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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A’s - Acquired Holliday

Oakland A’s - Acquired LF Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies for (reportedly), Huston Street, Greg Smith, and Carlos Gonzalez

OK, everyone who saw this move coming, raise your hand.  Liars.  I won’t even make any jokes about this one coming out of leftfield.  Dammit.

Suffice it to say, this was quite the unexpected move on the part of the A’s.  Holliday being traded is no surprise, but his destination certainly has to be, with the Beane-led A’s in complete rebuilding mode and Holliday being a free agent after next season.

With both Holliday and Street, I don’t think we can be certain that they’ve reached their final destinations.  However, I go with what I have, so I’ll make the assumptions that they’re staying on their new teams.

Holliday’s an excellent player, though not quite as good as his raw numbers indicate.  The fact that people shouldn’t just look at a Colorado players road stats has already been talked about ad infinitum in the other BTF thread on the Holliday trade, but I do want to mention that, when developing ZiPS some years back, I specifically took a look at whether knowing a player’s actual home/road splits increased the predictability you get from using just the generalized park factors.  Whether it’s a pitcher’s park or a hitter’s park or a neutral park, I found practically no value to knowing the actual home/road splits for the player - in all, the generic park factors were more than 8 times as an important as the actual splits.  In a way, this is similar to platoon splits for hitters, in which you literally need several thousand at-bats for actual platoon splits to have as much predictive value as generic platoon splits.

I have to think the A’s jumped at the notion of getting a star player for the three players traded without any specific plan on exactly what to do with him.  Stars always have value, you can play them or trade them, so Beane probably wasn’t worried about being “stuck” with Holliday.  Street isn’t any more a part of a rebuilding A’s team than Holliday, and arguably less so as Beane has a history of flipping closers.  Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Smith both have value, but they’re not blue-chippers and not irreplaceable.  Greg Smith is notable for the great pickoff move, but you can’t expect him to continue to pick off a runner every other starts - runners not going is valuable but not as valuable as actually picking them off.  His stuff isn’t great otherwise and I can’t imagine him being much better than a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher.  Of course, you could say the same for Jamie Moyer and he’s backdoored his way to 246 wins after having less than 50 in his 20s.

Holliday adds a huge bat in the middle of the A’s lineup.  Jack Cust is a good player and valuable as long as he’s above the Mendoza Line, but he’s not a star and can’t carry the A’s lineup singlehandedly, though he did his best this year.  The A’s will score more runs, but they’ll still be below-average.

Street will close for either the Rockies or the team that the Rockies trade him to.  Gonzalez should be starting in centerfield for the Rockies, as Willy Taveras has no business starting for even Colorado Springs and Scott Podsednik should never, ever not be the worst centerfield option on your team.

2009 ZiPS Projection - Greg Smith————————————————————————————————-
            W   L   G  GS   IP    H   ER  HR  BB  SO   ERA   ERA+————————————————————————————————-
2009        7  10  25  25  143  154   80  19  49  84  5.03    93————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%) 10   9  28  28  162  162   74  19  47 108  4.11   114
Pes. (15%)  5   9  20  20  115  130   72  17  44  59  5.63    83————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  John Koronka, Bill Travers
2009 ZiPS Projection - Huston Street————————————————————————————————-
            W   L   G  GS   IP    H   ER  HR  BB  SO   ERA   ERA+————————————————————————————————-
2009        6   4  64   0   67   57   27   7  18  75  3.63   129 ————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  9   2  70   0   77   58   21   6  17  92  2.22   192
Pes. (15%)  4   5  61   0   62   58   32   8  20  64  4.65   101————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Bobby Thigpen, Manny Corpas (I swear!)
2009 ZiPS Projection - Carlos Gonzalez—————————————————————————————————————-
              AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB   SO  SB   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS+—————————————————————————————————————-
2009         468  56 115  33   1  11   58  25  103   7 .246 .288 .391   69 —————————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)   529  75 144  43   2  15   76  35  101  10 .271 .321 .446   91 
Pes. (15%)   403  33  91  22   1   6   41  18  101   5 .225 .264 .333   49 —————————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Claudell Washington, Josh Kroeger
2009 ZiPS Projection - Matt Holliday—————————————————————————————————————-
              AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB   SO  SB   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS+—————————————————————————————————————-
2009         588  99 170  35   3  26   97  63  117  15 .289 .367 .491  130 —————————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)   616 120 189  41   4  33  117  76  113  18 .307 .394 .547  151    
Pes. (15%)   533  68 145  31   2  20   79  51  112  10 .272 .343 .450  113—————————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Bernard Gilkey, Ivan Calderon
Dan Szymborski Posted: November 11, 2008 at 04:59 PM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 11, 2008 at 06:48 PM (#3006855)
A's get CarGo, Oracle sez CarGo is a "real impact prospect."

A's deal CarGo, Oracle sez CarGo is neither a blue-chipper nor irreplaceable.

I'm not up on prospect-talk, so what's the difference between a blue-chipper and a real impact prospect?

If there isn't any, then what did CarGo do to diminish his value?
   2. something clever Posted: November 11, 2008 at 06:51 PM (#3006857)
Poor CarGon, ZiPS doesn't think he can crack 700 even in Coors. Having him figure CF out is going to be even more important in the thin CO air.

I think Greg Smith beats a 5.03 ERA.

Street gets flipped at the deadline if CO is out of contention.
   3. something clever Posted: November 11, 2008 at 06:52 PM (#3006858)
re: 1.... how about an entire year of data that says you can't hit major league pitching?
   4. Jeff K. Posted: November 11, 2008 at 06:55 PM (#3006862)
Spent half a year hitting like #### in the majors and the other half hitting not that great in the minors?
   5. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 11, 2008 at 06:56 PM (#3006863)
As something clever notes, Gonzalez was pretty lousy. He's also shown little sign of progress.
   6. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 11, 2008 at 06:57 PM (#3006864)
#3: Shouldn't someone have figured out you couldn't hit before they trade Dan Haren for you?
   7. AROM Posted: November 11, 2008 at 06:57 PM (#3006865)
Gonzalez had never shown, through solid MLE's, that he could hit major league pitching in the first place.

I like him about as much now as I did before the trade. His poor hitting last year makes it less likely that he'll be a hitting star, but as to whether he can handle center or be limited to a corner, Carlos was very good in center last year.
   8. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 11, 2008 at 06:59 PM (#3006869)
#3: Shouldn't someone have figured out you couldn't hit before they trade Dan Haren for you?

In addition to Greg Smith, Dana Eveland, Aaron Cunningham and Brett Anderson. Hell, Anderson and Cunningham alone may end up being worth Haren, but then I have unrealistic expectations for both of them. I just really, really like Cunningham's game.
   9. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:01 PM (#3006870)
Gonzalez had never shown, through solid MLE's, that he could hit major league pitching in the first place.


Then how could be a real impact prospect, in the first place?
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:01 PM (#3006872)
Carlos was very good in center last year.

Yes, I was impressed with him in center, too. I think he's got a chance to be very good but there's also a chance he flames out. Still, I think this is a fair trade from both ends. The Rockies are taking on all the risk but it's mitigated by getting valubale pieces in Smith and Street. It's a cool trade, really.
   11. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:02 PM (#3006873)
That should have been, "...how could he be..."
   12. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:06 PM (#3006877)
#3: Shouldn't someone have figured out you couldn't hit before they trade Dan Haren for you?

Part of a player's value, positive or negative, is uncertainty. There's a lot less uncertainty about Gonzalez's future than there was last year and not in a good way.
   13. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:07 PM (#3006878)
Man, B-Pro is still silent on this trade. I need more analysis!

That should have been, "...how could he be..."

CarGo's projection had more to do with his toolsiness than sabr analysis and now, after another year of data, the sabr inclined have reason to doubt him which explains his drop from blue chip to "not irreplaceable". Me, I like his toolsiness but I understand at some point that needs to translates into results or it's useless. I was looking forward to seeing him develop but I'll get over it. Having Holliday as the team's best player instead of Jack Cust or Mark Ellis helpes salve the wound.
   14. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:07 PM (#3006880)
Then how could be a real impact prospect, in the first place?

You don't do much investing, do you?
   15. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:07 PM (#3006881)
Odds that Holliday starts and finishes the 2009 season for Oakland...
   16. something clever Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:12 PM (#3006883)
The thing with Gonzalez has always been that he looks so smooth/graceful/athletic that its easy to convince yourself that he could be good if only he'd just "figure it out".

With the original trade there were 5 other players in the mix and most of them (I'd say all but Eveland) took steps forward this last year. The Rockies get a lot less here (both in terms of some of the bloom coming off Carlos as well as the additional pieces), but that's as it should be when you give up 1 year of star service instead of 3.
   17. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:13 PM (#3006884)
Odds that Holliday starts and finishes the 2009 season for Oakland...

Man, I say 50-50 at this point. If the A's sign Furcal, I go 75-25 they keep Holliday all year. If the A's are spending money, I'd like to see them make a stab at Randy Johnson, as well. He's a local guy and he can keep a rotation spot warm until either Cahill, Anderson or Mazzaro are ready in July. It would be fun for the A's to be relevant again as a ball team instead of as the locus for meta arguments about the inefficiency of markets and all that crap. Since Wolff wants to spend his money, I'm more than willing to give my half-assed ideas about it!
   18. The District Attorney Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:18 PM (#3006887)
Does ZIPS factor in Smith's shutting down of the opposition's running game?
   19. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:22 PM (#3006889)
You don't do much investing, do you?


No, but the markets have been so strong lately, I should really be regretting that I haven't, right?

Seriously, Dan, I was just asking (first) what "impact prospect" really means, and (second) how this guy has fallen so far in the eyes of Oracle.

When I see a respectable analyst stamp a prospect (in an MLB trade, especially) with "impact prospect" status, I assume that the player has shown enough to have a bad year without losing much of his stature.

In short, I just read an Oracle, remembered a past Oracle, and decided to ask a question.

Sorry.
   20. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:28 PM (#3006897)
Seriously, Dan, I was just asking (first) what "impact prospect" really means, and (second) how this guy has fallen so far in the eyes of Oracle.


I generally think of a player who has a reasonable, though not necessarily likely, path to stardom. That path is much harder to see as he continues to not hit much. He's regressing, not progressing. His power's gone, he's hacking more than ever and he's a year older.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:28 PM (#3006898)
I'm having a hard time figuring what to make of this trade. While the A's don't appear to be giving up anything great, they're giving up many years of cheap production out of Smith and CarGo (OK, "production" in his case) with some potential to be good in exchange for 1 year of Holliday. Sure, they'll get picks or flip him at the deadline or whatever.

Anyway, it's like this is the second recent trade where Beane has tossed in an average-ish starting pitcher without seeming to get anything in return for him (I'm thinking Gaudin in the Harden trade). Street & CarGo for one year of Holliday makes a lot of sense to me.

I guess young leftie Bill Travers comps just don't bring much in trade these days. :-) (see Scott Olsen)

Anyway, unless this is part of a 3-way and Holliday is on the move in a day or two, presumably this means a move of Cust to 1B or DH.
   22. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:30 PM (#3006900)
Top Comps: Claudell Washington, Josh Kroeger


Jeez, kick a man when he's down.
   23. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:36 PM (#3006907)
Anyway, unless this is part of a 3-way and Holliday is on the move in a day or two, presumably this means a move of Cust to 1B or DH.

Definitely DH. Barton still has the 1B job and Chavvy might have to play there as well. Also, Cust has never played an inning of 1B and he doesn't seem to have the, um, skills to adjust quickly to a new defensive position. Cust as a full time DH makes me happy. What the A's need now is for a right handed hitting first baseman who can step in full time if Barton sucks again and Chavvy can't play. Barton's last month gives me hope, but the team can't afford to punt 1B again.
   24. Danny Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:37 PM (#3006909)
2008 ZiPS for CarGo: .228/.271/.365, 68 OPS+
Actual 2008 slashes: .242/.273/.361, 72 OPS+ (316 MLB PA)

BA Prospect Rankings
After 2007: 10th in Southern League, 22nd overall
After 2008: 5th in PCL, no overall list yet and not on mid-season top 30 list.

CarGo was never a top prospect because of his stats; it was because of the hope that he could turn his excellent tools into skills. Another year without having done so means he's less of a prospect, though the scouts seem to still see very good tools. His defense in CF was a nice surprise, though, as AROM notes.
   25. Willie Mayspedes Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:38 PM (#3006911)
Open your pockets Wolff and earn that new stadium! Kick the Giants while they are down!
   26. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:41 PM (#3006915)
Is it possible that this is a business thing? Assuming that LA doesn't re-sign Manny, it could be a long offseason and an overall underperforming year for California baseball teams, even the Angels.

Could this be a stab at catching the casual fan who might be turned on by a good team in his state?
   27. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:47 PM (#3006916)
I'm convinced Beane wants draft picks, so Holliday will remain an A.
   28. Willie Mayspedes Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:51 PM (#3006922)
This move also

1) Lowers the payroll for 2010 if Holliday isn't extended or signed.
2) Gains 2 picks in 2010 draft
3) Opens up 2 spots on the 40 man roster for prospects who would be lost in the rule 5 draft.
4) Gives the A's a star player that played in the Giants division so the fans already know who he is.
5) Puts fans in the seats (non-tarped of course) this year.
   29. Willie Mayspedes Posted: November 11, 2008 at 07:52 PM (#3006924)
6) Helps if they want to show they are competitive and sign a FA like Furcal.
   30. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 12, 2008 at 11:18 AM (#3007313)
Is it possible that this is a business thing? Assuming that LA doesn't re-sign Manny, it could be a long offseason and an overall underperforming year for California baseball teams, even the Angels.

Could this be a stab at catching the casual fan who might be turned on by a good team in his state?


There are two things the A's are working on that I hope will transform them from small payroll whiners to profit maximizing winners. The first is a broadcast deal with CSN CA (I think that's the new name, the old one was CSN West), whereby they'd be the top dog, unlike in CSN BA where the Giants are. They're also working on new radio partnerships but I have less hopes for that.

The second is the stadium in Fremont, which now looks more likely with the pro-stadium mayor being re-elected in Fremont.

To the extent that 2009 competitiveness gives them a shot at better broadcast partnerships and the two combined give them a better shot at relevance in the mind of fickle casual Bay Area (particularly South Bay) fans and a new stadium, I'd think that would be a massive boost to their future revenue stream. It seems to have taken them 40 years to learn what the Yankees and Mets and Braves and Cubs knew years ago, which is that broadcast presence brings you fans. Fans mean more likely support for a stadium. Broadcast deals and stadia make money and increase the value of your ownership shares.
   31. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 12, 2008 at 11:20 AM (#3007314)
Why should Gonzalez be the Rockies starting CF if he's going to put up a 69 OPS+. Also Smith's numbers with Oakland weren't that far below the Average Starter line. Is he expected to be worse in Colorado for some reason to make him a 93 OPS+ guy, or was he that in Oakland as well?
   32. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 12, 2008 at 12:50 PM (#3007322)
Average starter is 96 - had Smith as 95 in Oakland and the difference is essentially rounding error.
   33. Flynn Posted: November 12, 2008 at 01:18 PM (#3007326)
CSN CA is not available in the Bay Area except on digital cable; I hope the A's are trying to fix that problem. There's no doubt they need a better TV and radio presence, and that TV is probably easier than radio right now, with many powerhouse AM stations either under the control of the Giants, in love with the Jesus, or unwilling to give up air time for baseball (KCBS, KGO).

It seems to have taken them 40 years to learn what the Yankees and Mets and Braves and Cubs knew years ago, which is that broadcast presence brings you fans.

More importantly, what the Giants have known since 1958.
   34. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 12, 2008 at 02:10 PM (#3007351)
There's no doubt they need a better TV and radio presence, and that TV is probably easier than radio right now, with many powerhouse AM stations either under the control of the Giants, in love with the Jesus, or unwilling to give up air time for baseball (KCBS, KGO).

Ya this seems to be the problem, but I'm hoping that with a better TV deal and a prospective new stadium they become more attractive to big time radio. I'm wondering whether in the short term the can't do something with KHTK (50,000 Watts in Sacramento) combined with KNTS (Palo Alto, KSRO (Santa Rosa) and maybe KNTA (Spanish San Jose). This will probably be the last of the three big revenue obstacles to get done.
   35. OCD SS Posted: November 12, 2008 at 02:14 PM (#3007354)
I'm having a hard time figuring what to make of this trade. While the A's don't appear to be giving up anything great, they're giving up many years of cheap production out of Smith and CarGo (OK, "production" in his case) with some potential to be good in exchange for 1 year of Holliday. Sure, they'll get picks or flip him at the deadline or whatever.


Another angle that occured to me is that Beane is flipping his older prospects at peak value for much younger player with (potentially) higher upside that will be coming into their own when the new stadium is ready, using Holliday as the method of transfer (i.e. draft picks or deadline deal).

I really take this deal as an indication the Rockies have absolutely no idea what they're doing. It looks like O'Dowd was more intent on being able to say that some team met his price of "3 top prospects" rather than getting the best talent return. Of course I'm not sure he'd recognize the best talent return if it walked up and bit him in the a$$, so maybe it's for the best that he at least tries for quantity; maybe he'll get lucky.
   36. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 12, 2008 at 02:24 PM (#3007357)
Why should Gonzalez be the Rockies starting CF if he's going to put up a 69 OPS+

- I'm not quite as sour on Gonzalez as ZiPS is - I expect something more in the 75-80 range.

- Taveras is freaking awful.
   37. JPWF13 Posted: November 12, 2008 at 03:24 PM (#3007378)
Why should Gonzalez be the Rockies starting CF if he's going to put up a 69 OPS+.


He'll be 23 in 2009, Taveras, who put up a 56 last year will be 27.
Actually I thought CarGo was even younger than that - but he turned 23 last month.
CarGo hit just .300/.356/.563 in Lancaster- the TEAM put up a .303/.368/.483 line that year. Mark Reynolds hit .337/.422/.670 in Lancaster that year.

Diamond Back prospect stats have (in the past), been HUGELY inflated on the hitting side, players would come up and hit in Lancaster, El Paso and Tucson (They are out of El Paso and Lancaster now) and you'd get minor league careers like this .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
   38. AROM Posted: November 12, 2008 at 03:28 PM (#3007384)
I really take this deal as an indication the Rockies have absolutely no idea what they're doing. It looks like O'Dowd was more intent on being able to say that some team met his price of "3 top prospects" rather than getting the best talent return. Of course I'm not sure he'd recognize the best talent return if it walked up and bit him in the a$$, so maybe it's for the best that he at least tries for quantity; maybe he'll get lucky.


The Rockies didn't get prospects, they got one guy who could be considered a prospect, is young and needs to develop, but with half a season under his belt no longer has rookie status. They also get the guy who led Oakland in innings pitched last year and a proven big league closer.

I can see the trade from both sides - Holliday is a 20 million dollar player making 13.5 for this season, the 3 guys who Colorado got back look to easily provide 6.5 million surplus value over the 12 combined seasons the Rockies will have them under contract for. For the A's, they get the best player in the deal, and sometimes that trumps any surplus value consideration, especially when you have a lot of depth in your organization and obviously can't play everybody.

If Billy had Holliday to start with and got this package I think he would be praised - this is as good or better a package than he got for Swisher, and Swisher has several years under a friendly contract. Saying O'Dowd has no idea what he's doing is blatant Beanism at it's worst.
   39. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 12, 2008 at 03:32 PM (#3007389)
I can see the trade from both sides - Holliday is a 20 million dollar player making 13.5 for this season, the 3 guys who Colorado got back look to easily provide 6.5 million surplus value over the 12 combined seasons the Rockies will have them under contract for.

Yeah, this really does look like a fair deal. Both teams got what they want and it looks like the Rockies are going to flip Street to get another prospect or two. It's going to be a fun offseason.
   40. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 12, 2008 at 03:46 PM (#3007398)
Interesting that ZiPS includes Claudell Washington as a comp for CarGo. Washington's actually a very similar type of player, IMO, and while he was never a star (and always a disappointment) he was a pretty good player for a long time.

-- MWE
   41. DL from MN Posted: November 12, 2008 at 03:58 PM (#3007411)
Who will have the better career, Carlos Gonzalez or Carlos Gomez?
   42. JPWF13 Posted: November 12, 2008 at 04:01 PM (#3007413)
Interesting that ZiPS includes Claudell Washington as a comp for CarGo. Washington's actually a very similar type of player, IMO,


But at age 22 Claudell had an OPS+ of 99 in the majors, after putting up 96 at age 21 and 119 at age 20.
Washington was light years better than CarGo at the same age performance-wise
   43. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 12, 2008 at 04:04 PM (#3007416)
But at age 22 Claudell had an OPS+ of 99 in the majors, after putting up 96 at age 21 and 119 at age 20.
Washington was light years better than CarGo at the same age performance-wise


Sure, but as you know I tend to look more at skill sets to evaluate how a player will develop, and I do think that CarGo will develop into a decent player along the lines of Washington eventually.

-- MWE
   44. AROM Posted: November 12, 2008 at 04:06 PM (#3007418)
Washington was a strange player. He was probably better in his very early 20's than some people who went on to have HOF careers, but he never got better than that. I remember him as a pretty terrible outfielder despite having good speed.
   45. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 12, 2008 at 04:13 PM (#3007425)
"Who will have the better career, Carlos Gonzalez or Carlos Gomez?"

I hope they both do better than this Car Go.
   46. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: November 12, 2008 at 04:40 PM (#3007434)
so who remains in CF - Cargo or Fowler?
   47. OCD SS Posted: November 12, 2008 at 04:44 PM (#3007437)
Sorry, AROM, that early in the morning I sometimes use "prospects" interchangeably with "young players."

The value may be there, but the reaction almost everywhere I've looked is that this doesn't look all that painful for the A's, only bewildering based on their recent history. It sounds like what the Rockies got are:

1. A toolsy OFer who most people here are knocking as not being all that likely to develop into a star.
2. A LHSP with a great pickoff move who may eat innings but not at anything above average performance.
3. A fragile closer who the Rockies will try to flip despite their "success" trading Fuentes.

Based on these players recent results I don't think the Rockies are looking at an impact player who will be under their control for a long time in the bunch. Given how high Monfort and O'Dowd's demands have been in other trade talks, this looks to me like they went for quantity that they could spin as a win. I just don't think any deal where no one on the A's feel like they gave much up bodes well for the Rockies.
   48. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: November 12, 2008 at 04:53 PM (#3007442)
While the A's don't appear to be giving up anything great, they're giving up many years of cheap production out of Smith and CarGo (OK, "production" in his case) with some potential to be good in exchange for 1 year of Holliday. Sure, they'll get picks or flip him at the deadline or whatever.

I can still remember when Huston Street was being touted as the next dominant closer in the game. It seems like practically yesterday.
   49. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 12, 2008 at 04:59 PM (#3007445)
I just don't think any deal where no one on the A's feel like they gave much up bodes well for the Rockies.

Gonzales is a real top-flight prospect. I think people dismiss his talent at their peril. It's true he may end up flaming out, but if he were a sure thing there's no way in hell he would have been traded in the first place. He'd still be a Diamondback.
   50. AROM Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:02 PM (#3007448)
Yeah Shooty, no way the Diamondbacks would ever trade a real impact prospect named Carlos.

Sorry, couldn't resist.
   51. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:04 PM (#3007451)
Yeah Shooty, no way the Diamondbacks would ever trade a real impact prospect named Carlos.

Sorry, couldn't resist.


Don't blame me when Levski shows up on your door.
   52. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:06 PM (#3007454)
Damn. No editing over here. That should be "at your door." "On your door" has a certain effect, though.
   53. Danny Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:18 PM (#3007466)
this is as good or better a package than he got for Swisher

That's easy to say now that DLS went under the knife, but I'm not so sure it was true at the time.

Gio = CarGo
Sweeney = Smith
DLS ??? 2 years of Street

But, I agree, this is a very good package for the Rockies for just one year of Holliday.

A fragile closer who the Rockies will try to flip despite their "success" trading Fuentes.

I'm not so sure a closer who has averaged 67 IP per year over his 4 year career can be considered fragile. Only 6 closers had more IP last year than Street's 70, and 2 of them were setup men for much of the year (Franklin and Rauch).
   54. AROM Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:22 PM (#3007470)
I view Street much like Brad Lidge, an outstanding closer who hit a bad stretch. I'd be very happy if the Angels turn out to be the team Colorado flips him to.
   55. Danny Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:26 PM (#3007473)
I view Street much like Brad Lidge, an outstanding closer who hit a bad stretch. I'd be very happy if the Angels turn out to be the team Colorado flips him to.

I'm with you on your first sentence.
   56. JPWF13 Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:44 PM (#3007491)
Sure, but as you know I tend to look more at skill sets to evaluate how a player will develop


That I understand, what puzzles me is that Zips sees them as similar.
   57. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:50 PM (#3007497)
But, I agree, this is a very good package for the Rockies for just one year of Holliday.

Holliday is guaranteed to bring two good draft picks though. That's not a consideration with Swisher (because...yes, he is under team control for so long).
   58. JPWF13 Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:52 PM (#3007501)
Gonzales is a real top-flight prospect.


Gonzalez WAS a real top-flight prospect.
He's shown little sign of developing over the past few years.

He's still a prospect (so he's no longer rookie eligible- so what- he's 23 and has less than a full year in the majors) but he's prospect now moving into iffy territory.
Last 5 years, 46 players have managed 275 PAs in either their age 21 or age 22 season:
CarGo's 2008 was 44th on teh list by OPS+:

Cnt Player OPS+ PA Year Age
+----+-----------------+----+---+----+---+
1 Miguel Cabrera 151 685 2005 22
2 Brian McCann 143 492 2006 22
3 David Wright 139 657 2005 22
4 B.J. Upton 136 548 2007 22
5 Evan Longoria 130 508 2008 22
6 Miguel Cabrera 130 685 2004 21
7 Chris Davis 129 317 2008 22
8 Matt Kemp 125 311 2007 22
9 Grady Sizemore 123 706 2005 22
10 David Wright 118 283 2004 21
11 Hanley Ramirez 116 700 2006 22
12 Wily Mo Pena 115 364 2004 22
13 Ryan Zimmerman 114 682 2006 21
14 Prince Fielder 110 648 2006 22
15 Troy Tulowitzki 108 682 2007 22
16 Ryan Zimmerman 107 722 2007 22
17 Joe Mauer 107 554 2005 22
18 Nick Markakis 106 542 2006 22
19 Robinson Cano 106 551 2005 22
20 Billy Butler 105 360 2007 21
21 Carl Crawford 105 672 2004 22
22 Omar Infante 101 556 2004 22
23 Delmon Young 100 623 2008 22
24 Rocco Baldelli 100 565 2004 22
25 Jay Bruce 96 452 2008 21
+----+-----------------+----+---+----+---+
Cnt Player OPS+ PA Year Age
+----+-----------------+----+---+----+---+
26 Melky Cabrera 95 524 2006 21
27 Delmon Young 91 681 2007 21
28 Jarrod Saltalamac 91 329 2007 22
29 Rickie Weeks 90 414 2005 22
30 Billy Butler 89 478 2008 22
31 Melky Cabrera 89 612 2007 22
32 Jose Lopez 89 655 2006 22
33 Asdrubal Cabrera 88 418 2008 22
34 Blake DeWitt 88 421 2008 22
35 Adam Jones 87 514 2008 22
36 Howie Kendrick 87 283 2006 22
37 Jeff Francoeur 87 686 2006 22
38 J.J. Hardy 86 427 2005 22
39 Daric Barton 85 523 2008 22
40 Jeremy Hermida 84 348 2006 22
41 Jose Reyes 81 733 2005 22
42 Dioner Navarro 79 302 2006 22
43 Carlos Gomez 77 614 2008 22
44 Carlos Gonzalez 72 316 2008 22
45 Yadier Molina 70 421 2005 22
46 Ruben Gotay 69 317 2005 22

I suppose he could follow the Jose Reyes/Dionar Navarro paths.
   59. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:54 PM (#3007503)
I think this is a pretty fair deal. Rockies get a good young closer, an ok young starter, and a good prospect for 1 year of a star player.
   60. Danny Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:57 PM (#3007506)
Holliday is guaranteed to bring two good draft picks though. That's not a consideration with Swisher (because...yes, he is under team control for so long).

But Street will also very likely bring 2 draft picks after the 2010 season.
   61. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 12, 2008 at 08:16 PM (#3007642)
This was the kind of deal that you make at the trade deadline, when you know you're not signing the player, you know you're not contending, and getting something back is better than losing him for the draft picks. To make this deal on November 10, when you have all offseason to strike a better one, when you can go to Las Vegas next month with a left fielder who plays both ways—unlike all the free agents—and find at least half the industry interested, is just a bad move. If this was the best offer available, Dan O'Dowd needed to turn it down and pocket his asset. He's dealt away Matt Holliday without getting enough in return, and that's the kind of mistake you just can't make.

A taste of Sheehan's take behind the pay curtain at B-Pro. It's a long article, so I don't feel guilty for posting this snippet. He likes it a lot for the A's, BTW. I still think the trade was fair, but he makes some interesting points.
   62. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 12, 2008 at 08:41 PM (#3007679)
Don't believe everything you read. This was a great trade for Oakland, and I'm not one of those people who tries to twist every move Beane makes into some kind of stroke of genius, because he does make some clunkers once in a while. That said, he traded away a toolsy guy who still has a disturbing gap between those tools and skills, a reliever who is WAY overvalued because he has numbers in his save column despite not having closer stuff, and a starter who is frankly a bit of a fraud. I'll bet anyone that Smith's '08 ERA will end up being his career high. The A's get Holliday and compete and get two draft picks, or try to flip it for more this summer.

And just for completeness, Goldstein's take from his chat today.
   63. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: November 12, 2008 at 08:45 PM (#3007691)
Yeah, I'll take a strikeout an inning, 3.5/1 K/BB ratio and HR every fifteen innings from a no-stuff closer any time, asshat.
   64. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: November 12, 2008 at 08:59 PM (#3007709)
If Smith's '08 ERA is his career high, Rockies win the trade hands down.
   65. Willie Mayspedes Posted: November 12, 2008 at 09:47 PM (#3007761)
I'll bet you Goldstein!

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