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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 ZiPS Projections - Toronto Blue Jays

Is there any team more happy about baseball adding a second wildcard spot than the Toronto Blue Jays? In the short-term at least (and probable long-term unless the top AL East teams start showing some serious incompetence), Toronto's prospects improve considerably if they don't have to better both the Red Sox and Yankees to make the playoffs. That obviously helps Tampa Bay and Baltimore as well, but the Jays are in that sweet spot where it's pretty darn useful - the Rays can compete for the ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:26 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Related News: blue jays, zips


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012 ZiPS Projections - Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays plan to win in 2012 the same way they usually do: pitching, defense, and catching just enough lightning in a bottle on offense around their core. The team is, at least by ZiPS, just behind the Red Sox for 3rd place, but the winter is over and given how relatively quiet the team has been with minor-league signings (outside of Luke Scott, they've made very few), they've still got some empty bottles to fill.

Tampa won't have that starting rotation, forever. A team competing on a ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:01 PM | 29 comment(s)
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mariners - Acquired Montero

Seattle Mariners acquire C Jesus Montero for P Michael Pineda and P Jose Campos

ZiPS projected Montero at .271/.333/.486 in Yankee Stadium. Good enough for a 112 OPS+. He’s going to a much tougher place to hit, so the raw stat line is not going to be nearly as pretty to get the same value. Let’s put it this way. Justin Smoak (a name not chosen at random of course) put up a 104 OPS+ with .234/.323/.396. I like Montero an awful lot but I’d downgrade him a fair amount in anything like a Strat ...

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Ron J Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:12 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Related News: mariners, yankees


Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 ZiPS Projections - Kansas City Royals

If you watch the Food Network, you might have come across a competitive cooking show called "Chopped" in which chefs are given baskets of mystery ingredients. Some ingredients are pretty cool, some ingredients have tremendous use in specific areas, and some ingredients are downright awful. Each one of the chefs that survive each round have to use all the ingredients together in a non-horrible way. < That's a lot how the Royals are right now. There are a lot of the ingredients of a winning team in the future. Some of them are finished, quality products, like Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. Some of the ingredients, like Eric Hosmer and Johnny Giavotella, are exciting to work with. But a lot of the team's prospects, at this point, fall into the category of "interesting" like most of the pitchers having at least one serious flaw or concern to worry about. All these ingredients are scattered and all over the place and the Royals at this point, are still going to likely struggle to hit 75 wins.

There's still a lot more offseason left, but as of now, the good news is that there really ...Read More...

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 13, 2012 at 04:11 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Related News: royals, zips


Sunday, January 08, 2012

2012 ZiPS Projections - Cincinnati Reds

The Reds had a reasonable argument at being competitive in the NL Central last season (ZiPS had them tied with Brewers, just ahead of Cardinals), but the starting pitching pretty much abandoned the team, with the exception of Johnny Cueto. The addition of Mat Latos obviously improves the rotation, but the team has a bit less depth now and there are less emergency options in the rotation with Travis Wood in Chicago (ZiPS still believes in him enough to give him a ERA+ of 100 there) and Matt ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: January 08, 2012 at 02:05 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Related News: projections, reds, zips


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Marlins - Acquired Zambrano

Florida Marlins - Acquired P Carlos Zambrano and $15 million from the Chicago Cubs for P Chris Volstad

This is a deal that I understand from the Cubs point of view even if it is one I don’t think I would have made. The Cubs don’t figure to be very good (to put it mildly) in 2012 and the odds are against Zambrano making a substantial on-field contribution. He’d also likely become the focus of the fans discontent (assuming he was to pitch and be an expensive mediocrity) and there’s every reason ...

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Ron J Posted: January 05, 2012 at 01:58 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, miami


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2012 ZiPS Projections - Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers projections go up and just about the perfect time: after Betancourt is gone, after Ramirez is signed, but before Fielder signs elsewhere. Fielder's a great player, but the Brewers really do have a solid team that can survive even the loss of their best hitter, especially given that the Cardinals are doing the same thing with the loss of their franchise player.

I'm not too thrilled with the way the whole Aramis Ramirez thing worked out. Aramis is probably a better player than ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:11 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Related News: brewers, projections, sabermetrics, zips


Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles play in a beautiful, clean, park, with convenient light rail access and a short trip from Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Fells Point, and Canton. For crabs, take Eastern Boulevard to Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn or head to L.P. Steamers near Fort McHenry. If crabs aren't your thing, I'm very partial to Della Norte in Little Italy or, if you want to try Baltimore's non- barbecue barbecue, pit beef, Chaps Pit Beef or Pioneer Pit Beef.

Next Up: Milwaukee Brewers

Oracle on Twitter
...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: December 30, 2011 at 07:15 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Related News: orioles, zips


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Colorado Rockies

I complain every year about the bipolar nature of Colorado's plans, a yearly awkward mix of rebuilding and pushing for the division, but that's almost a broken record at this point. Though I guess trading Ubaldo Jimenez for good prospects but then signing an average-hitting, below-average defensive Cuddyer for his declining years for $10 million a year just adds to the hilarity.

Colorado's pitching staff is underrated, as usual. The Coors park factors had been down for awhile, probably ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: December 27, 2011 at 08:39 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Related News: rockies, zips


Thursday, December 22, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Atlanta Braves

Despite the disappointing final month of the season (to put it lightly), the Braves are still a dangerous team. The pitching staff is young and quite deep and rather than try to emulate the Braves success developing pitchers, I think it's reached the point at which other organizations should simply abduct all the people that work on player development and simply force them to scout and train prospects, at knifepoint if need be. Or, I guess, they could hire them, but that's slower.

While two ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: December 22, 2011 at 08:40 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Related News: braves, zips


Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Houston Astros

At some point, to bash the Houston Astros simply becomes piling-on. The 2011 Astros were not only a lousy team, but a team that applied lousiness consistently across all the various aspects of baseball, and needed 6 WAR from the departed Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn just to get up to 56 wins. The long reckoning expected by observers for an organization that had a GM in Ed Wade that simultaneously ignored the major leagues, the minors leagues, and any kind of thrift, finally came to pass, ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: December 19, 2011 at 07:34 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Related News: astros, zips


Saturday, December 17, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - St. Louis Cardinals

As I generally mention when a good, not great team wins the World Series, the most dangerous trap that team can fall into is the tendency to "bring back the band" and try to keep the roster pretty much the way it was during their championship season. A great team has a little more room to rest on their laurels, a very good team doesn't. The San Franciso Giants were the most recent team to fall into the trap and when an offense that had a lot go right to just finish 9th in scoring in 2010 had ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: December 17, 2011 at 03:15 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Related News: cardinals, zips


Saturday, December 10, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Los Angeles Dodgers

Within last year's projections, I described the 2010 season as a disappointing year that was more "bland mediocrity than explosive failure." That's the same kind of season the Dodgers had in 2011, a kind of bland mediocrity with a notably bright pinnacle, like seeing Ron Swanson backstage after a Nickelback concert. That pinnacle, of course, being Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and the real NL MVP, Matt Kemp, who, at in bWAR, made up half the value of the entire team in 2011. Of course, ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: December 10, 2011 at 10:54 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Related News: dodgers, zips


Friday, December 09, 2011

Angels - Sign Pujols

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim sign 1B Albert Pujols to a 10 year/ $254 million contract. Other details are not yet available, though there is some form of a no trade clause. OK, everybody has heard of the guy. I'm going to assume that his official age is his true age -- all bets are off if he is in fact older. I think it's doubtful but not absolutely impossible that he is in fact a few years older. The real key to this signing is how he'll age. The awkward thing in terms of figuring this out ...Read More...
Ron J Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:26 AM | 43 comment(s)
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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Blue Jays - Acquire Santos

Toronto Blue Jays acquire DSA Sergio Santos from the Chicago White Sox for RHP prospect Nestor Molina. I'd hate to think the logic behind this deal is on the order of -- We had 25 blown saves and only 33 saves last year. With a Proven Veteran Closer we might have made the playoffs. Santos was 30 of 36 last year, Problem solved. In the first place 83% is an unremarkable save conversion rate for a closer. (he had 2 holds in 2 opportunities as well. Count those and it's 84%. Doesn't change the ...Read More...
Ron J Posted: December 07, 2011 at 02:59 PM | 7 comment(s)
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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Minnesota Twins

Not a lot of good news for the Twins in 2011. ZiPS had them slipping significantly from 2010 and while they did just that, they more than exceeded the projected dropoff. A lot to do with it is Mauer and Morneau being injured, ineffective, or frequently both, a plot twist so bad that M. Night Shyamalan would disavow it. For video game nerds out there (there's a lot of crossover), it's almost Final Fantasy VIII plot twist-bad.

The Twins may not fully realize it, but they're a team that's ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:02 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Related News: twins, zips


Marlins - Sign Reyes

Miami Marlins sign SS Jose Reyes to a 6 year/ $111 million contract (6 years/ $106 with an option of a 7th year at $22 million or a $5 million buyout) I see several contradictory factors here. First of all, because the Marlins already have Hanley Ramirez under contract one of them loses some of their value. Sure Ramirez could be shifted to center field (the Marlins weakest position last year) or third base ( Dobbs and Bonifacio weren't bad, but Bonifacio was probably over his head and Dobbs ...Read More...
Ron J Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:57 PM | 13 comment(s)
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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Angels - Acquire Brad Mills

Los Angeles Angels: Acquired LHP Brad Mills from Toronto for C Jeff Mathis. Well. It's the only way I can think of to keep Mike Scioscia from playing Mathis more than his talents objectively merit. Unless of course the move means that Scioscia (who -- fair or not -- is often viewed as the de facto GM of the Angels) has reconsidered Mathis' actual value. Mathis won't play much in Toronto. He's arbitration eligible and I doubt the Blue Jays fear going to arbitration with him. The only problem ...Read More...
Ron J Posted: December 04, 2011 at 02:44 PM | 8 comment(s)
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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Royal - Sign Broxton

Kansas City Royals sign reliever Jonathan Broxton to a 1 year/$4 million contract (with $1 million in bonuses based on appearances -- sorry no details) It's an interesting signing for a couple of reasons. Not that he had a great deal of choice as to the general nature of the contract, but it's a sensible choice for Broxton. If he's back to something approaching the form of 2006-2009 (always possible though I'd bet against it. The history of pure power pitchers in their early 30s coming off ...Read More...
Ron J Posted: December 01, 2011 at 02:20 PM | 14 comment(s)
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - San Francisco Giants

While the inclusion of Carlos Beltran and to a lesser extent, Cody Ross, makes the offense look better than it is, it's not really quite as bad as finishing last in the NL would have you believe. There's solid front-line talent, mostly under 30 (practically a toddler by Sabean years) and the biggest problem was getting that talent to stay on the field. Thanks to injuries to the team's two best players, one serious (Posey) and one annoying (Sandoval) and the Ghost of Outfielders Past ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: November 30, 2011 at 09:17 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Related News: giants, zips


Sunday, November 27, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Seattle Mariners

The 2011 season for the Mariners was less disappointing than 2010, though mostly because the expectations were significantly lower going into this year. The Mariners didn't have a whole lot in the way of pleasant surprises as none of the possible bouncebacks really bounced back and most of the legacy prospects (the older prospects that have been hanging onto the second tier on the prospect lists for a few years) didn't take any steps forward. That Vincent Catricala, who's not really a ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: November 27, 2011 at 08:23 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Related News: mariners, zips


Sunday, November 20, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Los Angeles Angels

Like the last team projected (White Sox), it's very interesting to see what route the White Sox take this winter. Despite ZiPS' favoritest young prospect, Mike Trout, the Angels have a pretty low upside offense, with Hunter and Abreu starting to show their age and a lot of average-ish players that aren't problems, but not exactly feared middle-of-the-order guys. The Angels think they have surplus outfielders, but they really don't. The Angels led the AL in ERA, but that's also top-heavy ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: November 20, 2011 at 01:51 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Related News: angels, zips


Thursday, November 17, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Chicago White Sox

That didn't go too well, did it? The White Sox find themselves at a crossroads, where they have just enough talent on the team to compete in the AL Central, but not enough depth that they can really handle nasty surprises. In 2011, the performances of Adam Dunn and Alex Rios and the continued lack of value from Jake Peavy (the Sox have paid him roughly $34 million for 3.6 bWAR) hit the White Sox hard enough that problems that the team could have overcome in isolation (growing pains from ...Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: November 17, 2011 at 07:27 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Related News: white sox, zips


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dodgers - Signed Mark Ellis

Los Angles Dodgers sign 2B Mark Ellis to a 2 year $8.75 million contract (team option for a third year at $5.75 with a $1 million buyout) I'm never going to love the signing of an aging mid-tier player. Particularly not one with plenty of problems staying in the lineup. Still, it's a move that makes all kinds of sense. First of all, the best option in the organization seems to have been Ivan DeJesus. He had a good year by his standards in AAA last year and it translates to .246/.314/.322. ...Read More...
Ron J Posted: November 15, 2011 at 08:28 PM | 5 comment(s)
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Phillies - Signed Jonathan Papelbon

Philadelphia Phillies sign DSA Jonathan Papelbon to a four year/ $50 million contract Fifth year vests based on games finished. Forgive the delay, but I wasn't sure whether I'd have to substitute Heath Bell. Or Hoyt Wilhelm. The writeup would be slightly different in each case. It's an argument that I have no chance of winning, but some windmills need to be tilted at. I'm referring to the DSA. Stands for Designated Save Accumulator. I've said many times that you are volunteering to pay a ...Read More...
Ron J Posted: November 12, 2011 at 11:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
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Friday, November 11, 2011

2011 ZiPS Minor League Translations Final

No complaints, so I'm upgrading it to "final" status. If you've already downloaded it, you don't need to again.

New URL for the CSVs

Pitchers
Hitters

As a reminder, these are translations, not projections and subject to the same pitfalls as any seasonal line is.

Any errors, omissions, or other questions, feel free to ask.

For those that don't remember, I have two flavors, one with no $H regression and one with mild $H regression. I post the latter one as people have found it more useful ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: November 11, 2011 at 07:09 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Related News: minor leagues, sabermetrics


Thursday, November 10, 2011

2012 ZiPS Projections - Detroit Tigers

The Tigers aren't really a 95-win team - there are a lot more players likely to have worse seasons than better in 2012 - but while the Tigers would have an issue repeating in the AL East, there aren't any teams in the AL Central that are all that scary. The team's top-heavy and has some depth issues that need to be taken care of prior to the season as they can't simply enter another season with Brandon Inge at 3rd and Ryan Raburn is a Plan B or C starter, not a Plan A one.

Another starter ...

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Dan Szymborski Posted: November 10, 2011 at 07:23 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Related News: tigers, zips


Monday, November 07, 2011

Royals - Acquired Sanchez

Kansas City Royals - Acquired P Jonathan Sanchez and P Ryan Verdugo from the San Francisco Giants for OF Melky Cabrera.

I count many Giant fans as friends. I can't imagine that any of them are happy at the moment. If the name Aaron Rowand doesn't come up in discussing this trade I'd be shocked.

Strictly on the basis of play in 2011 the Giants get the better of this deal, but that's a silly basis to make the deal. Cabrera is young enough that his excellent play last year could be a new talent ...

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Ron J Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:43 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Related News: giants, royals


Saturday, November 05, 2011

Phillies Sign Thome

Philadelphia Phillies sign 1B/DH/PH/3B (I kid) to a one year/ $1.25 million contract. I'm slightly surprised that he's coming back.That last appearance for the Indians at third base seemed like such a nice ending to one heck of a ride. But the man can still hit and I'd much rather have Thome as Ryan Howard insurance, DH in the AL games (and if all goes according to plan, the World Series) and primary pinch-hitter than Ross Gload for instance. Yes, Thome comes with issues. Can he still handle ...Read More...
Ron J Posted: November 05, 2011 at 08:24 PM | 15 comment(s)
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Diamondbacks - Signed Blanco

Arizona Diamondbacks - Signed C Henry Blanco to a $1.2 million contract with a 2013 mutual option for $1.24 million.

I'm not sure that the re-signing of a 40 year old backup catcher to a one year deal merits comment. In general that is.

First of all, Blanco played pretty well last year (.250/.330/.540 -- yes, Voros' Law applies of course. We are talking 112 plate appearances) and he's put up an 89 OPS+ over his last 616 plate appearances -- and was very good against the running game (46% ...

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Ron Johnson Posted: November 05, 2011 at 08:36 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Related News: arizona


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