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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Rosenthal Claims Angels Give Up on Next Five Seasons

FACT:
Gary Matthews, Jr. is a 32-year-old outfielder with a career OPS+ of 96 and Equivalent Average of .258—over his career he has just been below average as a hitter.  Last year, his 119 OPS+ mark marked the first time he had ever exceeded 109, and only the third time he had exceeded 100 in his career.

FACT:
Despite making highlight reels, Matthews’ defense last year rated mediocre or worse by both zone rating and PMR, not to mention by Davenport’s non-play-by-play defensive metric, for whatever that’s worth.

FACT:
Per Rosenthal, Matthews, Jr. will be making $10M per from Arte Moreno through age 37.

Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: November 22, 2006 at 06:34 PM | 163 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, giants, rangers

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   101. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: November 22, 2006 at 09:58 PM (#2244410)
Well, I could have sworn I made a post here.
   102. Tim D Posted: November 22, 2006 at 09:58 PM (#2244411)
The Magglio Ordenez deal is looking better all the time....
   103. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:03 PM (#2244417)
several years of watching Edmonds & Friends choke down the stretch

I've seen plenty of shots taken at Edmonds over the years but I don't often see him called choker. I don't know about the down-the-stretch stuff but it's tough to argue with a .277/.365/.523 line in 220 postseason ab's in which his team has won 8 of 13 series (thanks b-ref).

though I agree with you that this is a worse blunder than the Edmonds trade.
   104. bigcpa Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:06 PM (#2244420)
I was strictly using the "not my money" theory and thinking about 2007 production. Texas got the 5th or 6th best production out of CF in majors last year. Pierre was widely perceived to be a bust with the Cubs who ranked last in the NL in OBP and 15th in scoring. So with Matthews you've got something to hang your hat on. With Pierre I can't even look forward to the days he's out of the lineup.
   105. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:08 PM (#2244422)
Thwe big question is whether Matthews broke out or put up an outlier in 2006. I think GM's figure it's the former, while I'll bet there's a study that shows it's not, especially for a 32 year old.

Now, then: what happens when oil tops $100/bbl, and gasoline goes, say, to $5/gal. for unleaded regular?

People keep driving; it's the American way. They'd quit eating first.
   106. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:09 PM (#2244423)
Scott Boras just got totally hammered in celebration of this deal
   107. Balkroth Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:15 PM (#2244431)
The Jim Edmonds extension looks mighty good these days.

Since someone brought up Santana being a free agent after this year, Pujols would have been also, imagine how much money he would have made in this market.
   108. cardsfanboy Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:16 PM (#2244432)
on one of my cardinal boards, I actually have a cardinal fan coplaining about this deal and how it's a much better deal than the cardinals re-signing Edmonds for 2/19. I tried to tell him that Mathews is basically an older version of Juan Encarnacion at the plate. Man this deal was dumb. Oh well there goes any shred of hope my team had at being able to get roberts for 3/15(which I originally thought was going to be too high, now 3/30 may be too little)
   109. J. Michael Neal Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:43 PM (#2244442)
c) The Yankees will be pretty much ready to pounce on anything they want during the 2007-2008 offseason, when they have some pretty good dough (read, RJ, Abreu) coming off the books, and even moreso in 2008-2009 (Giambi, Pavano, Mussina).

I'm thinking the same thing about the Tigers. Rogers, Jones and Pudge all come off the books.

This is a very good off-season to have pitching prospects to trade to fill your holes, rather than tying up this crazy kind of money.
   110. scareduck Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:46 PM (#2244443)
> Now, then: what happens when oil tops $100/bbl, and gasoline goes, say, to $5/gal. for unleaded regular?

People keep driving; it's the American way. They'd quit eating first.


They may get that thrust upon them.
   111. Santanaland Diaries Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:51 PM (#2244444)
Picking up Torii Hunter's extension really looks like a no-brainer in retrospect. Though if this is the market for CF, the Twins will just be screwed next year instead.
   112. Flynn Posted: November 22, 2006 at 11:08 PM (#2244450)
This is really weird. I know teams are really rich now and stuff, but the strong contracts being given 3-4 years ago really do seem like a product of collusion because everybody's turning into an idiot at this point.
   113. Justin T steals bases with his bat Posted: November 22, 2006 at 11:20 PM (#2244455)
Are we sure those GM meetings were in Naples, FL? Seems to me that they all went to Jupiter to get more stupider.

I'll be here all week.
   114. 33Boots Posted: November 22, 2006 at 11:24 PM (#2244459)
ZR is flat out wrong about the guy (and PMR had him as essentially average this year and well above last year.) Fielding stats give us a good guide, but we all know they aren't accurate in the way hitting stats are. Hell, the Fielding Bible loves him. Gary Matthews is a very good centerfielder. Look at how well he did in the fans' scouting reports. I saw about 50 Rangers games and I saw the same things Tangotiger's responders did. He gets to everything he's supposed to and much more.

It's a lot of money, but it's a new market.
   115. AROM Posted: November 22, 2006 at 11:33 PM (#2244463)
People keep driving; it's the American way. They'd quit eating first.

They may get that thrust upon them.


Cool. Then we won't be the fat country anymore. And Carlos Lee might be able to stay in left field (though I think he'll get enough $ to drive and eat.)
   116. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: November 22, 2006 at 11:36 PM (#2244468)
Oh, Sargento is deb.

People keep driving; it's the American way.

Yeah, the whole getting to places thing is such a drag.
   117. Johnny Tuttle Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:01 AM (#2244480)
Gotta be the best contract ever for a guy who got DFA'd THREE times: Cubs, Bucs, O's.

Chilling.
   118. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:07 AM (#2244482)
The Braves cut Gary Matthews Jr. at the end of Spring Training '04 to make room for...DeWayne Wise.
   119. sunnyday2 Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:16 AM (#2244491)
I guess it's not an oxymoron to say that a 32 year old had a breakout season. I thought it was, but I guess not.
   120. Johnny Tuttle Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:18 AM (#2244493)
Some random thoughts:

1. I agree that the market is shifting, but these things go in cycles, and the cost of missing out on a Matthews type player isn't much. Really, likely there's a decent chance a NRI will duplicate his performance next year alone; even if I'm wrong on that, it's closer than it should be to $50 million.

What happens when the next big guy comes available? Does this mean they can't afford Tejada any longer?

What happens when the market shifts backwards a bit? We've seen this very decade a blip in constant inflation already.

2. Jays fans like myself are hosed. We've got a great CF on our team, but one whose price has gone through the rough in the last few days. How can he fit into a 2008 payroll with big $ already committed to Thomas, Halladay, Burnett, and Ryan? On the flip side, that Thomas deal is looking better and better.

3. At the end of this offseason, this deal will still look bad. Big $ to good players is risky enough: big money to the mediocre?

4. Who's this guy going to be blocking on the Angels? I thought they had plenty of MLB ready youngsters. Wouldn't Figgins in CF make a helluva lot more sense?

5. I couldn't agree more that selling in this market would be the best move of all. Either that or waiting 'til all the $ is spent and pulling a "JP on Molina" on the remaining decent bets. Someone like Matthews might over price himself and still be unemployed in Jan/Feb.... :)
   121. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:19 AM (#2244494)
I was right, the Matthews contract did make the Pierre contract look good. Though I was off by 1 year and $10 million.
   122. caprules Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:25 AM (#2244499)
I don't know if anyone has brought this up, but I have to assume that Selig has quietly told teams that they can ignore his previous warnings about adhering to the absurd 60/40 debt ratio. That seems to me to be the most likely exlpanation for the sudden deluge of cash. Anyone else read/heard about this?
   123. Johnny Tuttle Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:26 AM (#2244502)
Already 10$ million a year is looking like a new norm.
   124. Spahn Insane Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:39 AM (#2244505)
Maybe Anahiem believes there are enough transplanted Phils and Cubs fans that there is a market for Lil Sarge, they can recoop some of the cash?

Heh. 'Cause god knows Cub fans have such fond memories of Sarge Jr. Guy was a spare part on a 95-loss team.

His daddy was my favorite player on the '84 Cubs, though.
   125. guelphdad Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:48 AM (#2244508)
Of course signings like this remind me when owners cry poor that they're full of ####.
   126. scareduck Posted: November 23, 2006 at 01:40 AM (#2244529)
2. Jays fans like myself are hosed. We've got a great CF on our team, but one whose price has gone through the rough in the last few days. How can he fit into a 2008 payroll with big $ already committed to Thomas, Halladay, Burnett, and Ryan? On the flip side, that Thomas deal is looking better and better.

For the Angels, Yankees, Mets, and Dodgers (and maybe the Cubs), this is really the only reasonable upside I can think of -- by setting the price of all free agents at too many years and too much money, it slams teams like the A's and Twins, so it's now double or nothing on the farm systems.
   127. Dr Love Posted: November 23, 2006 at 02:00 AM (#2244535)
Damn, it only took two days for the Juan Pierre signing to look half decent. You still suck Colletti.

I can't wait to hear writers and announcers, particularly Angels ones (well, just Rex Hudler) start to wonder why Matthews is "struggling" when in fact he's hitting like he usually does.
   128. CraigK Posted: November 23, 2006 at 02:01 AM (#2244537)
If Albert Pujols was on the free agent market this season, what would he get?

12/360?
   129. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: November 23, 2006 at 02:17 AM (#2244543)
Under the weather, so I just woke up to this. Now I feel even sicker. I just don't see how it's possible that people looked at Matthews and thought that $50 MILLION was a reasonable contract to offer. Baseball Tonight made him a remarkably rich man.

4. Who's this guy going to be blocking on the Angels? I thought they had plenty of MLB ready youngsters. Wouldn't Figgins in CF make a helluva lot more sense?

The Angels' top prospects are all infielders. I was hoping they'd see that and make at least one of them an outfielder since Cabrera'll blocking two of them for a couple more years.

I'm going to take some drugs, go back to sleep. Hopefully, this deal'll turn out to be a bad dream -- though I think that's going to be true regardless.
   130. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: November 23, 2006 at 02:51 AM (#2244556)
Wow, this really is a whole new world. A 32 year old with a freakish breakout season and not one whisper of steroids. I'm not accusing him, I've just gotten so used to the suspicions that it's weird not to see them. Clearly baseball's steroid plan is doing it's job. Anyway, this looks like treading water for the Angels but they still have plenty of money and prospects to play with so I'm not going to rejoice yet. No rejoicing until the A's do something at least. They found the break in Bobby Cosby's back at least! Good times!
   131. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 23, 2006 at 02:57 AM (#2244560)
Chone Figgins:
- 29 years old in 2007
- league average hitter (97 OPS+)
- excellent baserunner, will steal 40-50 bases at 75% rate
- average to slightly below average CF
- will make, what, $3M in 2007?

Gary Matthews:
- 32 years old in 2007
- league average hitter (96 OPS+)
- decent baserunner, not a SB threat
- average CF (splitting the difference between dial and fan view)
- will make $50 M over the next 5 years.

Hmmm...
   132. J. Michael Neal Posted: November 23, 2006 at 03:04 AM (#2244564)
Yeah, the whole getting to places thing is such a drag.

Some of us are smart enough to live in places where you can take the bus to get somewhere.

Of course, I deliver pizzas for a semi-living, so I guess I'm just screwed.
   133. Margo Adams FC Posted: November 23, 2006 at 03:15 AM (#2244569)
Bernanke will help the teams out by dropping dollars from helicopters.


By then, they won't be able to afford the jet fuel.

The DiceK posting fee's looking better and better as a value proposition...
   134. Shredder Posted: November 23, 2006 at 04:35 AM (#2244592)
He gets to everything he's supposed to and much more.

So does Reggie Willits, with the added bonus of being able to draw a walk and not cost $10MM/year. Unless he's the greatest CFer in history with the glove, this deal is amazingly horrendous.
   135. Raskolnikov Posted: November 23, 2006 at 04:47 AM (#2244595)
Cmon LAA fans, you're overreacting. This deal is not the end of the world. It's the equivalent of taking a pile of cash and sacrificing it at the altar of Apollo, and Moreno's got plenty to burn.

I would be more upset if Stoneman ends up screwing the developments of Wood, Kendrick, etc.
   136. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: November 23, 2006 at 05:33 AM (#2244609)
Some of us are smart enough to live in places where you can take the bus to get somewhere.

I also live in such a place. Of course, it's not as though buses are exemplars of fuel efficiency, are they?
   137. JThompson Posted: November 23, 2006 at 05:33 AM (#2244610)
oh, good gawd, quit whining. The Angels finished?? Puh-leeze...

While I did hope that Willits might get more of an opp, this is team that had the best record in all of MLB in the second half of the season and finished 3rd in OPS during the same period, largely due to some mid-season steps forward by the kids. They have solid starting pitching and a solid bullpen, and another step up by the kids in 2007 will likely give them their division by at least five games.

Sure, Matthews got stupid-money, but don't turn this into something more...
   138. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: November 23, 2006 at 06:00 AM (#2244616)
It's hard not to overreact to $50 million dollars for mediocrity.

The Angels, even with their big second half, finished just 8th in runs scored after the break. Hopefully, Morales and Kotchman get time and improve, and one assumes Kendrick will be an immediate offensive upgrade over Kennedy, but these aren't givens. Getting Matthews isn't exactly going to give them any breathing room offensively, and guarantees that the team can't upgrade that position for the forseeable future.

I'll agree that this signing isn't the end of the world, but the 2007 division is ripe for the taking. The Angels could've went balls out and gone after Drew, making themselves the clear favorites, and instead they settled for someone who could be a real liability during the second half of this contract.
   139. Shredder Posted: November 23, 2006 at 06:04 AM (#2244620)
It's hard not to overreact to $50 million dollars for mediocrity.

And that's before taking into account that the Angels just paid $50MM for something less than mediocrity. Lord, how I hope he merely turns out to be mediocre.
   140. AROM Posted: November 23, 2006 at 06:12 AM (#2244622)
Between the 3 outfield spots and DH, we've just guaranteed ourselves average to below average offense at 2 spots, for a combined price of about 24 million per year. Just wonderful.

If we didn't get Vlad in 2004 we'd be the Mariners.
   141. Erik Posted: November 23, 2006 at 09:05 AM (#2244646)
I just came back to make sure this was still here. It is, so I guess it wasn't a bad dream huh..... crap.
   142. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 23, 2006 at 09:14 AM (#2244648)
If we didn't get Vlad in 2004 we'd be the Mariners.


C'mon. This move is awful, but you guys have 6 starters that would start on basically any other team; a top notch closer; one of the game's best farm systems; and of course young major leaguers with a lot of potential. Cheer up, or trade the Yankees Kendrick and Weaver plz.
   143. Iwakuma Chameleon (jonathan) Posted: November 23, 2006 at 09:40 AM (#2244651)
This has been a really, really, really ugly offseason for the AL West as a whole.
   144. JThompson Posted: November 23, 2006 at 04:26 PM (#2244697)
Shredder, no offense here, but weren't you suggesting that the entire team should be broken up last season a week into May? Drama queen stuff...

A healthy Matthews should hit .280, hit 15 HRs, steal 15 bases - he'll run more and better situations - and play a passable CF. Yeah, I know...$10m doesn't buy what it use to, but it's hardly worth this level wailing and moaning.
   145. Shredder Posted: November 23, 2006 at 04:47 PM (#2244707)
Shredder, no offense here, but weren't you suggesting that the entire team should be broken up last season a week into May? Drama queen stuff...

Here's what I wrote on May 2nd of last year:


I think it's time to just about close the book on 2006. Trade Kennedy and Cabrera. Call up Morales, Weaver, and Wood [note: Kendrick was already up, but playing sparingly]. Shut down Bart for the year, and let's get this train ready for 2007. This team can't compete over a full season. They simply can't hit, and there's too much pressure on the pitchers to be perfect. As I type this, the A's are ready to remove any doubt from a game that essentially ended before it began. It's really sad when you can put runners on first and third for your 3, 4, and 5 hitters, and you can't even move the back runner up a base. And they aren't facing Nolan Ryan, folks. They're facing the A's sixth starter.


Turns out I was right. Had they done that sooner, they might have won the division.
   146. Shredder Posted: November 23, 2006 at 04:50 PM (#2244709)
In fact, looking through some of those posts, the one constant was calling for a trade of Kennedy and a call up of Jeff Weaver. Had the Angels done both of those things in early May, they might probably would have won the division.
   147. Shredder Posted: November 23, 2006 at 04:51 PM (#2244710)
D'oh! I meant a call up of Jered Weaver.
   148. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 23, 2006 at 06:31 PM (#2244751)
Wow. When I saw this news last night, I thought I was watching The Daily Show or something. As much as I have questions about the Soriano deal (mainly of the 8 years and the no-trade), it looks great compared to the Pierre deal.

Then this, the mack-daddy of bad deals. One really odd thing is that the Angels aren't entirely alone on this; the Giants were pretty close to this deal themselves.

I would say this is the worst I've seen in some time, but I still remember deals like the Jaret Wright contract. I also would say that this is the worst I will see in some time, but the way things are going, who knows. We might see some team give Ronnie Belliard 8 years/$64mm at some point.
   149. Halofan Posted: November 23, 2006 at 08:23 PM (#2244792)
It ain't the Fifty Million, it is the FIVE years.

I'd add that it is the no-trade clause but Stoneman hardly makes trades....
   150. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: November 23, 2006 at 08:58 PM (#2244803)
I still have faith in the Angels, but that has more to do with the Kendrick/Kotchman/D-Mac/Mathis/Napoli crop and the fact that we'll have Saunders and Jered pitching for a whole season. It's hard to give up on the Angels, when you look at the AL West. Two guys who should be the cornerstones for Oakland over the next few years are on and off the DL and they lost the guy who helped keep their offense afloat last year. And I don't think we should be whining about Matthews, when Seattle fans still have to deal with Adrian Beltre.
   151. Shredder Posted: November 24, 2006 at 12:42 AM (#2244846)
I would easily trade Matthews for Beltre straight up right now, so I'm not sure that's a good comparison. Beltre is still young, and one of the best at his position defensively.
   152. akrasian Posted: November 24, 2006 at 01:36 AM (#2244853)
Beltre also has a 106 OPS+ for his career (108 last season). He's overpaid, but it's pretty likely that he'll be a decent player at least for the remainder of his contract, with a chance of putting up a very good season during that stretch.
   153. Darren Posted: November 24, 2006 at 02:02 AM (#2244858)
Beltre's also a damn fine defender. His contract looks positively reasonable these days.
   154. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 24, 2006 at 02:22 AM (#2244863)
"His contract looks positively reasonable these days."

Bill Bavasi, ahead of the curve.
   155. depletion Posted: November 24, 2006 at 02:35 AM (#2244864)
Please stop acting like JD Drew is a solution for anyone but an orthopaedist.
Games played
Drew Soriano
2001 109 158
2002 135 156
2003 100 156
2004 145 145
2005 72 156
2006 146 159

Drew has qualified for a batting title ONCE in his career. Actually, so has Matthews, Jr. Career high of 147 games, 58 BB and 19 HR last year.
   156. Darren Posted: November 24, 2006 at 02:40 AM (#2244865)
Juan Pierre puts them both to shame. He plays 162 games a year. Drew's way better than him too.
   157. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: November 24, 2006 at 02:46 AM (#2244866)
Drew has qualified for a batting title ONCE in his career.

Somebody can't count to two...


Actually, so has Matthews, Jr.

... and by extension, three.
   158. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: November 24, 2006 at 02:52 AM (#2244868)
Mathews has only twice. His 513 PAs in 2003 were split between the two leagues.
   159. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: November 24, 2006 at 02:53 AM (#2244869)
Pfft.
   160. depletion Posted: November 24, 2006 at 05:18 AM (#2244894)
My bad. I was looking at AB rather than PA. I still think Drew is a waste of time for all but the most forlorn teams.
   161. billyshears Posted: November 24, 2006 at 06:07 AM (#2244905)
My bad. I was looking at AB rather than PA. I still think Drew is a waste of time for all but the most forlorn teams.

I know Drew has rep of being injury prone, but he played in 145 games in 2004 and 2006 and in 2005 he got hit by a pitch in the wrist. I don't completely discount the idea of karmic forces that inflict freak injuries on players like JD Drew and Eric Davis when their chronic ones don't flare up, but unless you're banking on that, I don't see a reason to hold his injury in 2005 against him.
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