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Monday, March 24, 2014

Baltimore Sun: Orioles trade IF Alex Gonzales to Tigers for Steve Lombardozzi

Okay, so NOW that whole “Doug Fister for Lombardozzi and a pitching prospect” deal suddenly makes a lot more sens—wait, what?

SARASOTA, Fla.—The Orioles added another player to their infield mix Monday, acquiring switch-hitting local product Steve Lombardozzi Jr. in a trade that sent veteran infielder Alex Gonzalez to the Detroit Tigers.

Lombardozzi, 25, who is from Fulton in Howard County and graduated from Atholton High School in Columbia, immediately becomes an option at second and third base while the Orioles fill the temporary hole created by the club’s decision to place third baseman Manny Machado on the 15-day disabled list to start the season.

“We are taking him right now with that in mind,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said. “We’ll see how it goes in the next couple days, but our reports are that he can play second, third and in the outfield. And he can contribute offensively from both sides of the plate. Good fundamental player.”

Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:51 PM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baltimore orioles, detroit tigers

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Hank G. Posted: March 24, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4676526)
Good fundamental player.


If by that he means “the very definition of a replacement level player”, then I agree.
   2. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:05 PM (#4676540)
He's slightly better than that ... but only slightly.
   3. DKDC Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:13 PM (#4676546)
The fact that I spent more than 5 seconds thinking about this transaction is proof that the baseball season needs to start already.

One more week to go...
   4. madvillain Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4676550)
Not a good offseason for Detroit. Not good at all. I'd say they are down to 87 or so wins "on paper", after losing Iglesias and Rondon this week. They will still probably make the playoffs, but they started this offseason with an excellent, possibly even elite team, and now they start the season with just a good one.
   5. this space for rent Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4676554)
He's slightly better than that ... but only slightly.


Slightly better than replacement is still a whole lot better than Alex Gonzalez.
   6. Tim D Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4676556)
Not pleased. Lombardozzi has some upside; not a lot but some. Gonzalez will be on the DL by May 1. He's 37, hasn't played much in 3 years and was never all that great to begin with. It seems to me a Worth/Romine combo could be just as lousy as Gonzalez. I was trying to defend the Fister trade at first, but now I just think it sucked.
   7. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:14 PM (#4676566)
veteran infielder Alex Gonzalez
which one?
   8. Walt Davis Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4676570)
The other one hasn't played since 2006.

I assume this is because Gonzales can still play SS.
   9. DanG Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4676575)
Fewest career WAR, 1250+ games at shortstop

Rk              Player WAR/pos OPSRfield    G    PA From   To
77     Cristian Guzman    12.4   80    
-34 1406  5785 1999 2010
78          Spike Owen    12.3   83    
-37 1544  5616 1983 1995
79      Shawon Dunston    11.6   89    
-93 1814  6276 1985 2002
80       Ivan de Jesus    11.2   77    
-18 1371  5193 1974 1988
81       Alex Gonzalez    11.1   79      5 1396  5528 1994 2006
82      
'Alex Gonzalez     9.9   79     29 1600  6216 1998 2013'
83       Don Kessinger     9.0   73    -41 2078  8530 1964 1979
84      Rafael Ramirez     6.0   77    
-68 1539  5887 1980 1992
85            Tim Foli     5.7   64     49 1696  6573 1970 1985
86        Leo Durocher     5.1   66     20 1637  5829 1925 1945
87        Wally Gerber     3.6   67    
-30 1523  5829 1914 1929
88     Alfredo Griffin     2.9   67    
-28 1962  7331 1976 1993 
   10. PreservedFish Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:28 PM (#4676586)
The other one hasn't played since 2006.


How do we really know that?
   11. Squash Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:28 PM (#4676587)
  Leo Durocher     5.1   66     20 1637  5829 1925 1945

Wow, I didn't realize Durocher was such a bad player. The luster of his managing career must have rubbed off on me. Now Alfredo, he I knew was terrible.
   12. #6bid is partially elite Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:40 PM (#4676588)

Fewest career WAR, 1250+ games at shortstop

81 Alex Gonzalez 11.1 79 5 1396 5528 1994 2006
82 'Alex Gonzalez 9.9 79 29 1600 6216 1998 2013'


If you split Alex Gonzalez in half, you'd have two mediocre shortstops!
   13. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:48 PM (#4676591)

If you split Alex Gonzalez in half, you'd have two mediocre shortstops!


That's only fitting, because if you divvy up the Steve Lombardozzii, you get two mediocre second basemen.
   14. joeysdadjoe Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:49 PM (#4676592)
Orioles got a decent utility guy for someone who was probably getting cut.
   15. Cooper Nielson Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:58 PM (#4676595)
I was trying to defend the Fister trade at first, but now I just think it sucked.

I don't know if anyone was really defending the trade, but I was in the "Well, Dombrowski knows more than me, maybe it's not as bad as it looks" camp. And I don't think this news changes anything. If the Tigers had held on to Fister, they still wouldn't have a MLB-caliber shortstop. Lombardozzi was just a spare part anyway.

The trade could still "not suck" if perhaps two of the following are true:

1. Robbie Ray turns out to be a good starter(and Dombrowski expected it)
2. Doug Fister declines very quickly (and Dombrowski expected it)
3. No team was willing to give up more for Fister (and all teams were asked)

There are some signs that Dombrowski is higher on Ray than the general consensus; his story is still being written. Fister had a minor elbow injury this spring (but seems OK now) and his peripherals are declining a bit (K rate down, H rate up -- not alarming but worth keeping an eye on). And I think there's evidence that Fister was widely shopped.
   16. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:02 AM (#4676607)
The other one hasn't played since 2006.
this is only mostly snarky, but.....that's not as helpful of a response as you might think.
   17. ptodd Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:36 AM (#4676620)
"6. Tim D Posted: March 24, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4676556)
Not pleased. Lombardozzi has some upside; not a lot but some. Gonzalez will be on the DL by May 1. He's 37, hasn't played much in 3 years and was never all that great to begin with. It seems to me a Worth/Romine combo could be just as lousy as Gonzalez. I was trying to defend the Fister trade at first, but now I just think it sucked.


They could have just signed Drew. Its very likely Lombardozzi is as good as they will get from their 23rd pick, and Drew is 2-3 W's better than the 37 yo Agon
   18. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:40 AM (#4676622)
No one would trade that pick for Lombardozzi (even if you think they're equally valuable) - you're paying for variance.
   19. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:17 AM (#4676628)
The thing I loved about the two Alex Gonzalez is that the same description was used for both as players: slightly above average fielding short stop, lots of strikeout and bad OBP, some power.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:27 AM (#4676629)
Shawon Dunston 11.6 89 -93 1814 6276 1985 2002
80 Ivan de Jesus 11.2 77 -18 1371 5193 1974 1988
81 Alex Gonzalez 11.1 79 5 1396 5528 1994 2006
83 Don Kessinger 9.0 73 -41 2078 8530 1964 1979


I don't see any pattern there? Anybody?

For those not in the know, between 1964 and 2004, those 4 combined for roughly 3900 starts at SS for the Cubs. Add in another nearly 500 games from the end of Bowa's career and that's about 2/3 of all games over those 41 seasons. The other guys mostly weren't good enough to make it anywhere near 1250 games at SS in their careers. It raises the uncomfortable question of who is the best Cubs SS of my lifetime. Banks wrapped up his SS career just before I was born so it ain't easy. It will probably still end up being Castro but that plan's starting to slip off the rails. Andre Rodgers had a couple of decent seasons before I turned 3 ... Gutierrez had almost 4 WAR in 2 seasons ....

Seriously, in the last 52 seasons, I'm not sure Cubs' SS have amassed 52 WAR.
   21. SoCalDemon Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4676741)
Wow, its pretty bad. I got a rough estimate of 53.7, and pretty much equally awful seasons all the way through; I had no idea. I have:
2010-13 Castro 7.4
2007-09 Theriot 4.9
2004-06 Cedeno, Perez, Martinez, Garciaparra 1.9
2002-03 Gonzalez 1.3
2000-01 Gutierrez 3.9
1999 Hernandez/Nieves .9
1992-98 Dunston/Sanchez (a little Vizcaino) 3.5 wow, and most of that (2.3) is in 93; 94-98 is .2
1986-91 Dunston 7.2
1985 Dunston/Spier/Bowa 1.7
1982-84 Bowa 1.1
1977-81 de Jeses 8.2 (6.4 of that in 77-78)
1976 Kelleher/Rosello -1.1
1966-75 Kessinger 11.1
1965 Kessinger/Pena -1.7
1962-64 Rodgers 3.4

In broad eras: Rdgers/Kessinger (1962-1976): 11.7; .8 WAR/yr. de Jesus/Bowa (1977-85): 11.0; 1.2 WAR/yr. Dunston/Sanchez (1986-1998): 10.7; .8 WAR/yr. Gutierrez/Gonzales/Theroit/Castro (1999-2013): 20.3; 1.4 WAR/yr. So, it is looking up, but wow.
   22. SoCalDemon Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4676743)
It really looks like they just punted SS for half a century.
   23. SoCalDemon Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4676749)
Since 1961, the Cubs have had 5 seasons by a SS at or above 3.0 WAR: Kessinger in 1969 (4.0, their high over the last 52 years), de Jesus in 1978 (3.6), Bowa in 1983 (3.0, bracked by sub-replacement seasons), and Castro in 2011-12 (3.0 and 3.6, respectively). That seems pretty amazing to me.
   24. SoCalDemon Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4676752)
In the 27 years between 1983 and 2011, there were no close calls, Niefi Perez (!) has the high in WAR by a Cubs shortstop during this time period, with 2.4 in 2005. Dunston, Sanchez, and Guttierez each have seasons of 2.3, and Theroit has a season of 2.2.
   25. SoCalDemon Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4676756)
*Sorry, that should be Blauser for 1998; the stats are right, though.
   26. SoCalDemon Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4676766)
Over the same years, I have the Cubs at -44 Wins above average: Rodgers at -2.9, Kessinger at -13.2, de Jesus at -2.2, Bowa at -4.4, Dunston at -6.3, Sanchez at .3 (just for the years he is listed above), Guttierez at .4, Theroit at -.9, and Castro at -.4.
   27. jingoist Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4676775)
What is the consensus among Cubs fans here at BTF about Castro?

I ask this question as a lifelong Pirate fan so I don't have a dog in the fight but, I watched about a half-dozen Cubs games last year and I found myself extraordinarily pissed at Castro's lackadasical approach to playing SS.

He seems to have regressed from his rookie season......is part of that poor coaching/mentoring or a personality/knucklehead issue?
   28. BDC Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4676793)
Kessinger was a six-time All-Star, and in a couple of those seasons (1969 and 1972) WAR would not have had any problem with the selection had WAR existed. (And been personified as a sentient individual.) And the thing is, his basic stat line doesn't look greatly different in 1970-71 or for a few years before or after. The assumption was that he was a glove wizard (and he was certainly not bad), and that he was a consistent light hitter who could keep his average high enough to be a star. But context is everything, and context turns his seeming consistency, under analysis, into a guy who fluctuated between 4 WAR and worthlessness. He is significantly hurt by the decision to bat him leadoff for most of his career, allowing him to make tons of outs. He was a major force on the Outs leaderboard (another thing that didn't get printed in the paper in 1971 :)
   29. zonk Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4676796)
Castro always drew raves for his 'coachability' before hitting the show -- could have been just the usual fluffing of the top prospect.

That said, the Cubs have jerked him around the lineup a fair bit - he probably ought to hit second, but they've tried him in a lot of different spots and expected different things out of him consistently.

I think once upon a time, the consensus was that Castro's floor was Gary Templeton or Edgar Renteria -- solid value, if a bit disappointing from hoped for heights.... At this point, I worry he's Mike Caruso (OK, that's not fair - Castro does have some legitimate pop).

Afield, he is what he is... rangy, good enough but certainly not great arm for SS. Baez's arm is supposedly better (but he's been even more brutal defensively in the minors). Probably near impossible to do now - but Castro would probably do better at 2B.
   30. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 25, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4676802)
I love the notion of the Cubs punting on SS for 50 years. "We'll make it up in the saves category!"
   31. zonk Posted: March 25, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4676847)
In the 27 years between 1983 and 2011, there were no close calls, Niefi Perez (!) has the high in WAR by a Cubs shortstop during this time period, with 2.4 in 2005. Dunston, Sanchez, and Guttierez each have seasons of 2.3, and Theroit has a season of 2.2.


Who knew that WAR could also prove that there is no god?

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