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Monday, February 11, 2013

Indians and Michael Bourn agree to a four-year, $48 million contract | HardballTalk

That’s unexpected.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Bourn has agreed to a contract with the Indians. The deal is worth $48 million over four years and includes a vesting option for a fifth year which could push the total to $60 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2013 at 09:34 PM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: indians, michael bourn

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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 11, 2013 at 09:46 PM (#4367445)
Huh. I'm a Bourn skeptic, but that's a fine price so long as he's at least a good defensive CF.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2013 at 09:49 PM (#4367449)
Concur.

They're betting on a guy being average, who has averaged 4.8 WAR over the last 4 years. That seems like as good a bet as you're going to get in FA.

Edit: If he's a 4 WAR player this year, and declines at the usual 0.5 WAR, and the option vests, they'll get 15 WAR for $60M.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 11, 2013 at 09:53 PM (#4367456)
So, are they going to go for a Swisher-Bourn-Brantley outfield? That's certainly a good way to support a doubtful pitching staff.
   4. TribeGuy Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4367466)
Don't forget Stubbs. Maybe the Indians can play with 4 OF.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:09 PM (#4367469)
Don't forget Stubbs. Maybe the Indians can play with 4 OF.

Stubbs has been absolutely awful 2 years in a row vs. RHP. He can spell the others vs. LHP, and Swisher can also play some 1B.

They don't really have a DH, so Swisher at 1B and Reynolds at DH vs. LHP gives them a nice lineup.
   6. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:09 PM (#4367470)
More likely a Stubbs/Bourn/Brantley OF with Swisher as the DH, Reynolds/Kipnis/Cabrera/Chisenhall around the infield, and Santana catching. Could be a lot of strikeouts in that batch.

-- MWE

   7. TribeGuy Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:12 PM (#4367474)
Likely line-up?

Bourn LF
Kipnis 2B
Cabrera SS
Swisher RF
Reynolds 1B
Santana C
Giambi DH
Chisenhall 3B
Brantley (vs RH)/ Stubbs (vs LH) CF

(Rotate Aviles into line-up in the field to give regulars a break. Not bad.)

Now if only the rotation could step up and be average.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4367476)
More likely a Stubbs/Bourn/Brantley OF with Swisher as the DH, Reynolds/Kipnis/Cabrera/Chisenhall around the infield, and Santana catching. Could be a lot of strikeouts in that batch.

Swisher's an average or better OF. Why would you want to get Stubbs in there vs. RHP? The guy has a 228/301/355 line vs. RHP in almost 1500 PAs. I think the guy is a platoon OF.
   9. Darren Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:14 PM (#4367477)
Wow, that's a good deal. Too bad the Red Sox have that 3 year limit going.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:15 PM (#4367480)
Bourn LF
Kipnis 2B
Cabrera SS
Swisher RF
Reynolds 1B
Santana C
Giambi DH
Chisenhall 3B
Stubbs CF

(Rotate Brantley and Aviles into line-up in the field to give regulars a break. Not bad.)


Brantley is coming off a 113 OPS+ season with average D. Why would he sit for Stubbs and his 61 OPS+ (after an 86 in '11), who's also older?
   11. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4367482)
Everyone who expected Michael Bourn to sign a reasonable 4 year deal with the Cleveland Indians at the beginning of this offseason raise their hands.

Next: Kyle Lohse signs for 1/10 with the Colorado Rockies.
   12. JJ1986 Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4367484)
edit:

I'd play Bourn in CF and Swisher in RF.
Versus RHP - Santana C, Giambi DH, Brantley LF, Chisenhall 3B.
Versus LHP - Santana DH, Marson C, Stubbs LF, Aviles 3B.
   13. shoewizard Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:24 PM (#4367488)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 2010 to 2012, Played 50% of games at CF, (requiring WAR_bat>=4 and At least 300 games), sorted by greatest WAR Position Players

Rk              Player WAR/pos   G   Age   PA   AB   R   H 2B 3B  HR RBI  BB  SO  SB CS   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
1     Andrew McCutchen    15.9 469 23
-25 2004 1735 288 505 98 16  70 241 229 347  76 32 .291 .376 .487 .863
2       Austin Jackson    14.8 441 23
-25 1960 1752 296 491 85 31  30 152 170 485  61 20 .280 .346 .416 .761
3        Michael Bourn    14.3 454 27
-29 2030 1815 274 506 85 26  13 145 182 404 155 39 .279 .346 .376 .722
4    Curtis Granderson    12.1 452 29
-31 1903 1645 314 406 61 21 108 292 213 480  47 15 .247 .337 .506 .843
5          Chris Young    11.7 413 26
-28 1686 1476 219 359 95  3  61 203 190 363  58 19 .243 .331 .436 .766
6      Shane Victorino    10.4 433 29
-31 1900 1701 251 449 82 33  46 185 161 222  92 15 .264 .334 .432 .766
7          Angel Pagan    10.1 428 28
-30 1824 1662 243 467 93 26  26 181 136 256  98 23 .281 .334 .415 .749
8            Matt Kemp     8.7 429 25
-27 1806 1607 271 467 80 12  90 284 167 432  68 30 .291 .358 .523 .882
9          Denard Span     8.6 351 26
-28 1584 1429 193 387 73 19   9 115 134 172  49 11 .271 .334 .367 .702
10          Coco Crisp     8.3 331 30
-32 1419 1276 188 339 66 16  27 138 116 178 120 16 .266 .324 .406 .730
11          Adam Jones     8.3 462 24
-26 1936 1796 247 510 90 10  76 234  86 358  35 18 .284 .326 .472 .799
12      Cameron Maybin     8.1 366 23
-25 1451 1314 195 327 51 16  25 113 112 327  75 17 .249 .312 .369 .681
13       Andres Torres     7.0 383 32
-34 1402 1229 181 299 84 16  23 117 150 313  58 18 .243 .329 .394 .723
14       Dexter Fowler     6.6 400 24
-26 1598 1374 229 378 73 40  24 134 193 362  37 21 .275 .367 .439 .806
15             Jon Jay     6.6 381 25
-27 1328 1185 173 356 65  8  18 104  86 202  27 18 .300 .359 .414 .773
16          B
.JUpton     6.4 453 25-27 1883 1669 250 404 94 11  69 221 183 494 109 27 .242 .317 .436 .753
17        Colby Rasmus     5.1 424 23
-25 1685 1500 235 360 73 14  60 194 160 413  21 13 .240 .314 .427 .742
18           Alex Rios     5.1 449 29
-31 1827 1709 246 467 88 13  59 223  91 253  68 26 .273 .313 .444 .756
19        Carlos Gomez     4.9 328 24
-26 1028  937 147 232 41 10  32  99  52 234  71 11 .248 .296 .415 .711
20         Marlon Byrd     4.7 318 32
-34 1265 1169 145 323 63  4  22 110  61 207   8  6 .276 .325 .393 .719
21         Drew Stubbs     4.2 444 25
-27 1808 1611 258 383 54 11  51 161 160 539 100 23 .238 .311 .380 .691 



Can somebody explain the BJ Upton contract to me again please.

EDIT: Set the games limit at 300 games to get guys that actually played in all 3 of the last seasons...obviouslly that takes out Trout

EDIT 2:

Also the difference between BB_REF and FG evaluation of BJ is ridiculous.

FG has BJ's Baserunning +14.5 while BB-REF has him +6.
FG has BJ's Fielding +0.4, while BB-REF has him -30 ! Even if you treat 2010's -19 like a fluke outlier, he's still pretty negative in the other seasons.

What the heck is going on here ?

3 year FG Report

   14. Bhaakon Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:27 PM (#4367492)
IF the point of the new compensation rules was to steer lower 1st-tier FA towards teams bad enough to have protected picks, mission accomplished.
   15. zachtoma Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4367493)
Bourn LF
Kipnis 2B
Cabrera SS
Swisher RF
Reynolds 1B
Santana C
Giambi DH
Chisenhall 3B
Brantley (vs RH)/ Stubbs (vs LH) CF


Interesting line-up, good mix of promising youngsters and capable veterans. Indians seems to have undertaken a total makeover in just a couple years; I don't think that this is a playoff team, but I could see them as high as 2nd in the Central.
   16. Brian White Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4367497)
Wow, that's cheap.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:34 PM (#4367498)
Interesting line-up, good mix of promising youngsters and capable veterans. Indians seems to have undertaken a total makeover in just a couple years; I don't think that this is a playoff team, but I could see them as high as 2nd in the Central.

The lineup is looking pretty good, but they're going to have to roll a lot of 7's with the rotation to avoid having horrific pitching again.
   18. JJ1986 Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:37 PM (#4367502)
I could see them as high as 2nd in the Central.


I don't know. Their best starter has a few (poor) major league innings to his name. Their second best starter was a relief pitcher last year. The other two veterans had ERA+s under 80 last year.
   19. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:46 PM (#4367510)
So, "The Mets Path to Sign Bourn Still Cloudy" still operates?
   20. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:49 PM (#4367511)
Total makeover is right. The only starters left from April 2011 are Brantley, Santana and AsdruCab. And they're all 27 or under.

Does anyone know why Masterson was mediocre-to-bad again last year? Or rather, why he was so good in 2011. It wasn't a BAbip fluke.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4367521)
Does anyone know why Masterson was mediocre-to-bad again last year?

LHB owned him. He has no pitch for LH.
   22. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:56 PM (#4367523)
I don't see Giambi playing regularly, even against RHP. I'm not even convinced he's going to make the team.

-- MWE
   23. Morton's Fork Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4367526)
@13: what you're saying, then, is that the Red Sox got a better deal for Victorino?
   24. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 11, 2013 at 11:05 PM (#4367529)
I can't believe Jon Heyman was the one to break this story
   25. TribeGuy Posted: February 11, 2013 at 11:27 PM (#4367548)
I agree Giambi probably isn't a regular. Still they have a lot of possible line-up combinations. Aviles can play all over. I'd like to think McGuinness, LaPorta, or Phelps could contribute to this team during the year.

The real questions marks remain in the rotation. But at least the front office is giving themselves a lot of options. If they can find league average production out of the rotation I think the should be a serious contender in the central division.

   26. GregD Posted: February 11, 2013 at 11:28 PM (#4367549)
I don't see Giambi playing regularly, even against RHP. I'm not even convinced he's going to make the team.
+1

The only thing he did well last year was draw walks
   27. shoewizard Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:01 AM (#4367600)
@13: what you're saying, then, is that the Red Sox got a better deal for Victorino?


I'm not saying that, although the data table suggests that is at least a possibility.

Victorino is older and had a crappy year. Certainly questionable whether he bounces back enough to justify the contract. But I think it's just STARK to consider the contracts if you go by BB-REF metrics. Atlanta better hope FG got it right.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:38 AM (#4367611)
Now this annoys me.

In the FA prediction thread, I had him going to the Rangers. Methought "not going to re-sign Hamilton, CF is Gentry or that Martin kid (who tore it up in AAA) but it's also Cruz and Murphy in the corners and Moreland at 1B and no Michael Young and .... boy did that seem like a team that needed a Swisher or a Bourn or an Upton or something if they wanted to stay near the top. Instead it was Berkman at 1/$11.

Even if that was a perfectly OK decision, I could have so easily been right. The Rangers priorities are all screwed up.

By the way, I missed or forgot the Kinsler extension. I'm not so sure that was a good idea.

(Rare Rangers hijack and I'm not even a Rangers fan.)
   29. Nathaniel Dawson Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:40 AM (#4367612)
#8 snapper:

Swisher an above average outfielder? UZR has him a tick below average over the last four years, while DRS likes him even less, at about -5 runs per year. That's not horrible, and he should easily make that up with his bat, but using defensive metrics don't back up the idea that he's even an average outfielder, let alone above average. Nor do the fans, for whatever that's worth. Maybe you've seen him play a lot, and think he's better than how defensive metrics portray him?
   30. ptodd Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:55 AM (#4367618)
Seems to make more sense for Reynolds to DH and Swisher to move to 1B. That gives them a heck of a defensive OF.
   31. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 12, 2013 at 02:28 AM (#4367626)
The rotation probably won't be great, but it could conceivably be sort of OK. If you squint you can see that Masterson had 2 fWAR in 2012, PECOTA picks Jimenez for 2 WAR in 2013 and Bauer could be decent. Myers could be an OK 5th starter. All they need is to sign Lohse and they're mediocre!
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 12, 2013 at 08:50 AM (#4367641)
Free Agent Prediction Contest Update!

Michael Bourn's signing with the Indians, like Nick Swisher's earlier, entirely stumped the BTF mind brain. This means there is only one free agent in the contest left unsigned - Kyle Lohse. He's a one-pointer, so we have only two possible winners. The Ghost and Moses Taylor are tied with 10 points.

1) Our likely winner is The Ghost. He has 10 points currently, from picking correctly Zack Greinke (Dodgers), Angel Pagan (Giants), Mike Napoli (Red Sox), Hiroki Kuroda (Yankees), Shane Victorino (Red Sox), and Stephen Drew (Red Sox). He holds the tie-breaker over Moses because he projected Josh Hamilton's salary at $152M, closer to the correct answer ($123M) than Moses' $175M.

2) Moses can still win! If Kyle Lohse signs with the St Louis Cardinals, he will have 11 points and win the contest outright. If Kyle Lohse does anything other than sign with the Cardinals, The Ghost wins.

Thanks for playing!

(Original thread here)
   33. hokieneer Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:18 AM (#4367644)
This is a shockingly reasonable deal for a very good player, esp in comparison to the other CF/OF contracts earlier in the winter.

I know Cincinnati doesn't have much left in the piggy bank, but seeing Bourn sign for just 4/48, makes me wonder why they didn't take a run at him instead of a 1 year rental in Choo (who is naturally not a CF).
   34. billyshears Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:26 AM (#4367646)
The Mets should try to see if they can get Drew Stubbs now.
   35. Blubaldo Jimenez (OMJ) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:35 AM (#4367649)
At this point is there any reason for the tribe not to sign Lohse?
   36. Greg K Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4367652)
This is a shockingly reasonable deal for a very good player, esp in comparison to the other CF/OF contracts earlier in the winter.

I think it's precisely not shocking in context. It seems like maybe Bourn overplayed his hand earlier in the off-season. There were plenty of teams looking for CFers, I'm sure the Braves, Nationals, and Rangers, among others had talks with Bourn and they all decided to go another direction (sign Upton, trade for Span, ???). At this point, in mid-February when most teams have completed their off-season plans, I think the odds of Bourn getting a good deal (for him) were low.

I guess I'm being overly pedantic. If you said in October that Bourn would be getting 4/48 I'd be quite surprised. But as of February 12th this is about what I think we could have expected. I wouldn't have been totally shocked to see Bourn sign a one year deal and try it all again next off-season. But $48 million guaranteed probably makes that gamble less tempting.
   37. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4367661)
I know Cincinnati doesn't have much left in the piggy bank, but seeing Bourn sign for just 4/48, makes me wonder why they didn't take a run at him instead of a 1 year rental in Choo (who is naturally not a CF).
They probably figured, like everyone else did, that Bourn would be a lot more expensive.

Choo, even with the defense, should be a big upgrade over Stubbs and they got $3.5M in the deal (so the difference in cost between Choo and Stubbs is only $1M).

But even if they thought they could have signed him for 4/$48M, either:

1. The payroll goes up by an additional $11M in '13
2. They don't get him, it's too late to get Choo, and Stubbs and his (seemingly) horrible yet declining skills are in CF on opening day.

Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you. We'll see how it turns out.
   38. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4367674)
I like how the Royals went all-in for this year by trading Wil Myers, and now look to be the third, or very possibly the fourth best team in the division.

hey probably figured, like everyone else did, that Bourn would be a lot more expensive.


Cincy would also have to forfeit the 28th overall pick. That's why Bourn's price was so low, teams were reluctant to forfeit a first round pick. That's not an issue for Cleveland.
   39. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4367677)
Moses can still win! If Kyle Lohse signs with the St Louis Cardinals, he will have 11 points and win the contest outright. If Kyle Lohse does anything other than sign with the Cardinals, The Ghost wins.


If Kyle Lohse signs with the Cardinals, we all win.
   40. DL from MN Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4367688)
I agree that Lohse to the Indians makes a lot of sense. Do they have any money left?
   41. ColonelTom Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4367695)
You take assets where you can find them, particularly when you're a smaller-market team that's been losing for years. Bourn's an asset at that price.

If Cleveland uses the ideal defensive alignment, Bourn improves their defense in three spots - Bourn's presence in CF shifts Brantley to LF (with Stubbs sliding over to RF) and moves Swisher to 1B, getting the glove off Mark Reynolds. That's an outstanding defensive outfield, which should help their three fly-ball-prone starters (Jimenez, McAllister, and Dice-K) considerably.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4367697)
Swisher an above average outfielder? UZR has him a tick below average over the last four years, while DRS likes him even less, at about -5 runs per year. That's not horrible, and he should easily make that up with his bat, but using defensive metrics don't back up the idea that he's even an average outfielder, let alone above average. Nor do the fans, for whatever that's worth. Maybe you've seen him play a lot, and think he's better than how defensive metrics portray him?

Where are you getting your UZR? Fangraphs has his a cumulative +11.5 on D, from 2010-12. BRef has him a cumulative -2.

To my eyes (and I watch a lot of the Yankees) he's definitely average to a bit above. He looks awkward, but gets to a lot of balls.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4367700)
If Cleveland uses the ideal defensive alignment, Bourn improves their defense in three spots - Bourn's presence in CF shifts Brantley to LF (with Stubbs sliding over to RF) and moves Swisher to 1B, getting the glove off Mark Reynolds. That's an outstanding defensive outfield, which should help their three fly-ball-prone starters (Jimenez, McAllister, and Dice-K) considerably.

That's OK vs. LHP, but Stubbs can't hit RHP at all.
   44. spike Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4367727)
Anyone know what the vesting requirements are?

/edit - I am told it's 550 PA in year 4. Pretty good bet that he will make that.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4367762)
Anyone know what the vesting requirements are?

/edit - I am told it's 550 PA in year 4. Pretty good bet that he will make that.


Yeah, but if he sucks, it's pretty easy for Cle to keep him under.
   46. LargeBill Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4367771)
While as an Indians fan I appreciate that the system seems to have helped us land Bourn, I have to think this screwy compensation system is going to get revamped before long. Obviously, players are going to realize it depressing free agent value of not quite great players. If you have a chance to land a Pujols or Verlander level player losing a draft pick is an after thought. Losing a draft pick because you signed Jhonny Peralta . . . ?
   47. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4367778)
It was revamped a year or two ago in response to exactly those concerns. There's no compensation for Type B free agents anymore.

Michael Bourn and Jhonny Peralta are great players. Under the old system you had compensation for people like Juan Cruz which meant nobody would sign them for any price. Now we maybe have an All-Star getting $12 million instead of $13.5 million.
   48. JJ1986 Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4367782)
It was revamped a year or two ago in response to exactly those concerns. There's no compensation for Type B free agents anymore.

Michael Bourn and Jhonny Peralta are great players. Under the old system you had compensation for people like Juan Cruz which meant nobody would sign them for any price. Now we maybe have an All-Star getting $12 million instead of $13.5 million.


It was revamped, but it also got stuck with a bigger problem. Under the old system, if you lost your first round pick, you could blow first round money on a guy who fell in later rounds. Now you can't.
   49. Nasty Nate Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4367789)
It was revamped a year or two ago in response to exactly those concerns. There's no compensation for Type B free agents anymore.

Michael Bourn and Jhonny Peralta are great players. Under the old system you had compensation for people like Juan Cruz which meant literally nobody would sign them for any price.


Right, this part keeps getting forgotten because R Soriano and Bourn didn't sign quickly and so their cases get the attention. But who are some of the guys who benefited from the new system? I am shaky on the exact rules, but maybe A Sanchez, E Jackson, Victorino, Dempster... plus a bunch of relievers.
   50. billyshears Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4367801)
It was revamped, but it also got stuck with a bigger problem. Under the old system, if you lost your first round pick, you could blow first round money on a guy who fell in later rounds. Now you can't.


This is a bad system, but it is not without some pleasing irony. The MLBPA thought they were just screwing draftees when they agreed to slotting, but it turns out that they were screwing themselves as well. It annoys me to no end when players associations negotiate away the rights of kids because our ###### up anti-trust system gives them the right, and the players figure that it's no skin off of their back.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4367802)
Obviously, players are going to realize it depressing free agent value of not quite great players. If you have a chance to land a Pujols or Verlander level player losing a draft pick is an after thought.


If teams are acting rationally, it depresses the free agent value of great players as well as the not-quite-great ones.
   52. donlock Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4367804)
Mark Reynolds has played 12 games in his career at DH. He hates it and begged off doing it in Baltimore. I wouldn't be surprised if he had an understanding with Cleveland that he would only play 1B.

To his credit he really improved as a fielder at first when he moved across the diamond and played well there for Baltimore down the stretch.He doesn't appear to be a guy who could play some 3B, DH and 1B casually and would be better left at one place.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4367807)
Mark Reynolds has played 12 games in his career at DH. He hates it and begged off doing it in Baltimore. I wouldn't be surprised if he had an understanding with Cleveland that he would only play 1B.

To his credit he really improved as a fielder at first when he moved across the diamond and played well there for Baltimore down the stretch.He doesn't appear to be a guy who could play some 3B, DH and 1B casually and would be better left at one place.


Eh. He's on a 1/6 deal, I doubt Cle is going to coddle him. Much more important to keep Swisher, Bourn and Brantley happy.
   54. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4367820)
Eh. He's on a 1/6 deal, I doubt Cle is going to coddle him. Much more important to keep Swisher, Bourn and Brantley happy.


Never underestimate the potential of young players to respect older players. We see Mark Reynolds as a sort of marginal and amusing figure, but maybe Kipnis and Chisenhall et al. see him as a role model and model professional whom the Indians front office would jerk around at their peril, lest they get a bad reputation for jerking players around.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4367826)
Never underestimate the potential of young players to respect older players. We see Mark Reynolds as a sort of marginal and amusing figure, but maybe Kipnis and Chisenhall et al. see him as a role model and model professional whom the Indians front office would jerk around at their peril, lest they get a bad reputation for jerking players around.

Wouldn't that apply much more to Swisher, who is older, better, and much more highly paid? Why would DH-ing Hamilton be "jerking him around" while DH-ing Swisher wouldn't?
   56. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4367828)
Oh, I don't know. The issue is whether they broke a promise to the player (any player). That gets them a bad reputation.
   57. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4367835)
Stubbs (or Brantley) is rumored to be on the trade block.

Obviously, players are going to realize it depressing free agent value of not quite great players. If you have a chance to land a Pujols or Verlander level player losing a draft pick is an after thought.


Agents are going to have to self-correct too. It seems really silly for Kyle Lohse at his age and with his shaky track record, to turn down a 1 year $13 million deal to test free agent waters. Bourn is a more understandable case and he still got paid handsomely, albeit not as handsomely.

How Rafael Soriano got his deal is still beyond me.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4367840)
Oh, I don't know. The issue is whether they broke a promise to the player (any player). That gets them a bad reputation.

Agreed. I just find it highly unlikely that they promised someone of Reynolds calibre that he'd be the every day 1B, come hell or high water.
   59. Nasty Nate Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4367856)
Stubbs (or Brantley) is rumored to be on the trade block.


Would the Rays make sense as a landing point for either?
   60. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4367885)
Would the Rays make sense as a landing point for either?

Stubbs would make a nice platoon partner for Joyce.

Brantley looks like he has a chance to be quite good. Career 98 OPS+ and avg. CF D, and he's on the upswing (113 OPS+ in '12). And he's only 25.

I think the Indians would want a lot for Brantley.
   61. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4367886)
Seems to make more sense for Reynolds to DH and Swisher to move to 1B.


Could go either way. Reynolds is younger and had some good reviews defensively at 1B although Swisher had better stats.

-- MWE
   62. Nasty Nate Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4367891)

Stubbs would make a nice platoon partner for Joyce.


That's what I was thinking. They lost Upton, and as far as I can recall the only outfielder they have added is Myers. And if Stubbs is the type of player with situational strengths and weaknesses, Maddon would be the right guy to deploy him.
   63. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4367894)
Again, I think the Indians will be better off not having to rely on Giambi having something in the tank or on someone like McGuiness or Phelps stepping up, and trading Stubbs or Brantley at this point means that they'd have to rely on just that (unless they get a power corner bat in return).

-- MWE
   64. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4367907)
Again, I think the Indians will be better off not having to rely on Giambi having something in the tank or on someone like McGuiness or Phelps stepping up, and trading Stubbs or Brantley at this point means that they'd have to rely on just that (unless they get a power corner bat in return).

Wouldn't getting a young SP be more important to Cle than worrying about DH?
   65. JJ1986 Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4367917)
They lost Upton, and as far as I can recall the only outfielder they have added is Myers.


Well, they added Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson, which means they also gained Ben Zobrist as an outfielder.
   66. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4367919)
Wouldn't getting a young SP be more important to Cle than worrying about DH?


They were next-to-last in the AL in run scored and SLG a year ago, and although part of that is playing in a bad hitting ballpark, not all of it can be chalked up to that. The two guys who had the best SLG on the team are gone, and they've really only replaced one of them.

Yeah, I think they need to worry about DH more than getting another young arm.

-- MWE
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4367922)
They were next-to-last in the AL in run scored and SLG a year ago, and although part of that is playing in a bad hitting ballpark, not all of it can be chalked up to that. The two guys who had the best SLG on the team are gone, and they've really only replaced one of them.

Yeah, I think they need to worry about DH more than getting another young arm.


Well, they were 2nd to last in all of MLB in runs allowed (only Col allowed more) and dead last in ERA+. So, the pitching needs a lot of help too.
   68. DL from MN Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4367937)
need to worry about DH


Jim Thome is waiting for a call
   69. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4367942)
The two guys who had the best SLG on the team are gone, and they've really only replaced one of them.
Who, Hafner? All 263 plate appearances of his .440 SLG? That's hardly a meaningful loss. Mark Reynolds is a clear upgrade, just for his capacity to stay in the lineup. Jason Giambi shouldn't be counted on as a regular, but I bet he can give them 200 PA.
   70. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4367949)
Again, I think the Indians will be better off not having to rely on Giambi having something in the tank or on someone like McGuiness or Phelps stepping up, and trading Stubbs or Brantley at this point means that they'd have to rely on just that (unless they get a power corner bat in return).
I do think that the Indians should absolutely keep Brantley. They ca't be trading quality players unless the other team is just making a dumb, generous move. I think that Drew Stubbs is an exceptionally limited baseball player, and if they can get value for him, they should make a move.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4367964)
I do think that the Indians should absolutely keep Brantley. They ca't be trading quality players unless the other team is just making a dumb, generous move. I think that Drew Stubbs is an exceptionally limited baseball player, and if they can get value for him, they should make a move.

Concur 100%.

Stubbs has put up a 77 wRC+ in 1500 PAs vs. RHP. He's just not a useful full-time player. If someone wants to give you something good for him, you take it.
   72. hokieneer Posted: February 12, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4367986)
And if Stubbs is the type of player with situational strengths and weaknesses, Maddon would be the right guy to deploy him.


As MCoA and snapper have pointed out, Stubbs is a limited player. He can't hit RHP, and has trouble with the strike zone. He also can play a solid CF, run like a deer, and has good power.

He also needed out of Cincinnati badly. If he was ever going to do anything in the majors, it wasn't going to be for the Reds and/or Dusty. I wouldn't be surprised if a manager like Maddon, or hell maybe just a different voice, can figure out how to help him tap into his athleticism. Or I'm wrong and he's Jeff Francoeur 2.0.
   73. ColonelTom Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4368037)
Jon Heyman ?@JonHeymanCBS

#indians plan is for swisher to play 1B (& some OF), reynolds to DH (& some 1B/3B). not "looking to move" stubbs/brantley


Stubbs hit RHP fine in 2009-10. A change of scenery (and coaching staff) may help.
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4368044)
Stubbs hit RHP fine in 2009-10. A change of scenery (and coaching staff) may help.

But for his career he's awful, and getting worse. It's very possible that pitchers have just "figured out" a player with poor strike-zone judgement. His BB% is falling, and his K% rising.
   75. madvillain Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4368050)
Jim Thome is waiting for a call


There is no doubt in my mind that between Adam Dunn and Thome, Thome would put up a higher OPS+ this year. As a White Sox fan, this is depressing.
   76. DL from MN Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4368061)
Thome may have the higher OPS+ but Dunn would certainly be available for more games. Thome's declining production is not in rate but in quantity.
   77. ColonelTom Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4368077)
But for his career he's awful, and getting worse. It's very possible that pitchers have just "figured out" a player with poor strike-zone judgement. His BB% is falling, and his K% rising.


Well, sure, that's entirely possible, and probably more likely than not. Still, Stubbs looked like a terrific young player just a couple of years ago, and he's still only 28. Unlike a reclamation project like Delmon Young, Stubbs is an excellent fielder and baserunner, so he provides value even if he doesn't hit. He's worth giving 300-400 ABs, including some against RHP, to see if he can figure it out.

Looking at his numbers, his GB% has been rising steadily each year, obviously not a good thing for a guy with power. It's possible that in trying to put the ball in play and use his speed, he's ended up completely screwing up his swing and/or approach. Perhaps Cleveland's (or someone else's) coaches can help him solve RHP.
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4368086)
Well, sure, that's entirely possible, and probably more likely than not. Still, Stubbs looked like a terrific young player just a couple of years ago, and he's still only 28. Unlike a reclamation project like Delmon Young, Stubbs is an excellent fielder and baserunner, so he provides value even if he doesn't hit. He's worth giving 300-400 ABs, including some against RHP, to see if he can figure it out.

Sure. All I was saying is 1) don't take PT away from Brantley or Swisher for Stubbs, and 2) if someone wants to offer you something shiny for Stubbs, take it. He's likely a platoon player.
   79. ColonelTom Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4368095)
I can't imagine Stubbs would take much playing time beyond the occasional day off from Brantley or Swisher. He'd bump Reynolds or Swisher to DH, which would relegate Giambi (or whoever emerges as the primary DH) to the bench.
   80. The District Attorney Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4368118)
Someone said that Cleveland took Giambi over Thome because Giambi was willing to sign a minor-league deal and Thome wasn't. I thought it was Gammo, but apparently not... anyway, it was someone.
   81. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4368129)
Rosenthal, DA.
   82. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 12, 2013 at 05:48 PM (#4368261)
Couldn't figure out how to post to the original thread on the trade, but figured since this is probably today's big 'actual baseball news' thread, and somebody already brought up the Myers/Shields trade (and the Rays' depth chart) in the comments here, I'd stick it here:

Rays ship Elliot Johnson to KC as PTBNL to complete Myers trade: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/02/royals-acquire-elliot-johnson.html

Pretty good for a PTBNL. Almost the platonic ideal of a modern 25th man.
   83. Nathaniel Dawson Posted: February 16, 2013 at 04:32 AM (#4370609)
#42 snapper:

Right, UZR has him about 4 runs above average in rightfield. Rightfield typically has a -7.5 run defensive adjustment, putting him at about 3.5 runs below average. Since outfielders, taken as a whole, are about 4 runs below the average fielder, that puts him right about average in the outfield. (I think when I originally did my math, he came out as -0.5, while doing it again, I see it's +.5. Trivial, though, it does little to change the overall picture). DRS sees him as right about average for a rightfielder, which would put him about 3.5 runs below an average outfielder. If you prefer UZR, then you think he's about average for an outfielder -- provided his skills there are the same as they have been the last few years. If you prefer to use DRS, then he's below average, and likely falling as he gets older.

   84. Nathaniel Dawson Posted: February 16, 2013 at 04:56 AM (#4370611)
#42 snapper:

Right, UZR has him about 4 runs above average in rightfield. Rightfield typically has a -7.5 run defensive adjustment, putting him at about 3.5 runs below average. Since outfielders, taken as a whole, are about 4 runs below the average fielder, that puts him right about average in the outfield. (I think when I originally did my math, he came out as -0.5, while doing it again, I see it's +.5. Trivial, though, it does little to change the overall picture). DRS sees him as right about average for a rightfielder, which would put him about 3.5 runs below an average outfielder. If you prefer UZR, then you think he's about average for an outfielder -- provided his skills going forward are the same as they have been the last few years. If you prefer to use DRS, then he's a few runs below average, and likely falling as he gets older.

If your eyes tell you something different, then maybe you feel you've got a better read on it. From someone that has watched him play very little, I look mostly at the metrics and what the fans say. So I'll give you that he might be an average outfielder, and maybe better if what your eyes are telling you is correct. Hard to make that claim if you're using non-anecdotal evidence.

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