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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Astros - Signed Pudge

Houston Astros - Signed C Ivan Rodriguez to a 1-year contract worth $1.5 million.

Whew!  It’s nice to get back to actually analyzing things after a crazier-than-usual February-March ZIPS Frenzy.

$1.5 million is a good deal for a league-averageish catcher (while that figure isn’t a final official number, I doubt it’ll vary that much).  That presents a sizable improvement as 2009 Pudge will be the best full-time catcher the team has had since Biggio.

The only real problem with the signing is the team that signed Rodriguez.  Realistically, the Astros are a team that’s going to fight for 4th-place with the Reds.  The team really needed to see what they have in Towles or Quintero (mostly the former), not so much see if they can win the Second Division Chili Cookoff with the Queen City.  Even Richard Justice knows the team isn’t very good, even if he doesn’t quite realize it yet:

To show you there are two sides to every story, there are plenty of reasons for optimism, too. The Astros will go as far as their starting pitching takes them, and, at the moment, a rotation that includes Oswalt, Hampton, Brian Moehler and Russ Ortiz could be solid.

A rotation that includes Hampton, Moehler, and Ortiz as 3/5 of the rotation is damn likely to be solid - the team’s unlikely to hot enough in 2009 to melt ice, let alone liquefy human flesh.

 

ZiPS Projection - Ivan Rodriguez (C)
—————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA OBP SLG OPS+
—————————————————————————————————————
2009       459 45 130 25   3 10   42 19 86   7 .283 .313 .416   89
—————————————————————————————————————
Top Offensive Comps:  Benito Santiago, Al Todd, Terry STeinbach

ODDIBE

Offense     %
Top Quintile   5
2nd Quintile   26
Mid Quintile   30
4th Quintile   28
Low Quintile   11

OPS+        %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
160+        0     .400+  0     10+    2     200+  0
140+        0     .375+  1     5+    26     150+  4
130+        0     .350+  7
120+        1     .325+  33     2B     %
110+        7     .300+  71     45+    0
100+        21               30+    21
90+        49
80+        78
60+        95

BA         %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
.350+      0     .550+  0     50+    0     70+    0
.325+      4     .500+  2     40+    0     50+    0
.300+      24     .450+  16     30+    0     30+    0
.275+      62     .400+  67     20+    2     10+    23
.250+      91     .350+  99     10+    49

(Based on Projected PA)

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: March 17, 2009 at 12:46 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: March 17, 2009 at 01:04 AM (#3105161)
So it's final then. Pudge looks like he ain't a star no more, but still has some use left.

Could you put up a TO for Manny? I know it's a bit late...
   2. base ball chick Posted: March 17, 2009 at 03:40 AM (#3105313)
drayton mclane thinks this team is gonna WIN and pudge is The Last Piece Of The Puzzle. or at least that is what he is being marketed as. he is not interested in seeing what either towles or quintero could do - or any other young player neither, which is why there are all those Proven Veterans like aaron boone/jason michaels

i seriously doubt he will EVER agree to give a bunch of rookies a chance, seeing as how the crappy vets STILL won't get the team out of 4th.

he is positive he won't see as many tickets with a bunch of rooks and the team in 4th as he will with a bunch of crappy vets and the team in 4th and then getting someone at the deadline just to show that the astros will make another miracle run.

the dude only aims for the wild card and 85-87 wins at most

richard justice knows darn well this is a lousy team. he ain't that dumb and actually, when he isn't bulshtting, he is pretty darn smart
   3. JoeHova Posted: March 17, 2009 at 04:36 AM (#3105348)
I think this is a good move by the Astros but Towles doesn't look totally useless. Is his defense supposed to be terrible or something? Or will he be the backup catcher?
   4. rawagman Posted: March 17, 2009 at 01:29 PM (#3105474)
This isn't the worst move in the world. Neither Quintero nor Towles look like they are capable of giving anywhere near that kind of production at the MLB level this year. Quintero will likely never be more than a backup placeholder. Towles is the Astros' backup catcher of the future if he shows solid defensive chops (read: catch-and-throw skills). Towles could still beat out Quintero for the back-up job this year, and wrest it from him down the road if he has a nice start at Round Rock and Quintero struggles (again as the backup).

I also think that the Astros believe (and rightly so) that neither Quintero nor Towles is the long-term solution, with both Max Sapp (hoping he recovers from his serious illness) and Jason Castro representing much more upside. I think they also believe that Castro may even be ready to go by mid-2010. In which case, there is no reason to get too comfortable with either Quintero or Towles. In which case, Pudge represents a very nice placeholder, giving the Astros more leeway for patience and maybe a better mentor for the younger arms who may filter into the pitching staff this year.
   5. JPWF13 Posted: March 17, 2009 at 02:38 PM (#3105512)
Neither Quintero nor Towles look like they are capable of giving anywhere near that kind of production at the MLB level this year.


He'll be 25 this year, if not now, when?
Yes he was horrible in 171 PAs in 2008. (Due largely to an utterly absurd .157 BABIP)
He's hit in the minors.
He hit in his cup of joe in 2007.

Remove May 2008 from his career line and he's actually not bad for a catcher, but .094/.200/.113 in 60 PAs is a killer when you have only 215 PAs total.

It's still possible that May 2008 is for Towles what May 2007 was for Dionar Navarro...
   6. JPWF13 Posted: March 17, 2009 at 02:49 PM (#3105523)
I also think that the Astros believe (and rightly so) that neither Quintero nor Towles is the long-term solution, with both Max Sapp (hoping he recovers from his serious illness) and Jason Castro representing much more upside.


Why is a complete non-prospect such as Quintero even being discussed?
What evidence is there that Castro has more upside than Towles?

WRT Sapp, I don't want to sound mean, but he was playing poorly even before he got sick- I read more than a few articles saying he was a busted pick - before the meningitis.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: March 17, 2009 at 06:02 PM (#3105783)
So, did ZiPS contract the White Sox and Yankees while we weren't looking? :-)
   8. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: March 17, 2009 at 06:43 PM (#3105849)
2009 Pudge will be the best full-time catcher the team has had since Biggio.

I weep over the memory of Mitch Meluskey.
   9. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: March 20, 2009 at 03:16 PM (#3109295)
"the corpse of ..." is a tad played out but deserves a curtain call here for I-Hole. I'll take two standard deviations under on those rates
   10. base ball chick Posted: March 21, 2009 at 06:51 PM (#3109990)
JPWF13 Posted: March 17, 2009 at 10:49 AM (#3105523)

I also think that the Astros believe (and rightly so) that neither Quintero nor Towles is the long-term solution, with both Max Sapp (hoping he recovers from his serious illness) and Jason Castro representing much more upside.


Why is a complete non-prospect such as Quintero even being discussed?


- got no idea at all. he has got to be about the worst catcher i have ever seen. brad ausmus hit better. and quintero is such a bad receiver that several pitchers have refused to throw to him.

What evidence is there that Castro has more upside than Towles?

- castro was a number 1 pick and towles was not
but the real reason is that it is more than obvious that the astros organization don't want towles and because they want someone in AAA, won't trade the poor guy neither

WRT Sapp, I don't want to sound mean, but he was playing poorly even before he got sick- I read more than a few articles saying he was a busted pick - before the meningitis.

- you are correct
sapp isn't that old, but he wasn't hitting worth spit in rookie league
   11. Tricky Dick Posted: March 22, 2009 at 08:21 PM (#3110703)
Justice uses a lot of sarcasm, but I think he believes that Hampton and Ortiz could be good additions to the rotation. He loves Moehler too Justice goes for the "bulldog competitor" personalities in pitchers. Justice's optimism comes from the fact that Hampton and Ortiz have looked good this spring. Ortiz has been a surprise to me; I thought that was the longest of long shot NRIs. Supposedly, after TJ surgery, he has his velocity back, and his stuff looks good this spring. My feeling is that Hampton and Ortiz may pitch well enough when they are healthy, but I think the odds are high that the Astros won't get more than a half season out of each one. Moehler has a string of scoreless innings going this spring, but I think he overperformed last year and likely will regress this season.

The Astros were hoping that Towles or Palmisano (a rule 5 catcher) would make a case for the big league roster this spring...but they both were cold as ice. I think that the lack of spark from the young catchers led to the Pudge signing. Personally, I haven't given up on Towles, but he may be a guy who takes a while to get to the big leagues. My hope is that he catches fire in AAA and gets called up to share catching chores with I-Rod. Towles seems to be putting too much pressure on himself, and maybe a later call up might be a better situation. By the way, I don't see anything wrong with Towles' defensive skills. He is unusually agile for a catcher, and does a good job blocking pitches. It seemed like LaRussa got in Towles' head early last season when Pujols ran him over at the plate when the ball was still on the way from the outfield. LaRussa criticized Towles, suggesting he had a lot to learn. The whole brouhaha was overplayed in the media, but Towles seemed to lose confidence after that.
   12. Jason Phair Posted: April 07, 2009 at 08:03 PM (#3128459)
2009 Pudge will be the best full-time catcher the team has had since Biggio.

What about the mad leadership skillz of Brad Awesomeus?

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