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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

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 point).  Frank Francisco was at 81% last year just for a useful baseline.

Second, a blown save isn’t a loss. It’s more like 2/3 of a loss.

And of course many blown saves happen before the closer ever gets into the game. (Which is why it makes sense to include holds in calculating save percentage. The Jays had 50 holds)

Anyhow, I’m pretty sure that the deal has more to do with Santos’ strikeout rate, the fact that he gave up very few hits and that his control (5 of his 29 walks last year were intentional) is ... borderline acceptable all things considered. Given that he’s so raw as a pitcher (after spending years as a fairly highly regarded infield prospect he was converted to a pitcher in 2009), there is room for optimism.

After looking more closely at Santos, I can understand why you would want him. But I have to say I wouldn’t have given up Nestor Molina unless it was at gunpoint. And I might just have to take the bullet.

He’s been around for a while but he’s still only 23 (or will be in early January). Yes, TINSTAAPP (there is no such thing as a pitching prospect), and A ball numbers aren’t what you’d call perfect indicators of future major league success. Still, what I see is a young pitcher who seems to be able to handle starting, has excellent control and stuff that is very likely good enough (his strikeout rate took a nice step up last year, even as he faced better competition). You never know how things will go with a pitcher, but I like his chances. And I don’t mean to merely make it to the majors (unless he’s hurt it would be an upset if he doesn’t make the majors), but to be a successful, front of the rotation starter. And if that’s what he does turn out to be, the Jays will regret this deal for a long time.

Ron J Posted: December 07, 2011 at 02:59 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 07, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#4009173)
I think this is mostly true, but misses the point that the Jays are loaded with pitching prospects. So if Molina develops into a front line starter, but so do Hutchinson and Alvarez, I don't think they regret it too much. I also think that the Jays suspect that Molina's upside is what Santos is now, or maybe a number 4 starter (which seems to be what most non-Sickels prospect gurus think). I think there's a good chance both teams end up happy with this deal.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#4009188)
No offense Ron, because your writeup are pretty good, but what is the point of Transaction Oracles without ZIPS projections? And is there a reason Dan is no longer doing them for TO? Too much work? ESPN commitments?
   3. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: December 07, 2011 at 05:32 PM (#4009193)
AG#1F:

See this thread for info on Dan/TO/Ron J.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#4009214)
Thanks Killer.
   5. Ron J Posted: December 07, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#4009526)
#2 No offense taken. The ZiPS are a big value add. I've been toying with the notion of throwing in my own projections (which are fundamentally a Marcel), but Dan's got all of those value adds that I think we're all better off if Dan drops in when he has the time.

As I said in another thread, Dan's busily grinding out the team projections and I for one am not going to worry about his not having time right now.

As I've mentioned before I'm working on a different approach. What you might call actuarial (projected value over the balance of the contract) but it's just not ready for prime time. It's looking promising though and I think it'll bring something useful to the table if it works out.

EDIT: Wonky mouse makes for random formatting.
   6. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:53 PM (#4011316)
I'd like to have projections, but regardless I'm happy to have a designated transaction thread. At the very least it help me keep track of what's happened.
   7. Ron J Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#4011423)
#6 Worth asking again. I've been holding off starting a thread on any given transaction pending

a) official confirmation
b) contract details

The problem being that I think an awful lot of the deals get pretty much talked out before I start a thread. So far I've only bothered if I think I've got something of value to add.

Constructive criticism wanted.

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