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Sunday, March 17, 2019

CarGo, Tribe reach minor league deal

Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has agreed to a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan, confirming multiple reports.

If he’s added to the 40-man roster, Gonzalez will get a $2 million contract in the major leagues. He can also earn $1 million in performance bonuses.

Gonzalez—the Rockies’ longtime charismatic outfielder, emotional leader and three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner—left the team as a free agent after the 2017 season, then returned to Colorado last March with a $5 million, one-year contract—a huge cut from his previous deal for $80 million over seven years.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 17, 2019 at 10:31 PM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: carlos gonzalez

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   1. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 18, 2019 at 12:05 AM (#5823371)
On an AL team, where he doesn't have to play the field, this could be decent. He was non-terrible with the bat last year, and he's only 33.

This feels like the kind of guy who should be rounding out the bench on a team that's playing to make the postseason, providing late-game pinch hitting and DHing in favorable matchups. But I'd pay someone to hide his glove on Opening Day, and not give it back to him until the offseason was upon us.
   2. puck Posted: March 18, 2019 at 12:35 AM (#5823375)
Are we talking about the Carlos Gonzalez who was on the Rockies? He is not a bad fielder. Last year he was fine, and can still throw well.

Looking at stats, BIS seems to have him poor, but UZR and statcast have him as fine.

The problem is his bat is dying. Steamer has him average but ZiPS has him below average (RC+ of 88).
   3. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 18, 2019 at 01:09 AM (#5823376)
I was going by the BRef scores: -0.9 dWAR in 2017, then -1.4 dWAR in 2018, basically dragging him down to replacement level overall.
   4. The Run Fairy Posted: March 18, 2019 at 01:55 AM (#5823378)
I was going by the BRef scores: -0.9 dWAR in 2017, then -1.4 dWAR in 2018, basically dragging him down to replacement level overall.


dWAR is a bad stat to use here because the positional adjustment that's included (-5 runs in 2017, -4 in 2018) really doesn't matter for our purposes. The -3 and -8 rField stuff suggests he was around average in 2017 and fairly bad in 2018.

But as puck says, the stats are not even close to agreeing on how he did last year:

From baseball-reference, Total Zone has him at 7 runs above average for a whole season, but DRS has him as 9 runs below average.

Michael Humphreys' DRA has him as +14.2 runs last year, or +8 runs over the past three years.

Fangraphs has him as +7 runs per year by UZR, roughly average or positive by Inside Edge, and the Fans Scouting report has him as pretty much average, with good-ish hands and arm.

Statcast has him as one out above average, but he was -5 outs going back, and +5 outs coming in. It also claims he was tied for the most difficult sample of balls to catch (he was expected to catch 84% of balls hit to him) for any regular outfielder.

The thing that always amazes me is how few plays really determine his defensive value. Gonzalez played around 118 total games (by innings) in the outfield, and his inside edge numbers say there's basically 43 plays that determine his (range-based) defensive rating. And almost half of those (21) are ones where he supposedly will only catch them 1-10% of the time (he caught 1 of them).

Edit: just by eyeballing who Cleveland is expected to give playing time to (via Fangraphs' depth charts), and ignoring any other moves they could have made, signing Gonzalez is a no-brainer.
   5. I Am Not a Number Posted: March 18, 2019 at 08:07 AM (#5823384)
signing Gonzalez is a no-brainer.

Is Cleveland simply happy to easily win their sad sack division and then hope for luck in the playoffs? Are they making any real effort to field major league caliber outfielders or are they just punting on the entire outfield?
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 18, 2019 at 08:18 AM (#5823385)
But as puck says, the stats are not even close to agreeing on how he did last year:

From baseball-reference, Total Zone has him at 7 runs above average for a whole season, but DRS has him as 9 runs below average.


Are some of these defensive stats park-adjusted? BB-ref's stats generally hate Coors Field outfielders. Even when Carlos Gonzalez was winning Gold Gloves, the numbers hated his defense.

He's a beautiful player to watch when he's going well. I'll miss him.

   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2019 at 09:07 AM (#5823392)
CarGo is not a good nickname in a league where both Carlos Gonzalez and Carlos Gomez are active.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: March 18, 2019 at 09:12 AM (#5823393)
snobby Spanish newspaper in Cleveland headline:

ES CARGO!
   9. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 18, 2019 at 09:37 AM (#5823398)
On an AL team, where he doesn't have to play the field, this could be decent.


The Indians have Carlos Santana (and Jake Bauers for first base), so he's going to have to play the field.

I don't think he makes them any better, but he doesn't make them any worse, either, and I guess extra depth is always good if you have the money for it.
   10. cookiedabookie Posted: March 18, 2019 at 09:53 AM (#5823409)
Plus, Hanley Ramirez potentially taking up the DH spot.

Given this signing, it surprises me even more they didn't sign Adam Jones. Maybe Jones just didn't want to play in Cleveland?
   11. formerly dp Posted: March 18, 2019 at 10:59 AM (#5823444)
CarGo is not a good nickname in a league where both Carlos Gonzalez and Carlos Gomez are active.

"Active" might be an overbid wrt the two CarGos.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: March 18, 2019 at 05:05 PM (#5823575)
Is Cleveland simply happy to easily win their sad sack division and then hope for luck in the playoffs? Are they making any real effort to field major league caliber outfielders or are they just punting on the entire outfield?

1. Looks that way.

2. Looks like they're going for defensive depth. Martin, Naquin, Zimmer and Allen are all theoretically CF, CarGo seems decent enough. Should be able to cover a lot of ground.
   13. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 18, 2019 at 06:28 PM (#5823586)
Is Cleveland simply happy to easily win their sad sack division and then hope for luck in the playoffs?


I'd say they're right to take this approach, really, at least if they're confident the division isn't catching up with them. The Giants' 3 recent rings are a pretty good indicator of the fact that all you really need to do to win a WS is make the playoffs, and I'm not surprised the Indians aren't investing that many resources in the very marginal gains they might make by taking an 88-win team and making it a 95-win team.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: March 18, 2019 at 08:16 PM (#5823609)
While I wish #13 was wrong, when you add in that they can try to make deadline trades to shore up for the playoffs, there's plenty of financial sense in it. And of course if things go wrong, they can be sellers at the deadline with teams lining up for their SPs.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 18, 2019 at 10:18 PM (#5823621)
I'm not surprised the Indians aren't investing that many resources in the very marginal gains they might make by taking an 88-win team and making it a 95-win team.


That's just a nice way of excusing ownership for being cheap. Of course they could afford to add more players.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 18, 2019 at 10:54 PM (#5823625)
In other Gonzalez news, Gio is said to be signing with the Yankees. Minor League deal, $3M plus incentives. Seems more about depth than filling in while Severino & Sabathia are out, since it would seem like Gio will need some work before he's ready.
   17. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 19, 2019 at 03:57 AM (#5823637)
What's the motivation to spend more when they know as well as we do that it doesn't increase their chances of winning it all? You spend to reasonably assure a division title. Everything from that point is random.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2019 at 09:18 AM (#5823645)
What's the motivation to spend more when they know as well as we do that it doesn't increase their chances of winning it all?

You don't think having actual major leaguers playing the OF in the playoffs increases their chances of winning it all?
   19. Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: March 19, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5823695)
You don't think having actual major leaguers playing the OF in the playoffs increases their chances of winning it all?


Do you really think that having low ceiling, formerly good OFs like Adam Jones and Carlos Gonzales is going to move the playoff needle much?

I believe that they are trying to catch lighting in a bottle by playing a bunch of "prospects" and hope that one of them has an unanticipated break-out season. You have a better chance to get lucky if you have multiple positions open where you can try a bunch of players. While unlikely to succeed, it has a better chance to help them actually win in the playoffs then mediocre placeholder veterans. Since the mediocre veteran is unlikely to significantly increase their playoff chances, buy the lottery ticket.

If they are all disasters, then they can rent an OF or two at the trade deadline.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5823705)
Do you really think that having low ceiling, formerly good OFs like Adam Jones and Carlos Gonzales is going to move the playoff needle much?

No. I think they should have spent real money and gotten someone good.

   21. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 19, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5823710)
No. I think they should have spent real money and gotten someone good.
Such as?
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: March 19, 2019 at 11:35 AM (#5823713)
Such as?
If they were willing to spend, Brantley and/or Pollock. Puig switched teams this offseason, too.
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 19, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5823781)
If they were willing to spend, Brantley and/or Pollock. Puig switched teams this offseason, too.
Nice players, all. But none of them is a guy who would singlehandedly move the needle enough to make a measurable difference in a short series (to the extent that it's even possible to do so).
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: March 19, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5823782)
Nice players, all. Not guys who would singlehandedly move the needle enough to make a measurable difference in a short series (to the extent that it's even possible to do so).


I think the flaw is in assuming they're a lock to win the division.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: March 19, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5823784)
Nice players, all. But none of them is a guy who would singlehandedly move the needle enough to make a measurable difference in a short series (to the extent that it's even possible to do so).
This is kind of a meaningless threshold. Either Pollock or someone like Martin, Naquin, Zimmer and Allen could potentially move the needle in a playoff series, but it's more likely that Pollock does.
   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 19, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5823794)
I'm just responding to Snapper's premise as expressed in 18 and 20, that they should have signed an expensive OF to increase their chances of winning in the playoffs.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: March 19, 2019 at 02:28 PM (#5823796)
I notice you subbed in expensive for good...
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 19, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5823799)
That was inherent in the "spent real money and gotten someone good." Come on.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5823823)
Nice players, all. But none of them is a guy who would singlehandedly move the needle enough to make a measurable difference in a short series (to the extent that it's even possible to do so).

Having a 3 WAR OF, and 2 2 WAR OF definitely moves the needle vs the ~3.5 WAR they project to get from ALL their OF right now.
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 19, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5823836)
Having a 3 WAR OF, and 2 2 WAR OF definitely moves the needle vs the ~3.5 WAR they project to get from ALL their OF right now.
Now you're assuming that they would have signed all three of them? That's moving the goalposts, not the needle - but even then, we're still talking about a 5- or 7-game series. Even if the needle is moved slightly, is it worth $37 million or whatever?
   31. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 19, 2019 at 04:14 PM (#5823842)
I think it's a clear Yes. They were reportedly shopping Kluber, for God's sake. Their 2019 payroll is well under 2018.
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 19, 2019 at 04:18 PM (#5823843)
They were reportedly shopping Kluber, for God's sake.
Now that would move the needle even in a short series, and would be a bad idea unless they got a ridiculous return.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5823856)
Now you're assuming that they would have signed all three of them? That's moving the goalposts, not the needle - but even then, we're still talking about a 5- or 7-game series. Even if the needle is moved slightly, is it worth $37 million or whatever?

Yes. A 7 win OF is worth $37M. Of course they could have traded for one or two of the OF.

   34. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 19, 2019 at 04:43 PM (#5823861)
Yes. A 7 win OF is worth $37M.
Man, either those goalposts are made of styrofoam or you've been working out! You've gone from saying they should have acquired one expensive outfielder to increase their chances in the postseason, to three expensive outfielders to increase their chances in the postseason, to the general value proposition of a 7-win outfield over the whole season, regardless of the context of the division.
   35. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 19, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5823866)

In other Gonzalez news, Gio is said to be signing with the Yankees. Minor League deal, $3M plus incentives. Seems more about depth than filling in while Severino & Sabathia are out, since it would seem like Gio will need some work before he's ready.

That seems very low for him. Is he injured or is this just part of the new paradigm? I remember he hurt his ankle in the playoffs last year but I wouldn't think that would carry over to this season.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5823868)
Man, either those goalposts are made of styrofoam or you've been working out! You've gone from saying they should have acquired one expensive outfielder to increase their chances in the postseason, to three expensive outfielders to increase their chances in the postseason, to the general value proposition of a 7-win outfield over the whole season, regardless of the context of the division.

You're the one that raised the issue of three OF, and made up the $37M figure for said OF. I merely replied that if the Indians could acquire a 3 win OF and two 2 win OFs for $37M, that would certainly be worth doing, rather than playing the dreck they currently have.

Also, as per Sosh, the Indians aren't nearly a lock to win the division.
   37. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 19, 2019 at 05:20 PM (#5823873)
You're the one that raised the issue of three OF,
Where did I do that?
and made up the $37M figure for said OF
Just throwing out a very loose estimate of what I think I remember reading about the Puig/Brantley/Pollock contracts.
I merely replied that if the Indians could acquire a 3 win OF and two 2 win OFs for $37M, that would certainly be worth doing, rather than playing the dreck they currently have.
Which is very different from your original argument, that they should have spent for a good outfielder to increase their odds in the playoffs.
Also, as per Sosh, the Indians aren't nearly a lock to win the division.
I was just listening to the Indians team preview episode of Effectively Wild this morning, and they have the highest projected chance of winning their division of any team in baseball (and it might have been of any team for the last several years). Of course no team is a lock, but they're as close as it gets in reality.

It just seems like you want to play Mad Libs with "____________ [team] should spend more on free agents because _________________ [anything]."


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