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Saturday, July 30, 2011

MLB: Pence pulled, reportedly traded to Phillies

Pence pulled. Sounds painful.

The Astros reached a deal to send All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence to the Phillies in exchange for four players, including Philadelphia’s top two Minor League prospects, a person close to the negotiations told MLB.com. The deal, which is subject to the approval Major League Baseball, is expected to be finalized on Friday.

Pence was pulled from the field in the middle of the fifth inning of the Astros’ game against the Brewers on Friday night at Miller Park.

The Astros are receiving right-handed pitcher Jarred Cosart and left-handed outfielder Jonathan Singleton, along with two more players. At least one of the players will be a player to be named later. Cosart is ranked by MLB.com as the Phillies’ top prospect, and Singleton is No. 2.

Repoz Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:22 AM | 108 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, phillies

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   1. bumpis hound Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:29 AM (#3888797)
So I was wondering, since the Beltran/Wheeler trade was basically a draft pick trade (as the Mets covered Wheeler's signing bonus), was that the first time in memory that the Mets went over slot for a draft pick?
   2. shea80 Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:41 AM (#3888805)
So I was wondering, since the Beltran/Wheeler trade was basically a draft pick trade (as the Mets covered Wheeler's signing bonus), was that the first time in memory that the Mets went over slot for a draft pick?


I believe they just went more than $150,000 over slot to sign their supplemental first round pick Michael Fulmer.
   3. Tricky Dick Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:47 AM (#3888808)
Josh Zeid is one of the two additional players in the trade, by the way.
   4. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:47 AM (#3888809)
Metsjacked already?
   5. Sean Forman Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3888811)
I have to admit that the Phillies amateur scouting has been unbelievably good the last five years or more. In this trade they got a lot of value back for a 38th, an 8th and a 10th round pick. Just imagine if their first round picks had turned out since 2007.
   6. Textbook Editor Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:58 AM (#3888814)
While I suppose it fits a need (as in "Anyone but Ibanez!"), my problem with this deal is it gives up cheap talent for a guy who's just about to get real expensive via arbitration, and really you only control him for 2 years. If you decide to lock him up early, you might get some added value on the life of the contract that gets signed but... still...

The Phillies are going to be really expensive and pretty old in 2 years; it's not going to end well once they get to the other side of the "Flags Fly Forever!" moment in 2011 and (maybe) 2012.
   7. steagles Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:00 AM (#3888817)
this a very good deal, much better than the previous rumors which had the astros holding out for something on top of cosart/singleton/dom brown.

pence isn't as good as jayson werth, but he's close enough to it that he'll slot right in the 5 hole, playing everyday in RF. i'm really very happy with this.


also, as i mentioned in the previous pence thread, cosart has questionable mechanics and a history of arm injuries, so i don't really consider him to be a massive loss. in my mind, he's an overhyped lottery ticket; he could easily live up to the lofty expectations, but i think it's much more likely that he won't, and even if he does, he won't get there for a few years, by which time, there'll be 2 more pennanta hanging in the OF.



oh, and also, in the last 2 weeks/next 2 weeks, the team with the best record in baseball will have added ryan madson, brad lidge, roy oswalt, placido polanco, and hunter pence, all without losing anything off the major league roster.


i really could not be much happier about this.
   8. Sean Forman Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:06 AM (#3888821)
I also want to put in writing.

Heath Bell for Dom Brown.

Not saying it's a good trade, but it wouldn't shock me.
   9. Sam M. Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:12 AM (#3888824)
Heath Bell for Dom Brown.


You really want to ruin STEAGLES' good mood, don't you Sean?
   10. steagles Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:26 AM (#3888835)

I also want to put in writing.

Heath Bell for Dom Brown.

Not saying it's a good trade, but it wouldn't shock me.
You really want to ruin STEAGLES' good mood, don't you Sean?
yeah, i really hope there's no smoke there. bell would be in the same position as ryan madson, in that he'll be a FA this offseason, and likely to be looking for a significant raise, and i really don't think it's necessary to give up dom brown for that.
   11. Mash Wilson Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:32 AM (#3888837)
I dunno. The Phillies' spot in the playoffs is secure and the playoffs are random. Adding Pence really has little to no effect on their title hopes this year, so it's really a question of shaping the roster in 2012 and beyond for me. As for that... eh, I don't really feel strongly about this one either way. (So why are you posting on the internet, Mash?)
   12. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:37 AM (#3888838)
The Astros apparently wanted two of Minor/Teheran/Delgado/Vizcaino from the Braves, plus another "young pitcher the Braves regarded highly," per Rosenthal.
   13. steagles Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:42 AM (#3888841)
the playoffs are random.
no, they're really not.
   14. base ball chick Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:13 AM (#3888856)
ed wade just made a great trade to make the phillies better - he's the gift that keeps on giving to the phils and they don't even have to pay him no mo

the astros got a bunch of A ball crap and drayton doesn't have to pay 2.3 mill

we've got Barmes, Bourn, Wandy and the ol WB to dump

and when wandy goes, i'm gone. that's right, you head it here and i mean it.

the astros - especially if crane is allowed to become owner, will be in yearly contention for the worst team in the majors for decades. and i will have found something else to do with my life. sometimes, you just have to say it's over when it's over
   15. tfbg9 Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:20 AM (#3888858)
Don't give up bbc! Its always darkest before dawn.
   16. Dale Sams Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:25 AM (#3888860)
It's only been 6 years since their WS appearance!
   17. rr Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:28 AM (#3888861)
and when wandy goes, i'm gone.


You'd look good in knee-high boots and a Reds' hat.
   18. Dan Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:36 AM (#3888863)
According to Heyman, Dom Brown will be heading to Lehigh Valley to get everyday playing time with Ibañez staying in LF. That kind of reduces the size of the upgrade for this season.
   19. Sam M. Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:52 AM (#3888869)
the astros got a bunch of A ball crap and drayton doesn't have to pay 2.3 mill


Lisa, I know how you feel about Pence, but they really didn't get crap back. Singleton and Cosert are actually very good prospects, with outstanding potential. The Astros have only one road out of this mess, since as you've argued, Crane isn't going to be spending big bucks on top-shelf major league free agents. They need to build a minor league system, with at least a dozen really outstanding prospects, because if they only have 3-4, the chances are most of 'em will flame out, and getting one good player isn't going to be enough. But if you have a dozen, and three of them hit as stars, you've got the core of your next contending team. Maybe you've got your Gooden/Strawberry, or your next Killer B's.

Well, tonight you got two of those dozen. You have to start somewhere, and as barren as the Houston system is, getting two is a huge start. Singleton really, truly is one of the best hitting prospects in the minors. Cosert was ranked mid-season as the # 42 prospect in all of the minors by BA, just earlier this month. The present sucks for the Astros, and it sucked even with Hunter Pence. He wasn't really making it fun; he was just numbing the pain. The only way it's going to be fun is if they build a great minor league system and the prospects start arriving a while from now. They need to be the next Tampa Rays.

IMHO, Wade -- bad as he is overall -- got good value tonight for a team in the Astros' position.
   20. spike Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:00 AM (#3888871)
It was a good trade - I am happy my Braves didn't top the offer, but it was hardly a gimme.
   21. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:07 AM (#3888874)
Well and thoughtfully said, Sam.

+1.
   22. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:37 AM (#3888878)
no, they're really not.


The Braves made it every time they were held from 1991 until 2005, with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz in their rotation from 1993 until 1999. They won the World Series once.

So . . . .

Yes, they really are.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:47 AM (#3888879)
I'm at a loss, how is making the playoffs 'random'?
   24. DA Baracus Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:51 AM (#3888882)
I'm at a loss, how is making the playoffs 'random'?


You're at a loss because that's not what was said.
   25. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:51 AM (#3888883)
They need to be the next Tampa Rays.

For Astros fans, this is a scary concept. The Rays might be a trendy favorite these days, but it took them almost a decade of being putrid at the ML level for them to get there. Low-revenue, bad-ballpark (and, for years, bad-owner) Tampa might not have had much choice, but Houston is a top-10 market with an excellent ballpark.

The natives are already getting restless in Houston; it will be interesting to see what happens in the months ahead. If Lisa is even semi-representative, it appears the new owner is going to have a very short honeymoon.
   26. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:51 AM (#3888884)
The Braves made it every time they were held from 1991 until 2005, with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz in their rotation from 1993 until 1999. They won the World Series once.

This sounds like the opposite of random. It sounds like a pretty established, regular pattern.
   27.   Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:54 AM (#3888885)
Am I the only one not really seeing the big deal about Pence? I like this for the Astros.
   28. smileyy Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:56 AM (#3888886)
Making the playoffs isn't random. Once there, the field is favored over the best team.
   29. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:13 AM (#3888891)
If Lisa is even semi-representative

I think she is in her frustration with how poorly the team has been run these past few years, and I don't think that hanging an "Under New Ownership" sign outside the Box will do anything for attendance unless the product changes for the better, which it isn't likely to. Without a lockout next year, it'll be a football town by July for the next few years. They'll have corporate season ticket sales and some die-hards, but lots of dollar-nights and other deals while remaining in the bottom third for attendance. That's my guess.
   30. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:20 AM (#3888893)
Am I the only one not really seeing the big deal about Pence? I like this for the Astros.

It could work out great for the Astros in the long run, but trading the team's best player and fan favorite for two kids in A-ball who might help in 2013 or '14 (or '15) clearly is a bitter pill for Astros fans.
   31. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:29 AM (#3888896)
I don't get this. For either team. The Phillies are a good team, who many were already expecting to get to the World Series anyway. Pence is a good player but I don't think he's a huge difference-maker, even if he has better hitters in front of or behind him. Pence probably isn't selling Jeter-level merch at Minute Maid Park, but who the hell do you look forward to seeing when you go to Minute Maid Park now? They don't even have a hyped-up Strasburg/Trout-level hot prospect to look forward to. I think the highest-ranked prospect they have is Delino Deshields' son and he seems to be a B-level prospect at best.
   32. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:43 AM (#3888898)
Pence probably isn't selling Jeter-level merch at Minute Maid Park, but who the hell do you look forward to seeing when you go to Minute Maid Park now?

This was my main point in the other Pence thread. From a pure baseball operations standpoint, the trade makes sense for Houston. But their ML team and farm system are so thin that there's not even an obvious heir apparent to Pence as fan favorite, other than maybe Altuve. It's bad enough for attendance to drop, but with the Astros' new RSN starting up in 2012 or '13, this isn't a great time for TV ratings to be crashing.
   33. stevegamer Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:46 AM (#3888899)
I think the Astros' highest-rated prospect is one of the two guys they just got.
   34. baudib Posted: July 30, 2011 at 07:55 AM (#3888906)
How can anyone say this isn't an impact move for the Phillies? It quite clearly is. Ibanez has been putrid, and the team desperately needs a RH bat.

This seems to be a better alternative than giving Jayson Werth a bajillion dollars last winter.
   35. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 30, 2011 at 09:08 AM (#3888915)
Pence isn't replacing Ibanez. He's apparently replacing Brown. I don't think trading two good prospects for Pence makes sense for the Phillies at this point, either. They were very, very likely to make the playoffs already, and you can't improve your chances of winning the World Series once in the playoffs; they're 1 in 8, period.
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 30, 2011 at 09:38 AM (#3888917)
the astros - especially if crane is allowed to become owner, will be in yearly contention for the worst team in the majors for decades. and i will have found something else to do with my life. sometimes, you just have to say it's over when it's over


The Pirates' door is always open, if you feel like walking through.
   37. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 30, 2011 at 10:27 AM (#3888924)
It's funny to see the outfielders changing teams and the Braves just keep plugging along with one real outfielder. We're good thanks. Haven't had a complete outfield in ten years, why start now. Something called Jose Constanza led off a played centerfield tonight. Why not.
   38. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 30, 2011 at 11:15 AM (#3888928)
Am I the only one not really seeing the big deal about Pence? I like this for the Astros.

Nope. As a Mets fan I can't say I'm too upset about this.
   39. base ball chick Posted: July 30, 2011 at 01:00 PM (#3888938)
Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:20 AM (#3888893)

Am I the only one not really seeing the big deal about Pence? I like this for the Astros.

It could work out great for the Astros in the long run, but trading the team's best player and fan favorite for two kids in A-ball who might help in 2013 or '14 (or '15) clearly is a bitter pill for Astros fans.


- ding
DINGDINGDINGDING

the supposed 2 great prospects that ed wade got last year are both lousy and have been promoted to higher levels than they deserve to show how smart ed wade is. brett wallace has no power and isn't a ML first baseman and j happ had a high "win" record and borderline stuff.

ida wanna hear no nothin bout no building up minor leagues by ed "phillies unpaid GM" wade

ed wade's top draft picks are absolutely awful - and this includes jason castro, who oozes this intangibles stuff and can't hit ML pitching or block balls

the top "prospects" in the astros top 10 are just guys who were drafted in the past couple of years in the 1 or 2 slot and have all that "potential" - you know the kind - they are 20 and in 10 years have the potential to be 30. "potential" means what someone guesses someone can do based a lot on what they look like and who they remind someone of.

- i can't get excited about getting A ball guys and i don't have any idea why so many of you think that what some guy does in A ball predicts ML success.

now this is just me and i am a serious fan - and i'm not sure how much longer this gonna go on. jim crane and his empty pockets getting handed this franchise is gonna be bout the last straw.

the Box will still get their coprorate seats sold, and lots of cheap group tix and big bunches of little kids in to sing the anthem and clap from their crappy seats in the upper deck where you can't see anything. there won't be FANS - just some bodies in the seats for a night out.

this is what MLB wants - the sales to the rich empty seats and boxes and suites - and they don't CARE if people come to the actual stadium - MLBAM, mlb.tv and cable give the owners plenty of money no matter what goes on the field and they only have any trouble if they are out and out thieves like mccourt - and if him and jamie weren't so stupid and greedy and didn't make the lethal mistake of getting divored so all the finances came out in public - the second worst sin to bud - they STILL be draining the franchise dry.

mlb/bud and fox really care about pimping yankees/redsox and the rest of the franchises can suck for all they care.

and now the astros are gonna be bottom dwellers for decades.

seems that won't nobody repeat jim crane's ON THE RECORD statement about refusing to spend money on the major leagues and that the payroll would be drastically cut and would not go up unless the fans "support the team" - which, let's face it, they are NOT gonna do with a bunch of brett wallaces losing 100+ games every year

you guys think i'm kidding about divorcing bud and his crap - nope, i'm not
   40. ColonelTom Posted: July 30, 2011 at 01:01 PM (#3888939)
Brown is likely headed to AAA to play every day in LF, where he will start next year. My guess is the Phils will call him up before September 1, and he could be back in the lineup then.
   41. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 30, 2011 at 01:22 PM (#3888942)
The Phillies are going to be really expensive and pretty old in 2 years; it's not going to end well once they get to the other side of the "Flags Fly Forever!" moment in 2011 and (maybe) 2012.

But wait, the flags do fly forever, and when 2012 rolls around they can reload the system by trading some of those old expensive guys to other teams looking to make a playoff push. I'm not seeing much of a problem here.
   42. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 30, 2011 at 01:23 PM (#3888943)
you can't improve your chances of winning the World Series once in the playoffs; they're 1 in 8, period.


That's just silly talk. Do you really think that if the Pirates win the NLC, that they will have the same chances to win as the Red Sox, Phillies, Braves, Giants, or Yankees? It's a crap shoot but not an even odds crap shoot.

Hunter Pence raises the Phils chance of winning the WS from oh, 14% to 14.5%. He does give them some leverage against Loogies, although there's a 0% chance that Charlie Manual will do anything to maximize Pence's possible help in that area.
   43. Greg K Posted: July 30, 2011 at 01:39 PM (#3888946)
you can't improve your chances of winning the World Series once in the playoffs; they're 1 in 8, period.

So if you're the Phillies do you rest Halladay for the playoffs? I mean, why risk hurting his arm if it doesn't effect your chances of winning? May as well save him for the regular season games in 2012 that matter.
   44. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2011 at 01:56 PM (#3888948)
you guys think i'm kidding about divorcing bud and his crap - nope, i'm not

LCS in 2004, WS in 2005, last team eliminated from playoff contention in 2006. I know you're pissed and things suck, but a half-decade of crap isn't really much.
   45. Sam M. Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:04 PM (#3888950)
i can't get excited about getting A ball guys and i don't have any idea why so many of you think that what some guy does in A ball predicts ML success.


I guess we just differ in how we approach the whole fan thing. I can get excited over A ball guys, and have a lot of fun following the Mets' minor league teams to see which of their prospects are doing well and maybe showing signs of exceeding expectations or, in the case of a 1st round pick, meeting them. That's the future life-blood of the team, big-market or otherwise. I'd much rather have a team that is primarily home-grown and developed.

I agree with you that "what some guy does in A ball [doesn't] predict ML success" -- at least not reliably. That's why you need to have a deep minor league system, with a LOT of prospects like Singleton and Cosart. Because some of 'em will get hurt, and some of 'em will just not maintain their performance at higher levels, and some of 'em will lose their desire to do the work it takes to succeed in the face of tougher competition and inevitable failures along the way. The Astros had none, zero, zilch prospects of this caliber. As BA said in its summary of this trade:

Cosart had the best pure arm in the system, and Singleton the best pure stroke. Those are strong players to build a trade around, and they instantly jump to the front of a painfully thin Astros farm system.

But anyway, as I said, we just differ on this. Two days ago, there were two important and interesting starts by pitchers in the Mets' minor league system. Johan Santana made his first rehab start, throwing 33 pitches in three shutout innings at St. Lucie. In AA Binghamton, their # 1 pick from last year, Matt Harvey, went 7 innings, giving up 4 hits and 1 run, while striking out 10 (including Bryce Harper twice) in a no-decision. Most of the attention, for obvious reasons, went to Santana -- and don't get me wrong, I'm big-time hoping he comes back as the Johan of old. But I was more excited about Harvey. That's just me.
   46. base ball chick Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:15 PM (#3888955)
lassus,

a half decade of crap - except for 2008 until Ike, isn't much. correctamundo. i can handle that no probs

what i CAN'T handle is the fact that this is going to continue for decades. i see absolutely ZERO signs that there is gonna be any significant positive change or that the drafting/developing in the minors will improve.

notice that the 2 guys who succeeded THIS year were NOT prospects. or drafted high. they were both expected to be nothing but minor league filler and they developed in spite of the minors.


ed wade/bobby heck haven't made a dime's worth of difference in the past 4 years. we've had the exact number of succeses from the purpura era (2 years) than we did with wade - a couple of guys who succeeded who weren't "prospects"

getting a few more A ball guys (who are not exactly mike trout/ryan braun) and a suckulous AA guy isn't gonna make a damm bit of difference

being an astros fan these days is like being an abused woman hoping that he'll "change" because he's soooooooo sorry

and yes, i think i am speaking for most of the few remaining "fans" in houston and make no mistake about it, we've lost the austin/san antonio market and no one else anywhere in the state gives a **** about the astros. these are the FACTS. i don't see astros hats. i see (the kind of swear words that will make The Jim ban me forevah) yecchs/redsux tshirts/jerseys and caps. THAT is what kind of "fans" we have left. and take a look at the media coverage of the astros - basically, nothing.

it's ovah (unless we get an owner who is not crane and is not gonna WANT to play loser for 30 mill)
   47. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3888960)
this is going to continue for decades

That seems pretty hard to imagine. Even the Pirates only took 15 years to finally start wising up a little bit, and it only took three years for the wising up to start showing up on the field. Why not at least hold out hope that Wade and Heck will be gone after a couple more seasons of empty seats and last place finishes?
   48. Mash Wilson Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:35 PM (#3888962)
"1 in 8, period" is exaggeration but not by much. If the Pirates somehow win the Central they'd be about 10% to win the World Series while the Phillies would be about 15%. The difference is not much greater than that.

And I'll repeat my point on this topic: as far as winning once in the playoffs goes, Hunter Pence makes no difference. Especially not when he's replacing Dominic Brown. This trade's only importance lies in what it means for the 2012-2013 Phillies.
   49. Mash Wilson Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:39 PM (#3888964)
So if you're the Phillies do you rest Halladay for the playoffs? I mean, why risk hurting his arm if it doesn't effect your chances of winning? May as well save him for the regular season games in 2012 that matter.


You're being sarcastic but in a vacuum it's not a bad strategy, or anyway it wouldn't be a bad strategy to give Halladay extra days off. It doesn't fail from a baseball strategy standpoint, it fails because your marketing department would object and Roy Halladay would object.

But as it is, it probably WOULD be a good idea, at least once we roll into September, to be a little less inclined to let Halladay throw 8 innings in 8-1 games.
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3888972)
They were very, very likely to make the playoffs already, and you can't improve your chances of winning the World Series once in the playoffs; they're 1 in 8, period.

That's BS. Not favored against the field is a whole lot different than random.

Pence makes the Phillies better this year, and for the next 2 years, when they'll be in contention with their aging core. This trade makes sense for both teams.
   51. GregD Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#3888974)
Obviously this could blow up in the Phillies' face but I don't get the resistance to it. He's a 28-year-old outfielder with a 130 OPS+ this year, and a history of 115+ OPS+, and the Phils will control him--though at market rates--for what remains of his prime. The Phils outfield includes one guy who's toast and another prospect who's struggling to put it together. And they're a team that's got as good a shot to win the World Series as anybody.

That's not a game changer, but that's a valuable player, and the Phils apparently can afford to pay him. So what's not to like, unless the prospects explode?
   52. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:18 PM (#3888975)
You're being sarcastic but in a vacuum it's not a bad strategy, or anyway it wouldn't be a bad strategy to give Halladay extra days off. It doesn't fail from a baseball strategy standpoint
Ummm...yes, yes it does.
   53. rr Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#3888978)
Pence makes the Phillies better this year, and for the next 2 years, when they'll be in contention with their aging core. This trade makes sense for both teams.


Correct, with the caveat it makes sense for the Astros only from a purely baseball operations POV, as Kehoskie said.


I guess we just differ in how we approach the whole fan thing. I can get excited over A ball guys, and have a lot of fun following the Mets' minor league teams to see which of their prospects are doing well and maybe showing signs of exceeding expectations or, in the case of a 1st round pick, meeting them. That's the future life-blood of the team, big-market or otherwise. I'd much rather have a team that is primarily home-grown and developed.


Even by BTF standards, which are far from the norm, you are an outlier in terms of how much you value prospects and talk about them. Cosart and Singleton, likely as not, will never do shitt in the majors.
   54. Tricky Dick Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:32 PM (#3888980)
the supposed 2 great prospects that ed wade got last year are both lousy and have been promoted to higher levels than they deserve to show how smart ed wade is.

bbc, I share some of your frustration, but let's not attack every Astros prospect just because they were acquired by Wade. I wasn't overly excited about Paredes and Villar when they were acquired in the Berkman and Oswalt trade, and I wouldn't paint them as sure things by any means. But I follow their AA performance on pretty much a daily basis, and they are not lousy. Both of them have the potential to be premium defensive players and they both seem to have improved their offense in the last month. Paredes has a .529 SLG% for July and Villar (who is only 20 years) has a .510 SLG% for the month. Maybe this is a just a blip...or maybe it shows that they are doing what they are supposed to do in AA---develop. As a fan, at least give them a chance.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:32 PM (#3888981)
Correct, with the caveat it makes sense for the Astros only from a purely baseball operations POV, as Kehoskie said.

Sure. They're a disaster.

But, if I were a fan, I'd rather see them do the right baseball move than hold on to Pence to sell an extra 1,000 tickets per game for a 65 win team.
   56. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#3888983)
"1 in 8, period" is exaggeration but not by much. If the Pirates somehow win the Central they'd be about 10% to win the World Series while the Phillies would be about 15%. The difference is not much greater than that.

And I'll repeat my point on this topic: as far as winning once in the playoffs goes, Hunter Pence makes no difference. Especially not when he's replacing Dominic Brown. This trade's only importance lies in what it means for the 2012-2013 Phillies.


It would be more convincing if you'd point to the evidence for counterintuitive claims instead of just saying "Um, you're wrong."
   57. Eric P. Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#3888985)
The Giants just gave up a better prospect than either of these guys for a couple months of Carlos Beltran. You're telling me the two of them aren't worth an extra two years of a quality OF like Hunter Pence? Come on!

Heck, it's not like either of these guys have shown they're slam dunks, either. Singleton is a 1B/"OF" who's slugged .450 in the low minors and Cosart has already had elbow problems and has a pretty crummy K/BB this season.
   58. Mark S. is bored Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:00 PM (#3888995)
The Giants just gave up a better prospect than either of these guys for a couple months of Carlos Beltran. You're telling me the two of them aren't worth an extra two years of a quality OF like Hunter Pence? Come on!


The Mets got Wheeler who was ranked 31st in Keith Law's mid-season update. In the same update, Cosart was ranked 17th and Singleton was ranked 24th. So, the Astros got two prospects who are ranked higher than Wheeler, plus two other guys.
   59. Swedish Chef Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#3889001)
Assume a dominant team with a true talent at 105 wins*. In the division series they meet a team that squeaked by with 85 win talent, if they win that matchup they meet a 90 win team. And if they get by that they will meet a 95 win team in the World Series. What are their chances?

Quick and dirty and ignoring home field advantage the answer is 19.3%.

Realistically one would put in home field advantage too. And to do something more than quick and dirty, the whole playoff tree should be calculated so the correct odds of upsets in the other matchups get factored in.

*) Normalized over all of MLB, not per division
   60. Eric P. Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:15 PM (#3889002)
The Mets got Wheeler who was ranked 31st in Keith Law's mid-season update. In the same update, Cosart was ranked 17th and Singleton was ranked 24th. So, the Astros got two prospects who are ranked higher than Wheeler, plus two other guys.


I was going by BA's list, for what it's worth. Fine, let's say they're equals as prospects. Two full seasons of Pence is still worth an extra one of them. As far as the two PTBNL's, one's organizational filler and it's likely the other is too.
   61. Mash Wilson Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#3889007)
Crispix: I dunno, that sounds like a lot of work.

You're just going to respond with some variation on "lolsamplesize" but since I'm curious let's look at all the champions since we went to this silly eight teams playoff format. And I'm just counting wins here.

1995: Braves (2nd-best team)
1996: Yankees (3rd-best team)
1997: Marlins (4th-best team)
1998: Yankees (best team)
1999: Yankees (best team)
2000: Yankees (8th-best team)
2001: Diamondbacks (5th-best team)
2002: Angels (4th-best team)
2003: Marlins (6th-best team)
2004: Red Sox (3rd-best team)
2005: White Sox (best team)*
2006: Cardinals (8th-best team)
2007: Red Sox (best team)
2008: Phillies (5th-best team)
2009: Yankees (best team)
2010: Giants (5th-best team)

* The Cardinals won one more game than the White Sox in 2005, but given the league disparity and how I don't mind biasing my results against my own hypothesis, we'll call the White Sox the best team.

In handy chart form, 16 seasons have provided this:
Best team: 5 titles
2nd-best: 1 title
3rd-best: 2 titles
4th-best: 2 titles
5th-best: 3 titles
6th-best: 1 title
7th-best: 0 titles
8th-best: 2 titles

So my Phillies 15%/Pirates 10% assertion is still an exaggeration and I should back off that before I make myself look sillier than I already have. But the playoffs are still mostly random, random enough that adding Hunter Pence makes no difference.

Also, I'm going to pick whichever playoff team has the 7th-best record to win the World Series this year. From where we stand right now it looks like that's going to be whoever wins the NL Central.
   62. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#3889009)
one's organizational filler and it's likely the other is too.

Or the PTBNL could be Ben Francisco or Kyle Kendrick, both of whom have a slight chance of helping in the playoffs if the Phils get hit with an injury or two in the next 2 months.
   63. Sam M. Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:41 PM (#3889014)
Fine, let's say they're equals as prospects. Two full seasons of Pence is still worth an extra one of them.

I think that's a complicated question. Remember, the Giants are getting Beltran's two months almost for free (the Mets are paying 2/3 of his remaining contract), while the Phillies are going to be paying progressively closer to market price for Pence. I happen to think Pence is very solid but somewhat overrated, as a corner OF who has never had a season (with 500 PA) in which he has had an OPS+ of 120. On a value basis, they may overpay in the next two years. But on the field, he'll be good for them, of that I have relatively little doubt.

So is two virtually free months, plus a post-season, of Beltran, worth half of two years of Pence, during which you have to pay him basically the going market salary?

Even by BTF standards, which are far from the norm, you are an outlier in terms of how much you value prospects and talk about them. Cosart and Singleton, likely as not, will never do shitt in the majors.

I probably shouldn't even respond to this, but a couple of points. First, as I've noted in this very thread, the fact that one or two prospects (even as highly-rated as Singleton and Cosart) are not likely to pan out is exactly the reason it is a good idea to accumulate a lot of them. You aren't very likely to get the 2-3 players you need your system to produce by beating the odds with only two or three great prospects in your system, so you play the odds by having a dozen of them. So to that extent, the fact that Cosart and Singleton are not likely to do anything is, perversely, the reason you have to acquire lots and lots of Cosarts and Singletons. It's not about them specifically; it's about the Astros starting somewhere.

Second, the value of minor league prospects is not just as the guys who will/should stock your major league team. (Although I would challenge you to name the last WS team that did NOT have a major part of its roster made up of talent it developed from its own system. Go ahead. I'll wait.) It's to have the highly-regarded chips you can deal when you feel you need to acquire a Hunter Pence or a Carlos Beltran at the right moment. That's another reason not to have only 2 or 3, but a dozen. So you can afford to part with Singleton and Cosart, and still have a system ready to churn out talent. The Braves could have traded Minor, because they have enough pitching talent to make that an option. The Rays can mull trading Upton and even Shields (even if they don't do it) because they have a productive system. Maybe I tend towards overvaluing prospects, but I see which teams are successful over time, big budgets or mid-size, and they are the organizations that produce talent and then utilize it well. The Astros will never be successful until they accumulate talent in the minor leagues. Never. And that will be true even if Singleton and Cosart flame out like drag queens in a sequin factory on Halloween.
   64. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:46 PM (#3889017)
Thanks, Mash Wilson. Pretty logical conclusion.

In other news, Mr. Run Support himself, Doug "3.33, 3-12" Fister is going to the Tigers. Hopefully this works out better than the last starting pitcher to be traded in that direction.

From the point of view of this thread, we can say they traded him for the Tigers' third baseman of the future, Francisco Martinez. Surprisingly, there's never been anyone named "Francisco Martinez" in the majors. The Tigers also get David Pauley. And the Mariners get Charlie Furbush and Casper "The White Shadow" Wells.
   65. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#3889018)
Or the PTBNL could be Ben Francisco or Kyle Kendrick, both of whom have a slight chance of helping in the playoffs if the Phils get hit with an injury or two in the next 2 months


I don't think so. Doesn't a PTBNL have to come from the minors? Or more specifically, can't have played in the league he's getting traded to?
   66. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#3889024)
8th-best: 2 titles


These 8th-best teams were coming off prior seasons of 100 and 98 wins. The true quality of those teams was likely higher than 8th-best team in the majors.

The 2003 Marlins are the only team that snuck into the playoffs and won the World Series without a record of previous success.
   67. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:13 PM (#3889032)
the Giants are getting Beltran's two months almost for free (the Mets are paying 2/3 of his remaining contract), while the Phillies are going to be paying progressively closer to market price for Pence.


Houston's kicking in most of this year's money for Pence, I believe.

Doesn't a PTBNL have to come from the minors? Or more specifically, can't have played in the league he's getting traded to?

Misirlou, that's news to me.
   68. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:29 PM (#3889038)
These 8th-best teams were coming off prior seasons of 100 and 98 wins. The true quality of those teams was likely higher than 8th-best team in the majors.

That works both ways. The 2002 Angels were bookended by 75- and 77-win teams; it was the subsequent spending spree (Guerrero, Colon, Escobar) that made them good. The White Sox won 83 games in 2004, and they fell to 90 in 2006 despite replacing two black holes with Thome and Vazquez.
   69. Mash Wilson Posted: July 30, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#3889045)
Tom N.: the Greg Maddux School beat me to the obvious counterpoint, but really I can't see how it makes any difference even if your point was valid.

And I was there in 2000, the Yankees sucked until the playoffs started. The series are just too short to strip out much randomness.
   70. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3889051)
I understand the logic of including them, but citing the Yankees' third consecutive World Championship as evidence of the randomness of the playoffs seems pretty disingenuous to me.
   71. Mash Wilson Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#3889055)
I'm not sure what's hard to understand there, or what relevance 1999 has. In 2000 the Yankees were the weakest team in the field. Are you trying to assign weight to playoff experience here?
   72. Sweatpants Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#3889057)
1999: Yankees (best team)
The Braves had the best record in baseball that season.
   73. Sam M. Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:30 PM (#3889058)
In 2000 the Yankees were the weakest team the field. Are you trying to assign weight to playoff experience here?

Not speaking for Tom, but I think the argument could be that one year's worth of regular season record might not be the only metric for measuring quality. We accept this idea when it comes to (for example) player projections -- you look at an entire career, especially the last three years. In assessing the true talent and likely performance of the players on the 2000 Yankee post-season roster, was the only relevant consideration how they performed in the 2000 regular season? Not to me it wasn't.
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#3889059)
I'm not sure what's hard to understand there, or what relevance 1999 has. In 2000 the Yankees were the weakest team in the field. Are you trying to assign weight to playoff experience here?

Not true.

This is a team that was 84-59 on Sept. 13, a .587 W%, with a .590 Pyth W% to match, in first by 9 games.

With the division all but clinched, they went 3-15 the rest of the way.

That was an excellent team that didn't try too hard down the stretch.
   75. Mash Wilson Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#3889062)
I have a hard time thinking the Yankees just didn't care down the stretch, not when home field was far from clinched and Steinbrenner was prowling around. Those games count, and the Yankees weren't the best team that year.

But anyway, enough of that. Now we're a long way off track from where I started, just by glancing at who won the Series every year. But if anyone thinks they can do a real study that shows the best team (or one of the best two or three teams) wins the World Series much more often than the 5th-8th best teams, I'd love to see it.
   76. Greg K Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:41 PM (#3889063)
Now we're a long way off track from where I started, just by glancing at who won the Series every year. But if anyone thinks they can do a real study that shows the best team (or one of the best two or three teams) wins the World Series much more often than the 5th-8th best teams, I'd love to see it.

I think it's the "much more" that is causing the debate. Your original argument was 1 in 8 shot, full stop, which people took exception to. Someone earlier suggested a 105 win team would have a 19% chance.

Would repective odds something like
19%
15%
13%
12%
11%
10%
10%
10%

make sense?
   77. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 30, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#3889069)
I'm not sure what's hard to understand there, or what relevance 1999 has. In 2000 the Yankees were the weakest team in the field.


The 1999 team had largely the same personnel as the 2000 team. That's the relevance. As Sam said, the number of games a team wins in a particular season is not always the best measure of the true quality of the team.

Looking at the five seasons centered on 2000, the Yankees won 116-98-87-95-103 regular season games. Over those same five seasons, the Indians won 89-97-90-91-74 games. The White Sox won 80-75-95-83-81 games. Are you really comfortable saying that the 2000 Yankees were worse in any meaningful way than the 2000 Indians or the 2000 White Sox? I wouldn't be.
   78. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 30, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#3889072)
Doesn't a PTBNL have to come from the minors? Or more specifically, can't have played in the league he's getting traded to?


Misirlou, that's news to me.


One of numerous sources.

Two rules govern player-to-be-named-later transactions. The deal must close within six months and the player must change leagues (which is why most players to be named later are minor leaguers).


Since the Phillies and Astros are in the same league, the PTBNL can't be a major leaguer.
   79. Sam M. Posted: July 30, 2011 at 07:47 PM (#3889081)
Since the Phillies and Astros are in the same league,


Oh, look. Misirlou made a joke.
   80. Gaelan Posted: July 30, 2011 at 07:48 PM (#3889084)
These 8th-best teams were coming off prior seasons of 100 and 98 wins. The true quality of those teams was likely higher than 8th-best team in the majors.


I presume one of these is the 83 win Cardinal team which won the world series precisely because they didn't field the same team in the world series as they did in the regular season. So, that Cardinal team, far from being evidence that the playoffs are random are evidence that the playoffs are not random.
   81. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 30, 2011 at 08:10 PM (#3889088)
I presume one of these is the 83 win Cardinal team which won the world series precisely because they didn't field the same team in the world series as they did in the regular season.


Can you elaborate? The eight 2006 Cardinals with the most regular season PA's were Molina, Pujols, Miles, Eckstein, Rolen, Tagichi, Edmonds, and Encarnacion. The eight Cardinals with the most PA in the WS were Molina, Pujols, Belliard (5 more PA than Miles), Eckstein, Rolen, Tagichi, Edmonds, and Preston Wilson (4 more PA than Encarnacion).

Their pitchers with the most starts were Carpenter, Marquis, and Suppan. Their starts in the WS were by Weaver (2), Carpenter, Suppan, and Reyes, 1 each.

Comparing regular season stats, Belliard was slightly worse than Miles, Wilson slightly better than Encarnacion, and Weaver and Reyes slightly better than Marquis. They didn't have their regular season closer (Izzy) for the WS. I'm not seeing a whole lot of differences.
   82. Swedish Chef Posted: July 30, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3889089)
I think it's the "much more" that is causing the debate. Your original argument was 1 in 8 shot, full stop, which people took exception to. Someone earlier suggested a 105 win team would have a 19% chance.

Would repective odds something like
19%
15%
13%
12%
11%
10%
10%
10%

make sense?


I think the low end is too high, 7-8% would be pretty realistic.
   83. rr Posted: July 30, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3889090)
Second, the value of minor league prospects is not just as the guys who will/should stock your major league team. (Although I would challenge you to name the last WS team that did NOT have a major part of its roster made up of talent it developed from its own system. Go ahead. I'll wait.) It's to have the highly-regarded chips you can deal when you feel you need to acquire a Hunter Pence or a Carlos Beltran at the right moment.


I think what some people are missing about Lisa's frustration here is what this deal means in the context of the organization. On a basic, in-isolation level, dumping Pence makes sense for the Astros. The problem is that if your team is

a) Bad enough
b) Cheap enough
c) both a and b

such that you are dealing a 28-year-old who is good for two guys who might maybe possibly be good someday it means that your organization is so f'd up that you are going to be scrambling as a fan to find hope.

Put it in Mets terms: if the Mets were 35-71 with a barren system, would it then make sense for them to deal David Wright for prospects, conceding that Wright is presumably better than Pence? Probably would. But if the Mets allowed themselves to be 35-71 with a barren system, such that they had to start that process of restocking by shipping David Wright to a contender, what does that say about the organization?

This is why I was pissy about the Adrian Gonzalez deal last winter. While there are probably no absolutes, I think in general trading prime, established talent--guys who are good to very good in their 20s--for minor leaguers is a crappy idea, and if you have to do it, that means your org is way down in the tank. Trading Beltran, age 34, for a prospect? Go for it. Heath Bell for a prospect? I'm there. But with guys like Pence and especially with a guy like Gonzalez or a guy like Wright, well, I am a tougher sell.

Also, to be clear, I wasn't slamming you for valuing prospects so highly. Just contextualizing your argument.
   84. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 30, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#3889092)
If you use Mash Wilson's chart from Post 61, you get:

Best team: 31%
2nd-best: 6%
3rd-best: 13%
4th-best: 13%
5th-best: 19%
6th-best: 6%
7th-best: 0%
8th-best: 13%

Even though we're only working with 16 data points here, we can see a rough pattern there. If we group the teams by first and second, third and fourth, and so on, we get:

Top Quartile: 39%
Second Quartile: 26%
Third Quartile: 26%
Fourth Quartile: 13%

That seems about right to me. And it doesn't look like a crapshoot.
   85. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3889093)
That seems pretty hard to imagine. Even the Pirates only took 15 years ...

The "only took 15 years" struck me as really funny. I'm guessing the author's optimism and brand loyalty are well above average.

But, if I were a fan, I'd rather see them do the right baseball move than hold on to Pence to sell an extra 1,000 tickets per game for a 65 win team.

But it's not a binary choice between keeping Pence and acquiring prospects. It's difficult if not impossible to quantify it accurately, but if fan support for the Astros drops off in the wake of the Pence trade, then revenue will decline -- revenue that could have been used, e.g., to sign two or three high-end international free agents with similar or better upside than the players received by Houston.

I might be dead wrong, but I get the sense that Pence was one of the few times that sentimentality and/or marketing were legitimate factors in the trade deliberations. In a city like Houston that isn't a huge baseball town in the first place, it seems like risky business to field an essentially faceless 100-loss team for several years, no matter how much it might make sense from a pure baseball operations standpoint.
   86. Mash Wilson Posted: July 30, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3889094)
Suppose the Phillies play the Pirates in the first round this year (a scenario which, for right now, is still possible). What do you think the Phillies' probability of beating the Pirates in a five game series would be?

It feels like around 90% to me, but the side of me that likes math (I keep it hidden in a dark corner of my brain mostly) is insisting it's probably no more than 65-70%.
   87. Mash Wilson Posted: July 30, 2011 at 08:30 PM (#3889096)
I might be dead wrong, but I get the sense that Pence was one of the few times that sentimentality and/or marketing were legitimate factors in the trade deliberations. In a city like Houston that isn't a huge baseball town in the first place, it seems like risky business to field an essentially faceless 100-loss team for several years, no matter how much it might make sense from a pure baseball operations standpoint.


It makes no difference how good a baseball town it is or isn't. As soon as the Astros resume contending, whether it's in 2013, 2017 or 2027, the fans will come right back. And so will BBC.
   88. Sam M. Posted: July 30, 2011 at 08:42 PM (#3889100)
But if Mets allowed themselves to be 35-71 with a barren system, such that they had to start that process of restocking by shipping David Wright to a contender, what does that say about the organization?

It says the organization is a disaster. And I don't begrudge Lisa even one iota for slamming the owners and management over that reality with every last breath in her fiery body. But my point is: if that happens to be the truth of the situation -- and it is -- then you have to face that reality and deal with it. In your terms, if the organization is -- in fact -- "way down in the tank" what is the point of pretending otherwise?

So what do you do? Well, I have no problem with ripping to shreds the people who are responsible for the mess. Fine. But then second by making (or if you are a fan, supporting) smart decisions from this point forward. Once you have a barren system and a terrible major league team, what the hell is the way forward? It has to involve accumulating young talent.

If the Astros don't sell high on Pence (trading him now, both when he is hitting well and when he is two years away from free agency and thus brings a higher return in the talent they need), how much higher is the mountain they have to climb? When they DO inevitably sell him two years from now, he's 30, he's two months from free agency, and he brings back -- at best -- one B level prospect. He moves the needle not at all in their rebuilding effort. If you think prospects are lottery tickets, then at least get ones that are good for the big drawing, and not for the scratch off that pays $500.

If the Mets were in the Astros' position, and traded Wright in a similar deal, I hope my reaction would be to be just as angry as Lisa is, but at what I believe is the right target: at the stupidity that got us in the mess in the first place, and which sadly made the trade the right thing to do. And if I thought the deal was a necessary & smart first step in turning it around, I wouldn't be mad at the GM who made it -- at least not for that move. It's hard to compartmentalize like that, but I think it is the right answer in this case.
   89. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2011 at 08:43 PM (#3889101)
It makes no difference how good a baseball town it is or isn't. As soon as the Astros resume contending, whether it's in 2013, 2017 or 2027, the fans will come right back. And so will BBC.

Perhaps, but it's a big gamble from a revenue standpoint. As I said in the other thread, it's one thing to be bad, and another to be irrelevant. If the lack of a single marquee-type player results in even 500 fewer fans per game at the ballpark and a couple points of TV ratings, that's big money being lost.

If the Astros don't sell high on Pence (trading him now, ...

When they DO inevitably sell him two years from now, he's 30, he's two months from free agency, and he brings back -- at best -- one B level prospect. He moves the needle not at all in their rebuilding effort.

Just to play devil's advocate, I have to believe there would have been a bigger market for Pence during the offseason. Also, unless we're assuming that free-agent compensation will be eliminated in the next CBA, Pence could have been allowed to walk after 2013 and yielded a first-round pick and a sandwich pick.

The thing I don't understand the most about what's going on in Houston is this: If the Astros are in full-on rebuild mode, then why is Jordan Lyles accruing service time when he wasn't exactly making a mockery of Triple-A, and why have Altuve and Martinez been rushed up from Double-A and gotten their service-time clocks started as well? As much as the Astros clearly need a rebuilding phase, it seems like a lot of the decisions are at cross purposes (and perhaps even being made for job-saving rather than long-term purposes).
   90. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 30, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3889104)
As soon as the Astros resume contending, whether it's in 2013, 2017 or 2027, the fans will come right back. And so will BBC.


You don't know Lisa very well, do you?

-- MWE
   91. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 30, 2011 at 09:16 PM (#3889108)
Just to play devil's advocate, I have to believe there would have been a bigger market for Pence during the offseason.


I actually don't think so.

Good players who are complementary pieces - and that is exactly what Pence is - tend to be more valuable at the trading deadline than they are in the offseason, because (a) there is normally no urgency for the team trading such a player to move him and (b) the team in need of such a player usually has more urgency to act and fewer alternatives available at the deadline than in the offseason. So if the Astros were going to extract maximum value for Pence, the best time to do it was now, when there was no pressure on them to make a deal and a lot of pressure on the contenders to make one.

-- MWE
   92. Sam M. Posted: July 30, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#3889111)
So if the Astros were going to extract maximum value for Pence, the best time to do it was now, when there was no pressure on them to make a deal and a lot of pressure on the contenders to make one.

And, just to add to that, I think this was particularly true in the case of the Phillies and Pence. I think Amaro felt a bit of pressure to respond to the Giants' acquisition of Beltran, and Pence was the best remaining bat on the market -- by a wide margin, in fact. I think that left the Astros in an excellent position to extract a good price from this particular target, and Wade did just that.
   93. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#3889117)
So if the Astros were going to extract maximum value for Pence, the best time to do it was now, when there was no pressure on them to make a deal ...

But this seemed less and less true once the rumors of the new owner wanting payroll slashed began to leak out. For all the chatter on Twitter and MLBTR about Pence being the hottest property on the trade market, it seemed like the Pence trade talks began and ended with the Phillies. (And the fact the Astros pulled the trigger some 48 hours before the deadline also seems curious.)
   94. Walt Davis Posted: July 30, 2011 at 10:09 PM (#3889135)
Sam, I agree with your #88 but, from Lisa's standpoint, you have to realize that she's also convinced (rightly or otherwise) that new ownership is not an improvement on old ownership. So imagine the Mets were moribund, "had" to trade Wright and Reyes, and you knew the new owners were going to be as bad as the Wilpons, were underfunded and, say, Minaya was still in charge. It's distinctly more depressing.

I'm not as despondent as bbc but I'm gonna be feeling kinda like her if the Cubs don't can Hendry at season's end ... while acknowledging that I don't have much confidence that they're gonna bring in somebody just as bad.

As to Pence, what's wrong with making Bourn the fan favorite? WAR rates him as the team's best player anyway, slap a "scrappy" label on him, let him go for 60 steals, the fans will love him (they should already).

Holy crap! Carlos Lee has started hitting again. He's up to a 115 OPS+ and (more proof that it's a silly stat!) WAR has him at 3.1.

Seriously ... Chone ... Carlos Lee +15 in LF? (UZR has him at +8 ... the apocalypse is nigh!)
   95. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 30, 2011 at 10:10 PM (#3889136)
Considering how well the Phillies AAAA team draws in Houston, MLB should consider expanding there.
   96. rr Posted: July 30, 2011 at 10:33 PM (#3889146)
What Davis said in 94 was part of what I was getting at when I said the org was f'd up; I should have been more direct.

And IMO Sam is skating over the fact a bit that one reason Lisa is pissed is that this is another Wade/Phillies deal, so she figures, perhaps rightly, that it will therefore suck.

As to the general issues, I see the points, but Sam's POV reminds
me of the BP "next good _________________ team" meme, which I never agreed with, as I see baseball as being more fluid than that meme implies.
   97. base ball chick Posted: July 30, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#3889192)
Mash Wilson Posted: July 30, 2011 at 04:30 PM (#3889096)

I might be dead wrong, but I get the sense that Pence was one of the few times that sentimentality and/or marketing were legitimate factors in the trade deliberations. In a city like Houston that isn't a huge baseball town in the first place, it seems like risky business to field an essentially faceless 100-loss team for several years, no matter how much it might make sense from a pure baseball operations standpoint.


- this is dead on
and pence wasn't even my favorite player
the fans are FURIOUS - and i mean FURIOUS


It makes no difference how good a baseball town it is or isn't. As soon as the Astros resume contending, whether it's in 2013, 2017 or 2027, the fans will come right back. And so will BBC

- like tweety bird sez - he don't know me vewy weww

lemme tell you a lil something - houston had a VERY good baseball team from 96 - 03. bagwell and biggio were teh awesome, the killah bees rooled and the Dome wasn't even full for the playoffs with Randy Eff Johnson in 98. when drayton was threatening to leave if he didn't get a new stadium, didn't nobody care - and the ONLY way they got one was because the city passed the cost onto hotels and rental cars - otherwise it would have been voted down, crooked pols or no.

because there weren't much of any fans

and that changed - and i mean the kind of change that would make your jaw drop - like if some scraggly ugly 12 year old grrl morphed in 1 second into scarlett johanson (or whichever female make you go ohhhhhhhhh myyyyyyy)

the minute roger clemens considered unretiring. houston caught SERIOUS baseball fever. if i hadn't seen it, if i hadn't been here, i wouldn't nevah have believed it.

after hurricane IKE, when drayton sold the team down the river, it was ovah

and i'm telling you that the fans will NOT be back. not by a LONG shot. especially after years and YEARS of ownership putting the 03 tigers on the field year after year. he has ALREADY said ON THE RECORD - you hearing this - ON THE RECORD - that it will be the fans' fault if the team is bad and they don't show up.

about this shtty trade -
yes, i know only too well that this team has only crap in the farm, that ed wade's draft have been worse than The Hated Purpura's, that we NEED prospects, that pence is now at peak value (like bourn, who ed wade is trying like crazy to trade, along with wandy) - but i don't give a shtt what all those "oooooh, potentials!!!!" prospect people think - they are all obsessed with how old is someone and what round was he drafted in. what the astros NEED is not a bunch of A ball guys who have "potential" - we need AAA guys who can't break onto the ML team because they are blocked - we NEED those guys first because WE DON'T HAVE ANY. and oh HOW i wish i was as big as shawn chacon and i could tell that (lots of icky swear words) ed wade what a piece of slimy garbage filth (prolly libeling comments) he is

i do want to say that if i wasn't married to husby-do, who is teh awesomeness (he wants to know if after i divorce the astros i am gonna get remarried to the cards or pirates - or spend the rest of my life grousing about what a (swear words) my ex is) i would marry sam M. or mike E. maybe both. you can't nevah have too much awesomeness
   98. rr Posted: July 30, 2011 at 11:45 PM (#3889198)
Ubaldo Jimenez has been scratched from his start.
   99. rr Posted: July 30, 2011 at 11:48 PM (#3889202)
Plus Sam M wouldn't even want you to have sex with him. Win-win.

WEEI says Jimenez is going to Cleveland.
   100. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 30, 2011 at 11:51 PM (#3889207)
I think the drought your suffering in Texas (rain, not baseball) contributes to the locals' fury.
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