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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beltran to Giants

@TBrownYahoo Tim Brown
Looks like Beltran is indeed going to SF, according to source. Logistics being worked out.

The newest star of The Franchise!

Gamingboy Posted: July 27, 2011 at 05:48 PM | 131 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, mets

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   101. Sam M. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:20 AM (#3887361)
Matt LaPorta and Justin Smoak went in deadline deals in the last few years. Andy LaRoche. All were top 30 prospects. Must be some bigger ones in years past. Does the Bartolo Colon trade count (Brandon Phillips)?

OK, but then throw in the additional qualifier of the Giants' inability to replenish the loss of Wheeler because they can't offer arbitration, and it becomes a lot more unique. The Rangers gave up Smoak, but when they lost CLiff Lee, they got the # 33 and # 37 pick in this year's draft as compensation. The Brewers gave up LaPorta, but they got the # 39 pick in the 2009 draft as compensation. (Here's a painful factoid for Brewers fans: they didn't get the Yankees first round pick because C.C. wasn't as highly rated a FA as another guy the Yankees signed, Mark Teixeira. Guess who the Angels drafted with that pick? Yup . . . Mike Trout.)

LaRoche is harder to assess, because the deal itself was so much more complex -- I guess you could say he was traded just for a rental, but he wasn't really the value the seller in that case obtained.

In any case, it is at best very rare for a team to give up a prospect like Wheeler when the ONLY thing it is going to get is the short-term performance of the rent-a-player.
   102. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:23 AM (#3887362)
To continue my comment on Wheeler from earlier today (basically, I think he's overrated ... the people who know what they're talking about have him as a consensus to 30-40 guy, whereas I'm fairly sure I would not have him in a top 50, were I a listmaker):

He has the physicality and stuff of a #2 guy (+sinking FB, +SU, a CU that could someday be average) but most guys with his control/command issues do not get it turned around (I'm also a little worried about the steep drop in his G/F / corresponding rise in HR/9 ... but that's more in conjunction with the control issues than on its own). I suspect that he'll ultimately be a good to very good relief guy (the FB/slurve combo could play up further in the pen) but not reach anything near the expectations many have for him. Hopefully, I'm wrong*.

* Braves fandom notwithstanding.

None of this is meant as: don't trade Beltran (doing so was the right idea) and I'd trust the field over me on evaluating Wheeler for a great many reasons. Still, this probably isn't the prospect I'd take.
   103. tshipman Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:43 AM (#3887367)
I am thrilled with this deal. Zach Wheeler is three years at best from helping the Giants (more if the Giants re-sign Cain and Lincecum), and Beltran makes them the second best team in the NL.

Deal made from a point of strength to improve your biggest weakness? Coming at the perfect time to try to win a back-to-back championship?
This is a ####### A deal.

Wheeler is a nice lottery ticket. I hope for Mets fans that he works out for you all.
   104. Sam M. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:15 AM (#3887372)
I'd trust the field over me on evaluating Wheeler for a great many reasons.

Nothing against you (seriously), but the best reason I can think of is this: the Giants have made a lot of very good decisions when it comes to young pitchers in recent years. If they thought it was worth drafting Zack Wheeler in the top 10 of the draft in 2009 and paying over $3M to sign him, I have to believe that is prima facie evidence that he is the real deal. When I read scouting reports about his stuff that say he has both a plus fastball (movement combined with velocity) and curve, and that he projects to be a # 1-2 starter, I'll take that for the next two months of Carlos Beltran's baseball career.

Put it another way: what are the odds the Mets make the post-season with Beltran? 2%? Does anyone seriously think that Wheeler's chances of having a solid major league career aren't worth giving up that 2% chance for. Even if you double that, and think it's 4%, I'd give up that in an instant for the chance Wheeler "hits."

As for whether this is the prospect you'd take, you can't answer that question in a vacuum. Tell me my choices. Every report, at least, is that nobody else was offering a single prospect with anything close to Wheeler's ceiling. The only real choice, if those reports are right, would have been to accept a package of lesser prospects. I guess you can debate which you prefer, but for me it's not close: give me the guy who may be an impact player instead of a couple or three guys who, at best, are going to help you a bit. The Mets have plenty of the latter in their system, and they are a lot easier to find and develop. Yes, Wheeler has command issues to overcome. I'll take that shot for the return it could bring.
   105. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:50 AM (#3887376)
Two months of Beltran in a non-contending season is probably worth an excellent, cost-controlled relief pitcher, anyway, even if that's what Wheeler turns out to be. (Since they couldn't have gotten a draft pick for him. I didn't know that.
   106. Benji Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:50 AM (#3887377)
Well, I'd love to see Sam's scenario come to pass. But even if it doesn't, this has been a remarkable, resilient group of players. Everything has been thrown at them and they still are outplaying anyone's expectations. Murphy has been sensational and the starting pitching mind-bogglingly better than anyone expected. If they keep playing like this and win say, 84 games, this season will be like 1966 and 1984 to me. And Terry Collins should get Manager of the Year.
   107. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:55 AM (#3887378)
If they keep playing like this and win say, 84 games, this season will be like 1966 and 1984 to me. And Terry Collins should get Manager of the Year.


Not if the Pirates win 85.
   108. Benji Posted: July 28, 2011 at 06:40 AM (#3887381)
Or the division.
   109. Bhaakon Posted: July 28, 2011 at 06:42 AM (#3887382)
Nothing against you (seriously), but the best reason I can think of is this: the Giants have made a lot of very good decisions when it comes to young pitchers in recent years. If they thought it was worth drafting Zack Wheeler in the top 10 of the draft in 2009 and paying over $3M to sign him, I have to believe that is prima facie evidence that he is the real deal.


Them deciding to trade him sort of undermines that, no? I mean, they drafted Alderson in the first round, and look what happened to him after the trade to the Pirates. If the Giants really thought Wheeler had a good shot of reaching that reported top of the order upside, they probably wouldn't have dealt him.
   110. bads85 Posted: July 28, 2011 at 06:56 AM (#3887384)
Does the Bartolo Colon trade count (Brandon Phillips)?


Maybe if you count Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore, who were also a part of that trade. Lee and Sizemore weren't blue chippers at the time of the trade, but they were on the radar.
   111. Norcan Posted: July 28, 2011 at 07:02 AM (#3887386)
(I'm also a little worried about the steep drop in his G/F / corresponding rise in HR/9 ... but that's more in conjunction with the control issues than on its own)


I wouldn't worry too much about it or if you're not a Mets fan, take too much satisfaction from it. Sure his G/F dropped from 2.68 to 1.35 but unless he's a groundball specialist, I don't put too much stock in G/F numbers early in the minors. Most of the hitters in low-A can't lift the ball much anyway; you see a lot of pitchers with inflated rates that low in the minors who see their rates come down as they move up. It doesn't necessarily portend bad things. His G/F rates tell me so far is that he's a strikeout pitcher who is not an extreme fly ball pitcher, probably because his putaway pitch is not a changeup. As for the elevated home run rate, the inning sample is low and it's the Cal League, those two are big mitigating factors.

I thought Alderson did a fabulous job getting a bluechip prospect for Beltran. I didn't think that was possible. The SF prospects rumored were Francisco Peguero and Charlie Culberson, both of whom are unexciting, below-average prospects.

It looks like Wheeler quieted down some the extreme arm swing he had in high school. He was like freaking gumby before. That's why I'm 1) not suprised he's had control problems 2) think it's possible his control will improve as he refines and polishes his mechanics and release point.
   112. thetailor Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:43 AM (#3887396)
If they thought it was worth drafting Zack Wheeler in the top 10 of the draft in 2009 and paying over $3M to sign him, I have to believe that is prima facie evidence that he is the real deal.

They thought that in 2009. He's done nothing at all good since then.

This is not to say I think the Mets should have kept Beltran -- no no, not at all -- but I'm not sure Wheeler is the guy that everyone here seems to think he is. I hope I'm wrong.
   113. Sam M. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:29 PM (#3887415)
Nothing at all good since then? 98 K's in 88 IP in his first full season, in high A ball, while working on adapting his pitching motion. This is good work, and good results, in context. Has he shown nothing but good results? No -- he has command issues to work on. Well, OK -- he's not Doc Gooden.

There's been a mix of positive performance and results, and things he's clearly working on improving. And since he has immense talent, he's right where he should be. God only knows if he'll get where Mets fans hope he will, but there's nothing in his results to date that should undermine the confidence generated by the fact he was drafted so high.
   114. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:50 PM (#3887422)
They thought that in 2009. He's done nothing at all good since then.

He hasn't gotten hurt, and he still throws hard.

That's big for a pitching prospect.

What'd you guys think? You were getting an MLB ready elite prospect for 2 months of Beltran (and no comp picks)?

This was a damn good trade for the Mets.
   115. formerly dp Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:22 PM (#3887438)
This was a damn good trade for the Mets.

Yeah, as several people have mentioned, if they made this trade in April people would be calling it a huge win. Some of what you're seeing is just a reaction to 1) the fact that the Mets just dealt Beltran in the middle of a hot streak, 2) getting only one player in return for him. I don't know if even the most wildly optimistic Met fans here thought he'd put up an OPS+ north of 150 this year. And since the ASB, Beltran has been crazy-- .333/.524/.630. A lot of us wanted to see what he could do with someone other than Murphy/Bay/Pagan hitting behind him, but I'll take a top 50 prospect rather than an extra win or two in 2011.

If they're really punting 2011, it seems like they've got to get what they can get for Izzy and Capuano. Seems pretty pointless to keep those two around. I would keep Paulino because he and Thole are a pretty productive platoon.
   116. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:23 PM (#3887439)
If he's as good as the CW, yes, it's a great trade for the Mets. I agree with moving Beltran, I just suspect there were potential offers worth more than the likes of Francisco Peguero and Charlie Culberson on the table. We may never know...

As for the elevated home run rate, the inning sample is low and it's the Cal League, those two are big mitigating factors.
True (and he didn't give up any HR w/ Augusta) - it's just that (in my mental algorithms for reviewing prospects), if you're going to walk guys in the low minors, you better have a very low HR rate - failure to do so is a bad comorbidity, if you will.
Anyway, it bears mentioning that San Jose is a pitcher's park (in a hitter's league) - as is (more than) borne out in Wheeler's home/road splits.
   117. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#3887456)
I'm kind of meh on Wheeler, I don't like his BB rate and from what I've heard he doesn't have blow away stuff.

Since BA has him ranked so high I suppose there is something there...
I did notice that the Cali league is rolling along at a .279/.352/.431 clip this year (ERA 4.99) whatever has affected offense in the MLB has not affected the Calif (or PCL)

I think Sickels had him as a "B"
   118. Mark S. is bored Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3887503)
I'm kind of meh on Wheeler, I don't like his BB rate and from what I've heard he doesn't have blow away stuff.


Every report I've seen on Wheeler says that he does have great stuff:

Sickels(7/22): "Zack Wheeler, RHP, Grade B: 3.70 ERA with 95/46 K/BB in 83 innings for San Jose, 64 hits, 1.29 GO/AO. K/IP and H/IP remain excellent, reflect plus stuff, still needs to sharpen command."

Law(7/14): "There's some thought he could end up in the 'pen because the fastball command isn't there, but he barely pitched last year, and the lack of repetitions may be a reason. It's No. 1 or 2 starter stuff."

He's raw and needs repetitions (especially since the Giants cleaned up his delivery), but everyone seems to agree that he has great stuff.
   119. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:18 PM (#3887524)
If they're really punting 2011, it seems like they've got to get what they can get for Izzy and Capuano. Seems pretty pointless to keep those two around.


I don't really agree with this. Punting 2011 does not mean automatically jettisoning anyone over 30. Capuano has some potential over the next few years - he could be a new Steve Trachsel.

Trading Izzy would make some sense. But I wouldn't be surprised if the Mets strongly value the idea that the bullpen has at least one steady hand more than whatever he'd bring back. I don't think the league is convinced that he's an ace closer yet.
   120. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3887532)
PF/119: I agree with your entire post.

Mark S.: good to great stuff, yes. He's hit 97 and some people really like his breaking ball. A pessimist might says that he centers on "only" 92, the changeup isn't good, and the slurve comes and goes - but I don't think anyone is taking that hard of a stance.
   121. Mark S. is bored Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3887547)
Mark S.: good to great stuff, yes. He's hit 97 and some people really like his breaking ball. A pessimist might says that he centers on "only" 92, the changeup isn't good, and the slurve comes and goes - but I don't think anyone is taking that hard of a stance.


And he's only in A ball, missed time last year due to a fingernail issue and had his delivery overhauled. He has a high ceiling, but does have some risk. Like I mentioned earlier, if Wheeler threw harder and/or had better results then the Mets would not have got him for Beltran.
   122. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#3887577)
Like I mentioned earlier, if Wheeler threw harder and/or had better results then the Mets would not have got him for Beltran.

Sigh... I'm not disagreeing. The Minor League Baseball Analyst is an example of calling his stuff 'good' (imo), they gave his FB 4 out of 5 stars, his breaker (which they call a slider) 4* and his change 2*. That's (imo) presently good / plus stuff - and many think it can progress beyond that (to great).

The one thing that confuses me with his stock as ranked by Law, BA, etc... is that it seems to have risen a bit ... I'm not sure why (from my distant vantage point).
   123. Sam M. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3887580)
One last point: if the choice is between speculation believing that there probably was a better package available (#116), and trusting the Mets current talent evaluators -- Alderson, Krivsky, DePo, Ricciardi -- I have no hesitation concluding that there was NOT a better package than we've heard, and not one offering better talent than Wheeler. Plus, if there was a better offer, the history suggests the media in either New York or in the offering team's city would have been out with a story to drum up controversy ("Angry Wren Steams Over Spurned Beltran Offer").

Just not buying the notion there was some mystery offer out there that no one ever heard a peep about and that the Mets FO was too dense to recognize.
   124. Mark S. is bored Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3887582)
The one thing that confuses me with his stock as ranked by Law, BA, etc... is that it seems to have risen a bit ... I'm not sure why (from my distant vantage point).


He has two good/great pitches with a chance at a third. And most of the rankings are based on his potential and his tools. Stats in A-ball are barely worth looking at since the player is so far away and the relative talent level is so varied.
   125. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:02 PM (#3887585)
The one thing that confuses me with his stock as ranked by Law, BA, etc... is that it seems to have risen a bit ... I'm not sure why (from my distant vantage point).


Well, some prospects have graduated to the majors, and others have been injured, so maybe just holding steady and staying healthy will invariably move a good prospect up in the rankings.

The other thing is that this guy was a big pre-draft prospect, so people will be inclined to look for evidence of success. They are interpreting Wheeler's numbers the way that Sam has in this thread: glad to see Ks and good health, not yet worried about the BB numbers.
   126. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 10:39 PM (#3887961)
Just not buying the notion there was some mystery offer out there that no one ever heard a peep about and that the Mets FO was too dense to recognize.
If you accept that Wheeler is as good as most do, this offer is great. I'm not thinking the Mets are dumb... I just think "we're" collectively overvaluing this player, as I thought I'd made more clear than necessary. (Not yet commented on by me: I think this is a reasonable gamble for SF ... Beltran is a very good player.)

He has two good/great pitches with a chance at a third. And most of the rankings are based on his potential and his tools. Stats in A-ball are barely worth looking at since the player is so far away and the relative talent level is so varied.
What here has changed since the offseason?

Well, some prospects have graduated to the majors, and others have been injured, so maybe just holding steady and staying healthy will invariably move a good prospect up in the rankings.
Definitely - I considered mentioning this explicitly. That said, he's moved up more than I think that would suggest.

The other thing is that this guy was a big pre-draft prospect, so people will be inclined to look for evidence of success. They are interpreting Wheeler's numbers the way that Sam has in this thread: glad to see Ks and good health, not yet worried about the BB numbers.
I think that's going on too, but am not sure why that would cause his stock to rise. I don't think people were worried about his short term health going into spring, nor should the high K rate surprise people.
   127. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2011 at 10:54 PM (#3887966)
Oh, what's that I see? Beltran in rightfield, Schierholtz in left?
   128. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 11:20 PM (#3887974)
One more comment, in the category of "defending" my posts, but meant in the spirit of 'get to know your fellow poster better.'

I was a little hurt (well, not really hurt, but I'm not sure what word to use) by:
"...that the Mets FO was too dense to recognize."
The percentage of trade evals I've blurted onto this site where my assessment is that team 'A' is dumb would be very, very low (assuredly <5%), as:
- just because games are zero-sum affairs don't mean that trades are.
- most, if not all, of the men (and women) in front offices know a lot more about what they're doing than I do.
My disagreement here is strictly with the valuation of Wheeler, where my opinion is decidedly at odds with the professional evaluators (as I keep repeating that I'm aware of). Do you think I think Law, Goldstein, the BA guys, etc... are all dumb?
   129. Honkie Kong Posted: July 28, 2011 at 11:46 PM (#3887987)
Its an interesting discussion, but I just wanted to mention that the Braves were going to draft Wheeler with the #7 pick, but Giants tabbed him 1 spot ahead. So the Braves ended up picking...Minor.

2 years later, ostensibly given a choice between Wheeler and Minor, the Mets pick...Wheeler
   130. Sam M. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 11:55 PM (#3887990)
I was a little hurt (well, not really hurt, but I'm not sure what word to use) by:
"...that the Mets FO was too dense to recognize."


Well, as I noted with respect to that specific comment, it referred to # 116, and what I meant by that was NOT specifically the evaluation of Wheeler per se, but this:

I just suspect there were potential offers worth more than the likes of Francisco Peguero and Charlie Culberson on the table.


I took the implication of this to be that this unidentified mystery package was one the Mets should have preferred to Wheeler. Fair enough, I shouldn't have inferred the additional (and much more critical) view that the Mets were SO wrong that they were "dense" not to see it. Just misguided.

So my amended position: I still think it's off the mark to believe that there was an offer meaningfully different or better than a package like Peguero/Culberson. Alderson's remarks about the trade here suggest as much (albeit only implicitly):

"We were looking for big upside," Alderson said. "We could have gotten a package of three players from a number of clubs, but the overall potential of those players would not have equaled Zack's potential."


If other teams were offering three-player packages, I just cannot believe ANY of the players in those deals were any better than Peguero/Culberson-level prospects. Of course, I could be wrong about that. But I think it's the fairest reading of Alderson's explanation of the market he faced, and I think Wheeler is a much better return on Beltran than that -- even under your view of Wheeler. And of course, my reading of Wheeler's status is stronger than yours, so there's that.
   131. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: July 29, 2011 at 12:24 AM (#3888004)
130 - sure. The other potential difference is that I think other non-package deals were possible - maybe not for people as well regarded as wheeler, but for mystery players i'd've liked more.
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