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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blue Jays trade just-acquired Mike Napoli to the Rangers for Frank Francisco | HardballTalk

Just days after acquiring catcher Mike Napoli from the Angels as part of the Vernon Wells trade/contract dump the Blue Jays have traded him to the Rangers for reliever Frank Francisco.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2011 at 08:44 PM | 96 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, red sox

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   1. BWV 1129 Posted: January 25, 2011 at 08:49 PM (#3736087)
The trade that keeps on pissing on Angels fans. This is a good move for Texas -- Francisco is solid but getting older and probably no better than the 4th-best reliever the Rangers had, while Napoli can come in and fill in the catcher sinkhole and/or DH.
   2. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 25, 2011 at 08:51 PM (#3736089)
How about an impromptu poll? Is Napoli a guy with old player's skills about to hit a steep decline or is he a Brian Downing/Mickey Tettleton type who's just going to keep hitting?

I posted this in the other thread. I think how you feel about this trade depends on how you feel about Napoli going forward. I'd be a little worried about his declining walk rate.
   3. Swedish Chef Posted: January 25, 2011 at 08:51 PM (#3736092)
I hope Napoli didn't sign a lease for a place in Toronto yet.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: January 25, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3736095)
Does this mean Feliz is stuck at closer? Or will Texas go out and sign someone else? I can't imagine them handing the job to Ogando with no backup plan.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2011 at 08:54 PM (#3736097)
Cross posted at the Dugout:

Seems like a lousy trade for Toronto, but the Jays bully looks pretty darn good now- Francisco, Dotel, Rauch, Frasor, Camp, Janssen.

Still, you woulda thought Napoli could've brought them an OF which they seem to need. Rivera-Davis-Snider if Bautista is at 3b? Yikes. Ellsbury would have been a better haul, although I guess that ship has sailed.
   6. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 25, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#3736098)
Good trade for Texas. Not sure I see the point for Toronto.
   7. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: January 25, 2011 at 08:57 PM (#3736101)
My guess, based on nothing of substance, is that Napoli probably won't be as good going forward as he's been so far in his career, but I'd sure as hell rather have 3 arb-controlled years of Napoli over 1 arb-controlled year of Francisco or, of course, 4 years of Vernon Wells a $20mill+/season.

Am I missing something? Why does no one want Napoli?
   8. mr. man Posted: January 25, 2011 at 08:59 PM (#3736103)
I don't see why the jays want another right-handed reliever. Maybe Frasor is the next domino to fall?
   9. Matthew E Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3736104)
I don't really get this trade. The Jays now have more relievers than they know what to do with--no stars, mind you, but a lot of solid guys--and there was a real role for Napoli on the team.

Maybe Anthopoulos just wanted another draft pick next year. Is Francisco going to be a free agent? And Napoli isn't? Does that make any sense?
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3736106)
I have to look back at some old threads to see how inaccurate a vocal few primates were, in terms of Napoli's trade value.
   11. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:01 PM (#3736107)
Am I missing something? Why does no one want Napoli?


I don't get this either. It's like how the Yankees keep reportedly offering Montero to teams who should be jumping at the chance and keep getting turned down. It's weird.
   12. BWV 1129 Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:04 PM (#3736109)
How about an impromptu poll? Is Napoli a guy with old player's skills about to hit a steep decline or is he a Brian Downing/Mickey Tettleton type who's just going to keep hitting?

I posted this in the other thread. I think how you feel about this trade depends on how you feel about Napoli going forward. I'd be a little worried about his declining walk rate.


This is a good question. I think he'll sustain for a bit; if you look at catchers who through age 28 had an OPS+ of 113-128 with 1404-2204 PA (5 points of OPS+ each way from Naps and 400 PA) you get these dudes (please work, formatting):

Rk           Player OPS+   PA From   To   Age   G   AB   R   H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB IBB  SO HBP SH SF GDP   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
1    Ernie Lombardi  123 2227 1931 1936 23
-28 671 2081 213 648 115 20 52 332 120   0  92  21  5  0  76 .311 .355 .461 .816
2      Joe Ferguson  120 1405 1970 1975 23
-28 362 1168 168 288  48  2 49 181 213  25 222   3  3 18  25 .247 .359 .417 .776
3       Mike Napoli  118 1804 2006 2010 24
-28 506 1549 246 389  79  4 92 249 201  10 463  33  2 19  31 .251 .346 .485 .831
4     Smoky Burgess  117 1968 1949 1955 22
-28 583 1745 217 531  92 17 38 248 203   5 101   4  6 10  50 .304 .376 .442 .818
5        Earl Smith  117 1676 1919 1925 22
-28 568 1485 160 450  79 16 36 244 161   0  70   8 22  0   0 .303 .374 .451 .825
6        Spud Davis  116 2254 1928 1933 23
-28 659 2050 214 676 119 10 51 318 160   0 139  10 34  0  21 .330 .381 .472 .853
7      Jorge Posada  114 1709 1995 2000 23
-28 443 1444 228 382  89  3 63 231 238  21 373  14  1 12  37 .265 .371 .461 .832
8         Duke Sims  113 1425 1964 1969 23
-28 426 1216 134 278  39  4 53 160 184  21 278  21  1  3  21 .229 .339 .398 .737
9        Tom Haller  113 1679 1961 1965 24
-28 478 1442 173 360  40  8 66 204 196  31 245  17 12 12  28 .250 .344 .426 .770 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/25/2011.

These are guys, that outside of Smith and Davis, played into their mid- or late-30s (and Posada is likely the most similar, and still going).

EDITING to not affect page width.
   13. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:07 PM (#3736110)
I have to look back at some old threads to see how inaccurate a vocal few primates were, in terms of Napoli's trade value.
Consider this an opportunity for snapper to eat some crow.
   14. The Essex Snead Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:09 PM (#3736112)
The only reason I can see the Jays wanting to dump Napoli is that they're committed to Arencibia catching full-time. At least, he says while putting on his fantasy manager hat, that's what I hope this means; if trading Napoli means more of the Jose Molina Experience, I'm tuning out. & as folks have said, Napoli had value beyond being C. As is, a great trade for the Rangers, assuming they actually play him. That bat in Texas will do lots of stuff. I dare say he'll have a better year than Vlad did (assuming he gets similar PT).

EDIT: Never mind; BWV fixed the cut of his jib. :)
   15. villageidiom Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:09 PM (#3736114)
I don't really get this trade. The Jays now have more relievers than they know what to do with--no stars, mind you, but a lot of solid guys--and there was a real role for Napoli on the team.
My guess is that good relievers are always in demand at the trade deadline, and Toronto is trying to set themselves up to cash in.
   16. Tripon Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:11 PM (#3736115)
The Red Sox will never be able to trade for Napoli at this rate.
   17. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:11 PM (#3736117)
The only reason I can see the Jays wanting to dump Napoli is that they're committed to Arencibia catching full-time.
The Jays have been pretty public about that, I think. Arencibia's first, and they've got another couple of catcher prospects close behind. They didn't really need Napoli, they just needed to lose Wells' contract.

These are guys, that outside of Smith and Davis, played into their mid- or late-30s (and Posada is likely the most similar, and still going).
With the DH, Napoli could play for a lot more seasons. There's a lot of hay to be made by having a guy who mashes lefties like Napoli and can also catch.
   18. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:12 PM (#3736118)
This has to be part of a longer term plan for the Jays. I suspect at least one of Frasor/Camp is on the way out, possibly both of them.
   19. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:12 PM (#3736119)
The Red Sox will never be able to trade for Napoli at this rate.
Apparently, they just have to wait their turn.
   20. RJ in TO Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:14 PM (#3736123)
I absolutely hate this deal.
   21. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:15 PM (#3736125)
I think its possible the Jays didn't even think about who they were getting back, they just said "Yes!" right away when the Angels offered to take on Wells' contract. Getting Napoli wasn't the priority for them, getting rid of Wells was.
   22. BWV 1129 Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:16 PM (#3736126)
I'm playing with the chart to see what I can delete from it without ruining it -- fwiw, the width is now fine on my screen.
   23. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:16 PM (#3736129)
The Jays now have more relievers than they know what to do with--no stars, mind you, but a lot of solid guys


3 of the top 5 offensive teams in the AL are in their division, having bullpen depth is not a bad play for them.
   24. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#3736131)
Holy ####. If the Rangers do trade Napoli again, it will be for Mike Lowell.
   25. Shredder Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#3736153)
Good trade for Texas. Not sure I see the point for Toronto.
I don't mean to be dismissive of Blue Jays fans, and the team I root for doesn't seem to be going anywhere either (and they aren't as good as the Jays), but it's almost at the stage where I don't see a point to anything the Blue Jays or Orioles do. It's not necessarily their faults, but as long as they're in the same division with the Yankees and Red Sox, and as long as the Rays keep a decent core together, it seems like the foreseeable future their ceiling is third place.

I mean, I know the first instinct after a trade is to analyze it in a bit of a vacuum, but after a few minutes I start to think "who cares what the Jays do, because it's not going to matter anyway?"
   26. Tuque Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:39 PM (#3736159)
This Napoli saga is so weird. Anthopolous looks like a genius, then promptly blows it on some pointless reliever.

Well, the Rangers are now poised to be ridiculously good next year.
   27. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#3736162)
I don't mean to be dismissive of Blue Jays fans, and the team I root for doesn't seem to be going anywhere either (and they aren't as good as the Jays), but it's almost at the stage where I don't see a point to anything the Blue Jays or Orioles do. It's not necessarily their faults, but as long as they're in the same division with the Yankees and Red Sox, and as long as the Rays keep a decent core together, it seems like the foreseeable future their ceiling is third place.

I mean, I know the first instinct after a trade is to analyze it in a bit of a vacuum, but after a few minutes I start to think "who cares what the Jays do, because it's not going to matter anyway?"


I'm an Orioles fan, and believe me, I've had the same thought many times. That said, the Rays managed to do it (although, despite what some claim, having years of top picks did help a lot), so there's some hope for the Orioles and Jays. Plus, I know people say this every year, but the Yankees are old and potentially vulnerable.
   28. Gold Star for Robothal Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#3736164)
Who cares what the Jays do, everyone dies alone.
   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:42 PM (#3736166)
The O's have won the division before. In the Wildcard era even!
   30. RJ in TO Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:47 PM (#3736172)
I mean, I know the first instinct after a trade is to analyze it in a bit of a vacuum, but after a few minutes I start to think "who cares what the Jays do, because it's not going to matter anyway?"

This is how the majority of people in Toronto think of the Jays.
   31. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:55 PM (#3736180)
I think ANY kind of excitement surrounding the Jays is positive for Toronto fans. I like that AA is shaking things up simply because he's doing it (and very well it seems, for the most part).

Imagine a club where Romero improves to a 3ish ERA, the rest of the rotation hovers at or around average, the bullpen holds together, even if unspectacularly. It would only really take Lind and Hill to bounce back somewhat, Bautista not to turn completely back into a pumpkin, and Escobar to play roughly like he did in his first few years with the Braves, and Snider to keep improving for them to make some noise. I know that's asking a lot, but none of those individual occurrences are unreasonable.

Or, Bud could send them to the NL East and they could win a wild card :)
   32. Swedish Chef Posted: January 25, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#3736181)
This is how the majority of people in Toronto think of the Jays.

I thought it was "Good, a baseball recap, now I won't miss any hockey news when I go to the bathroom."
   33. The District Attorney Posted: January 25, 2011 at 10:01 PM (#3736185)
Does this mean Feliz is stuck at closer?
They had Francisco last year and Feliz was still closing, so I don't necessarily see why it would affect that, no.

Am I missing something? Why does no one want Napoli?
You think the Jays wanted to keep him two days ago, but then decided he wasn't any good after all? Either they knew they were sending him to Texas (but hadn't quite negotiated for what), or at least acquired him knowing that a catcher was valuable trade bait and they didn't need one themselves. I guess you could still call that the Jays "not wanting" him, but I wouldn't... really, only the Angels didn't want him.
   34. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 25, 2011 at 10:07 PM (#3736196)
If Napoli's defensive work as a catcher is truly terrible for reasons we're not aware of / can't tease from the data ... how then would we view this deal?
(I'm not of that opinion, but it appears much of the baseball world is.)

Why would snapper eat crow? Wasn't his main position that the other deal was mainly about Wells? That's still true.

Anyway, this deal is very not surprising.
   35. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 25, 2011 at 10:13 PM (#3736204)
This Napoli saga is so weird. Anthopolous looks like a genius, then promptly blows it on some pointless reliever.

When a guy everyone seems to love gets traded twice in a week, both times getting less on the dollar than we all thought....well, I can't help but think of the same thing happening with Andy Marte five years ago, when he seemed a lock to be a 25-30 HR guy at 3B for the next several years.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: January 25, 2011 at 10:20 PM (#3736211)
Why would snapper eat crow? Wasn't his main position that the other deal was mainly about Wells? That's still true.


The crow-eating I was referring to about Napoli concerned the people who months ago gave estimations about his trade value which, needless to say, far superseded the return in these 2 deals.
   37. Swedish Chef Posted: January 25, 2011 at 10:37 PM (#3736231)
This Napoli saga is so weird. Anthopolous looks like a genius, then promptly blows it on some pointless reliever.

He would still be a genius for the Wells trade even if they had traded Napoli to a bike gang for meth.
   38. Greg K Posted: January 25, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#3736238)
I absolutely hate this deal.

I have to agree, first time I'm doubting AA (well, unless you include that 2 year deal to McDonald, but that seems decades ago now.)

Upon looking him up Francisco is better than I thought. But the point still stands, he doesn't fill any particular need for the Jays.
   39. a bebop a rebop Posted: January 25, 2011 at 10:51 PM (#3736247)
They had Francisco last year and Feliz was still closing, so I don't necessarily see why it would affect that, no.

There's been talk of moving Feliz to the rotation. Without another experienced closer in the bullpen, the team might be reluctant to do that.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: January 25, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#3736250)
I have to look back at some old threads to see how inaccurate a vocal few primates were, in terms of Napoli's trade value.

Which way you going with that? I never said Napoli had high trade value. I said you couldn't get him for Jacoby Ellsbury and that the Red Sox didn't have players to trade that fit the Angels' needs.

Because this is starting to really annoy me, let me just try this one last blast of my opinions then I'll forget about it:

THE ANGELS' VIEW OF NAPOLI: They viewed Napoli as a good-hitting C whose defense was barely acceptable (whether that evaluation of his defense is correct or not I have no opinion). They pretty clearly view Mathis as an excellent defensive C who can't hit. When both were healthy (and 1B and DH were also healthy), then NAPOLI received slightly more playing time than Mathis (about a 9/7 split). Given what an atrocious hitter Mathis is, I consider that under-valuing Napoli (or grossly over-valuing Mathis) but it doesn't mean they think he had no value. When injury gave them a chance to get his bat in the lineup full-time without his defensive liabilities, they took it.

THE TRADE VALUE OF NAPOLI: My opinion is that nearly everyone in MLB views Napoli in the same manner as the Angels viewed him (to varying degrees presumably) -- a good-hitting, poor defensive C who won't kill you at 1B or DH. I have stated previously that I doubt any team will ever give him more than 100 starts at C although I'll admit Texas just might. Teams will trade for him accordingly, offering decent-good spare parts that might be worthy of starting or filling a key bench/relief role or middling prospects.

The big disconnect between other teams and the Angels is probably not in how much they value Napoli but in how much they value Mathis. 2008-10, at least 150 games at C, Mathis is tied for dead last with a 51 OPS+ (Koyie Hill, Mathis with a lot more playing time and Hill got as much as he did in part because Soto isn't the healthiest guy in the world). You don't find a C with more playing time until you get to Laird with a 71 OPS+. Chances are no other team would have given Mathis that much playing time (with the possible exception of Piniella).

WHY THE RED SOX COULDN'T GET NAPOLI FROM THE ANGELS: Of course we don't even know if they tried. But it wasn't about Napoli's trade value, it was about what the Red Sox had to offer. The Angels are a high payroll team in "compete now" mode. As such, they generally aren't going to trade players for middling prospects but, assuming top prospects aren't available, "proven" ML players that meet their needs. The Angels' primary needs this offseason were LF, 3B and bullpen help. The Red Sox primary needs this offseason were LF, 3B and fixing their poor 2010 bullpen. It's pretty obvious that a team with zero starting 3B can't trade even a bad starting 3B for Mike Napoli. Now, if they had Mike Lowell 2008 or had signed an expensive but declining Jason Bay last year or maybe even a Frank Francisco to spare, they might well have been able to swing a deal for Napoli.

THE TRADE VALUE OF ELLSBURY: Is at an all-time low. He definitely had buzz for a few years and maybe enough of that still lingers that they can get something decent for him. But he is currently a recently injured, speedy but probably mediocre defensive CF with a career 92 OPS+ who is becoming increasingly expensive (still reasonable) and raised some stink last year for not hanging out with the team during rehab. Why would another team target Ellsbury? At best right now he's the Napoli of CF -- probably good enough to start but won't be great, you'd be fine with him as 4th OF, there might be teams out there who will overlook the injury and over-value him. Maybe you can get Torrealba for him. :-)

Now, if Ellsbury shows this year that he's healthy, still speedy, putting up a 100ish OPS+, then his previous trade value is largely recovered (but the Sox will have no reason to trade him). Alas, Texas also has their own Ellsbury/Bourjos in Borbon.

But, fair enough, Ellsbury has more trade value (for teams not run by Reagins) than one of the worst contracts in baseball -- happy with that?

WHAT'S TORONTO UP TO? I don't know. For 2011 at least, I'd have thought they'd rather have 400-500 PA of Napoli, trade him mid-season if Arencibia is clearly ready. By the way, don't put much hope in getting a draft pick for Francisco. He was an FA this year who accepted arb.

NAPOLI ON THE RANGERS: They signed Torrealba so I suspect Napoli is part-time C vs. RHP and 1B vs. LHP (or possibly DH with Young at 1B). So something like 60-80 starts at C, 40 starts at 1B/DH. Some chance they'll now trade Torrealba and Napoli becomes a 120-game C but I rather like that sort of setup myself. Moreland/Napoli platoon at 1B; Torrealba/Napoli job split at C, you still get 400-500 PA from Napoli which is all you're gonna get out of him as full-time starting C with added positional flexibility and built-in backups if Moreland or Young get hurt.
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2011 at 11:00 PM (#3736255)
Take it for a grain of salt, but a basement-dwelling blogger reports the Cubs nearly dumped Soriano off on the Angels instead.
   42. BWV 1129 Posted: January 25, 2011 at 11:12 PM (#3736267)
When a guy everyone seems to love gets traded twice in a week, both times getting less on the dollar than we all thought....well, I can't help but think of the same thing happening with Andy Marte five years ago, when he seemed a lock to be a 25-30 HR guy at 3B for the next several years.

The difference is that Napoli has actually performed at the big league level for several years now.
   43. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 25, 2011 at 11:16 PM (#3736273)
well, I can't help but think of the same thing happening with Andy Marte five years ago, when he seemed a lock to be a 25-30 HR guy at 3B for the next several years.


except Napoli has done something Marte never has- established that he could hit MLB pitching

Basically I think most teams view Napoli as a 1b/DH who can be your back up C if you are desperate. In short I think most teams do not view him as a "C"
Is he that bad? I dunno, his CERA splits compared to Mathis are pretty bad- for whatever CERA is worth.

A 1B/dh who can post a 118 OPS+ (Napoli's career mark) is useful, but not overwhelmingly valuable- the median OPS+ for a starting 1B the past 5 years has been 118.

Even assuming that he really can't catch he's likely undervalued- but in much the same way that guys like JAck Cust tend to be undervalued...

Of course if everyone is wrong and Napoli really is an "adequate" catcher- he's ludicrously undervalued
   44. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: January 25, 2011 at 11:19 PM (#3736275)
Am I missing something? Why does no one want Napoli?

If you don't think he's a catcher (and Mike Scioscia, whose opinion in that area probably carries some wight around the league, apparently didn't) he's getting expensive for a 1B/DH. He still has value, but if you don't want him behind the plate, he starts to look pretty average.

That said, I can see him putting up big numbers in Texas. It won't surprise me at all if both guys who got traded for Wells outperform him this year.

EDIT- Coke here.
   45. The District Attorney Posted: January 25, 2011 at 11:20 PM (#3736278)
I said you couldn't get him for Jacoby Ellsbury...
I sure don't remember Red Sox fans proposing to send anyone as valuable as Ellsbury.
   46. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 25, 2011 at 11:39 PM (#3736293)
I sure don't remember Red Sox fans proposing to send anyone as valuable as Ellsbury.


I suppose it depends what you mean by "value." Since contracts are involved in the calculations, some could argue that in terms of value per dollar, Ellsbury's probably more valuable than Wells. Now, Wells seems like an overall better player than Ellsbury, so if you've got money to burn and don't really care about maximizing $/win, then you go for the guy who's just a better player overall. That was the kind of player the Angels were looking for, apparently. Just the best guy they could possibly get for a guy they viewed as expendable - costs be damned. The didn't care as much about the $ side of the $/win idea of value. They just wanted the wins, and they view Wells as a better player than Napoli, regardless of contract.
   47. The District Attorney Posted: January 25, 2011 at 11:49 PM (#3736299)
in terms of value per dollar, Ellsbury's probably more valuable than Wells
In terms of value per dollar, everyone is more valuable than Wells. Is this the logic, then... that if Person A had suggested Argenis Reyes for Napoli and Person B said that was unrealistic, Person B now needs to eat crow, because getting Reyes still would have been better than getting Wells?
   48. Matthew E Posted: January 26, 2011 at 12:18 AM (#3736316)
"who cares what the Jays do, because it's not going to matter anyway?"


That's certainly how I think about the Jays. And I'm a devoted fan. But the fans are never going to come back, and the team is never going to win anything of significance ever again. I'm not okay with that, but there's nothing I can do about it.

Still, I'd rather see them try something that might work and fail than see them try something that won't work and fail. And Anthopoulos seems to be doing stuff that might work. The Jays are building a team that could be really fun to watch in a few years, one that might even be good enough to win a different division.
   49. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 26, 2011 at 12:28 AM (#3736322)
Is this the logic, then... that if Person A had suggested Argenis Reyes for Napoli and Person B said that was unrealistic, Person B now needs to eat crow, because getting Reyes still would have been better than getting Wells?


It's sort of a different conversation about what value I'm talking about, though. Clearly money wasn't an issue. If we're talking about $/win, then yes, a lot of players are going to be more valuable than Wells (not all of them), but I'm not the one making that argument here. It certainly doesn't look like the Angels like Napoli, though.

Viewing the trade through the $/win lens, it certainly looks like the Angles hate Napoli, but I don't think they were looking through those particular glasses when making this trade. Hey, I think money aside the Angels may have gotten better as a team in 2011 with this deal.
   50. formerly dp Posted: January 26, 2011 at 12:30 AM (#3736325)
WHAT'S TORONTO UP TO? I don't know. For 2011 at least, I'd have thought they'd rather have 400-500 PA of Napoli, trade him mid-season if Arencibia is clearly ready. By the way, don't put much hope in getting a draft pick for Francisco. He was an FA this year who accepted arb.

This is a weird series of moves from their perspective-- do they want to just completely clear the Wells contract from the books, and Napoli/Rivera was a means to that end? They got cash from Texas for Francisco, but I'm not sure how much. So the Jays save some more money there. But between losing Overbay to FA, and dealing Wells, Napoli, and Marcum, the Jays sent a lot of talent away from the team this winter, and only brought in relievers to shore up the ranks. I really hope they deal for a CF before the season starts.
   51. TerpNats Posted: January 26, 2011 at 12:36 AM (#3736329)
No one's looking at this from a Texas perspective? (And why is this filed under "Boston" and "Toronto"?) The Rangers just bolstered their offense with a guy who less than a week ago was playing for their principal division rival, and didn't give up all that much for him. Daniels pulls a highway robbery that, in the real world, those other Texas Rangers would investigate.
   52. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 12:41 AM (#3736332)
Daniels pulls a highway robbery that, in the real world, those other Texas Rangers would investigate.


Why are you giving Daniels credit? Clearly this was all Nolan Ryan's doing.

< / FOX >
   53. Endless Trash Posted: January 26, 2011 at 12:56 AM (#3736343)

This Napoli saga is so weird. Anthopolous looks like a genius, then promptly blows it on some pointless reliever.


I don'r really see what the big deal is with Napoli. A not-very-good hitter with old-player skillset pushing thirty. To trade him for a middle reliever kind of seems like green slop for brown slop. Whatevs. The trade with Angel was genius because we dumped all of V-dub's contract. That we got back a potentially useful player in return is just a bonus. Whether that potentially useful player is Mike Napoli or Frank Francisco makes little difference to me.
   54. Silencio Posted: January 26, 2011 at 12:58 AM (#3736345)
Being a Jays fan does suck nowadays. Id probably just try to keep acquiring cheap young talent without spending much on free agents until either their young players take a step forward or the big 3 in the division start falling on some tough times then hopefully the Jays can spend some money and get the payroll up to 110+ annually and make a run at the playoffs and try to build Toronto into a big baseball market again. But if you guys think its bad now just think how bad our foreseeable future was a week ago when we still had that albatross contract on our payroll. Trading Wells gives AA a lot more flexibility now and hes done a great job as GM so far.

The trade is a bit disappointing as a Jays fan. I'm a Francisco fan, but I don't think he and the 2 million difference in the payroll this year make up the difference of Napoli having one more year of arb left after this and the fact that hes close to an everyday player and Francisco is a reliever. It would have been nice to see Napoli and JPA split the starts vs RHP, have them both play vs LHP and Napoli picking up some extra starts vs RHP at 1B/DH. Seems like it would have been a better fit for the team than another reliever even though he is probably going to be our best reliever.
   55. Bob Evans Posted: January 26, 2011 at 01:52 AM (#3736358)
Well, the Rangers are now poised to be ridiculously good next year.

Gotta be the first time that sentence was ever written.
   56. formerly dp Posted: January 26, 2011 at 01:56 AM (#3736360)
The trade is a bit disappointing as a Jays fan. I'm a Francisco fan, but I don't think he and the 2 million difference in the payroll this year make up the difference of Napoli having one more year of arb left after this and the fact that hes close to an everyday player and Francisco is a reliever. It would have been nice to see Napoli and JPA split the starts vs RHP, have them both play vs LHP and Napoli picking up some extra starts vs RHP at 1B/DH. Seems like it would have been a better fit for the team than another reliever even though he is probably going to be our best reliever.

For the Jays to be competitive in the short term, it seems like they need lightning-in-a-bottle seasons from guys who profile like Napoli/Bautista/EE. The more of those guys the better.
   57. BWV 1129 Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:01 AM (#3736363)
I don'r really see what the big deal is with Napoli. A not-very-good hitter with old-player skillset pushing thirty.

A 118 OPS+ is not-very-good? Or you mean it's good, but not very good?

As demonstrated above, he may have "old player skills", but players at his level of performance and position have tended to perform well late into their careers.
   58. Matthew E Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:04 AM (#3736365)
For the Jays to be competitive in the short term, it seems like they need lightning-in-a-bottle seasons


Which is exactly the kind of competitiveness that Anthopoulos isn't pursuing. I mean, I don't think he'd turn it down or anything. But he's trying to build a team that'll be good for a long time. I applaud this; it's exactly the kind of Blue Jays team I want to cheer for. I don't think circumstances will permit him to succeed at it, but I like that he's trying.
   59. Endless Trash Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:17 AM (#3736377)

A 118 OPS+ is not-very-good? Or you mean it's good, but not very good?


I meant the latter. Honestly, I would have been fine with him, but whether it's VW for Napoli, or VW for Francsisco, it's good either way.
   60. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:29 AM (#3736385)

Which is exactly the kind of competitiveness that Anthopoulos isn't pursuing. I mean, I don't think he'd turn it down or anything. But he's trying to build a team that'll be good for a long time.


So will the Jays be the 6th best organization in baseball this year?
   61. Matthew E Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:34 AM (#3736387)
So will the Jays be the 6th best organization in baseball this year?


Probably not. But they just might finish around .500.
   62. Endless Trash Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:43 AM (#3736392)
As a sidenote: Is LA-Toronto-Arlington about the most distance one can cover in two moves? I suppose Phoenix or whatever city the D-Backs play in.
   63. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:11 AM (#3736402)
LA-Toronto-SD/OAK/SF

Miami-SD/Seattle-Boston/Toronto/Atlanta/DC/Philly/Baltimore/NY
   64. DFA Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:26 AM (#3736505)
I'm an Orioles fan, and believe me, I've had the same thought many times. That said, the Rays managed to do it (although, despite what some claim, having years of top picks did help a lot), so there's some hope for the Orioles and Jays. Plus, I know people say this every year, but the Yankees are old and potentially vulnerable.

All I'm hoping for is a competently run Orioles team. But I have to say, this Anthopolous fella appears to know what he's doing. I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad Angelos missed out on hiring him. And yeah, the Yankees are gonna fall one of the years. And the Red Sox are not without their warts either. Of course, according to some, Friedman can do no wrong, so that's kind of a bummer. Nonetheless, the Orioles aren't going to win 81 games this year. But their suckage has more to do with management anyway.
   65. Endless Trash Posted: January 26, 2011 at 08:34 AM (#3736510)

These are guys, that outside of Smith and Davis, played into their mid- or late-30s (and Posada is likely the most similar, and still going).


Napoli played more games at 1B last year than at C, and he has never caught 100 games in a season. Additionally, Posada's age 28 season was the best of his career to that point, while it was Napoli's worst.
   66. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 26, 2011 at 12:55 PM (#3736528)
I meant the latter. Honestly, I would have been fine with him, but whether it's VW for Napoli, or VW for Francsisco, it's good either way.

That's pretty much my take. Napoli is a solid ballplayer, but people are talking about him like he's an All-Star, and he's just not. Francisco is a good reliever, and good relievers come dear these days. I'd say this trade is pretty fair.
   67. formerly dp Posted: January 26, 2011 at 01:01 PM (#3736530)
That's pretty much my take. Napoli is a solid ballplayer, but people are talking about him like he's an All-Star, and he's just not. Francisco is a good reliever, and good relievers come dear these days. I'd say this trade is pretty fair.

Napoli in 2009:
.272/.350/.492/.842

2008:
.273/.374/.586/.960

Either of those seasons would be more valuable than 70 innings from Francisco, and they'd control him beyond this year, so if he has a great season playing 1B he's got some real trade value. It seems like AA is banking on Francisco having a strong half-season and being able to flip him for something useful. Which isn't a bad idea, given how valuable relievers can be around the trade deadline.
   68. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 26, 2011 at 01:14 PM (#3736538)
Napoli in 2009:
.272/.350/.492/.842

2008:
.273/.374/.586/.960


Both of those were seasons in which he had limited playing time, weighted heavily towards facing LHP. He's a nice role-player to have on a team - he's great as the right-handed half of a platoon at C, 1B, or DH, and he can pinch-hit and spot-start at multiple positions as well. I'd love to have him on my bench.

2010 was the first time that Napoli played every day, and he was pretty mediocre. He doesn't have a ton of trade value. That's not to say that the Rangers didn't get better - they traded from strength, and got a player that will help them. I'm not bashing Napoli - he's a nice piece to have on a good team. But people are talking about Napoli like he's an immensely valuable ballplayer. I don't think he is, and evidently MLB GMs agree.
   69. formerly dp Posted: January 26, 2011 at 01:29 PM (#3736544)
Both of those were seasons in which he had limited playing time, weighted heavily towards facing LHP. He's a nice role-player to have on a team - he's great as the right-handed half of a platoon at C, 1B, or DH, and he can pinch-hit and spot-start at multiple positions as well. I'd love to have him on my bench.

2009 was 432 PAs.

Against RHP:
2008:
.270/.364/.590 (210 PA)
.251/.325/.453 (323 PA)

I'm not saying he's awesome, but he's a better bet to have a great season that significantly impacts his trade value than Francisco. Napoli post-2009 was a lot more valuable than Napoli post-2010. The Jays got a player cheap, and then dealt him while his value was still low. I'd bet that he has a better season than Toronto's Plan A at 1B, Edwin Encarnacion. Like I said above, Toronto lost some talent this year (Wells, Overbay, Marcum, Lewis, Gregg) and the only thing they did to deal with it was add Davis and some relievers. AA said he's not done adding bench players yet, so we'll see how the roster shakes out.
   70. MSI Posted: January 26, 2011 at 01:33 PM (#3736546)
I think part of it was a bit of the opposite of buyer's remorse for Napoli. Can't find the right term, but heavily winning a deal that may hurt your trade image, and just straight up guilt, may have caused a bit part of the trade. Sore of like a slow play in poker

I also agree with comment just above, he is a well known commodity and a good one.

Either that or Antholopolous is focused more on dont win the battle win the war - and he has a de facto following move.
   71. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 26, 2011 at 01:38 PM (#3736550)
I'm not saying he's awesome, but he's a better bet to have a great season that significantly impacts his trade value than Francisco.

Maybe. There's also a good chance that he ends up a league-average 1B, which is fine, but nothing to write home about. Francisco, on the other hand, is a better bet to be traded for value at the 2011 deadline. If he's not, he's likely to be a type-A free agent at the end of the year, and Anthopolous gets another draft pick or two to play with.

2011 doesn't matter for the Jays - they're not trying to contend. Napoli doesn't have a lot of value to a team that's not looking to contend this year.
   72. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 26, 2011 at 01:41 PM (#3736552)
t the Jays bully looks pretty darn good now- Francisco, Dotel, Rauch, Frasor, Camp, Janssen.


I'm not sure how its "pretty darn good" when the career ERA of the best one is 3.75. It will surely be a decent pen, but if those six post a collective ERA+ over 115 I will be shocked.

This trade SUCKS, and I do not see the point of it at all. Even if Napoli wasn't in their long term plans, why wouldn't they at least keep him until the All-Star break?
   73. RJ in TO Posted: January 26, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3736561)
If he's not, he's likely to be a type-A free agent at the end of the year, and Anthopolous gets another draft pick or two to play with.

He's a righty non-closer reliever. If he's a type A, and the Jays offer him arbitration, he's likely to accept it, just as Fraser did this year.
   74. formerly dp Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3736563)
2011 doesn't matter for the Jays - they're not trying to contend.

I understand that.

Napoli doesn't have a lot of value to a team that's not looking to contend this year.

Not true. The Jays are going to play someone at 1B. I'm saying having Napoli there vs. EE gives you a better chance of not only generating value from the position for 2011, but also of giving you a valuable trading chip down the line. I certainly see the logic of gambling on Francisco, but a cost-controlled 1B, even if he's only league-average, is a valuable trading chip. Even more valuable, I think, than a middle reliever (unless they plan to have him close?) whose contract is set to expire. Playing time is a resource; look what AA managed to turn A-Gon into after a good couple of months. Napoli has a higher pedigree, and the right team in the right desperate situation might give up something really useful for him, especially since he has shown he can produce some gaudy HR totals in a short stretch.
   75. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3736564)
2010 was the first time that Napoli played every day, and he was pretty mediocre.


And most of the value he did contribute came in May (1.098 OPS that month, .709 the rest of the season). 10 of his 24 doubles and 8 of his 26 HRs were hit in May.

Texas is probably a good place for his particular skill set, though.

-- MWE
   76. The District Attorney Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:06 PM (#3736568)
[Francisco is] a righty non-closer reliever.
He's not closing?
   77. formerly dp Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:10 PM (#3736570)
He's not closing?

I think Dotel's slotted in.

Via Robothal, the Sox went hard after Bautista in the winter meetings:

Other clubs pursued Bautista as well. The Jays, however, preferred to keep the slugger, who has one year left of arbitration before becoming a free agent.

The Jays are not exploring multiyear deals with Bautista, according to his agent, Bean Stringfellow, who spoke to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.
   78. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:12 PM (#3736572)
I just did a search of this thread using the term "Rios" and nothing came up. I think this move (and the earlier, Wells one) makes a lot more sense in that context. In a bow to my Lounge companiero JLAC, I have no idea what the Jays can actually spend. But we can look at what they have spent on the baseball team in the recent past.

It seems to me that AA is dumping expensive, longterm contracts that hamstring the organization. You can look at that one of two ways: either he's positioning them for a big FA splash in a year or two, or he's cutting costs to make ownership richer and the fans crazier.

Article. And you can look at this in that context as well. This particular move buys them flexibility, methinks.
   79. BDC Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:15 PM (#3736575)
I suspect Napoli is part-time C vs. RHP and 1B vs. LHP (or possibly DH with Young at 1B) (Walt in #40)

Sounds right to me. And it does improve the Rangers. Matt Treanor is the odd man out, because with Torrealba and Napoli, they don't really need that third catcher with a weak bat. As serviceable as Treanor was last year for the Rangers, I like the idea of having two younger veteran catchers who can both hit a little (that might be an optimistic view of Torrealba, I know).
   80. RJ in TO Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:20 PM (#3736576)
It seems to me that AA is dumping expensive, longterm contracts that hamstring the organization. You can look at that one of two ways: either he's positioning them for a big FA splash in a year or two, or he's cutting costs to make ownership richer and the fans crazier

That last one - the one that makes fans crazier. The Jays ownership has been talking about cost control/containment since late in the 2009 season.
   81. Jeff R. Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3736585)
Bean Stringfellow


You've got to be kidding me. Worst baseball name ever.
   82. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3736596)
I'm a little surprised you haven't heard of Mr. Stringfellow - he's a successful agent who, iirc, played in your org once upon a time.
EDIT: No, he didn't. Braves and Mets - I thought it was Braves and Rangers.
   83. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3736598)
You've got to be kidding me. Worst baseball name ever.


Good agent, though.
   84. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3736602)
I strongly suspect that Francisco closes in Toronto.
   85. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#3736603)
All I'm hoping for is a competently run Orioles team. But I have to say, this Anthopolous fella appears to know what he's doing. I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad Angelos missed out on hiring him. And yeah, the Yankees are gonna fall one of the years. And the Red Sox are not without their warts either. Of course, according to some, Friedman can do no wrong, so that's kind of a bummer. Nonetheless, the Orioles aren't going to win 81 games this year. But their suckage has more to do with management anyway.

I think the orioles are *competently* run at this point, which is a nice change from previous regimes. That said, I don't think MacPhail is nearly as bold or creative as Anthopolous, and certainly can't be put in the same class as Epstein or Friedman (Cashman is hard to evaluate). Again, being in this division sucks. I think the orioles would be borderline contenders is most other divisions.

However, I think there's a pretty good chance the orioles finish above .500 in 2011. I see the division like this: Red Sox -- 94-96 wins, Yankees -- 88-90, Rays -- 86-88, Orioles -- 82-84, Jays -- 78-80. Their future is obviously tied to the development of guys like Wieters, Jones, and Matusz. If a couple of their young players can turn into stars, they'll be in good shape. If not...
   86. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:34 PM (#3736617)
It would have been interesting to see what Bautista's trade value was, and it seems like a classic AA move to sell so high.
   87. Matt Welch Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3736619)
most of the value he did contribute came in May


Napoli is notoriously streaky. A characteristic probably not helped by the fact that he ran so heavily against the offensive philosophy of the Angels (and thus was constantly treated like an offensive problem child).
   88. RJ in TO Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#3736621)
It would have been interesting to see what Bautista's trade value was, and it seems like a classic AA move to sell so high.

He's only been the GM for a year. It seems a little early to start talking about a classic AA move.
   89. plim Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:24 PM (#3736729)

63. McCoy Posted: January 25, 2011 at 10:11 PM (#3736402)

LA-Toronto-SD/OAK/SF

Miami-SD/Seattle-Boston/Toronto/Atlanta/DC/Philly/Baltimore/NY


kevin millar had that beat:

miami - japan - boston
   90. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#3736750)
The jokes about soccer's lack of popularity are as dated as an HBO comedy special from 1986.
   91. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:52 PM (#3736817)
The jokes about soccer's lack of popularity are as dated as an HBO comedy special from 1986.

They just put the George Carlin specials on Netflix Instant Queue and the one I saw (from like 82 or something) was still pretty funny.
   92. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#3736827)
Woops! Posted that comment in the wrong thread. Carlin is timeless, of course, but I meant more the run-of-the-mill comedy specials. (There is no comment at BBTF that won't get parsed is there?)
   93. Mattbert Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#3736880)
THE TRADE VALUE OF ELLSBURY: Is at an all-time low. He definitely had buzz for a few years and maybe enough of that still lingers that they can get something decent for him. But he is currently a recently injured, speedy but probably mediocre defensive CF with a career 92 OPS+

Doesn't OPS sell Ellsbury (and players of his ilk) a little bit short? While his OBP isn't magnificent it's decent enough, and his OPS could probably be described as OBP-heavy. Also, 'speedy' definitely sells him short. He's gotta be one of the very best baserunners in the game, perhaps even the best baserunner not named Carl Crawford.

Ellsbury didn't/doesn't match up well with Anaheim's needs, but if the Angels needed a CF then Ellsbury for Napoli straight up would be more than fair in my view.
   94. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#3736885)
Carlin is timeless, of course, but I meant more the run-of-the-mill comedy specials.

Yeah, I figured, it just seemed like a good opportunity to give you some good-natured grief and talk about how funny Carlin was.
   95. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:45 PM (#3736898)
Yeah, I figured, it just seemed like a good opportunity to give you some good-natured grief and talk about how funny Carlin was.

<gets angry face on>

I'll give you some grief!

Yeah, Carlin is a heavyweight, fo' sho'. My guess for the Carlin of our time would be Louis CK, but only time will tell, really. I should check Louis CK at the Comedy Store some time when he's working on new material.
   96. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 27, 2011 at 12:11 AM (#3737132)
Daniel Tosh
   97. fret Posted: January 27, 2011 at 01:02 AM (#3737151)
Doesn't OPS sell Ellsbury (and players of his ilk) a little bit short? While his OBP isn't magnificent it's decent enough, and his OPS could probably be described as OBP-heavy. Also, 'speedy' definitely sells him short. He's gotta be one of the very best baserunners in the game, perhaps even the best baserunner not named Carl Crawford.

How about wRC+. It's on the same scale as OPS+ but based on linear weights. It includes SB/CS but not other baserunning.

Career OPS+, career wRC+ :
Ellsbury 92, 103
Wells 108, 108
Napoli 118, 118
Crawford 107, 112

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