Please tell me that they're going to have Smith's Crisps as a sponsor.
   33. tshipman Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4059901)
What the actual ####?

Has Beane lost his mind?
   34. Plank Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4059905)
Beane must have panicked when he saw those ZiPS projections.
   35. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4059913)
Recent reports have the Cubs ready to offer in the mid 20's.

Then it makes some sense why they would go after Cespedes rather than Soler - preserving their relationship with Uncle Bud. If Soler is going to cost $25m and is 3 or so years away, then that's probably $15m at least up front. Selig wants to keep bonuses to draft picks and IFAs as low as possible. Cespedes at least goes to MLB payroll, which in Bud's eyes is good.
   36. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4059914)
I don't know what Miami offered him, but he should have taken it.
   37. Willie Mayspedes Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4059916)
It's going to be funny the first time he stares for ten seconds at a warning track flyout.
   38. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4059918)
The player would rather free agency...

Obviously. I'm saying from a bargaining standpoint - it's not AS important to make sure you get a no-arb clause as it was a year ago or five years ago or whatever, so it's less of a negotiating point. In 2004 that was a big thing to offer/get in your contract. Now, not nearly as much because if you're good enough for arb, someone's going to pay you regardless.
   39. Plank Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4059922)
The team doesn't want to give up arbitration. The first two years especially are still way less than market value.
   40. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4059925)
Doesn't acquiring 6 years of control of a young raw talent fit into a re-building plan?


Yes, but this guy is 26.
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4059927)
Obviously. I'm saying from a bargaining standpoint - it's not AS important to make sure you get a no-arb clause as it was a year ago or five years ago or whatever, so it's less of a negotiating point. In 2004 that was a big thing to offer/get in your contract. Now, not nearly as much because if you're good enough for arb, someone's going to pay you regardless.


But I think the no-offering-of-arb is the necessary mechanism to get the player early free agency, and not something that the player is negotiating for in and of itself.
   42. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4059928)
Has Beane lost his mind?

It's a weird world when signing what could be a very good player at a decent price is proof that a GM has lost his mind.

I've been saying all along this offseason that the A's were a 70-win team and should strive to get worse to get a better draft pick. But the point of getting good picks is to get a guy who potentially could be a very good player. Like Cespedes. So I can't be too upset they went out and got one now. No, the years don't line up perfectly. But if the idea is still that they get to San Jose by 2015, then not having the ability to re-sign the guy is less important because they'll have more money.

I'll note also that if the A's keep Cahill, Gio, and Bailey, they don't sign Cespedes b/c they don't have the money.
   43. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4059930)
Moneyball II: The Human Cespedes

"Driven insane by his attempts to keep a small-market team competitive, Billy Beane opts to surgically implant a new Cuban recruit into the world's most disturbing batting order"


Superb.
   44. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4059932)
It's a weird world when signing what could be a very good player at a decent price is proof that a GM has lost his mind.

I have zero faith that he is a very good player, though. Hopefully he is, of course.
   45. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4059933)
But I think the no-offering-of-arb is the necessary mechanism to get the player early free agency, and not something that the player is negotiating for in and of itself.

That may be so. Which in this case makes the question moot. But I do think that in general arbitration is much, much less scary for players now than it was in the prior CBA.
   46. JRVJ Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4059935)
I, for one, would not be surprised if Cespedes never actually plays a game for the A's, because he gets flipped fairly early in his tenure.

OTOH, it would seem that a fairly low pressure situation like Oakland is about as good a place for Cespedes to start his U.S. baseball career.
   47. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4059936)
It's a weird world when signing what could be a very good player at a decent price is proof that a GM has lost his mind.

It seems odd that the strategy is apparently to get rid of all their relatively expensive established players except Coco Crisp so they can use the money for someone with literally no track record. Until today many of us had presumed the strategy was just to cut costs.

I'll note also that if the A's keep Cahill, Gio, and Bailey, they don't sign Cespedes b/c they don't have the money.

Oh, you agree.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4059937)
Yes, but this guy is 26.


26 is young
   49. Plank Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4059940)
Squash, I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how arbitration works for players with less than 6 years of service time.
   50. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4059942)
I have zero faith that he is a very good player, though. Hopefully he is, of course.

Of course. But we don't know that any high draft pick is going to be a very good player either, in fact the great majority of them aren't. I wanted the A's to get worse and draft a potential impact player. If they go out and sign one instead, great. Even if Cespedes is awesome and puts up 2 WAR more than whoever they would have put in his spot, is having won two more games really going to affect their draft position that much? No. So they'll be picking #14 instead of #13. Is that difference worth not having the impact player? If he sucks, bummer, but oh well. Starting MLB outfielders cost $9 million anyway. They have to hit a payroll floor, it's not my money, and no established MLB player of any value is going to sign with the A's regardless.
   51. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4059946)
Perhaps Cuban defectors are now the new market inefficiency or something, but this sure seems to go against everything they've been doing lately. Very strange indeed.
   52. Swedish Chef Posted: February 13, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4059947)
I'll note also that if the A's keep Cahill, Gio, and Bailey, they don't sign Cespedes b/c they don't have the money.

How would you know? You didn't know they had these nine millions to spend, maybe they have more money to pull out of their ass in case of need.
   53. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4059950)
I'll note also that if the A's keep Cahill, Gio, and Bailey, they don't sign Cespedes b/c they don't have the money.

Oh, you agree.


Huh? What were they going to win with Cahill, Gio, and Bailey? People act like they traded Koufax, Seaver, and Mariano. The A's have no hitters. They very clearly have a very difficult time drafting or developing hitters. They pick pitchers off of trees like fruit. Cespedes might be an impact hitter, they'll have him for as long as they would have had those other guys, with the potential to develop a relationship with him, get good, and move into their new stadium right about the same time the Angels get old and Texas's payroll starts to cost a fortune.
   54. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4059951)
Yes, but this guy is 26.


So the A's have him for his prime seasons, and he walks when he's on the decline. Seems to be exactly how Oakland operates.
   55. Willie Mayspedes Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4059953)
I thought he was "26" </finger quotes>
   56. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4059954)
Squash, I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how arbitration works for players with less than 6 years of service time.

I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what I'm saying. The six years of service time thing is moot. I'm talking about arbitration at the end of a contract, like Cespedes will be, when the player is a free agent. Given the new arb rules, getting offered arb is less scary because you're getting paid big money regardless and, if you're good enough to get offered that big number for a year, you're probably good enough that another team isn't going to worry about giving up a late 1st round pick or a second round pick to sign you.
   57. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4059958)
I don't understand why this move is being questioned as inconsistent with the A's process. There is no reason Cespedes can't be a part of the next contending team in Oakland, it's not like he's 35 or something. If as someone said above it's just a function of not thinking Cespedes is going to be very good that's a different story but I don't see adding Cespedes (as they've added Parker, Cole, Norris) as inconsistent.
   58. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4059967)
How would you know? You didn't know they had these nine millions to spend, maybe they have more money to pull out of their ass in case of need.

The A's total payroll is very clearly $70 million. Add up how much they spend on the MLB team, the draft, and IFAs for the last 5 years and you're right around $70 million every year. Last year they spent 65.6 on the MLB payroll and 3.1 on the draft. Gio/Cahill/Bailey are starting to get expensive, and will get increasingly so in the years to come. If they're spending $8 million on Cahill and Gio in 2014 and $6 million on Bailey (I'm guessing on Bailey), they aren't paying Cespedes $9.
   59. Morph Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4059969)
Considering I think the A's will be able to sufficiently replace the pitching production they traded away, I wouldn't be surprised if this freak-show of a team shocked the world and finished over .500. I really do like this move. Beane has added offense and gambled that he can rebuild the staff on the fly, like the A's have done successfully in the past. First Haren and Blanton weren't going to be able to approximate the Mulder and Hudson, and before being a prized acquisition for Washington this season, once upon a time Gio Gonzalez was just another lefty with great stuff and limited control, who had been shuffled all around the league in trades. Cahill? His overall performance dipped last season, despite the affordable contract. The A's consistently come up with talented starters, but these guys are no doubt helped by the ballpark's expansive foul territory and outfield dimensions. I look at the A's in 2012 and see a much improved team. I'm willing to bet Milone especially will burst on the scene. Why shouldn't Beane take a chance on Cespedes? The upside is worth the risk. As the A's have proven in recent years, this type of talent is really hard to find in the draft, or in trades where your organization must part with prospects.
   60. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4059970)
I don't understand why this move is being questioned as inconsistent with the A's process. There is no reason Cespedes can't be a part of the next contending team in Oakland, it's not like he's 35 or something.

But that would recognize that there is more than one way to build a team. The only approved way on Primer is just stripping to the bone, being terrible for 5 years and then drafting all-stars year-after year with your high picks until you are on top again.
   61. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4059972)
I don't understand why this move is being questioned as inconsistent with the A's process. There is no reason Cespedes can't be a part of the next contending team in Oakland, it's not like he's 35 or something. If as someone said above it's just a function of not thinking Cespedes is going to be very good that's a different story but I don't see adding Cespedes (as they've added Parker, Cole, Norris) as inconsistent.

It's just more of the Beane is bad/dumb/incompetent/doesn't care theme that's been going on for a while in the saber world now. As I've said repeatedly, every movement reaches a point where it feels compelled to liquidate its early gurus. We're smack in the middle of that right now in the saber world. Everything Beane does must be pilloried, because he's part of the old guard, and we don't want to think about him any more. The movement must move on.
   62. Danny Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4059973)
It seems odd that the strategy is apparently to get rid of all their relatively expensive established players except Coco Crisp so they can use the money for someone with literally no track record. Until today many of us had presumed the strategy was just to cut costs.

They didn't trade Cahill, Gio, and Bailey explicitly to cut costs; they weren't salary dumps. They traded them to acquire prospects who would hopefully be around for 6+ years and be a part of the next good A's team. The weird part isn't that the A's are spending money after dumping contracts. Rather, the weird part is that they signed a good player for 4 years after trading away the guys who would likely have been their best players over the next four years. The trades were more about shifting the window than about saving money, but this signing doesn't fit into the new window.

   63. Swedish Chef Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4059975)
But that would recognize that there is more than one way to build a team. The only approved way on Primer is just stripping to the bone, being terrible for 5 years and then drafting all-stars year-after year with your high picks until you are on top again.

I don't have a problem with the A's signing Cespedes. I have a problem with them trashing the team and then splurging on him.
   64. Tom (and his broom) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4059982)
I don't know that this is a bad move as much as it is a gamblers move....
In this, and the other moves this offseason, Beane has cashed in his proven assets on what are essentially lottery tickets.
He may end up looking really good, or really bad, but as with any money bet in a casino, the odds are with the house.

But the other piece, that has hindered the a's for several years now, is that their scouting is horrible at identifying hitters, it has become hard to believe that they made the right call whenever it comes to a hitter.
   65. Randy Jones Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4059985)
Squash, I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how arbitration works for players with less than 6 years of service time.

I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what I'm saying. The six years of service time thing is moot. I'm talking about arbitration at the end of a contract, like Cespedes will be, when the player is a free agent. Given the new arb rules, getting offered arb is less scary because you're getting paid big money regardless and, if you're good enough to get offered that big number for a year, you're probably good enough that another team isn't going to worry about giving up a late 1st round pick or a second round pick to sign you.


As I understand it, the only way the 6 year service time before FA doesn't go into effect, is if the team doesn't offer arbitration. i.e. if Cespedes' is guaranteed to be a FA after 4 years, it's because his contract says the A's can't offer arbitration. So the new, post-FA arbitration rules are irrelevant.
   66. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4059986)
The A's total payroll is very clearly $70 million. Add up how much they spend on the MLB team, the draft, and IFAs for the last 5 years and you're right around $70 million every year. Last year they spent 65.6 on the MLB payroll and 3.1 on the draft.


Really? Cot's has their spending the last 4 years as $48M, $62M, $58M, $67M, and adding up everyone Cots' has on their roster gives me $40M, plus $9M for Cespedes. Obviously Cots could be missing some important contracts/arb awards, but it sure looks like $70M is the ceiling, and that they will be far from it in 2012 even with Cespedes.
   67. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4059992)
Really? Cot's has their spending the last 4 years as $48M, $62M, $58M, $67M, and adding up everyone Cots' has on their roster gives me $40M, plus $9M for Cespedes. Obviously Cots could be missing some important contracts/arb awards, but it sure looks like $70M is the ceiling, and that they will be far from it in 2012 even with Cespedes.

You have to add in draft picks and IFAs. And with Cespedes, it's not about 2012, it's about the years beyond. Cahill will make $7.75M in 2014. Gio with his new contact will make $8.5M. Bailey, I didn't check, but it will be somewhere around $5 or $6 I would guess on the low side, probably more. They could afford Cespedes and those guys in 2012. After that they couldn't and fit in their 70M. Which means they couldn't have signed Cespedes, because he wasn't signing for 1/9.
   68. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4059996)
As I understand it, the only way the 6 year service time before FA doesn't go into effect, is if the team doesn't offer arbitration. i.e. if Cespedes' is guaranteed to be a FA after 4 years, it's because his contract says the A's can't offer arbitration. So the new, post-FA arbitration rules are irrelevant.


We'll see. Arbitration still has value to teams as an option, even with the presumed higher salaries, and I'd be surprised to see Beane not only give Cespedes a 2 year shorter deal than the Marlins AND give up arbitration rights that could be very valuable if he's a star.
   69. Squash Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4059998)
As I understand it, the only way the 6 year service time before FA doesn't go into effect, is if the team doesn't offer arbitration. i.e. if Cespedes' is guaranteed to be a FA after 4 years, it's because his contract says the A's can't offer arbitration. So the new, post-FA arbitration rules are irrelevant.

That was my original question, if they could offer him arb after the deal was done. Then it morphed, at least in my eyes, into a discussion of whether arbitration was really a HUGE deal anymore from the POV of a player, like it was in the past, when guys like Juan Cruz couldn't get a contract from anyone despite being more than worthy. Other people might have been arguing different things.
   70. villageidiom Posted: February 13, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4060003)
They didn't trade Cahill, Gio, and Bailey explicitly to cut costs; they weren't salary dumps. They traded them to acquire prospects who would hopefully be around for 6+ years and be a part of the next good A's team. The weird part isn't that the A's are spending money after dumping contracts. Rather, the weird part is that they signed a good player for 4 years after trading away the guys who would likely have been their best players over the next four years. The trades were more about shifting the window than about saving money, but this signing doesn't fit into the new window.
It doesn't fit into shifting that window, if you assume it's Oakland's intent to keep this guy for four years. It could be they're giving this guy a year or two as an extended audition for MLB, and if he demonstrates in that time that he's all that, someone will probably be glad to trade a heaping pile of prospects for him.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4060025)
That was my original question, if they could offer him arb after the deal was done. Then it morphed, at least in my eyes, into a discussion of whether arbitration was really a HUGE deal anymore from the POV of a player, like it was in the past, when guys like Juan Cruz couldn't get a contract from anyone despite being more than worthy. Other people might have been arguing different things.

It's two different arbitration rules.

If the A's are allowed to offer him arb after year 4 (they can unless they gave him a contract clause), then they can offer him "regular" arb as a 5th year player. They do not have to offer him FA arb, b/c he isn't a FA, i.e. he doesn't have 6 years of service.

The changes to arb (must offer $12.5M or whatever) affect only to FA arb, which Cespedes can't get after year 4.
   72. akrasian Posted: February 13, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4060028)
Rather, the weird part is that they signed a good player for 4 years after trading away the guys who would likely have been their best players over the next four years. The trades were more about shifting the window than about saving money, but this signing doesn't fit into the new window.

Yes, but signing Cespedes doesn't affect the prospects they got. They still have the shifted window, it's just that they have a new player who is hopefully good enough to help them for a few years. It also keeps the MLBPA off of their back for having too low a payroll.

And, of course, villageidiom has a point. Besides the play they will get from Cespedes, it also gives them a player who might have significant trade value two years from now. All without giving up any prospects, or using a draft pick, and without having the limitation on international signings that are about to hit.
   73. Gamingboy Posted: February 13, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4060044)
Bat-#### crazy moves are the new Market Inefficiency.
   74. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: February 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4060049)
Beane continues his experiment to apply Baseball Mogul style team managing to real life, I see.
   75. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 13, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4060052)
Nice strawmen from #60 and #61
   76. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 13, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4060068)
I think we're ignoring a more important question - is Cespedes worth these terms? I feel unqualified to answer, but my gut reaction is 'no'.
   77. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4060094)
#13 is awesome.

That is all.
   78. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4060104)
Concur with #75.

Is Beane still making the decisions?
   79. akrasian Posted: February 13, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4060111)
I think we're ignoring a more important question - is Cespedes worth these terms? I feel unqualified to answer, but my gut reaction is 'no'.

I think there is a greater degree of variance than is normal for a free agent signing. He might bomb - or he could be a very nice bargain. Most likely in between, of course, but scouts seem to believe that he can hit, and if they're right and he doesn't require too long an adjustment period then the A's just got a nice player. Before they trade him, of course.
   80. Joe OBrien Posted: February 13, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4060112)
There's so much unknown with Cespedes, this could be as simple as Beane thinking he's really undervalued. If he thinks Cespedes is likely to be worth $50M over the next 4 years this deal makes sense regardless of San Jose, windows or any other considerations.
   81. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 13, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4060121)
I don't think he's worth it in a vaccuum, let alone for a team punting '12, and unlikely to contend in '13. I'd rather have Soler, and am happy to see some of the competition for him being knocked out.
   82. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4060144)
Bat-#### crazy moves are the new Market Inefficiency.

A world where GMs ONLY made moves that made no sense would be awesome.
   83. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 13, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4060151)
It's just more of the Beane is bad/dumb/incompetent/doesn't care theme that's been going on for a while in the saber world now.


How unanimous does this theme have to be before people like Joey B. stop complaining that no one's willing to consider that Beane might not be a genius? I think we've been at least 60% anti-Beane ever since the Carlos Gonzalez-Matt Holliday trade, and now it's approaching 90%.
   84. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: February 13, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4060194)
A world where GMs ONLY made moves that made no sense would be awesome.


Oakland GM Billy Beane announced today that he had initiated several trades by cutting up a list of all MLB players and prospects in one hat, and a list of the A's players and prospects in another. He then rolled a die to determine how many slips to draw from each hat.

When questioned by reporters, Beane's only remarks were, "Dada dada dada."

In other news, Pirates GM Neal Huntington announced that the Pittsburgh front office had hired a noted 'pataphysics scholar to assist with player evaluation.
   85. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4060224)
I don't get the hate either. As Steve Slowinski pointed out here, even if Cespedes is only a 2.0 WAR player then $36M/4 will look pretty decent.
   86. Joe Kehoskie Posted: February 13, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4060244)
I don't get the hate either. As Steve Slowinski pointed out here, even if Cespedes is only a 2.0 WAR player then $36M/4 will look pretty decent.

That's logical, but it's rarely how Cubans or other major international signings are evaluated. Jose Contreras was a 6.1-bWAR player through his first four seasons, but almost everyone talks of that original $32M Yankees deal as being a huge bust. Players who don't return big excess value seem to get the "bust" label. (Adjusted for inflation, Contreras obviously underperformed a little, but not so much that the deal was horrendous.)

Anyway, I'm not sure I see the upside here for Oakland. If Cespedes needs half a year or a year in the minors, which seems likely, the deal turns into 3/$36M. Meanwhile, if Cespedes is a great player, he walks after 2015, unless Oakland moves and starts spending like Miami. It also seems hard to believe that a team that's been so passive internationally has a better feel for Cespedes than the other 29 teams.

Pure speculation, but it seems like the market for Cespedes was far weaker than the media had us believe. It seems highly unlikely that Cespedes had offers of $40M to $60M for more years but turned them down so he could reenter FA earlier. (And $36M in high-tax California is probably less than $32M in Florida or Texas.)
   87. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4060251)
Meanwhile, if Cespedes is a great player, he walks after 2015, unless Oakland moves and starts spending like Miami.

Or they elect to trade him beforehand.
   88. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4060252)
People think of international signees, especially Cuban players, as prospects, even when they aren't.
   89. Joe Kehoskie Posted: February 13, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4060260)
Or they elect to trade him beforehand.

Sure, but he'd have to be really good really early, or else the acquiring team won't have much control.

Given the state of the A's, this seems like Beane believes he's buying low, but the recent Cuban market has been the opposite of Moneyball. Chapman, Iglesias, Hechavarria, Arguelles, Viciedo, et al., haven't come close to matching the price tags, hype, or ML ETAs. Cespedes is a lot more advanced than them and had a much better Cuban career, but at his age, the margin for error is also much slimmer.
   90. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 13, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4060265)
Given the state of the A's, this seems like Beane believes he's buying low, but the recent Cuban market has been the opposite of Moneyball.

Nevertheless, how else could Beane have added someone with power not named Manny Ramirez to his lineup at a lower price ($ and/or talent)?
   91. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 13, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4060269)
That's logical, but it's rarely how Cubans or other major international signings are evaluated. Jose Contreras was a 6.1-bWAR player through his first four seasons, but almost everyone talks of that original $32M Yankees deal as being a huge bust.
Contreras provided the Yankees with 75 good innings in 2003, then sucked for several months in 2004. Mid-2004, they traded Contreras to the White Sox for Esteban Loaiza, who also sucked and contributed to the ALCS collapse. Yankees fans may view Contreras as a bust because in fact the Yankees got almost no value for Contreras - $32M for less than 2 WAR, and then Esteban Loaiza.

Contreras went on to be a very valuable member of the Chicago White Sox and one of the heroes of their 2005 World Series team. Contreras is not seen as a bust by White Sox fans.

Overall, surely Contreras was not a "bust", and the fans of the club for whom Contreras provided his value don't view him as such. What I think you're mistaking for an overall tendency to judge Cuban signings in a certain way is the peculiar arrangement of Contreras' career, wherein the team that signed him actually got almost no value from him.
   92. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 13, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4060277)
The fangraphs article misused DTs, not adjusting for the current offensive environment. If Cespedes is a .260 EQa hitter with avg corner d (the FG defensive assumption), that's not a 2 win player. I also think DTs run a little hot (which are sort of accounted for with the team level estimates) - if true, that lowers our estimate a bit more.
I also have issues with how people use marginal w/$ estimates, which I'll save for a later post or thread... In short, people are generating overly high salary estimates, because they judge v replacement level v available options.
Lastly, there's a solid chance that some of this time will spent on the farm - increasing his "effective salary". (as joe noted)
   93. Joe Kehoskie Posted: February 13, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4060285)
Nevertheless, how else could Beane have added someone with power not named Manny Ramirez to his lineup at a lower price ($ and/or talent)?

I'm not disagreeing with the idea that OAK has trouble attracting free agents, but until a few hours ago, it didn't seem like OAK was worrying much about 2012. I see Cespedes as more of a sure thing than Soler, but I would have expected OAK to push harder for Soler (both because of OAK's 2012 roster and because guys like Soler will, as of July 2, be subject to the spending caps, while older guys like Cespedes will not). Perhaps the Cubs beat OAK to Soler and OAK reacted accordingly.
   94. zonk Posted: February 13, 2012 at 10:43 PM (#4060321)
Add my admiration for #13....

I have to say, though, isn't the history of Cuban defectors not counting pitchers pretty poor?

Alexi Rameriz seems like the best of the lot -- lot of Brayan Penas, Barbaro Garbeys, etc.

   95. shock Posted: February 13, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4060325)

26 is young


It means that his best years are most likely to be 2012 and 2013..
   96. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 13, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4060348)
For our mutual edification (and to probably screw up the page formatting), here's DTs for several Cuban position players, by age. (Note: all values were taken from the "minor league pages" - you get different values for the same player/period depending on where you look.) A pipe ("|") denotes when they started playing in the states. A league average EqA is set to .260 - as a scale, you can treat it kind of like batting average.

player__  a16  a17  a18  a19   a20   a21  a22  a23  a24  a25   a26  a27  a28  a29
iglesias  
---  107  203  --- | 215   186
hechavar  
---  ---  173  176   173 190  210
viciedo_  167  258  230  244 
230   248  264
cespedes  
---  ---  246  261   289   267  225  260  264  267 |
ramirez_  ---  ---  ---  ---   262   256  247  277  260  295 260  250  255  258 
   97. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 14, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4060372)
Same chart as in 96, but with a few more dude (Kendrys Morales, Juan Miranda, Barbaro Canizares, Leonys Martin, and Yuniesky Bethancourt.) I was gonna add guys who didn't make the bigs (the Yunesky Sanchez's of the world, but that's not super helpful - particularly since we know Cespedes also gets good marks from scouts.)

player__  a16  a17  a18  a19   a20   a21   a22   a23   a24   a25   a26  a27  a28  a29
iglesias  
---  107  203  --- | 215   186
hechavar  
---  ---  173  176   173 190   210
viciedo_  167  258  230  244 
230   248   264
cespedes  
---  ---  246  261   289   267   225   260   264   267 |
ramirez_  ---  ---  ---  ---   262   256   247   277   260   295 260  250  255  258 

player__  a16  a17  a18  a19   a20   a21   a22   a23   a24   a25   a26  a27  a28  a29  a30
morales_  
---  ---  ---  264   317   279 254   238   252   247   297  287  ---  
miranda_  ---  ---  251  276   268   267   ---   --- | 249   278   286  276  238  
canizare  
---  ---  ---  ---   278   257   290   ---   --- | 261   284  245  257  284  290
l
.martin  ---  ---  ---  ---   ---   207   217   290   276   269 227    
yuniesky  
---  ---  ---  201   227   251   --- | 239   246   251   245  216  243  236 


Unrelated, rumor is the A's will move Crisp to left and play Cespedes in center. If he is a league average hitter (and his winter league performance was growing pains / cultural adjustment / badluck) and can show average d in center (which looks possible) - well, that is just over a 2 win player.
   98. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2012 at 01:00 AM (#4060376)
What about Yunel Escobar? And don't forget Rey Ordonez!
   99. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 14, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4060384)
If their DTs were available, I'd've added 'em (and Jorge Toca and Alex Sanchez and...).
   100. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 14, 2012 at 03:07 AM (#4060398)
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