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Monday, November 07, 2011

Jonathan Sanchez Traded for Melky Cabrera

The Kansas City Royals have announced that the club has acquired left-handed pitchers Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for outfielder Melky Cabrera.

Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:19 PM | 100 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, royals

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   1. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#3988016)
You are joking.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#3988017)
No ####### way.
   3. The District Attorney Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:31 PM (#3988018)
Umm, which team do you guys think did better?
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#3988022)
Umm, which team do you guys think did better?

Yeah. Seems like one sucky overpaid guy for another.
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#3988023)
I think this is a terrific trade for Kansas City. It looks to me like a team trading a guy when his value was highest for a guy whose value was at its lowest. I like Sanchez a lot and while the walk rate is troubling I think he is both more likely to succeed and has the higher ceiling.
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#3988024)
Umm, which team do you guys think did better?

Hell, initially I thought the Royals, but now I'm not sure. Sanchez is a good pitcher coming off a crappy year and Cabrera just had his career year but has been recently crappy. It may be a trade that will seem less important a year from now than it seems now. What are the contract situations?
   7. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#3988026)
Kung Fu Panda 2.
   8. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#3988028)
Yeah Sanchez gets his strikeouts, but as long as he keeps walking that many guys and doesn't bring down the home run rate (which should jump with the move in park and league), I think he's a back of the rotation guy at best. He probably projects to be not quite as valuable as Cabrera next year (and both are FA after), but the Royals need the pitcher more than the outfielder and the Giants are the opposite.

Unless Sanchez _finally_ harnesses his command (and we've been waiting a while now), I think this is an equitable trade.
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#3988029)
What are the contract situations?


According to BB Ref both are arb eligible but for 2011;

Melky - $1.25 MM
Sanchez - $4.8 MM
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#3988030)
What are the contract situations?

Sanchez 1/6, then FA. Cabrera Arb 4.

Edit: no Coke for you Jose, Sanchez was already extended for 2012 in April.
   11. DCA Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#3988031)
EDIT: slow on the draw - cokes to several
   12. Squash Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#3988032)
Wow, at first glance this is a real buy-low sell-high.

EDIT: To add, things change but if this trade had been proposed after 2010 it would have been laughed out of the room. But of course, things change.
   13. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#3988033)
What are the contract situations?

Cot's has them both as Arbitration guys.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#3988034)
Sanchez is arb 3 this year, and Melky is arb 4 (he was a super-two, it appears). So their contract statuses are pretty much equivalent. I'd guess they'll get pretty similar salaries.

I'd call this trade for the Royals - Sanchez has front-of-the-rotation upside, while Melky was a BABIP fluke last year in the middle of an utterly blah career. I'd definitely bet on Sanchez having the better season in 2012, and so he's more likely to help out the Royals, more likely to have value in midseason trade or possibly be a guy they could sign for a couple years if he likes KC.

EDIT: Damn, Cot's didn't have the extension. Well, in any case, their salary situations are pretty similar.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:42 PM (#3988036)
Umm, which team do you guys think did better?


I didn't realize what a bad year Sanchez had, or how extremely good Melky had been. Much closer than I thought.

But I think I'd rather have the starter that can strikeout 200 hitters. Melky is a poor defender and I don't know if he'll continue to hit well enough to start in leftfield.
   16. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:43 PM (#3988038)
So, the scorecard says:

1) Cabrera was supposed to suck.
2) Cabrera actually had a lot of value.
3) But the Royals got him when he sucked.
4) Then they traded him, after he'd gotten good, for Sucky Melky the Pitcher.


In short, this is an extremely funny trade.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:44 PM (#3988040)
I like this a little better for KC. They have 2 corner OFs already, have no SP, and Melky's overmatched defensively in center. They can slot Cain in, and probably make up with the glove what they lose with the bat. But, even if Sanchez does well, he's a FA before they'll contend.

For SF, what the frick are they doing with all these RF/LF/1B?
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:45 PM (#3988041)
Terrific deal for the Royals. May be a good one for the Giants too. But Melky was expendable with Lorenzocaine tearing up AAA, and it is nice to see the team finally sell high on a guy overachieving. Sanchez may have trouble moving to the AL, but his K numbers are good, and the Royals have done a decent job getting wild pitchers to be somewhat effective (Felipe Paulino, Ramon Ramirez, Robinson Tejeda).

And Verdugo looks like a really nice throw-in. Thank you Brian Sabean!
   19. zenbitz Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:45 PM (#3988042)
When was the last time Sabean acquired a MLB position player under the age of 27?
   20. The Essex Snead Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:46 PM (#3988043)
I don't know what kind of profile Verdugo has, but looking at his minor league numbers, it seems like KC got 2 Jonathan Sanchezes.
   21.     Hey Gurl Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:46 PM (#3988046)

Wow, at first glance this is a real buy-low sell-high.


If you're doing both in the same transaction, are you really doing either?
   22. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:47 PM (#3988047)
Why did the Giants have to toss in a minor leaguer? I actually kind of admire that from Dayton Moore. Playin' hardball!
   23. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:47 PM (#3988049)
If you're doing both in the same transaction, are you really doing either?

Seriously. This trade gives me vertigo.
   24. Greg K Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#3988051)
So what is SF outfield right now?
Schierholtz, Cabrera and Torres? Is Cabrera taking RF and they hope for a Torres rebound? Or is Melky taking the CF job and they're going to look for a corner bat?
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:50 PM (#3988053)
I don't know what kind of profile Verdugo has, but looking at his minor league numbers, it seems like KC got 2 Jonathan Sanchezes.

Yeah, looks like they just converted him to a SP in '11, and he K'd 9.2/9. If he can get that BB rate down from to ~3/9 he could be something.
   26. Greg K Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3988054)
Seriously. This trade gives me vertigo.

While it gives Dayton Moore verdugo.
   27. MM1f Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:52 PM (#3988055)
Snapper,
In-shape Melky isn't overmatched in CF. That is where he will play in San Fran.
   28. Greg Franklin Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:52 PM (#3988056)
John Mabry!!?

Rany Jazayerli just completed a five-part series on his blog (15,000 words!) about potential upgrades to the Royals starting rotation, including the moon shot of trading for Felix Hernandez, and Sanchez's name didn't pop up.
   29. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:52 PM (#3988057)
So does this spell the end of Bruce Chen bestriding the KC rotation like a colossus?

I didn't realize that his numbers were actually pretty average over his career, and particularly with the Royals (I was always under the impression that he was kind of awful, hence why he was playing in KC), so maybe they'll bring him back anyway.
   30. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#3988059)
which recent KC lefty will Sanchez get compared to more, Bruce Chen or Jeff Francis...
   31. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#3988060)
Like a few others had mentioned, I thought this was a steal for the Royals- until I looked at Sanchez's stats. He's got a good K rate, but walks a whole bunch of hitters and has yet to pitch over 200 innings in a season. He walked 66 guys in about 100 innings in 2011.

I'd still say this is a good deal for KC, but I'm not blown away by it anymore. Plus Melky's only 26 so he should have some upside if he stays fit.
   32. The District Attorney Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:55 PM (#3988061)
I feel like Sanchez is overrated because he has a great K rate. That K rate is less impressive when you consider that he walks the ballpark and thus faces more batters than your typical pitcher. His K/BFP wouldn't be nearly as much of a standout as his K/9 is. That said, I'm sure it's still a well above-average rate... but nothing else about him is really good. As mentioned, his control is awful. His xFIP has only been below 4 once, and it was a 3.94. And for a big strikeout guy, he sure doesn't throw all that hard.

Every sentence in that first paragraph also described Oliver Perez post-2004 (except that Ollie never got the xFIP under 4 at all). And I noticed in the '10 playoffs that Bochy seemed to be trying to nurse this alleged young near-ace through starts and get him out of there before he exploded, in a very similar manner to what the Mets had to do with Ollie in even his "good" '07.

I'm not sure what future Melky has. He is weird. But it's certainly not like he doesn't have potential himself, and I don't think Sanchez is going to prove to be much of a loss.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3988065)
Snapper,
In-shape Melky isn't overmatched in CF. That is where he will play in San Fran.


Well where are you going to find that mythical creature?

UZR has Melky as -10/150 in CF last year (-7/150 career), and TZ has him -19 in 143 GS.
   34. Silencio Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:59 PM (#3988066)
I think the Giants are expected to go with Cabrera in center, with Belt and Schierholtz in the corners with Huff at 1B. Everything Ive heard about them this offseason has been about getting a new CFer so I'm assuming that Torres is going to the bench. And that's the part I don't get. After accounting for defense and regression offensively I don't know if Melky is any better than Torres and even if he is, Melky and Zito is definitely worse than Torres and Sanchez.

They should stop worrying about CF and start worrying about SS. Brandon Crawford was a way bigger hole than Torres in CF till Gary Brown is ready.
   35. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#3988069)
Sanchez is left-handed so will get as many chances as a Manny Parra or Oliver Perez to succeed.

Wild, going from a pitcher-friendly park to at minimum a neutral park and what is deemed as a whole a bit tougher league.

I like Jonathan. If the Royals can get him to make his delivery more consistent then they have acquired quite the arm.

But teams have been working with hard-throwing lefties for 120 years on getting the delivery smoothed out and the track record ain't so hot.
   36. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3988074)
In-shape Melky isn't overmatched in CF. That is where he will play in San Fran.


Tonight we're going to party like it's 1999.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3988076)
His K/BFP wouldn't be nearly as much of a standout as his K/9 is.

It's not really that big of a deal. Sanchez had 9.06 K/9 and 5.86 BB/9 for a 23.0% K-rate. Lincecum had 9.12 K/9 and 3.57 BB/9 for a 24.4% K-rate.

Sanchez's K-rate is still very good. 21rst in MLB for 100+ IP. Tied with Felix Hernandez.

His BB-rate, however was the absolute worst, 14.9%. A full 1.6% worse than 2nd loser, Edinson Volquez.
   38. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3988075)
Kauffman Stadium should be good for his HR/9 rate, but not good if balls go into play in the alleys.

I've always heard that Kauffman Stadium's hitters eye is great for patient hitters too.
   39. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3988077)
They should stop worrying about CF and start worrying about SS. Brandon Crawford was a way bigger hole than Torres in CF till Gary Brown is ready.

Why do they have to make moves in order of most importance? I would bet Harveys farm they are going after either Reyes or Rollins (probably Rollins because he's older and more overrated and his contract will be an albatross sooner)
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:06 PM (#3988079)
I think the Giants are expected to go with Cabrera in center, with Belt and Schierholtz in the corners with Huff at 1B.

What happened to Brandon Belt? Wasn't he like an A prospect 9 months ago?
   41. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:06 PM (#3988080)
Terrific deal for the Royals. May be a good one for the Giants too. But Melky was expendable with Lorenzocaine tearing up AAA, and it is nice to see the team finally sell high on a guy overachieving. Sanchez may have trouble moving to the AL, but his K numbers are good, and the Royals have done a decent job getting wild pitchers to be somewhat effective (Felipe Paulino, Ramon Ramirez, Robinson Tejeda).


I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was a terrific deal. Cain will be 26 early in the 2012 season, and his numbers at Omaha are out of the context of the rest of his minor league career; he might very well just have had a career year. I'd be surprised if he got anywhere close to what Melky did with the bat, and he's not enough better with the glove to make up for it.

I think it's a fair deal for both sides.

-- MWE
   42. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#3988082)
Why do they have to make moves in order of most importance? I would bet Harveys farm they are going after either Reyes or Rollins (probably Rollins because he's older and more overrated and his contract will be an albatross sooner)


Right my first thought, considering they we're crying poor, was that this was intended to free up 4/5m for the signing of one of them.
   43. Silencio Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#3988086)
Just from everything Ive read It seems like they aren't concerned as much as they should be with SS and were much much more concerned with CF. Ive also heard that they weren't going to go after Reyes. If they can do this trade and go after Reyes still then great, but if they possibly need the 4.4 million that Melky is projected to make next year or the 5.2 million that Sanchez is projected to make in order to have enough payroll space to go after Reyes than it just makes the trade worse.
   44. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#3988087)
I guess this means no Carlos Beltran?
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:12 PM (#3988089)
I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was a terrific deal. Cain will be 26 early in the 2012 season, and his numbers at Omaha are out of the context of the rest of his minor league career; he might very well just have had a career year. I'd be surprised if he got anywhere close to what Melky did with the bat, and he's not enough better with the glove to make up for it.

Well, if Melky was ~-15 in CF, and Cain can be +0-5, he can be a fair sight worse with the bat, and still do fine.

Also, I'd be surprised if, in 2012, Melky gets anywhere close to what he did with the bat in 2011.

Cain may not be as good as 2011 Melky, but he's got a fair chance to be as good or better than 2012 Melky. For $3-4M less.
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3988090)
Right my first thought, considering they we're crying poor, was that this was intended to free up 4/5m for the signing of one of them.

But Melky's getting at least $4M as an arb-4. He made >$3M 2 years ago before his non-tender.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:14 PM (#3988091)
or the 5.2 million that Sanchez is projected to make

He was already extended in April. 1 year $6M for 2012.
   48. Silencio Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:17 PM (#3988094)
He was already extended in April. 1 year $6M for 2012.

This was Freddy, not Jonathan Sanchez.
   49. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:20 PM (#3988097)
But Melky's getting at least $4M as an arb-4. He made >$3M 2 years ago before his non-tender.

Hmm, that's what I get for trusting the 1.25 listed above. I was assuming max 2.5m.
   50. MM1f Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#3988098)
Well where are you going to find that mythical creature?


I remember seeing him running around centerfield in Kansas City last year.
   51. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3988100)
The obvious question now is who do the Royals get for Frenchy?
   52. ColonelTom Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:27 PM (#3988101)
Wow. Just wow. Great deal for the Royals - Sanchez has ace stuff when he's right. He's worth the risk. (Of course, one could have said that about Oliver Perez, I suppose....)

This has to be about clearing payroll for a marquee shortstop (either Reyes or Rollins). This probably saves the Giants about $2-3M and allows them to non-tender Andres Torres, saving another $2-3M. [Edit - I'm not sure how Melky's previous non-tender will affect his award - the savings may not be as great as I thought.]

The drop-off defensively from Torres to Cabrera is steep, though, particularly when you combine it with a defensively-challenged LF (Belt). They could put Melky on a corner and bench either Schierholtz or Huff (with Belt moving to 1B).
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:30 PM (#3988103)
This was Freddy, not Jonathan Sanchez.

Huh, my bad.

I remember seeing him running around centerfield in Kansas City last year.

Well, if he was in-shape in 2011, his CF defense still stank, by the available metrics.

He was barely average when he was young in NY, so I'd be shocked if he was anything but bad now.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#3988104)
The obvious question now is who do the Royals get for Frenchy?

They just gave him 2/13.5. I think they're keeping him.
   55. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:04 PM (#3988123)
Fun Fact: "Verdugo" is the Spanish word for "executioner" and is thought to derive from Visigothic.
   56. Mike Webber Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#3988125)
Fun Fact: "Verdugo" is the Spanish word for "executioner" and is thought to derive from Visigothic.

That should go great with Soria which used to be Spanish for "Mexicutioner"
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:08 PM (#3988126)
I think it'd be the ultimate cool if Melky became the first player to be traded to all 30 teams. Every team deserves its own Melky Moment.
   58. esseff Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:10 PM (#3988128)
Sanchez has seemed a little distant or distracted, especially since the NLCS incident with Utley.
   59. attaboy Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:18 PM (#3988137)
Ace stuff does not grow on trees. Sanchez probably won't suceed but we could look back on this 5 years from now and laugh at the giants for getting back Melky for a staff ace (and giving another player to KC on top of it). Giving up someone with that high a ceiling is not a good idea when you are only getting back a guy coming off what is likely a career year. Kudos to the Royals.
   60. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:21 PM (#3988141)
He was barely average when he was young in NY, so I'd be shocked if he was anything but bad now.

Melky just turned 27 in August. He's not all that old.
   61. MM1f Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#3988150)
Not saying he is a good defender, but he is a passable one.
   62. zonk Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:42 PM (#3988155)
I know he's left-handed and strikes people out -- but Sanchez will be 29 next year. He looked on the cusp last year, but this year was a regression (yeah, yeah "injuries").

I mean, I know people have CJ Wilson on the brain --- but at some point, you stop being the next big thing and you're really just Bobby Witt handled more tenderly.

29 yo. 120 big league starts. 700 big league innings.

At some point, even if he looks like he should be able to scoot up it -- you have start wondering if the ceiling is irrelevant because the kid just can't climb rope.
   63. zenbitz Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:42 PM (#3988156)
@52 Don't pretend you can see into the mind of Sabean. Better men than you have tried!
   64. ColonelTom Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#3988167)
Apparently Jose Reyes has an offer and is scheduled to meet with the Marlins. Interesting.
   65. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 10:03 PM (#3988173)
Of course, the source that story is apparently Mike Francesca so I trust it as far as I can throw him.
   66. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 07, 2011 at 10:07 PM (#3988178)
Don't pretend you can see into the mind of Sabean. Better men than you have tried!


You can't see what isn't there.
   67. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 07, 2011 at 10:07 PM (#3988180)
What a difference a year makes

1: Sanchez in 2011 wasn't all that different from Sanchez in 2008/09- his BB rate was a lot higher though, a batter per 9 higher, his OPS against was right in line with his career mark (which given the decline in offense is not good) His BABIP was good- not as good as 2010. Give him his career walk rate in 2011 and he's still not good, maybe 95 ERA+ rather than 84, give him his career BABIP in 2010, and he's at 100-110 ERA+ rather than 127, I think basically you have to look at him as a guy who can give you a 95-105 ERA+ over 150 or so innings- useful to be sure, but nothing exciting, the potential downside is the rest of his career may look like Oliver Perez's.

2: Melky: CF was such a gaping hole of suck for Sf in 2011 that the 2006,07,2009 versions of Melky might actually ave been an upgrade- that doesn't justify trading something useful for him though, and Melky was awful in 2008 and 2010... I don't know about 2011, but in 2009/10 he was visibly out of shape, did he workout in 2011? HAs he continued? Is that why he was better in 2011? Yes his BABIP spiked, and so did his ISO, his K rate went up, his walk rate down, his XH% way up. That to me suggests a change in approach, he was more aggressive in 2011, likely swing harder and hit the ball harder- that leads 2 questions- will he stick to that changed approach and how will he react if and when pitcher's adjust.

While this looks like a classic case of selling high (trading Melky after 2011) and buying low (Sanchez 2011)- I can't help but think that it's possible Dayton blundered again- Melky is far more likely to replicate his 2011 than Sanchez is to replicate his 2010- and Melky 2011 is worth far more than Sanchez 2010...

What's most likely is that this will be a push- neither player will do enough to get anyone excited
   68. attaboy Posted: November 07, 2011 at 10:43 PM (#3988202)
I know that this won't be well received but Nolan Ryan after the 1971 season (removing his 3 innings in 1966) had a 6 BB/9 average and less than a SO per inning. Obviously not apples to apples as Ryan was much younger than Sanchez was but you just don't trade a SP who can strike people out for a journeyman OF. If Sanchez figures out the strike zone (and that often doesn't happen early in a pitcher's career) his high end return on investment is huge. Melky's high end is, when factoring in defense, is negligible.
   69. ColonelTom Posted: November 07, 2011 at 10:50 PM (#3988208)
Odds that Lorenzo Cain puts up a higher WAR than Melky Cabrera next year?
   70. attaboy Posted: November 07, 2011 at 10:50 PM (#3988210)
Sam Jones pitched in the 50's. He was a rookie as a 26 Year old. Looks like he went to the war for three years (at least, he didn't pitch) and then returned at age 29. He led the league in both SO's and BB's each of his first two years back (29 and 30). ERA+ of 101 and 98. Then he figured it out and for 4 years had ERA+ of 110, 144, 134 and 110. His career was pretty much over shortly thereafter. If Sanchez can reach that level, it is a steal for KC. On the negative side, none of his age appropriate comps are even as good as Sam Jones was for those four years!
   71. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 11:18 PM (#3988238)
I can't shake the feeling that this has the potential to burn the Giants very badly.

It probably doesn't help that I don't like Melky Cabrera and don't trust his 2011 improvement any farther than I can throw him.
   72. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#3988253)
Melky just turned 27 in August. He's not all that old.

Defense peaks at something like 21. Players basically get heavier and slower from day 1 in MLB.
   73. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: November 08, 2011 at 12:03 AM (#3988268)
The thing that always frustrated me about Melky is his plate discipline. He put up .360 .OBP as a 21 year old rookie in '06, that’s pretty exciting stuff.

After that his plate discipline fell off the map. Last season he was hitting the ball extremely hard from the left side, especially up the opposite gap, which was a huge improvement in his game. If he can ever re-discover his plate discipline, even to boost that on-base into the .350 range, he could be a solid starter in right field, given his above average throwing arm. Should the patience ever develop and his hard hitting ways from last season continue; the Giants could be big winners in this transaction. A lot of question marks, sure... but Sanchez is similarly burdened with performance concerns. This is a wait and see situation... it would be premature to call anyone a decided winner. Melky is entering his age 27 season and has banked a sizable amount of Major League experience. He could blossom, continuing his performance from ’11. Needs to stay in shape, though. That goes without saying.
   74. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: November 08, 2011 at 12:06 AM (#3988270)
It's worth pointing out that San Fran's record with developing pitchers recently is exemplary, including a miracle reclamation project with Ryan Vogelsong.

To expect the Royals to be able to flip a switch the Giants couldn't seems optimistic. Could happen, I suppose, but the safe bet is that Sanchez is the pitcher he is: a league average innings dieter. Still useful to a team starved of pitching like the Royals, but I would be surprised if they could tap into any bigger upside with him. Possible, but not likely IMO.
   75. Lassus Posted: November 08, 2011 at 12:19 AM (#3988278)
Defense peaks at something like 21.

This just cannot be true. Defensive excellence takes brains, and one does not have those at peak at 21.
   76. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 08, 2011 at 12:23 AM (#3988280)
This just cannot be true. Defensive excellence takes brains, and one does not have those at peak at 21.

That's the research I've seen.
   77. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 08, 2011 at 01:08 AM (#3988298)
I know that this won't be well received but Nolan Ryan after the 1971 season (removing his 3 innings in 1966) had a 6 BB/9 average and less than a SO per inning. Obviously not apples to apples as Ryan was much younger than Sanchez was but you just don't trade a SP who can strike people out for a journeyman OF.


Nolan Ryan
Bobby Witt
Randy Johnson
John D'Acquisto (bot did he throw hard)
Daniel Cabrera
   78. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 08, 2011 at 01:19 AM (#3988302)
Odds that Lorenzo Cain puts up a higher WAR than Melky Cabrera next year?


What is it with Royals fans and Lorenzo Cain????
His ZiPS MLEs were .249/.301/.360
He was 51st in the PCL in OPS

That's not quite the same as being 51st in OPS in the AL (Mitch Moreland btw)

.249/.301/.360, do you know who put up a .660 OPS in 2011? Vernon Wells
a .249/.301/.360 hitting CF might be interesting if the guy was 22, but Cain will be 26
   79. PreservedFish Posted: November 08, 2011 at 01:23 AM (#3988304)
Defense peaks at something like 21.

This just cannot be true. Defensive excellence takes brains, and one does not have those at peak at 21.


I don't think these statements necessarily contradict each other. Raw speed / agility will typically drop throughout a player's career. Speed/agility is the biggest component of defensive quality. It's important everywhere and paramount in the outfield, shortstop and second. (Also, I think there is a wider spectrum of speed/agility than there is of flyball-tracking-skill, or ball-scooping, etc.)

"Brains," on the other hand, increases throughout one's career, as suggested by BB rates for hitters that increase every year with age. Brains is important too, but in the aggregate, increasing brains does not offset decreasing speed/agility.

Defensive excellence is a special category. True excellence only comes to those who can play enough to increase their defensive brains but also stay fresh enough that they retain their natural youthful agility.

on edit > When you think about good defenders, you think about them peaking in their mid or late 20s. But then think about bad defenders. Think about the guys that started at catcher or shortstop but have been hauling their fat asses out to leftfield for years. Think about Adam Dunn, Jason Giambi, Manny Ramirez. Miguel Cabrera! Any question that these guys have been getting defensively worse since they debuted?
   80. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 08, 2011 at 01:48 AM (#3988306)
This just cannot be true. Defensive excellence takes brains, and one does not have those at peak at 21.


There's a Royals & "limited intellectual capacity" joke in there somewhere...
   81. ColonelTom Posted: November 08, 2011 at 01:52 AM (#3988310)
What is it with Royals fans and Lorenzo Cain????

I'm not a Royals fan, and saying he'll be better than Cabrera isn't much of a compliment to Cain, it's a knock on Cabrera. Jack Moore's piece on FanGraphs nails it - after BABIP regression, you're probably left with a .285/.315/.415 hitter with poor defense in CF. Cain's not going to hit that line, but he's likely to make up for it with his defense.
   82. Squash Posted: November 08, 2011 at 02:42 AM (#3988333)
I just get the feeling that if the Giants were really determined to trade Sanchez they could have gotten something better than Cabrera for him. And if they couldn't, then keep Sanchez and sign someone who is likely to put up what Cabrera is likely to put up in 2012.
   83. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: November 08, 2011 at 02:43 AM (#3988334)
A true CF, who put up a .312/.380/.497 line at 25 in AAA, after succeeding in 1/4 season the year before in the bigs? I don't care what the hitting environment is like, you see if the guy can do it in a full season in the bigs.
   84. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: November 08, 2011 at 02:44 AM (#3988335)
Folks, Sanchez is no great shakes. He's nearly Daniel Cabrera.
   85. ColonelTom Posted: November 08, 2011 at 03:11 AM (#3988345)
keep Sanchez and sign someone who is likely to put up what Cabrera is likely to put up in 2012

The kicker is that they already have a guy (Andres Torres) who is likely to outperform Cabrera in 2012. According to FanGraphs, Torres was the second-best overall CF in the game in 2010 (6.8 WAR, slightly ahead of Carlos Gonzalez). I doubt he'll hit that number again, but a 4-5 WAR season is within reach with Torres' defense. Meanwhile, Melky's career-best 2011 resulted in 4.6 WAR, and he's a year removed from posting a -1.0 WAR season with the Braves.

Not to mention that keeping Torres wouldn't have cost them a legitimate major-league starting pitcher with significant upside.
   86. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: November 08, 2011 at 05:51 AM (#3988407)
Question: Why did the Braves simply release the Milk Man after '10? Did they not want to risk arbitration?
   87. Zach Posted: November 08, 2011 at 09:04 AM (#3988434)
First impression: big win for the Royals. They fill their biggest need by trading away their biggest surplus. Plus, there's a good argument that they're selling high and buying low in the same transaction. Considering that the most recent rumor had them trading Wil Myers for Jair Jurrjens, this is a major step up.

I can see the arguments for the other side made in this thread, but I'm not convinced. A starter with big strikeout and hit prevention numbers is a more valuable quantity than a journeyman outfielder. Barring information we don't have, you've got to stick to the fundamentals.
   88. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: November 08, 2011 at 09:30 AM (#3988435)
Superficially this reminds me of the Xavier Nady for Ollie Perez deal. I think the Mets won that one but then were tempted into that awful contract with Perez.
   89. Flynn Posted: November 08, 2011 at 10:17 AM (#3988436)
He's nearly Daniel Cabrera.


Daniel Cabrera hasn't put up anything near a 3.6 WAR in a season.
   90. Tricky Dick Posted: November 08, 2011 at 01:48 PM (#3988443)
My first reaction was that this trade was a big win for the Royals, but after thinking about it, I give just a slight edge to the Royals. The most negative aspect of this trade for the Giants is that they will think their CF problem has been solved, and they will quit looking at alternatives for CF. Melky Cabrera likely will see some regression next season--and the potential exists for a really nasty decline in performance.
   91. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 08, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#3988737)
The kicker is that they already have a guy (Andres Torres) who is likely to outperform Cabrera in 2012.


he'll be 34 and his 2010 season was further out of line from his career (both MLB and mles) than Melky's 2011 was to his career...

Oh what do I care, both Cabrera and Sanchez are bums, Sanchez 2010 was basically Oliver Perez 2004, with the difference that the Giants seem to know what they are doing with pitchers and the Pirates (and later Mets) did not.

Personally If I was the Giants I would have traded him for some other team's lottery ticket...
   92. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 08, 2011 at 08:29 PM (#3988745)
The most negative aspect of this trade for the Giants is that they will think their CF problem has been solved, and they will quit looking at alternatives for CF.

This is the biggest issue for SF.

Melky is not a CF. He may have learned to hit enough to be an OK corner OF (or not) but his defense is going to burn you in center.
   93. esseff Posted: November 08, 2011 at 09:25 PM (#3988773)
I think the Giants expect Gary Brown to be the CF within two years, so Cabrera might not need to be a long-term solution.
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 08, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#3988798)
I think the Giants expect Gary Brown to be the CF within two years, so Cabrera might not need to be a long-term solution.

He's not a solution today. All the defensive metrics had Melky at best a -10 CF in 2011, and some worse.

A pitching first team probably doesn't want to punt CF defense.
   95. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 08, 2011 at 10:49 PM (#3988811)
The most negative aspect of this trade for the Giants is that they will think their CF problem has been solved, and they will quit looking at alternatives for CF.


Well it could be worse, they could have tried the Angels route of throwing a busload of money at every CF who came along after a career year...

well they did it once (Rowand), whereas the Angels keep doing and...

OK, trading something of value for Melky kind of fits the Angels habit as well... so maybe

ok ok they are following the Angels CF strategy...
   96. Bug Selig Posted: November 16, 2011 at 04:31 PM (#3994774)
I don't know what kind of profile Verdugo has, but looking at his minor league numbers, it seems like KC got 2 Jonathan Sanchezes.


Think of the possibilities! I smell a Disney movie!
   97. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:43 AM (#4141104)
Early returns looking good for the Giants on this one.
   98. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 27, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4141385)
I'm really happy for Melky.
   99. The District Attorney Posted: May 27, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4141438)
G?ddamn, I'm smart.
   100. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4141500)
Brian Sabean seems to frequently have his stupid decisions work out. He #### does work in the postseason.
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