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Monday, January 16, 2012

A’s trade Moscoso, Outman for Seth Smith

#### THE GOLDEN GLOBES!

Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s continued their extreme offseason makeover Monday with yet another trade. This time Beane shipped pitchers Josh Outman and Guillermo Moscoso to the Rockies for outfielder Seth Smith—who has been involved in trade rumors throughout the offseason.

Smith, 29, has served mostly as a fourth outfielder type for the Rockies since 2008, but he got a career high 533 plate appearances last season. He hit .284/.347/.483 with 15 homers, 32 doubles and 10 stolen bases. He hasn’t played center field since 2008, so he’s best used as a corner outfielder. He’ll likely be the starter in left field with Coco Crisp in center and Josh Reddick in right. Of course, prospect Michael Taylor is going to figure in the mix at some point.

One item of note: Smith’s career splits indicate he was hugely helped by Coors Field. He’s hit .296/.366/.559 at home and .257/.332/.418 on the road. And Oakland plays in one of the worst hitters’ parks in the majors.

Moscoso, 28, was 8-10 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 74 strikeouts in 128 innings last season. Outman, 27, was 3-5 with a 3.70 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 35 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings. And, again, we’ll note that these two pitchers are going from having a very pitcher-friendly home park to one of the most hitter-friendly yards in the bigs.

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:06 PM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, rockies

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4038169)
Seriously, WTF, how is "My Week with Marilyn" and "Enlightened" considered a comedy? Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been getting screwed in that category for years (let alone the glaring omission in nominations for Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie and Kaitlin Olsen).
   2. puck Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4038174)
Whoa, Moscoso was an extreme flyball guy last year. I'm guessing he's not going to come close to his .222 BABIP again.


Edit: how is Outman? (Good name for a pitcher, btw.) Does he project as a starter or reliever? His minor league walk rate has been kind of high.
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4038178)
See comment 43 for why this had to happen. Both of these pitchers are way too old for the A's.
   4. Tripon Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4038180)
Two starting pitchers for one year control of a 4th outfielder? Huh?
   5. Danny Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4038182)
Moscoso's an extreme FB pitcher who doesn't strike guys out, so he seems like a poor fit for Coors. He did show some very good command last year, though. Outman looked pretty good in 2009 before busting his elbow. He took awhile to come back, and his control was shakier than usual to start the year, but he started to look better toward the end of the season.

I guess Smith will platoon with Cowgill in LF, with Crisp in CF and Reddick in RF. This seems to seal Taylor heading back to Sacto and giving up on Allen in LF. The rotation is in shambles, which unfortunately means they're likely to start Peacock and/or Parker in Oakland. As it is now: 1) McCarthy, 2) Colon, 3) Ross, 4, Milone, 5) Godfrey.
   6. Swedish Chef Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4038197)
Is Beane in some Brewster's Millions kind of thing where he has to trade away his entire roster before the season begins?
   7. flournoy Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4038205)
That rotation in #5 looks frightening. I don't follow the Athletics all that well, but I don't even know who those guys are. McCarthy, is that Brandon McCarthy, the guy the White Sox traded to the Rangers for John Danks? Colon? Did they sign Bartolo, if he's still around? Or is that Roman? No idea who Ross, Milone, and Godfrey are. So are the Athletics going to lose 110 games this year or what?

EDIT: After perusing their B-R page, that's definitely Brandon, and Tyson Ross and Graham Godfrey are interesting if uninspiring young-ish pitchers. I'm still not too optimistic about their chances...
   8. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4038208)
Beane has gone stark raving mad. Not that this trade makes or breaks either team but WTF is he doing? Is he trying to get fired? The only reason this makes sense for the As is if they can flip Smith at mid-season for some prospect, but really, who are they going to get other than the upside of Outman or Moscoso?
   9. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4038211)
McCarthy is Brandon McCarthy. Although I really only know that because I play fantasy.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4038213)
Does Sonny Gray have a shot at making the rotation?
   11. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4038216)
Beane is a brilliant performance artist.
   12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4038224)
Two starting pitchers for one year control of a 4th outfielder? Huh?


He isn't so much a 4th outfielder as he is a really good platoon outfielder. As long as you don't send him up against LHP, he'll give you good production. Kind of like Trot Nixon, back in the day.
   13. TomH Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4038226)
Peacock for the 5 spot, maybe
   14. Willie Mayspedester Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4038235)
#4 This is his first year of arb eligibility right? So three years of a 4th OF?
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4038243)
The following are all the pitchers who have started 20 or more games for the A's in the last five seasons.

B.Anderson - Still there!
J.Blanton - traded after 3.5 years with Oakland
D.Braden - Still there!
T.Cahill - traded after 4 years with Oakland
L.DiNardo - spent 2 years there, then free agency
J.Duchscherer - reached free agency after 6 years with Oakland. And re-signed, and reached free agency again!
D.Eveland - traded after 2 years with Oakland
C.Gaudin - traded after 2.5 years with Oakland
G.Gonzalez - traded after 4 years with Oakland
R.Harden - traded after 5.5 years with Oakland
D.Haren - traded after 3 years with Oakland
J.Kennedy - waived after 2 years with Oakland
V.Mazzaro - traded after 2 years with Oakland (this was the DeJesus trade, last year's equivalent of the Seth Smith trade)
B.McCarthy - still there!
G.Moscoso - traded after 1 year with Oakland
J.Outman - traded after 4 years with Oakland
B.Sheets - free agent after 1-year deal expired
G.Smith - traded after 1 year with Oakland

Seven of these guys both arrived in Oakland and left Oakland via trade. McCarthy and Anderson were both acquired in trades, so presumably in a year or so it will be 9 out of 18.
   16. Zach Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4038248)
I always liked Seth Smith because he was called up for that impossible 2007 run to the playoffs and hit .625/.625/.875 in 7 games. It's like nobody ever told him that baseball was hard.
   17. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4038252)
Does Sonny Gray have a shot at making the rotation?


At this point, Macy Gray will have a shot at making the rotation.
   18. Danny Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4038257)
That rotation in #5 looks frightening. I don't follow the Athletics all that well, but I don't even know who those guys are. McCarthy, is that Brandon McCarthy, the guy the White Sox traded to the Rangers for John Danks? Colon? Did they sign Bartolo, if he's still around? Or is that Roman? No idea who Ross, Milone, and Godfrey are. So are the Athletics going to lose 110 games this year or what?

Yep. McCarthy was great last year (led the AL in FIP, but his shoulder is more a question of 'when' than 'if.' Speaking of FIP, Milone led the IL, Peacock led the EL, and Godfrey was tied for 2nd in the PCL (if you drop the IP limits for the latter two). That's, um, something something.
   19.   Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4038271)
Quick: name five members of the 2012 A's.

I got nothing.

Edit: Shoulda refreshed the page first. Still.
   20. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4038299)
[19] There is Seth Smith, of course. And Brandon McCarthy, Kurt Suzuki, Coco Crisp? and I think their shortstop was named Pennington.

*goes to baseball-reference*

Ooh, I was right. Their shortstop is Cliff Pennignton and Crisp is still signed.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4038303)
Is this in part to open a spot on the 40-man for Colon?
   22. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4038305)
And neither of those guys are arb-eligible, either. It's not like they were about to get slightly more expensive, or that they could afford to give up the pitching depth in exchange for a (admittedly very good) platoon hitter. How weird.

EDIT: I didn't think of that, Walt, thanks.
   23.   Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4038309)
I didn't know that McCarthy or Colon were on the team until this thread. Honestly, I had assumed that Dallas Braden was gone too. He's probably next, right?
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4038311)
One issue with the A's is they keep putting guys back in AAA after extended period in the majors. Chris Carter, Michael Taylor, Brandon Allen and Drederic Barton might be 2012 A's, or they might be in the minors.

Kevin Kouzmanoff was traded, I don't know who their 3B is. Mark Ellis and Conor Jackson aren't there anymore. The bullpen has ... Grant Balfour? Ziegler and Bailey aren't there anymore ... Craig Breslow is still there I think.

Jemile Weeks! He's good!

I didn't know that McCarthy or Colon were on the team until this thread. Honestly, I had assumed that Dallas Braden was gone too. He's probably next, right?


Braden is still rehabbing his shoulder injury, so they can't trade him until June or July. Much like Anderson.
   25. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4038313)
Breslow went to Arizona in the Cahill trade. Fuentes is still there.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4038322)
Quick: name five members of the 2012 A's.


Rickey Henderson is honestly not a bad guess.
   27. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4038328)
Rickey Henderson is honestly not a bad guess.


This would make me an A's fan.
   28. Willie Mayspedester Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4038352)
Sizemore, Weeks, Suzuki and Pennington. They have almost their whole infield from last year! Plus Coco...
   29. Squash Posted: January 16, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4038372)
Two starting pitchers for one year control of a 4th outfielder? Huh?

Smith's arb-eligible through 2014, or at least per Baseball America, per Cot's. I like Smith, and I'm fine with the trade as long as it doesn't mean Peacock or Parker starts the year in the rotation. That would probably be pointless. Smith hasn't ever really been given a chance until last year, when he did fine. I'd give him a better chance to show value over the next few years than Allen/Taylor/Carter/Cowgill/other assorted bums. Moscoso is going to get hit by regression hard, and Outman is probably a LOOGY post-surgery. 6 months ago no one would have batted an eye at this trade, so I'm not feeling too worked up about it now just because Moscoso got BABIP lucky for a few months.

So are the Athletics going to lose 110 games this year or what?

It would be great if they lost 110 games in the long run, but I think the schadenfreude police are going to be disappointed/surprised. This group still wins 70. They're not actually that bad. They need to get worse!
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4038386)
So are the Athletics going to lose 110 games this year or what?


probably not, but the Cubs and Mets probably are.
   31. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 16, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4038387)
One item of note: Smith’s career splits indicate he was hugely helped by Coors Field. He’s hit .296/.366/.559 at home and .257/.332/.418 on the road.


Can we retire this tired and incorrect meme? Smith's splits indicate he played in Coors Fiekd, not that he was helped by it. Its mathematically impossible to have extreme hitters parks without the home team having extreme splits.
   32. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: January 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4038389)
Rickey Henderson is honestly not a bad guess.



This would make me an A's fan.


I think all A's fans would be ok with this.

I am ok with this trade. The A's can crap out pitchers like Moscoso like there's no tomorrow. A position player the quality of Smith would be a notable accomplishment for the A's system.

It's just re-arranging deck chairs, but at least we're getting a chair in a color we don't have.
   33. MM1f Posted: January 16, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4038392)
Can we retire this tired and incorrect meme? Smith's splits indicate he played in Coors Fiekd, not that he was helped by it. Its mathematically impossible to have extreme hitters parks without the home team having extreme splits.


Agreed. Matt Holliday's home/road splits as a Rockie were extreme but his park adjusted offensive numbers as a Cardinal and A are pretty consistent with the park adjusted numbers he put up as a Rockie. Obviously Coors boosts raw offensive numbers and Smith will see his raw offensive numbers take a big hit as he goes from Coors to Oakland but that doesn't mean his raw road numbers mean anything. Take his park adjusted numbers are move on.

It's so, so, so freakin' dumb to say "X hit .240 on the road," with the implication that this means .240 is X's true talent level.
   34. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 17, 2012 at 05:12 AM (#4038451)
This seems like a bad trade for both teams. Rockies get 2 fly ball pitchers who don't strike people out. A's have to put their young pitchers in the rotation a year early and bench Cowgill for whom they just traded Cahill. I'm not understanding this at all from either side...unless the A's flip Smith for Jurrjens or something.

Is this in part to open a spot on the 40-man for Colon?

I still don't see what Sean Doolittle is doing on the 40-man. Or Pedro Figueroa for that matter. The whole thing is very weird.
   35. Danny Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4038617)
This seems like a bad trade for both teams. Rockies get 2 fly ball pitchers who don't strike people out. A's have to put their young pitchers in the rotation a year early and bench Cowgill for whom they just traded Cahill. I'm not understanding this at all from either side...unless the A's flip Smith for Jurrjens or something.

First, I don't think this necessarily means they're starting Peacock, Parker, or Gray in Oakland. They seem likely to acquire another stopgap SP. And if they don't, are Outman and Moscoso better than Ross and Godfrey? Are they much better than NRIs like Edgar Gonzalez and Fabio Castro?

Second, I don't think the presence of Outman and (particularly) Moscoso was going to determine whether or not the young guys start in Oakland or Sacramento. If they think they're ready and don't care about service time, I doubt they'd hold them back for these two.

I don't know whether they'll be able to get anything useful for Smith if they decide to trade him, but I think he has more value than Outman/Moscoso. In the meantime, Smith is the A's best hitter and makes them slightly more watchable, Cowgill should still get plenty of playing time as 4th OF/platoon mate/Coco-replacement, and Taylor gets to play full time in AAA instead of rotting on the bench in Oakland. It's mostly inconsequential, but I don't see any reason to dislike the move. They slightly improved the team without sacrificing anything of real value. But I completely agree that Doolittle would pass through waivers with ease.
   36.   Posted: January 17, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4038641)
Agreed.


Thirded.

I thought we learned this lesson way back when Alfonso Soriano was in Texas and a .200 hitter on the road (or something.) Then he went to Washington and mashed. Make the park adjustment, and leave it. Cutting the sample size in two is pointless.
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 17, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4038646)
It certainly is possible that a player could be helped by his home park by more than the park factor. A flyball hitter in Coors or a pull righty in Fenway may well be a worse hitter than his part neutral stats suggest. A flyball hitter could be killed by the Oakland Coliseum. And so on. Park factors are obviously not one-size-fits-all.

This fact does not authorize people to use stats wrong. I expect that a split like Smith's (900/750) could pretty easily occur randomly. These are small samples, there are a wide range of possible numbers that wouldn't be good evidence of real deviation from the expected park effect.

If you want to make a case for a divergent park effect on a particular player, you need to show that his numbers diverge to a degree greater than can be explained by random variation, or you need to make an observational / scouty case that his skills better or worse fit a particular park.

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