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Friday, November 30, 2012

Braves send Tommy Hanson to Angels for Jordan Walden

The Angels have traded for Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson, CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reports. The Braves will get reliever Jordan Walden, according to CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler.

Hanson, 26, was 13-10 with a 4.48 ERA in 31 starts for the Braves last season. As a rookie in 2009, he won his first five decisions and started the season 9-2, finishing 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA and third in Rookie of the Year voting. Overall, he’s gone 45-32 with a 3.61 ERA in four seasons, but seen his velocity drop over the last two seasons.

Hanson missed the final two months of the 2011 season with shoulder troubles and suffered with back pain in 2012. He is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason and could make as much as $4 million in 2013, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Not only does moing Hanson make room in the team’s budget, he also makes room in the rotation for heralded prospects Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado in the team’s rotation.

Hansen provides insurance for the Angels rotation if the team is unable to re-sign Zack Greinke.

Thanks to Drew

Repoz Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:28 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, braves

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   1. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4313493)
A very weird trade on its surface, but shoulder tendinitis in young pitchers scare the crap out of me.
   2. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4313495)
Holy selling low, Batman!
   3. Shredder Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4313497)
Good gamble for the Angels. Though with Hanson's issues, they have been better off just bringing back Haren and keeping Walden. They have a lot riding on Hanson's shoulder and Madson's elbow.

Edit: Looks like his strikeout rate is pretty decent. Maybe the Big A suppresses the home run issues he had last year. I think they're better today than they were yesterday, but I'm not 100% convinced they're better now than they were the day after the season ended.
   4. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4313500)
I don't know why anyone makes trades with the Braves - they always seem to win.

EDIT: Except for the Teixeira trade. Wow, that looks really bad in retrospect.
   5. DA Baracus Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4313503)
Great trade, who did we get?
   6. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4313504)
Hanson's a rather tragic story, though unfortunately a not-at-all-unfamiliar one. It's painful to watch him pitch these days. He used to bring a fastball in the mid-90's, and now he pretty much spends his games at 88. He nibbles because he doesn't have the stuff to challenge big league hitters any more, he walks hitters because he doesn't have the command and control to be an effective nibbler, and he gives up lots of homers because when he does have to challenge hitters he doesn't have the fastball to make it work.

Still, it's an odd trade for the Braves, insofar as Walden looks like a decent-but-interchangeable reliever and the Braves really don't have much need for one of those right now. I wonder if this is more a salary dump than anything else.
   7. Mike A Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4313507)
Dave O'Brien is pretty much reporting it was a salary dump for the Braves, freeing up money for a LF.

Rumors are flying on that front...Swisher, Willingham, other Upton, etc, etc.

I'm OK with the deal, though I don't like giving up the upside of a Tommy Hanson. But it was painful to watch him pitch last year.
   8. DA Baracus Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4313509)
Hanson is 26, he is what he is. And that's a guy on a downward trend. He might bounce back to average, a change of scenery can't hurt him, but it was time to move on. That they were able to dump the contract is pretty good.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4313510)
Like the upside for the Angels. Seems like two guys each club wanted to get rid of, and I'll take the upside of a starting pitcher who has put together a decent season.
   10. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4313520)
If this is a salary dump, it must be one of the cheapest ones. How much will Tommy Hanson make in his first year of arb?
   11. DA Baracus Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4313522)
Hmm, for some reason I thought Hanson made a lot. Well then that's some pretty low stock.
   12. zonk Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4313526)
Wow... I mean - I get the concerns about Hanson's shoulder... and lord knows, I still get Prior nightmares about labrums, but if the cost is just a good reliever (or just a decent piece of cheap something) -- I'd have loved to see the Cubs step up and take a chance on him.

No idea what the Cubs would have that meets the Braves criteria -- but James Russell? Rafael Dolis? Clevenger? Belliveau? I know none of them add up to Walden but if this was just a salary dump, I have to think that the Cubs could have put together some mix of cheap something or other, or, absent that -- picked up enough salary to make it work. I mean - I'd have been willing to ship Marmol, pay full freight, for this dice roll.

   13. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4313527)
I know what you mean. I assumed he signed an extension awhile ago until I looked it up.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4313531)

In one game in July, Hanson had 7 K - and 7 BB - in 5 IP. allowed only 1 run, but threw 108 pitches to get the 15 outs (56 strikes, 52 balls!). He only threw more than 6 IP once in his last 13 starts, and that one was 6 2/3 IP. He gets a lot of Ks, but can't seem to rear back and get them when he needs them most, since his injury.

He's only 26 so he could go either way, and I can't say this is what I'd have wanted in return, but I can imagine the Braves were getting tired of the nibbling, as CFBF put it. Plus they have a lot of SP inventory.
   15. bfan Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4313533)
No idea what the Cubs would have that meets the Braves criteria


Maybe getting him out of the league was important too, so if he does resurrect, it doesn't blow up right in their face.
   16. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4313537)
How much does that still matter, in a world with interleague play? I'm agnostic here...
   17. puck Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4313548)
That's sad that Hanson has fallen this far.
   18. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4313561)
I should emphasize that when I say Hanson "nibbles," there's no moral judgment in that description. A lot of the Braves' fans I know seem to really dislike Tommy, and they treat his control issues and pitching style as some kind of moral or intellectual failing on his part, and I just don't see it that way. Pitchers who repeatedly challenge hitters with 88 MPH fastballs are either soon-to-be minor league pitchers or Greg Maddux. Nibbling makes sense for Hanson. It's his least-bad option.
   19. Moe Greene Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4313569)
From yesterday's Keith Law chat on espn.com...
Tim (AZ )

Tommy Hanson is only 25. Why is everyone so down on him?

Klaw (3:28 PM)

Because the inside of his shoulder looks like hamburger meat.
   20. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 30, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4313577)
I should emphasize that when I say Hanson "nibbles," there's no moral judgment in that description. A lot of the Braves' fans I know seem to really dislike Tommy, and they treat his control issues and pitching style as some kind of moral or intellectual failing on his part, and I just don't see it that way. Pitchers who repeatedly challenge hitters with 88 MPH fastballs are either soon-to-be minor league pitchers or Greg Maddux. Nibbling makes sense for Hanson. It's his least-bad option


I am one of those Braves fans who consistently and repeatedly "really disliked" Tommy Hanson. That's not a moral judgement about the boy, just a judgement about his infuriating inability to get major league pitchers out while taking 120 pitches to get through 5.1 innings. It was just brutal to watch.

It's not often that I agree with Keith Law, but he nails it up there. Hanson's shoulder is meat. Just meat. It was meat at the end of 2011, and they had to shut him down. He came back with "a new delivery to relieve stress on his shoulder" in 2012. And they had to shut him down. People who weren't following closely probably remember Tommy Hanson, the superstar, can't miss, hard throwing prospect with all the Ks. Those of us who were watching, and following his medical reports, remember him as the guy who's rotator cuff looks worse than Kerry Wood's.

I wish Hanson no ill-will. But he's not a $4 mil resource, and the Braves can get a better LF for $14 mil than they can for $10 mil.
   21. Mike A Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4313579)
Hanson is estimated to make about 4 million after arbitration, which means the Braves save about 3m on next year's payroll. Not a ton, but for a mid-market team looking for a LF every little bit counts.

I also think the Braves wanted to open up a spot in the rotation for Delgado or possibly even Teheran down the line. And of course Beachy comes back at some point...

Which means Hanson was close to 7th on the SP depth list, and he was going to make relatively big bucks. It still bothers me to give him up - my mind can't let go of the Hanson of two years ago - but it makes sense.
   22. JJ1986 Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4313582)
the Braves can get a better LF for $14 mil than they can for $10 mil.


They can get an even better one for $18 mil.
   23. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4313584)
I don't know why anyone makes trades with the Braves - they always seem to win.

I think there was a 10 to 12 year period when literally every "prospect" who left the Braves ended up being of literally no value at all. Streak broken by Adam Wainwright.
   24. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4313604)
Which means Hanson was close to 7th on the SP depth list, and he was going to make relatively big bucks. It still bothers me to give him up - my mind can't let go of the Hanson of two years ago - but it makes sense.


Right. He was basically a RH middle reliever on the Braves. He wasn't going to start ahead of Hudson, Medlen, Minor or Maholm. And he had no performance based case to start ahead of Delgado while Beachy rehabs, and certainly not ahead of Beachy himself.
   25. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4313607)
I think there was a 10 to 12 year period when literally every "prospect" who left the Braves ended up being of literally no value at all.


Whence the Rob Bell love? Whither the Reuben Quevedo respect?

EDIT: Jason Marquis and Kevin Millwood had some value post Braves.
   26. Sweatpants Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4313613)
I think there was a 10 to 12 year period when literally every "prospect" who left the Braves ended up being of literally no value at all. Streak broken by Adam Wainwright.
Bruce Chen was traded more then three years before Wainwright was, but he didn't establish himself as a big league-caliber SP until 2010, so he misses out on this honor. And he certainly wasn't of much value to whoever traded for him (Philadelphia?).

Kevin Millwood wasn't a prospect who left the Braves; the two best seasons of his career were as a Brave.
   27. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4313619)
Ruben Quevedo leaps to mind indeed. The Cubs traded Terry Mulholland to the Braves for him and Micah Bowie. Both MB and RQ made about one start for the Cubs before people made the shift from "They are hot young prospects" to "They're not on the Braves anymore, that means they're not prospects and they probably suck".
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4313621)
Tony Graffanino. Johnny Estrada.
   29. Moe Greene Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4313628)
Jason Schmidt is the one that comes to mind. I have a vague recollection of the "he's no longer a Brave, so he's not going to be any good" explanation applied to Schmidt. He turned out okay.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4313637)
How much does that still matter, in a world with interleague play? I'm agnostic here...


I've never understood the logic, even pre-IL days. You make a deal because you think it's in your club's best interests. If it is, you should often be making your rival worse (or, at the very least, not better). If it's not, you shouldn't be making the trade.


   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4313645)
I think there was a 10 to 12 year period when literally every "prospect" who left the Braves ended up being of literally no value at all. Streak broken by Adam Wainwright.


Schmidt was traded in '96, and Wainwright in '03. Odalis Perez was dealt in early '02, and he had a couple of pretty good years with the Dodgers.

The one I thought who'd make it who never did is Joey Nation.
   32. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4313647)
2 responses to that, SoSH:
- Trade aren't zero-sum. Sure, fleecing the other guy is great - but deals that are, at minimum, Pareto optimal are fine too.
- Part of being a GM is keeping the job. If you think it's in the club's best interest for you to have the job - you'll want to make moves that help you retain and, moreso, avoid ones that will get you canned.
   33. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4313648)
I am one of those Braves fans who consistently and repeatedly "really disliked" Tommy Hanson. That's not a moral judgement about the boy, just a judgment about his infuriating inability to get major league pitchers out while taking 120 pitches to get through 5.1 innings. It was just brutal to watch.


Descriptions like this make it seem that "Tommy Hanson" is American for "Daisuke Matsuzaka".
   34. flournoy Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4313658)
It was inevitable that Hanson would be traded this offseason; it made no sense not to trade him for all the reasons detailed above. He just didn't have a role on the team anymore. Still, I'm sorry to see him go.

Walden looks like a good guy to have in the bullpen, though. If the Braves had a hole in their bullpen, it was right-handed setup men.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4313659)

2 responses to that, SoSH:
- Trade aren't zero-sum. Sure, fleecing the other guy is great - but deals that are, at minimum, Pareto optimal are fine too.



And a GM should make the deals that make his club better. If it also happens to improve the opposition while improving your club, that's life. Allowing other team's concerns to trump your interests is not sound.


- Part of being a GM is keeping the job. If you think it's in the club's best interest for you to have the job - you'll want to make moves that help you retain and, moreso, avoid ones that will get you canned.


Make good trades, avoid bad ones. That's the best way to keep your job. I seem to be in a minority here, but for as long as I've been a sports fan (seriously, dating back to when I was a little kid) I've never understood the "don't trade within your division" mindset, and I've never heard a rationale that convinced me it's a logical position.

If you have two identical offers, and one is from within the division and the other is out, I can see choosing the one from outside if they're likely to be win-win situations. Other than that, no.
   36. Dan Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4313667)
The issue with making trades with your rivals is that no trade is a sure thing. If you waited for sure things to make trades, you'd get boxed into corners from being too picky. Every trade has the potential for upside and the potential for downside. Avoiding trades within your division (or even league sometimes) is about minimizing potential downside. Obviously upside is the primary goal in a trade, but if you have a few options with similar upside it then becomes about minimizing downside, which will almost always come by trading with a team you don't compete with directly.
   37. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4313670)
And a GM should make the deals that make his club better. If it also happens to improve the opposition while improving your club, that's life. Allowing other team's concerns to trump your interests is not sound.

Sure. That, to me, is different than 'you should often be making your rival worse (or, at the very least, not better)' - I'm not going to take a worse deal to help out the other guy, but if his team gets better while mine does too, great.

I don't believe in 'don't trade within your division' either (and never have) - but my point was that how people react to deals matters too, particular since a decent percentage of the moves you make are not going to pan out. How your management would react to potential bad outcomes is something you need to account for (while at the same time not operating out of fear - that's a sure path to failure).
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4313688)
Sure. That, to me, is different than 'you should often be making your rival worse (or, at the very least, not better)'


To an extent, but, looked at another way, most trades aren't truly equal. One team gets more value, even if both teams may benefit as a result of how the talent is distributed within a particular system. Thus, in most cases*, GMs should be looking to get the better end of a talent exchange, which would naturally mean that the other club is getting the lesser end, or "worse."

* Obviously there are some situational trades - for example, deadline deals when you're a club in contention - where the talent exchange calculus can be different. But the attitude that it should be about what's in the best interest of your club, and your club only, should remain the only factor considered, as far as I'm concerned.

   39. Nasty Nate Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4313694)
Trading a player to another division or league is hedging the downside in the event that the traded player turns out much better than expected. Think of any lopsided (in retrospect) trade - i.e. Slocumb for Varitek/Lowe - If the Mariners had traded for a comparable reliever in the West, it would have been harder for them to win their division in the ensuing years. If they had traded those guys for a reliever in the NL, they might have snagged the aught-three wildcard instead of Boston.

It's not a hard-and-fast rule, but teams clearly try to avoid dealing with rivals for substantial trades. Almost all the recent major trades (Span, BOS-LAD, TOR-MIA, this one) were between an AL team and an NL one. What was the last inter-division major trade? Franky Liriano to the White Sox? Scutaro to the Giants?
   40. zonk Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4313708)
I think there was a 10 to 12 year period when literally every "prospect" who left the Braves ended up being of literally no value at all. Streak broken by Adam Wainwright.



Schmidt was traded in '96, and Wainwright in '03. Odalis Perez was dealt in early '02, and he had a couple of pretty good years with the Dodgers.

The one I thought who'd make it who never did is Joey Nation.


You guys are missing the common thread -- it was Braves pitching prospects who became Cubs --

In addition to Ruben Quevedo and Joey Nation... Kevin Blankenship is another that comes to mind. Yorkis Perez... Micah Bowie...Kevin Coffman... and I'm sure there are more.

Contrary to what I've said in Cubs threads -- perhaps I shouldn't be as high on Arodys Vizcaino as previously believed.
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4313720)
Trading a player to another division or league is hedging the downside in the event that the traded player turns out much better than expected. Think of any lopsided (in retrospect) trade - i.e. Slocumb for Varitek/Lowe - If the Mariners had traded for a comparable reliever in the West, it would have been harder for them to win their division in the ensuing years. If they had traded those guys for a reliever in the NL, they might have snagged the aught-three wildcard instead of Boston.


And if the Red Sox had made that trade with the Yankees (for comparable players) instead of the M's, it would have benefited them even more. Again I think the solution is make good trades, avoid bad ones. If you think you need to hedge against the one you're considering blowing up in your face, it's probably a deal you shouldn't be making.



   42. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4313726)
Here a thought that may or may not be interesting: To what extent to the Angels think they can teach Hanson to pitch like Jered Weaver?

Hanson, like Weaver, has lost about 3 MPH on his fastball (92.2 to 89.6 for Hanson via Fangraphs; 90.4 to 88.0 for Weaver); like Weaver, he's occasionally had dinger problems; like Weaver, his BB rates have been goodish to quite good indeed. They have the same repertoire. Weaver is a workhorse and an ace who consistently out-pitches his xFIP. Is it possible that the Angels see something coachable in Hanson, something they can exploit that other teams can't, that might turn him into at least a Weaver-lite? The kid was very good not very long ago.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: November 30, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4313733)
And if the Red Sox had made that trade with the Yankees (for comparable players) instead of the M's, it would have benefited them even more.


Fair point - avoiding trading with your rivals limits the potential upside as well as the downside.

If you have two identical offers, and one is from within the division and the other is out, I can see choosing the one from outside if they're likely to be win-win situations. Other than that, no.


Almost all trades have the potential to be 'win-win.'
   44. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: November 30, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4313760)
And a GM should make the deals that make his club better. If it also happens to improve the opposition while improving your club, that's life. Allowing other team's concerns to trump your interests is not sound.

Make good trades, avoid bad ones. That's the best way to keep your job. I seem to be in a minority here, but for as long as I've been a sports fan (seriously, dating back to when I was a little kid) I've never understood the "don't trade within your division" mindset, and I've never heard a rationale that convinced me it's a logical position.


But the point should not be just to make your club better. It should be to improve the club's chances of winning the WS or maybe making the playoffs. Not every trade that makes the team win more games makes the team more likely to go to the playoffs or win the World Series.

Example: You're in a five team division with no wildcard, with three awful teams and another team roughly as good as your team is, say around 92 wins. Numbers will be unnaturally precise for the sake of the example. You've got an extra five win 3B and an average CF, they've got an extra five win CF and a replacement level 3B. They are willing to trade their extra CF for your extra 3B, and doing so will make your team project to win 95 games rather than 92.

At the same time, that trade will make your biggest rival project to win two games more than you, rather than project to win the same as you. You've improved your team, but made it much less likely that you'll make the playoffs. I can't imagine that you really think you should make that trade. This is a competition, the point is to beat other people. If a trade makes you better, but makes it less likely that you will beat your central competition, you've ###### up.

So you've got to pay attention to trades' impacts on the other team, particularly when you are in direct competition with that other team, like in the case of divisional rivals.
   45. thetailor Posted: November 30, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4313763)
I don't think it can still be considered selling low when you sell low and STILL get something worse than what you traded.

Hanson with a shoulder that looks like "hamburger meat" on the inside is still more valuable than Walden is (1.359 WHIP last year, career ERA+ of 125).

Even if you want to salary dump, you can do better than that, can't you? Walden is no better, and is probably worse, than Bobby Parnell (1.356 WHIP, 128 ERA+ cumulative last three seasons).
   46. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 30, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4313769)
I think I wouldn't trade away a good veteran for a young prospect within the division. Normally in that sort of trade you're trading wins now for wins later, and the fact that it's in the division magnifies it a little. If trading away your 4 WAR vet gives you ~2-3 more losses and also gives you opponent ~2-3 more wins, you're giving away 4-6 games in the standings, which hurts a little more than giving up just the 2-3 immediate losses.

In a few years your prospect might get you back those wins with interest, but you're not really taking them away from your opponent because you can't really know that he'd have been there winning games for your opponent if you hadn't made the trade. If the Tigers don't trade John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander then maybe they trade him for John Tudor instead. The possible outcomes isn't a binary, Smoltz a Brave or Smoltz a Tiger and no other possibilities. There's a bit of irrationality here, but even a trade that works out perfectly can still look and feel very bad.

EDIT: Half a Coke to #44.
   47. Nasty Nate Posted: November 30, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4313772)
I think I wouldn't trade away a good veteran for a young prospect within the division. Normally in that sort of trade your trading wins now for wins later, and the fact that it's in the division magnifies it a little. If trading away your 4 WAR vet gives you ~2-3 more losses and also gives you opponent ~2-3 more wins, your giving away 4-6 games in the standings, which hurts a little more than giving up just the 2-3 immediate losses.


But if you are trading a good veteran for a prospect, you probably don't care about the standings at that particular moment. And so it might actually be one of the cases in which you would trade within the division, because you aren't actively competing at that time so it doesn't hurt you (beyond emotionally) to have your rival enjoy a win half of a win-win deal. For example, the Marlins trading Al Leiter to the Mets for AJ Burnett during their post-1997 firesale.
   48. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 30, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4313773)
Hanson with a shoulder that looks like "hamburger meat" on the inside is still more valuable than Walden is


Clearly this is not the case. I'm guessing Frank Wren didn't have notably better offers on the table but just liked the fact that Walden jumps in the middle of his delivery motion. I suspect, rather strongly, that baseball people have a pretty good understanding of the risks involved with Tommy Hanson at this point. He's not the Tommy Hanson prospect doll from 2009 any more.
   49. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 30, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4313775)
But if you are trading a good veteran for a prospect, you probably don't care about the standings at that particular moment. And so it might actually be one of the cases in which you would trade within the division, because you aren't actively competing at that time so it doesn't hurt you (beyond emotionally) to have your rival enjoy a win half of a win-win deal.


Well, you don't care at that moment, but you might care about the next year. The Denard Spann for Alex Meyer trade, for instance, is one I wouldn't make inside the division if I thought I had a chance to compete in 2014. (I maybe be thinking that Meyer's arrival in MLB will be later than I should.) The Red Sox probably shouldn't trade anyone to Tampa who would be better in 2014 than whoever the Sox got back, even though trading away 2013 production for later production wouldn't be an awful idea for them generally.
   50. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4313782)
This is the way my over-simplistic brain operates:

1. I wouldn't make a trade unless I believed I was getting something more valuable than I was giving up.
2. Therefore a trade with a division rival is doubly good, because I'm getting better and he's getting worse.

If I have a hole at second base and two catchers and he has the opposite, an otherwise equal-value trade that makes both teams better could be made. I'd make that trade with a division rival too, because it would be neutral between the two of us and would improve me relative to the rest of the league, right?

Obviously if you're in a pennant race you don't want to trade a good veteran to your rival for a couple A-ball prospects, but that would never come up in real life anyway.
   51. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4313783)
Well, you don't care at that moment, but you might care about the next year. The Denard Spann for Alex Meyer trade, for instance, is one I wouldn't make inside the division if I thought I had a chance to compete in 2014. (I maybe be thinking that Meyer's arrival in MLB will be later than I should.) The Red Sox probably shouldn't trade anyone to Tampa who would be better in 2014 than whoever the Sox got back, even though trading away 2013 production for later production wouldn't be an awful idea for them generally.


And I just don't get this. The Red Sox should make the trades that most help the team, in whatever time frame they're looking to improve. Any other kind of thinking is counterproductive to their aims.

You mention the Alexander-Smoltz trade. Would you advocate the Braves passing on that deal if the Tigers had been in their division?

The "don't trade within your division" rule only makes sense if you restrict your views to the potential downsides. And, if you're so afraid of a deal coming back to haunt you, then the solution is to avoid making that kind of deal, not to find a trading partner willing to give you less.

   52. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 30, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4313785)
1. I wouldn't make a trade unless I believed I was getting something more valuable than I was giving up.


This assumes value is constant between teams. This is a false assumption. If you have a team with four solid starters and four fungible options for the 5th starter spot, but no LF, and a team with a moderately talented LF but only two or three dependable starters, then the LF is more valuable to team A than one of their 5th starter options, and the 5th starter is more valuable to team B than the LF.
   53. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: November 30, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4313799)
Yeah, that's what I was getting at (apparently poorly) in the paragraph after the 1 and 2.
   54. Nasty Nate Posted: November 30, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4313813)
And I just don't get this. The Red Sox should make the trades that most help the team


But the destination of the players you are sending away helps determine what most helps the team.

If you have two identical offers, and one is from within the division and the other is out, I can see choosing the one from outside if they're likely to be win-win situations.


This implies that you recognize at least some value in the idea, otherwise you wouldn't even use it as a tiebreaker.
   55. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4313835)

But the destination of the players you are sending away helps determine what most helps the team.


Not to me it doesn't. I want the deal that improves my team on the field the most. I don't care what it's effect is on my rival. I think that thinking is counterproductive to the team's aims.

This implies that you recognize at least some value in the idea, otherwise you wouldn't even use it as a tiebreaker.


The odds of two tied deals that would both be win-win are so slim as to render the distinction virtually meaningless. I would never take what I thought a slightly inferior deal from an out-of-division club over the superior one from the division rival.


   56. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: December 01, 2012 at 03:23 AM (#4313942)
Charles Thomas. Dan Meyer.
   57. Barnaby Jones Posted: December 01, 2012 at 05:29 AM (#4313952)
I've been a big Hanson fan, way back from when he was one of the last draft and follows. But the story of what's happened to him can be summed up in one chart. Hanson (as is the case for most RH SP) cannot survive for long as a sub-90 mph pitcher. I hope he gets it back, but I have a lot of trouble seeing that happening.

See also: Jair Jurrjens.
   58. Sunday silence Posted: December 01, 2012 at 06:45 AM (#4313958)

Not to me it doesn't. I want the deal that improves my team on the field the most. I don't care what it's effect is on my rival. I think that thinking is counterproductive to the team's aims.


Right, for simple reason that even if you did help your rival: if you got past them in the playoffs or whatever then the final game should be that much easier. so it should wash out in the end in a perfectly mathematical, deterministic universe.

Put it this way. Let's say we could measure trades in terms of wins/losses, suppose some trade is really a win win for two rivals. Say Pitt and Balt. in football. So both teams improve.

SO what? Nothing wrong with that. lets saw we improved by +3 and they improved +2. What it means is assuming both teams were equal, that we get to the playoffs ahead of Balt. And presumably the rivalry between the two teams is more intense than ever. but nothing wrong here from Pitt standpt. They got better and got to the playoffs or whatever.

Or say the other way. Bal. gets the better of the deal and they go to the plays. both teams improved Pitt almost caught them and the Pitt. fans b.tch.d about that "...if we hadnt good old WIllie go we would have beat them." Forgetting that they got good old Butch at Lb to fill in in return. So the trade helped both teams. The only net result is that the rivalry got tougher. Nothing wrong here either. Maybe if you could show that Pitt could have made a better deal with someone else. But that's always true whether trading intra division or inter division. THat's just basic logic. The scenario presumes a logical trade.

So about the only thing that you can say that is common is that both teams got better, the rivalry got hotter. So maybe you could say "well the rivalry got hotter, more players were injured on both teams, so therefore both teams weakened themselves before they got to the super bowl."

but then the argument would be that presumably, if the talent in the rest of the league presumably was the same as before, (or more accurately, that the average talent level of the NFC champion remains the same, which really it probably doesnt in the real world, but that doesnt change the overall pt) then whichever team: Balt or Pitt got to the super bowl then, presumably each team was 2 or 3 pts better than it's NFC opponent. which should compensate for the fact that the rivalry was tougher to get through, since if you do gain a benefit for this supposed disadvantage.

Pt is even if you benefit a rival, assuming a win win trade, then a win win trade is a win. YOu make the rivalry more intenser if it's a win win or less intesnser if its a loss/loss trade. But that doesnt really change things does it??
   59. Nasty Nate Posted: December 01, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4314012)
There are trades in which you think the trade will help the other team more than it will help your team, but because it still helps your team somewhat it makes sense to do the deal - unless it is to a rival.

I have an example, although this inter-division trade didn't happen to harm the team. The Patriots trading Bledsoe to the Bills probably helped the Bills more than the Patriots, in terms of wins and losses. This would have been the case probably no matter where he was traded, but because it still helped the Patriots to trade him, it made sense for them to do it even if the other team "won" the trade. Normally in a trade like this, you would want to avoid trading to a division rival because you play that rival twice and they are your competition for the division title. In this example, the Pats were so much better than the Bills that it didn't matter to the Patriots that the Bills might have out-improved them because of the trade. The Bills did improve from 3-13 to 8-8, but they still lost to the Patriots twice and didn't figure into the division title race. However, if the teams had been equal as in the Pit-Balt example from #58, it would have made sense for the Patriots to take a worse draft pick in return to send Bledsoe to a different team.

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