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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Texas Rangers: With less than three weeks until the MLB trade deadline, the Rangers will ‘evaluate opportunities’ on both buying and selling | SportsDay

“We are going to evaluate opportunities and see what makes sense,” Daniels said, haltingly. “Sometimes it’s clear cut [on buyer or seller], but I don’t think we necessarily fit either of those categories. We have to figure out what makes the most sense. I’m slow to answer because it’s not black and white. There may be certain situations that don’t fit the buyer or seller characterization.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 13, 2019 at 11:49 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rangers

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: July 13, 2019 at 05:41 PM (#5861656)
Jeff Mathis has an OPS+ of 12. You could start there.

1B is a combo of Ronald Guzman and Logan Forsythe with a collective OPS+ around 90. Rougned Odor has a 66 OPS+ while playing poor defense. Asdrubal Cabrera has an OPS+ of 79 while playing poor defense. DeShields is at 82 but at least playing good defense and Mazara is at 92. In short, you could throw a dart at a WAR chart and upgrade this lineup. Somehow the pitching has been outstanding but the rotation could go south at any moment.

They've done way, way better than I expected and good on them for trying (and succeeding) to put together a competent roster rather than straight tanking. Who knew it would work this well. Still, it's not a roster with a future so no need to go nuts at the deadline -- pick up some nice pieces if you can but not at any real cost in terms of future talent. But it's also not a roster full of players other teams will want. Nobody wants the contracts of Shoo or Odor, Pence (on the IL) won't bring any return. Lynn and Minor contracts are tradable I suppose but the reason they were signed at a reasonable price is nobody wanted them too badly. But if you can find a believer in either, they can get a nice return there. (For those that haven't looked, Lynn has a 136 ERA+ and Minor is at 198. Lynn's peripherals are actually much better than that while Minor's are worse.)

So they are in a weird spot but I say show the fans some love and pick up a useful piece or two on the cheap.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2019 at 01:46 PM (#5861769)
So they are in a weird spot but I say show the fans some love and pick up a useful piece or two on the cheap.

And they're in the perfect spot to do this. They've got 4 or 5 spots where an average player is a decent upgrade, and average rentals are typically super cheap. 3 C/C+ prospects probably bring back 3 players that each improve the team by a win.
   3. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 14, 2019 at 02:55 PM (#5861792)
Daniel Descalso is available
   4. Master of the Horse Posted: July 14, 2019 at 03:14 PM (#5861795)
I wonder if Stearns is thinking more sell than buy with the Crew? Sure the team is close in the division but that looks pretty fake with how bad the team is in run prevention.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2019 at 04:38 PM (#5861811)
I wonder if Stearns is thinking more sell than buy with the Crew? Sure the team is close in the division but that looks pretty fake with how bad the team is in run prevention.

That would be crazy. They currently occupy a playoff spot, and are 1.5 Gs out of the division. The team ERA+ is 97. That's not awful.
   6. Master of the Horse Posted: July 14, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5861813)
5--Please check out the team performance the last month. The Brewers have been pretty terrible and look to lose 2 of 3 at home to the Giants today. The bullpen aside from Hader is a dumpster fire
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2019 at 05:11 PM (#5861814)
5--Please check out the team performance the last month. The Brewers have been pretty terrible and look to lose 2 of 3 at home to the Giants today. The bullpen aside from Hader is a dumpster fire

They've gone 9-15, and 85 win team is going to do that over some month.

Start Hiura full-time at 2B, with Moustakas moving to 3B fills one hole. Get a bat for 1B; they've been ridiculously cheap the last few trade deadliness, and trade for a RP or two. That's not going to break the bank.
   8. Master of the Horse Posted: July 14, 2019 at 05:16 PM (#5861815)
7--That's pretty ridiculous really. Team has a negative run differential coming into the day and with the Giants pounding the Crew that is only getting worse. One relief pitcher is not going to help cover when you have multiple guys getting rocked almost each outing. And the Brewer defense is not helping either because other than Cain everyone has been mediocre or worse all season.
   9. Brian C Posted: July 14, 2019 at 05:21 PM (#5861816)
The bullpen aside from Hader is a dumpster fire

Bullpen's probably the easiest place to find reinforcements without sacrificing future assets, though, especially since they already have an elite guy out there. It's not like they need to find a Hader, in other words - they just need some guys who don't suck.

Brewers have too much talent to be looking to sell when they're still in contention. I don't see what that would accomplish other than making the Cubs' jobs easier.
   10. Master of the Horse Posted: July 14, 2019 at 05:43 PM (#5861820)
9--I don't think that's true. Even decent bullpen guys at this time of year cost you legit assets. And the Crew doesn't have a lot of assets to burn.

FWIW I am by nature a super positive person who thinks any situation is just a problem that needs to be solved. But I watch this team, look at all the adv metrics and don't feel it. Thanks
   11. Master of the Horse Posted: July 14, 2019 at 05:51 PM (#5861823)
And just sharing per the Brewers beat writer: The Brewers' 8-3 loss to the Giants caps a stretch of 26 straight games against teams that have losing records as of today. The Brewers were 9-17 in that stretch.
   12. DCA Posted: July 15, 2019 at 01:08 AM (#5861880)
Get a bat for 1B; they've been ridiculously cheap the last few trade deadliness, and trade for a RP or two.

They have the bat for 1B. Eric Thames. And Aguilar has been good the last month, regressing to the mean. Shaw was the weak link and replaced by Hiura. Cain and Arcia aren't hitting but they both have a lot of glove value and are decent overall.

Team OPS+ is 98 and ERA+ is 97 and the current roster is better than that.

On the pitching side, they really only need two SP (one, if Gio comes back soon). The top 5 RP all have ERA+ >100; only Hader is really good but the rest are usable. Peralta and Houser have been very good in relief, that's a good bullpen overall if they aren't called to start.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: July 15, 2019 at 03:32 AM (#5861884)
#12 ... looks can be kinda deceiving ... or advanced metrics/run differential can ... take you pick. :-)

Brewers' pen is at -3.6 WAA, 13th in the NL. That WAA is not quite as bad as it sounds since NL average is -1.7 WAA but it still ain't good (and that was before today's loss). The rotation is solid enough (+0.5 WAR) but that too is just 10th (rotations above average this year). By overall WAA, they are a bit below average but 4th in the division (WAA likes Reds) and have a small negative run differential. But it is the NL Central where 500 keeps you in the race.
   14. Davo Has Marianne Mindset Posted: July 15, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5861959)
Rougned Odor has the Rangers in a tough spot, because they still owe him another $40MM. So you gotta ask if it’s really worth it to demoralize him by bringing in a like Freddy Galvis type for half a season in the hopes of getting an extra win out of it.

But agree with the general take on this. There are league average veterans available for almost nothing who are better than the guys Texas is using right now. Todd Frazier and Justin Smoak aren’t exciting, but, always nice to have Major Leaguers on hand!
   15. bfan Posted: July 15, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5862011)
Rougned Odor has the Rangers in a tough spot, because they still owe him another $40MM.


Yes; something tells me they won't pick up his option and pay him over $13 million for his age 29 season.

Just remember, (if Ozzie Albies turns out to be great; we do not know that yet), for every Ozzie who may have under-valued himself, there is one of these, where this young man capped his upside in his late 20's for certainty of (and more) money earlier, and despite him being pretty well below replaceable and pretty darn bad at this point, he has locked in at least $50 million from baseball at this point.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 15, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5862025)
Just remember, (if Ozzie Albies turns out to be great; we do not know that yet), for every Ozzie who may have under-valued himself, there is one of these, where this young man capped his upside in his late 20's for certainty of (and more) money earlier, and despite him being pretty well below replaceable and pretty darn bad at this point, he has locked in at least $50 million from baseball at this point.

I think the owners BA is much better than .500. Maybe there's one Odor for every 3 or 4 Albies.
   17. Davo Has Marianne Mindset Posted: July 15, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5862028)
Well I mean: naturally. They own the capital, they have the leverage, of course the players lose more than they win.
   18. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: July 15, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5862029)
Brewers' pen is at -3.6 WAA, 13th in the NL. That WAA is not quite as bad as it sounds since NL average is -1.7


If the average NL bullpen has negative WAA, doesn't that imply that starters should be pitching more?
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 15, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5862044)
Well I mean: naturally. They own the capital, they have the leverage, of course the players lose more than they win.

Yes, but bfan implied early buyouts were net neutral. They're not; they're hugely pro-owner. Which makes total sense because they are far less risk averse since they get to invest in a portfolio of contracts, while players only get one shot.
   20. Davo Has Marianne Mindset Posted: July 15, 2019 at 04:11 PM (#5862055)
Ah, I follow you, my bad.
   21. bfan Posted: July 15, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5862061)
Yes, but bfan implied early buyouts were net neutral.


They may not be net neutral, but they are entirely rational.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 15, 2019 at 05:17 PM (#5862063)
So you gotta ask if it’s really worth it to demoralize him by bringing in a like Freddy Galvis type for half a season in the hopes of getting an extra win out of it.


Given that he's had a wRC+ around 60 in two of the last three years, I think it's just as easy to spin that as bringing in a Freddy Galvis to show Odor that the team isn't going to just hand him playing time indefinitely without seeing at least some results.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: July 15, 2019 at 07:06 PM (#5862090)
If the average NL bullpen has negative WAA, doesn't that imply that starters should be pitching more?

Hard to say. Presumably one reason for this is that a tired starter taking the mound is less common, leading to an improvement in average starter performance. The extra innings pitched by relievers are often low-leverage innings when it doesn't matter a lot who pitches so might as well keep the starter fresher for his next start. Also, although I don't think it's widespread enough to have a big impact on the overall averages, "openers" and bullpen games mess up the traditional starter/reliever dichotomy.

In a bWAR sense, what we should be seeing (if this continues) is a reduction in RA9role, the boost that starters get because relieving is easier -- it's not clear to me that would be "correct." But things like RA9role and WAAadj and gmLI make that all tough to judge.

Anyway, in theory (and essentially assuming no roster restrictions), you would see increased reliever usage until the outcomes equalized. Across MLB as a whole, the ERAs are essentially equal this year (for the first time in a long time I believe so maybe just a blip). In that scenario, there's no reason to tilt one way or another and any WAA differences are likely down in the mechanics of those various adjustments that have a lot more assumptions built into them than the standard performance numbers. That is, the decision whether to leave in the 4.20 ERA (or FIP) starter or bring in the 4.20 ERA reliever isn't a question of whether one is above-average and one is below-average due to RA9role, gmLI, WAAadj, etc.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5862190)
They may not be net neutral, but they are entirely rational.

Rational doesn't mean fair. If a mugger pulls a gun on me, it's perfectly rational to give him my wallet. Teams threatening to bury players in the minors unless they sign is robbery.
   25. bfan Posted: July 16, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5862196)

Rational doesn't mean fair. If a mugger pulls a gun on me, it's perfectly rational to give him my wallet. Teams threatening to bury players in the minors unless they sign is robbery.


Oh good lord, you are comparing a contract signed freely by 2 parties with a mugging at gunpoint? Really? That is absurd.

I have been thinking on this, and if agents are competent (as I believe they are), then there is no imbalance in these early buy-outs of free agency years. Agents have information on salaries and trends, and certainly as much as teams do. This is not like a consumer trade where the buyer only has limited information.

I think the reason people think there are more management wins in this contract world is that the popular press writes prolifically about the under-collection of funds by skilled players (witness fangraphs entire week devoted to the most valuable trade chips, which basically means the players with the biggest difference between projected skill and projected earnings), but just let's players be who sign contracts and quietly suck (is their a fangraphs week devoted to players who are underperforming their contracts, ranked 1-50?).
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5862274)
Oh good lord, you are comparing a contract signed freely by 2 parties with a mugging at gunpoint? Really? That is absurd.

I wasn't talking about all deals, just the ones where the team threatens not to promote the player unless they sign. Using threats to extract monetary gain is very similar to mugging.

I have been thinking on this, and if agents are competent (as I believe they are), then there is no imbalance in these early buy-outs of free agency years. Agents have information on salaries and trends, and certainly as much as teams do. This is not like a consumer trade where the buyer only has limited information.


Nope. Players only get one shot at their career, and start out poor, so are going to be much more risk averse than teams, which are 1) rich, and 2) perpetual, so they get to sign many of these contracts, and should be risk neutral.

Any deal between a risk averse person and a risk neutral person will be unfair to the risk averse. Imagine if I could force someone who lives paycheck to paycheck to flip a coin for $1,000. They would gladly pay me $100 not to have to flip, since losing $10,000 means they can't pay their mortgage, while losing $10,000 doesn't cause me any particular hardship.

The injustice here comes from the reserve clause; the young players are forced to flip a coin (since they get paid very little for much of their prime earnings years) or take a discounted contract to avoid the flip.
   27. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 16, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5862277)
Snapper is correct.

Maybe from the agent's point of view he has equal power with the teams, beacuse he will win with some players but lose with others, and he can hardball the team by saying "If you don't treat this guy right I'll make sure these other guys don't sign with you", but not from the point of view of the player who has only one career.

but just let's players be who sign contracts and quietly suck (is their a fangraphs week devoted to players who are underperforming their contracts, ranked 1-50?).

You've never seen those lists of "worst contracts in baseball"? Those are always players getting paid too much.

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