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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Blue Jays - Acquired Glaus

Toronto Blue Jays - Acquired 3B Troy Glaus and SS Sergio Santos from the Arizona Diamondbacks for 2B Orlando Hudson and P Miguel Batista.

I feel this trade works out quite well for both teams, though perhaps a bit better for Arizona.  The Diamondbacks have a logjam of talent at the corners and this trade enables them to get some talent at an area in which they’re a bit weaker organizationally in the short-term.  While there will (hopefully) be the eventual problem of what to do with Stephen Drew and Justin Upton, Hudson’s a fine defensive 2B and in a weak division, it doesn’t take a lot of sweetening to improve your chances at the NL West title.  I don’t know how it would sit with O-Dog, but after Hudson had troubles with lefties once again after a promising 2004, the Diamondbacks should strongly consider platooning him as they have a number of players that would complement Hudson at 2nd, even if the team’s given up on Scott Hairston at 2nd for good.

Batista also provides much-needed pitching depth, wherever they end up using him.

Sergio Santos is a still a prospect, but is going to get squeezed from below by Drew and maybe Upton after a very disappointing 2005 season for Tucson.  There’s still upside there and it was a good idea of the Jays to pick up another low-risk middle infielder.

Glaus plays positions the Jays have a lot of, but he was probably the best bat available in the market.  I like this from the Jays side as well, but I’d still have to give it an incomplete at this time until I see how the team deals with the surplus of Hillenbrand and Hinske and how Adams/Hill line up in the middle infield (I’d personally rather move Russ Adams to 2nd and try Hill at short).  This isn’t to say losing Hudson doesn’t hurt, but unless you’re trading with Jim Bowden, you have to give value to get value.

Both the Blue Jays and the Diamondbacks are now two of the most interesting teams in baseball and I look forward to watching both quite a bit in 2006.

2006 ZiPS Projections
—————————————————————————————-
Player     W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
—————————————————————————————-
Batista     8 10 47 22 163 172   84 15 73 103 4.64
—————————————————————————————-

 

2006 ZiPS Projections
——————————————————————————————————
Player     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
——————————————————————————————————
Glaus     419 71 111 23 1 30 87 66 109   4 .265 .368 .539
Hudson   490 63 131 29 5 10 58 43 73   6 .267 .329 .408
Santos   434 52   94 14 3   8 45 22 103   2 .217 .256 .318
——————————————————————————————————

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 27, 2005 at 04:24 PM | 105 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. fra paolo Posted: December 27, 2005 at 05:22 PM (#1795625)
As I write, the Blue Jays haven't yet announced a time for the press conference confirming the deal, according to the Fan590.
   2. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 27, 2005 at 05:22 PM (#1795628)
So, who plays second for the Jays now?
   3. AROM Posted: December 27, 2005 at 05:32 PM (#1795643)
That's easy - Aaron Hill.

With this deal I wonder if the Angels could have brought him back for Adam Kennedy + a pitcher (Donnelly? Bootcheck?) Batista may be more valuable but the Angels could have made a deal without asking for Santos.

I don't think they were ever even interested, which is a shame. Glaus can do anything Paul Konerko can do.
   4. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 27, 2005 at 05:34 PM (#1795648)
I know very little about Santos's defense at SS, other than rumors that he was going to have to be shifted away from the position (probably more because of Drew/Upton than his own ability, though). But I find it difficult to believe that he can be much worse than Adams was. From what I saw of Adams, he had a lot of trouble with routine plays, which suggests more of a concentration problem than anything else. Hill doesn't appear to me to be likely to be a whole lot better, and I'm not at all sure he's going to hit; after his first month he really struggled at the plate.

-- MWE
   5. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 27, 2005 at 05:39 PM (#1795661)
That's easy - Aaron Hill.

Ah, of course.

I should read the intro.

That's quite a logjam at first/third the Blue Jays have right now.
   6. AROM Posted: December 27, 2005 at 05:49 PM (#1795674)
And it scares me that the Angels might stay out of dealing for Troy Glaus, who goes fairly cheap, and then turn around and trade prospects for Shea Hillenbrand.
   7. FBI Posted: December 27, 2005 at 05:49 PM (#1795680)
Another problem for Toronto
Who will leadoff?
Adams will be under quite a bit of pressure if he is leading off and playing shortstop
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 27, 2005 at 06:02 PM (#1795697)
F.Cat?
   9. Damon Rutherford Posted: December 27, 2005 at 06:18 PM (#1795721)
but unless you're trading with Jim Bowden, you have to give value to get value.

What about the Dessens, Durazo, and Lopez trade? He received some value in that trade ... value that finally paid off last year.
   10. Andrew Edwards Posted: December 27, 2005 at 06:19 PM (#1795724)
Who will leadoff?

Possible lineup, 2005 OBP, SLG

Cattalanato 367 / 451
Overbay 367 / 449
Wells 320 / 463
Glaus 363 / 522
Hillenbrand* 343 / 449
Zaun 355 / 373
Hill 342 / 385
Adams 325 / 383
Rios 306 / 397

* Koskie: 337 / 398 (ouch)
Hinske: 333 / 430

I'd suggest Wells, Hill, Koskie, Adams and Rios all improve somewhat over those numbers, with Hillenbrand, Cat, and Zaun taking steps backwards. If you can move Hillenbrand for a remotely good RF, and put Koskie or Hinske in his place, the lineup gets a lot better than it currently is.

I think from a Jays perspective the trade is a win if Adams can play decent 2B and they can move Hillenbrand. If those two things aren't true, it's more questionable, although I still appreciate that JP is takng a risk in an effort to compete.

Worst case scenario: the Jays finish in 3rd place again. Best case scenario: Adams can play 2B, Glaus stays healthy and hits 45 HR, and the Jays take the wildcard.
   11. The Answer to the TWolves (GMoney) Posted: December 27, 2005 at 06:23 PM (#1795731)
What about Koskie for Lew Ford with the Jays picking up 2 million or so of lthe money left owed to Koskie? Ford could platoon in LF with FCat and play some RF,CF, DH while batting leadoff.
   12. 1k5v3L Posted: December 27, 2005 at 06:27 PM (#1795738)
No projections for the hitters, Dan? Pretty please?

According to Mike Rizzo, AZ's draft director (and now an assistant GM), Santos made huge strides defensively last year at SS. His hitting was bad, which Rizzo attributed to his shoulder (recovering from a surgery) but he felt that Santos improved tremendously defensively as to where he would be a good bet to play SS in the majors once his hitting would improve.

The Dbacks were going to start Drew at SS in AAA, and if/when Upton signs (I expect the Dbacks to make a major push to get him locked up before Jan. 10th, when supposedly he can start school--they're only $1m apart anyhow) Santos would be the third best SS in the system, behind those two. And a move to 3b (logical) would present more problems as AZ just committed to Chad Tracy at the major league level. So unless Santos moved to the OF (yet more problems there), he would've had a hard time breaking through to the majors. And he needs another year or so at the AAA level anyhow. So he just was a fatal1ty of a severe numbers crunch.

I assume AZ doesn't have to send cash by including Santos, and if the Dbacks use some of that cash to lock up Upton, it'll be worth it. I do hope the Jays give Santos every chance to stick at SS; you don't see that many 6'4", 240lb shortstops every day...
   13. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: December 27, 2005 at 06:40 PM (#1795763)
Does this mean Counsell starts at Shortstop for Arizona, with Drew replacing him at mid-season?
   14. 1k5v3L Posted: December 27, 2005 at 06:47 PM (#1795774)
More details on the deal: Glaus officially a Jay today

Despite earlier reports, the Diamondbacks will not kick in any of the $32-million owed to Glaus over the next three years.

Sources say Glaus agreed to waive a no-trade clause that listed the Blue Jays as one of the teams he could not be traded to, but only if the Blue Jays gave him a new no-trade clause.

...

Glaus has been told privately that he will play third base for the Blue Jays, and if that's the case, the club can be expected to solve the logjam by moving out one of its lefty bats (Eric Hinske, Corey Koskie or Frank Catalanotto.) Manager John Gibbons has urged Ricciardi to hang on to righty-hitting Shea Hillenbrand, and Ricciardi has all but taken him off the trade block.
   15. 1k5v3L Posted: December 27, 2005 at 06:50 PM (#1795781)
Nate, I expect a Counsell/Cintron platoon at SS (with Counsell sitting out vs. the occasional left handed pitcher--and he could use days off anyhow) until Drew is ready. Counsell will be an improvement over Royce Clayton, and Cintron is good enough defensively at SS to spot start there. Couns will be a free agent after 06, but AZ might bring him back cheaply if the team trades Cintron--if not, Cintron will become the infield utility guy. I also wonder if BoMel will occasionally start Andy Green at 2b vs. LHP. O-dawg hasn't hit them that well, and he too could use occasional rest.
   16. fra paolo Posted: December 27, 2005 at 06:52 PM (#1795784)
If I heard it right (I'm trying to work at the same time), the press conference is for 6.30 pm eastern at the Rogers Centre.
   17. AROM Posted: December 27, 2005 at 06:55 PM (#1795787)
If Rios doesn't improve, I wonder if Hinske or Koskie could handle RF.
   18. 1k5v3L Posted: December 27, 2005 at 07:02 PM (#1795798)
From the AZ Repulsive: Batista set for return to D-Backs

Santos' inclusion in the deal was difficult for some in the organization who hold him in high regard. The Blue Jays were given a list of Diamondbacks minor leaguers whom they could not include in the deal, and Santos' name was not on the list.

The 2002 first-round pick progressed quickly through the system before hitting only .239 in Triple-A last season. With Drew and potentially Justin Upton, the club is well stocked at shortstop, and third base, a position to which Santos could move, looks to be manned by Tracy for the foreseeable future.

If it had not been Santos, it would have needed to be someone else on the 40-man roster in order to create room for Hudson and Batista.

As part of the deal, the Diamondbacks will be sending less than $1 million to the Blue Jays, a payment that won't be made until 2008, the final year of Glaus' contract. The cash is to offset the tax differential that Glaus will incur by playing for a Canadian team.

The trade will give the Diamondbacks financial flexibility, particularly in the long term. Glaus is due $23 million total in '07 and '08. The Diamondbacks likely will save around $2.5 million in 2006.
   19. fra paolo Posted: December 27, 2005 at 07:02 PM (#1795799)
I had a long chat with Annotated Philistine about this deal on Christmas Eve.

We agreed we were ambivalent about it, although in different ways.

To my mind, Glaus corrects a problem with the 05 lineup, which lacked a good power hitter, at the cost of weaker middle infield defense. If Koskie regresses to his mean (i.e., gets a bit better), and Glaus doesn't suffer a bad injury, and Hill (whom I expect to go to 2b) at least manages to give average defence, the Blue Jays are better for it. If one of Hillebrand/Koskie/Hinske can be moved for a decent rightfield option, then the Jays are definitely a lot better.

Overall, Ricciardi committed himself to a plan for the offseason: sign a good pitcher, get a closer, and get a good bat. He's accomplished, to one degree or another, each of those targets. It's really down to the players now.

I'd say Annotated Philistine was more sceptical, but I'm not putting any more words into his mouth than that. I don't need a flame war should he see this.
   20. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: December 27, 2005 at 07:03 PM (#1795801)
"I don't think they were ever even interested, which is a shame. Glaus can do anything Paul Konerko can do."

Uh huh.

Number of games played, 2003-2005
Paul Konerko: 450
Troy Glaus: 298
   21. Craig in MN Posted: December 27, 2005 at 07:31 PM (#1795828)
What about Koskie for Lew Ford with the Jays picking up 2 million or so of lthe money left owed to Koskie?

My man-crush for Koskie knows no bounds, but I think I'd more readily take Hinske over Koskie at this point. He's a little cheaper, a lot younger, and a lot more durable. If they could make the financial side work, I think I'd go for either of them though.
   22. fra paolo Posted: December 27, 2005 at 08:10 PM (#1795887)
Some caller on the radio is suggesting Cleveland might be pushing hard for Hillenbrand.
   23. danielj Posted: December 27, 2005 at 08:15 PM (#1795896)
Upton does not present a conflict with Drew, as everyone I've heard discuss his defense profiles him as an OF, with CF a distinct possibility.
   24. 1k5v3L Posted: December 27, 2005 at 09:22 PM (#1796022)
daniel, Upton will stay at SS, or 3b, long before he moves to the OF in AZ. And who's everyone? Mike Rizzo and Josh Byrnes, who ultimately make the call, have said that they view him as a shortstop. Until they decide to move him, everyone is just contributing to hurricane generation.
   25. 1k5v3L Posted: December 27, 2005 at 09:29 PM (#1796030)
More details: Glaus waives no-trade clause

Glaus' original deal provided him with a limited no-trade clause and the Blue Jays agreed to expand that. In addition there was a player option added to the contract for the 2009 season.

IOW, it seems Glaus gets a full no trade clause and a player option for 09. Also,

Glaus was given a Canadian Tax Equalization Adjustment, which will ensure that the value of his contract will remain the same despite the difference in currency and taxes. That is believed to be close to $800,000 and will be the lone financial contribution the Diamondbacks make to the transaction with the money payable in 2008.

Best of luck in TOR, Glaus. With former Dbacks in Overbay, Glaus and Santos (not to mention Shea) on the team, I'll be rooting for the Jays.
   26. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 27, 2005 at 09:37 PM (#1796046)
Who will leadoff?
Adams will be under quite a bit of pressure if he is leading off and playing shortstop


Adams led off almost the entire second half of 2005.

-- MWE
   27. "Catching Dianetics" by Dr. L. Ron Karkovice Posted: December 27, 2005 at 09:40 PM (#1796054)
Delgado and Glaus are two stars that signed big multi-year contracts last off-season only to be unloaded for younger talent the following season. Aside from the obvious risk of alienating free-agents from your team (and that might be signifigant) why don't more small market teams that are "a few pieces away from competing" (2005 Marlins, 1999 A's, 2002 Twins) develope a strategy where they sign Big-name stars to multi-year backloaded contracts and then trade them after the "cheap portion" of the contract expires. The player gets paid anyhow, the team gets to make a run for it and essentially gets a "rent-a-star" without having to trade for him...Didn't the Marlins just get 1 year of Carlos Delgado AND Yusemeiro Petit AND Gabby Hernandez for 4 million friggin dollars???
   28. 1k5v3L Posted: December 27, 2005 at 09:54 PM (#1796081)
The Marlins are sending $7m to the Mets, so Delgado was worth $11m to them. And they got Gaby for LeDookie. Deglado netted them Petit, Psomas, and Jacobs.
   29. Andrew Edwards Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:00 PM (#1796093)
ABDB:

I suppose because they fear the downside risk: if Glaus had been a complete, Parkian bust, he'd be untradable except for another crappy, large contract.

Now, whether big free agents bust often enough to justify that fear is another story. But that's probably why they don't do it.
   30. danielj Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:08 PM (#1796111)
levski: Of course, it's speculative until it all comes to pass (hell, he hasn't even signed, yet), but the folks at Baseball America have clearly stated that Upton profiles better at CF, as have many articles that quote scouts (read articles at Baseball Analysts, or do a google search : "justin upton centerfield" to find some of them) as saying he'll likely end up there. He played CF in some showcase events, so obviously the thought has at least crossed the minds of some. He apparently has a bit of wild throwing motion that leads to a lot of errant throws from the SS position.

Given his great speed/athleticism and a bat much more advanced than his SS defense, it would probably make a lot of sense to move him to CF so he can get to the bigs more quickly.
   31. 1k5v3L Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:16 PM (#1796130)
So, daniel, Byrnes acquires a true CF prospect in Chris Young so that he can use him to block Upton? Real smart. Almost every premium SS prospect can profile as a great CFer. People were saying that Drew should move to CF upon signing. So far, Drew has looked fine at SS. The Dbacks will keep Upton at SS and give him every chance to play there. Until AZ moves him to CF or 3B or 2B, he's a shortstop.
   32. mr. man Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:17 PM (#1796131)
because it'll only work once in a while...you need to be in a very specific situation. and once an organization does it, they are going to be stuck in rebuilding mode for at least 2-3 years because no one's going to want to join such a team.
   33. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:19 PM (#1796139)
That's a good point ABDB. Before this offseason I would have replied that their leverage is cut because the player can demand a trade after a year (a la Vazquez). However, that didn't seem to happen with the Marlins and D-Backs, they both cut pretty good deals. One factor could be the crappy FA market. You may not see teams willing to part with as much next year when there will be some good FA available.
   34. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:19 PM (#1796141)
The Marlins are sending $7m to the Mets, so Delgado was worth $11m to them. And they got Gaby for LeDookie. Deglado netted them Petit, Psomas, and Jacobs.

Timing is everything, Omar went on the hunt as soon as Ozzie Guillen started smoking cigars

he gave up his leverage in doing so
   35. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:20 PM (#1796142)
The Marlins are sending $7m to the Mets, so Delgado was worth $11m to them. And they got Gaby for LeDookie. Deglado netted them Petit, Psomas, and Jacobs.

Timing is everything, Omar went on the hunt as soon as Ozzie Guillen started smoking cigars

he gave up his leverage in doing so
   36. MM1f Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:31 PM (#1796170)
"I know very little about Santos's defense at SS, other than rumors that he was going to have to be shifted away from the position (probably more because of Drew/Upton than his own ability, though). "

When he was drafted they said he'd have to move off the position-and that was preUpton/Drew. Supposedly he improved his D alot this year, even as he struggled at the plate and impressed people with his work ethic at it even during a nightmare season. That being said the rap is that he'll still be a 3b (if not lf/rf) and hes a big boy, hes listed at only 6-3 190 but is supposedly at least 6-4 225 or something
   37. MM1f Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:35 PM (#1796181)
"So, daniel, Byrnes acquires a true CF prospect in Chris Young so that he can use him to block Upton? Real smart. Almost every premium SS prospect can profile as a great CFer. People were saying that Drew should move to CF upon signing. So far, Drew has looked fine at SS. The Dbacks will keep Upton at SS and give him every chance to play there. Until AZ moves him to CF or 3B or 2B, he's a shortstop. "

Well, even his HS coach moved him to third. And maybe he should, you know, SIGN A CONTRACT and play in a minor league game before we start saying hes blocked or is a (enter position here). Hell, Chris Young might be in year 2 of arbitration by the time Upton is big league ready (and thats not even considering that there is a chance he is a bust)
   38. Women's Lib is Ms.Guided Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:37 PM (#1796186)
IOW, it seems Glaus gets a full no trade clause and a player option for 09.

That makes it even worse for Toronto. Did Burnett and Ryan get any NTC in their deals? Because there's going to be some firesales going on after this year's crash-and-burn.

The BJs are a lock to lead the AL in walks between Burnett, Chacin, Lilly and Halladay. Factor in weakened infield defence and that's alot of baserunners (plus Towers who gives up tons o' hits with a good defence).

The bullpen was a strength in 2005 but other than Ryan and maybe Speier there's no track record of success there.

Ricciardi is drawing some publicity and spending his newly-given cash but its likely that they'll finish closer to Baltimore than the AL East winner.
   39. "Catching Dianetics" by Dr. L. Ron Karkovice Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:38 PM (#1796191)
The Marlins are sending $7m to the Mets, so Delgado was worth $11m to them. And they got Gaby for LeDookie. Deglado netted them Petit, Psomas, and Jacobs.

regardless, even if Delgado "cost" them 11m on his contract, that is still slightly below the average per year on the contract and netted them Petit, Jacobs and Psaomas (?) to boot.

Which would most small market teams in 'competitve mode" prefer

4 Years of Delagado at 12 per
1 Year of Delgado, an "A" pitching prospect, a B+ 1st Base Prosect with Pop and and another throw-in prospect?

I think most teams would take the later.
   40. MM1f Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:40 PM (#1796195)
This is werid. I have 2 posts on this thread that do not show up when you look at the thread from the addy:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/oracle/discussion/blue_jays_acquired_glaus/

but DO show up under:
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/oracle/discussion/[random numbers]

Is this supposed to be this way? Will they eventually show up on both versions of the thread like the other posts do?

Sorry about the off-topic-ness
   41. MM1f Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:40 PM (#1796199)
This is werid. I have 2 posts on this thread that do not show up when you look at the thread from the addy:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/oracle/discussion/blue_jays_acquired_glaus/

but DO show up under:
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/oracle/discussion/[random numbers]

Is this supposed to be this way? Will they eventually show up on both versions of the thread like the other posts do?

Sorry about the off-topic-ness
   42. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:50 PM (#1796230)
The BJs are a lock to lead the AL in walks between Burnett, Chacin, Lilly and Halladay.

Yeah, they should get rid of that bum Halladay.

And Chacin controls the running game better than pretty much anyone else in baseball.

As for the bullpen, does the minors count?
Because everyone in the Jays bullpen except for League has had a lot of success in the past. (Well, for Schoenweis you have to consider only his relief work).
   43. danielj Posted: December 27, 2005 at 10:52 PM (#1796236)
Maybe AZ picked up Young because he's closer to be MLB ready and they didn't want to pay a lot of money to acquire another CF before Upton was ready? Maybe he was the best prospect they could get in the deal? I'm presuming someone will play CF for AZ over the next couple of years, or a lot of flyballs are gonna drop in.
   44. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: December 27, 2005 at 11:09 PM (#1796274)
The BJs are a lock to lead the AL in walks between Burnett, Chacin, Lilly and Halladay. Factor in weakened infield defence and that's alot of baserunners (plus Towers who gives up tons o' hits with a good defence).

To suggest that the rotation is anything but an asset is foolish. I'm not sure about this trade b/c I'd have kept Hudson's glove. Doc and Towers are both very efficient and pitch to contact.

The 'pen last year was good. Of Spier, Frasor, SS and Batista, the guy closing games was probably the worst. They've swapped him with Ryan, and for '06, that's a good move. They should be playing a lot of 7 inning games. Can they hit enough to win? That depends on Hill and Adams, and how much losing Hudson hurts the D- they could have a lineup of .350 OB% guys (other than Rios).
   45. Women's Lib is Ms.Guided Posted: December 27, 2005 at 11:13 PM (#1796279)
And Chacin controls the running game better than pretty much anyone else in baseball.

Controlling the running game is fine but when you give up 213 hits and 70(!) walks in 203 IP then I think you have to worry about him as one of your starters when you're also downgrading your defence.

As for the bullpen, does the minors count?

I'm not saying the Toronto relievers are likely to fail, just that most of them had stronger than expected seasons and relief pitchers are tough to predict (i.e. their bullpen strength isn't a given that they can rely upon with strong certainty).
   46. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 27, 2005 at 11:23 PM (#1796286)
"The BJs are a lock to lead the AL in walks between Burnett, Chacin, Lilly and Halladay."

Dude, they were 5th in the league in walks allowed last year. They were barely behind the Red Sox and the Angels. Burnett is not going to give up an extra 150 walks next year.
   47. shoewizard Posted: December 27, 2005 at 11:25 PM (#1796289)
Maybe AZ picked up Young because he's closer to be MLB ready and they didn't want to pay a lot of money to acquire another CF before Upton was ready? Maybe he was the best prospect they could get in the deal? I'm presuming someone will play CF for AZ over the next couple of years, or a lot of flyballs are gonna drop in.

And maybe Jenna Jameson is going to show up on my doorstep at my wife's invitation for a threesome tonight.

Levski is right. Upton is a SS until further notice. It would be nice if they got him signed soon.
   48. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 28, 2005 at 12:54 AM (#1796360)
Ricciardi seems to hate middle IF defense. Izturis, Lopez and now Hudson. What gives?
   49. Nobody ##### with DeJesus Posted: December 28, 2005 at 01:02 AM (#1796364)
What was the extension the D-Backs signed Tony Clark to?
   50. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 28, 2005 at 01:03 AM (#1796365)
Is Lopez really that good of a defender? I thought he was more of an average defender, decent bat.

As for Lopez, I think there were some personal issues there. Don't know about Izturis, and I think Hudson just had to be dealt to get something of quality.
   51. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 28, 2005 at 01:17 AM (#1796371)
Lopez may not be Izturis or Hudson, but Adams, Hill and Woodward all seem much worse. Are my eyes deceiving me?
   52. Robert S. Posted: December 28, 2005 at 01:26 AM (#1796376)
Between Quentin, Young and (likely) Gonzales, there isn't going to be room for Upton in the outfield, anyway.
   53. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 28, 2005 at 01:29 AM (#1796378)
"Lopez may not be Izturis or Hudson, but Adams, Hill and Woodward all seem much worse"

Maybe J.P. hates minorities...

I sure hope Hill is white, or I'm going to look even sillier then I already do.
   54. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 28, 2005 at 01:33 AM (#1796384)
"Between Quentin, Young and (likely) Gonzales, there isn't going to be room for Upton in the outfield, anyway."

Jesus, the Arizona youth movement is ridiculous. At least O-dawg is going somewhere where he will make the playoffs consistently.
   55. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 28, 2005 at 02:02 AM (#1796397)
I sure hope Hill is white, or I'm going to look even sillier then I already do.

I thought Aaron Hill was black forever until I finally saw a picture. Ditto Chris Shelton.
   56. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: December 28, 2005 at 02:10 AM (#1796400)
JP has pissed away 2 quality SS under 25 for no good reason- Izturis was 21, and coming off a season where he hit .292 in AAA, granted with no econdary skills. But he was free and played GG defense, and young enough that he could still develop some offensive skills. The Jays rushed him to pressure Alex Gonzalez into signing, and I always wonder if he would've developed better with a year in AA.

Lopez was rushed too, and had to deal with a mid-season psoition change upon being promoted to the majors. He had some maturity issues, but a world of talent. The year he was traded, he posted a .318/.419/.457 line at AAA in limited PT and rode the bench when he was with Toronto. As a 21-yr old, Lopez had hit .279/.337/.506 in AAA. He was traded after his age 22 season for players who have sucked but had better "personalities". JP's one flaw seems to be overvaluing character at the expense of talent. He gave the SS job to Woodward over Lopez when Lopez was clearly the more talented player. It so happens that these character guys tend to be scrappy and white, I don't read anything into it except that our GM has an aversion to talent :>.

It's frustrating ththe treated SS like a need and drafted Adams and Hill with his first 2 #1 picks when SS and 2B were a strength when JP took over. They had Lopez, Izturis, Woodward, Freel and Hudson when JP took over- Woodward was the oldest, and the Jays very easily could've been set in the middle for the next decade without Hill or Adams. For Lopez and Izturis, they got nothing significant in return. JP has actually squandered a lot of the talent he got from Ash.
   57. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 28, 2005 at 02:51 AM (#1796416)
daniel, Upton will stay at SS, or 3b, long before he moves to the OF in AZ. And who's everyone? Mike Rizzo and Josh Byrnes, who ultimately make the call, have said that they view him as a shortstop. Until they decide to move him, everyone is just contributing to hurricane generation.

Just a thought, but until the Dbacks get Upton signed, sealed, and delivered to report for their minor league camp, I don't know if anything that the Front Office publicly says about their plans for Upton can honestly be deciphered between their real plans and what might be posturing in the negotiation. Obviously don't know what Byrnes really thinks, but I'd be reluctant to take anything that they say about Upton at face value.

As for the trade itself, excellent deal by Arizona. They lose a guy that they never really needed and pickup a great defensive secondbaseman who has a chance to develop into one of the better hitters at that position in the league. And Batista at $5M for one year is a fair price for a slightly better than league-average pitcher.
   58. 1k5v3L Posted: December 28, 2005 at 03:32 AM (#1796437)
Jesus, the Arizona youth movement is ridiculous. At least O-dawg is going somewhere where he will make the playoffs consistently.

God bless your heart, cimd. :)
   59. SuperGrover Posted: December 28, 2005 at 07:03 AM (#1796550)
Pretty simple, if Glaus can stay healthy (on turf no less), this deal will be a win-win for both teams. If not, it's a big time win for Arizona.

Glaus hasn't played 150 games in three years. It'll be interesting to see how he holds up.
   60. Lester Posted: December 28, 2005 at 08:12 AM (#1796572)
From Rotoworld:

Troy Glaus' player option for 2009 is worth $11.25 million and he now has complete no-trade protection, according to The Globe and Mail.

This deal just gets worse and worse for the Blue Jays.
   61. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 28, 2005 at 08:31 AM (#1796586)
The next person in Toronto who should get hit by a stray bullet is Ricciardi. What a putrid deal.

The worst case for Arizona is that Batista gets hurt in spring training and never throws a pitch while Hudson goes Izturis '05, losing both offense and defense at the beginning of his prime. And even if all that happens, this deal is still a win for Arizona because they can just non-tender Hudson next winter and let Batista walk and only be out ~$7.5M or whatever for 2006. Meanwhile, the Jays are paying Glaus for the remainder of the decade.

As a salary dump, Byrnes did well in that he got the other team to absorb nearly the entire contract (the Dbacks had to pay $800k cost-of-living adjustment or something) while only taking one a $5M contract for one-year (which is actually a pretty fair deal for Batista). To get a player as valuable as Hudson on top of that is mind-boggling. And while Santos isn't a throw-away prospect, he was expendable and probably more Alex Cintron than Stephen Drew.
   62. Walt Davis Posted: December 28, 2005 at 09:26 AM (#1796620)
I didn't like Arizona signing Glaus for all that money last year, mainly due to injury concerns. With the player option, the Blue Jays basically just signed Glaus to that contract. With salary inflation, I guess it's a bit better plus they're saving $5 M on Batista. But then they're tossing in Hudson for Santos.

So no, unless there's something else here we haven't heard (a PTBNL, more $ going to Toronto), I don't like this at all from the Blue Jays perspective. Of course, if Glaus stays healthy and puts them into the playoffs this year or next, it'll be worth it.

Glaus and Overbay should be a substantial offensive upgrade so the Jays definitely have a shot. If they can get something worthwhile for one of those other 3B/1B they have, all the better. Though who's gonna give them anything for Koskie or Hinske after their 2005 (and long-term contracts)? Hillenbrand's probably the only one they can get something for and if he's untouchable, their lineup is pretty much set. Maybe Koskie for Shannon Stewart?
   63. fra paolo Posted: December 28, 2005 at 11:39 AM (#1796649)
Maybe Koskie for Shannon Stewart?

I don't think Koskie is going anywhere, although he strikes me as the most obvious choice in terms of roster flexibility.

I expect to see Hillenbrand moved for a right-handed corner OF with as much pop as can be gotten.
   64. Matthew E Posted: December 28, 2005 at 02:33 PM (#1796666)
They had Lopez, Izturis, Woodward, Freel and Hudson when JP took over- Woodward was the oldest, and the Jays very easily could've been set in the middle for the next decade without Hill or Adams. For Lopez and Izturis, they got nothing significant in return.

Actually, Freel was let go a couple of weeks before Ricciardi was hired. And Izturis wasn't dumped; he was traded for a young starting pitcher, which the Jays certainly needed at the time. I wasn't nuts about the Lopez trade either, but my best understanding is that the Jays had concluded he simply wasn't going to put anything together as long as he was in a Toronto uniform, and they did get a good (at the time) prospect for him.
   65. Women's Lib is Ms.Guided Posted: December 28, 2005 at 03:36 PM (#1796696)
Also from Rotoworld:

With Aaron Hill replacing Orlando Hudson at second base and Troy Glaus likely taking over at third, the Jays have likely significantly weakened their infield defense behind starters Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett.

Halladay is an extreme groundball pitcher and Burnett turned into one last season, so both figure to have higher ERAs as a result of the trade with the Diamondbacks. We'll still probably have Halladay ranked as the No. 2 starting pitcher in AL-only leagues (behind Johan Santana), but he's quite a bit closer to the pack now. This is just one more good reason to avoid Burnett.
   66. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: December 28, 2005 at 03:50 PM (#1796714)
Matthew-

Didn't realize that about Freel.

My point all along is that JP's job is talent evaluation. In the Quantrill/Izturis trade, they got back a questionable prospect who didn't pan out and gave up a young GG calibur SS who had already hit at an accpetable level in AAA.

The Lopez deal was horrible- Arnold was another prospect with serious questions, a year older than Lopewz and hadn't played much above A-ball. Whatever issues Lopez had, a lot of them you could attribute to the atmosphere when he was called up, cut him a free pass and put some effort into him. He had scary talent, and here's JP saying they need a SS and drafting "scrappy" Adams who was already older than Lopez. His job is to get these decisions right, and there's two he didn't. The reason it's such a big deal is that, as I said, he wound up stocking the team with redundant players who aren't anything special. Neither Hill nor Adams have F-Lo's potential.

I am excited about Santos- he looks like a potential impact bat, which may be expendable for AZ but is essential for the Jays now that their wealth of hitting propsects are either gone, failed, or in the majors.
   67. Toolsy McClutch Posted: December 28, 2005 at 04:46 PM (#1796772)
I think if you're expecting Hudon's bat to improve further, you're high. One of the reason's I'm happy with this is that I believe this is his absolute peak, both in terms of offense and defense. I still expect him to be a good player for several years though.

I still don't understand the complaints for the Jay side. They have a wealth of quality middle infielders. They have a dearth of power hitting. Hinske is a sunk cost and should be ignored, Koskie should be dealt for anything. I like Shea though, I hope we keep him.
   68. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: December 28, 2005 at 05:02 PM (#1796793)
I think if you're expecting Hudon's bat to improve further, you're high.

I'm high, but that's beside the point. Here are Hudson's career stats, major and minor league:
http://tsf.waymoresports.thestar.com/thestar/baseball/player.cgi?2809

He doesn't have to improve, he just has to repeat his '04 line: .270/.341/.438. He's at the age where you'd expect him to hit .300 once over the next 3 years, and when he does, he'll bextremely valuable considering his salary and his defense. He hit .304/.368/.460 in AAA, so it isn't as if we're talking about a guy who hasn't shown ability. A great, great player to have, he'll be missed...

Glaus is the type of guy the Jays need. But that had that guy in Delgado, and let him walk. Their salaries are comparable, and Delgado would've given a hometown discount and allowed them to avoid signing Koskie...

To anyone who is extremely unhappy with this deal from the Jays perspective, the rumor was Hudson plus Batista for Mench. I like this much better...
   69. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 28, 2005 at 06:00 PM (#1796872)
regardless, even if Delgado "cost" them 11m on his contract, that is still slightly below the average per year on the contract and netted them Petit, Jacobs and Psaomas (?) to boot.

The Delgado deal was unique in that the Marlins didn't have to give up draft picks due to the Jays not extending arbitration. So it would be hard for small market teams to make a habit of it. Although trading for prospects after their signing bonuses have been paid has it's upsides.

Controlling the running game is fine but when you give up 213 hits and 70(!) walks in 203 IP then I think you have to worry about him as one of your starters when you're also downgrading your defence.

His BB/9 was below the league average(!)
   70. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 28, 2005 at 06:05 PM (#1796879)
Their salaries are comparable, and Delgado would've given a hometown discount and allowed them to avoid signing Koskie...

What makes you think Delgado would have given them the hometown discount?
He specifically said that he wouldn't give them a discount.
   71. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 28, 2005 at 06:10 PM (#1796886)
His BB/9 was below the league average(!)

Below, in a good way.
   72. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: December 28, 2005 at 06:19 PM (#1796900)
What makes you think Delgado would have given them the hometown discount?
He specifically said that he wouldn't give them a discount.


No, he said he would. He just said he wouldn't play for $8 million. My starting offer would've been $30 million/3 years. I think he would've taken $11- the Jays knew what the FA market would look like this year. I don't blame JP for the Delgado situation (other than JP calling Carlos's contract an albatross and blaming the team's poor performance on it), but the ownership should've recognized the importance of bringing him back and anticipated the windfall/payroll bump. Essentially, we have a worse player for the same cost, plus we had to give up talent.
   73. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 28, 2005 at 06:49 PM (#1796961)
I'm not a big fan of Ricciardi, he's basically spun his wheels since being given the job, and the team is less exciting to watch. Maybe I'm crazy, but I would have traded both Aaron Hill and Russ Adams together before giving up Hudson. Unless JP pulls a rabbit out of his a$$ and lands someone decent in return for Koskie and/or Hinske, the Jays are a poorer team next year and in a poorer position for the coming seasons.

I think Halladay is their only real star. Burnett may be great or he may be on the DL, and I really believe Vernon Wells's 2003 was not a good indicator of his offensive talents. He's basically a Garry Maddox without the range, and nobody ever thought of Maddox as a major offensive threat. Useful hitter, but that's about it. So unless Glaus can stay healthy, the Jays wll have no one who is a lock to slug .475. That's pretty sad if you're supposed to be a contender. They will have a upgraded pitching staff, but the poorer defense will probably negate a lot of that. 78 wins.
   74. FBI Posted: December 28, 2005 at 06:54 PM (#1796974)
Rototimes has Glaus at 3b
http://www.rototimes.com/index.php?sport=bsball&type=depthchart&name=TOR

Is this possible?
Is this wise?
I thought the trade made sense in that Toronto was one of teams that could use a DH
DiamondMind among others has downgraded his defence in recent years
   75. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 28, 2005 at 07:00 PM (#1796986)
"He's basically a Garry Maddox without the range"

I don't know who Garry Maddox is, but if you're suggesting that Vernon Wells doesn't have impressive range or that he's not a tremendous asset in the field, then I think you are way off in your assessment of him.
   76. Cris E Posted: December 28, 2005 at 08:18 PM (#1797147)
Maybe Koskie for Shannon Stewart?

I think a cooler move would be Wells and Koskie/Hillenbrand for Hunter and prospect(s). The dollars are fairly close and it solves a TOR problem, plus it gets Hunter's mouth out of MIN.

But I could still see a TOR-MIN trade, even in spring training if (or once) it becomes clear that Batista is Jose Offerman without the pinch, clutch, infielder goodness that Gardy found so appealing.
   77. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 28, 2005 at 11:48 PM (#1797546)
No, he said he would.

Do you have a link for that?
Not to be argumentative, but I specifically remember he and his agent saying that he wouldn't give a hometown discount. I believe it was around the time he wouldn't wave his no trade clause.
   78. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 29, 2005 at 02:24 AM (#1797818)
Come on, man... I didn't follow baseball till '88, but I know who all the players were! Garry Maddox, CFer for the Phillies in the '70s; present-day comp, well, maybe Johnny Damon if you adjust the HR numbers.
   79. xfactor Posted: December 29, 2005 at 02:34 AM (#1797830)
If having both Upton and Young is a problem, it's one every GM would love to have. The more premium bats at premium positions, the better. It's not like Upton is close to being ready. Shoot, his older brother hasn't even established himself. One potential glitch to the Glaus trade: His replacement at 3B, Chad Tracy, is better suited to first base. Throwing from 3B gave Tracy the yips, pushing him to 1B, where he belongs. Tracy's a good hitter. I hope this move doesn't set him back. Byrnes still has some work to do. First base is the best spot for at least four of his players: Clark, Jackson, Tracy and even Shawn Green, who was pretty good there for the LAD and has regressed in RF.
   80. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 29, 2005 at 02:35 AM (#1797831)
"Come on, man... I didn't follow baseball till '88, but I know who all the players were!"

He retired when I was two. I mean, I've looked him up now, but I've never really heard him mentioned before. Is there anything especially noteworthy about his career?

I still think Vernon Wells has great range, regardless of who Gary Maddox is.
   81. Robert S. Posted: December 29, 2005 at 03:52 AM (#1797899)
One potential glitch to the Glaus trade: His replacement at 3B, Chad Tracy, is better suited to first base. Throwing from 3B gave Tracy the yips, pushing him to 1B, where he belongs.

I thought Tracy looked worse at first in '05 than he ever did at third in '04: he can't stretch, can't dig the ball out of the dirt, can't handle it when the runner screens him, etc. Hillenbrand didn't do Tracy any favors as a receiver in '04, either.
   82. Srul Itza Posted: December 29, 2005 at 04:18 AM (#1797920)
How can you not have heard of Gary Maddox, when he was the subject of one of the greatest lines about fielding:

Two thirds of the earth is covered by water. The rest is covered by Gary Maddox.
   83. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 29, 2005 at 04:32 AM (#1797934)
"Two thirds of the earth is covered by water. The rest is covered by Gary Maddox."

That is a great line.
   84. MM1f Posted: December 29, 2005 at 05:09 AM (#1797972)
"Two thirds of the earth is covered by water. The rest is covered by Gary Maddox. "

I wonder if the mouth from Ole Miss, Fred Smoot, had somehow heard of that because I remember him saying the same thing about himself.
   85. John Reynard Posted: December 29, 2005 at 07:01 AM (#1798114)
Garry Maddox was a guy who in his prime was the best CFer I have ever seen for defense alone. That said, his hitting was basically composed of swinging hard and sometimes making decent contact, then when he got to 2-strikes he would choke up and try to put it in play. He thought walking was something you did on the way back from playing stellar defense in CF from my memory.
   86. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 29, 2005 at 07:41 AM (#1798172)
I always thought of Mark Kotsay as the second-coming of Gary Maddox in the pre-30 parts of their careers. Kotsay had a little less range and slightly better plate discipline, maybe. For the A's sake, I hope that Kotsay ages better than Maddox, who didn't have a good year after the age of 28.
   87. JPWF13 Posted: December 29, 2005 at 01:15 PM (#1798331)
And while Santos isn't a throw-away prospect, he was expendable

He certainly looks like a throw-away "prospect"
I looked at him on the Cube and thought, well he must bring good Dee to teh table- then I read posts that said it was questionable whtehr he could field SS in the majors-
with his [lack] of a bat if he can't play SS- he's no prospect
   88. AROM Posted: December 29, 2005 at 02:25 PM (#1798379)
Throwing from 3B gave Tracy the yips, pushing him to 1B, where he belongs.

I watched quite a few Diamonback games in 2004, and that's not what I remember. Tracy had some error trouble early in the season, but settled down and played a pretty good 3B later in the year. He was only moved because Troy Glaus was only going to sign if he was allowed to stay at 3rd.
   89. MM1f Posted: December 29, 2005 at 03:53 PM (#1798425)
I havent seen Tracy at 3b but I doubtwhatever throwing errors he made were caused by "yips",like youd see in a guyy moving to the position, since hes been at the hot corner since college.

"[Santos] certainly looks like a throw-away "prospect""

How does he look like one? Big, young athletic kid with serious power that just might be able to stick at SS? Doesn't seem like a throwaway to me, despite the downyear. Also, as afar as downyears go it was a good one as he earned alot of makeup brownie points for working hard and improving his D even when he was struggliing at the plate
   90. xfactor Posted: December 29, 2005 at 05:30 PM (#1798581)
What you guys saw of Tracy at 3B differs from what I saw of him, and I saw a lot of him. His throwing was erratic. He's not blessed with good feet and it showed up in his throwing, per his rep as a minor leaguer. He was happy to get moved to 1B. Now he'll be throwing to C. Jackson, who is no one's idea of a good fielder. Arizona's infield will have subpar defenders at the corners. If Counsell or Cintron is at SS, that gives Az. a third subpar defender in its infielder. Brandon Webb will be undermined. Ultimately I think you'll see Tracy back at 1B and Conor Jackson in LF after Luis Gonzalez moves on. Hope I'm wrong about Tracy this year. I'd love to see Tracy pull it off at 3B, but it's a reach.
   91. xfactor Posted: December 29, 2005 at 05:40 PM (#1798603)
Santos is close to being a throwaway. Dead men can hit as well as he did at Tucson, one of the great hitters parks. As for his work ethic and defensive improvement, at least some of that can be chalked up as Arizona hype. The Diamondbacks has pumping this kid for at least a year. With Drew, Glaus, Tracy and Cintron, Az. knew they'd likely trade Santos. They've been working BA hard, and typically, BA fell for it. BA has been over-rating this kid for years, putting him ahead of Khalil Greene and other real ballplayers. He's not quite a throwaway, but far from a sure thing.
   92. 1k5v3L Posted: December 29, 2005 at 09:49 PM (#1799119)
xfactor doesn't like tracy at 3b, santos as a prospect. anything s/he likes?

I think Tracy's main problem at 3b were jittery feet, which led to errant throws. Shea at 1b didn't help him at all. His range is fine, his hands are soft. I think he'll be just fine at 3b. I'm also guessing we'll see a bit of Matt Williams down in Tucson next spring, helping out with Tracy's defense back at 3b. That ought to help.

Santos is far from being a throwaway. 22 year olds who can play SS in AAA aren't throwaways, despite a bad season at the plate. Especially if they are recovering from an offseason shoulder surgery. But suit yourself. The idea that AZ had been pimping Santos to BA in order to trade him is pretty laughable. Maybe you've got connections with folks at BA?

Friends of mine who've spoken with Mike Rizzo in person (and those folks don't work for BA) tell me that Rizzo was really high on Santos, and was convinced Santos would be a big league shortstop if given the chance. I think Rizzo, of all people in the front office, was very disappointed to see Santos gone, but the owners didn't want to send money to AZ, and with Drew set to start at SS in AAA, and Tracy set to move back to 3b in AZ (and Upton on the way), something had to give.

Fwiw, here's BA's take on Santos:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/news/051228glaus.html

The Jays also get a prospect with potential impact for their farm system in the deal. Santos struggled through 2005 at Triple-A Tucson and didn't get his average above .200 until late May, and he hit only one home run after July 1 and finished the season hitting .239-12-68 for the Sidewinders.

While he slumped at the plate, the 22-year-old shortstop improved significantly in the field and still has premium tools. Santos has soft hands and an above-average arm, and he made great strides in his reads and work on double plays. Santos overreacted to his slow start and fell apart mechanically at the plate, leaving him susceptible to inside pitches and inept against lefthanders (.148 average). The first-round pick in 2002 doesn't have good speed, and might be limited to third base down the road.


xfactor is sure that Chris Kline is on AZ's payroll, however, so take his words with tons of salt. The Jays appear willing to give Santos another season in AAA at SS, and I certainly hope he rebounds. I'll be pulling for him.
   93. 1k5v3L Posted: December 29, 2005 at 10:01 PM (#1799145)
...owners didn't want to send money to TOR, that is...
   94. xfactor Posted: December 29, 2005 at 10:38 PM (#1799228)
I didn't go as far as the one poster who described Santos as a throwaway, he's got more going for him than that, but his defense doesn't project so well at shortstop and his bat doesn't project so well at third base, and Arizona has been hyping him behind the scenes for more than a year knowing that they'd likely trade him. He profiles more as utility man, not an easy gig for a young guy. Rizzo should be high on him - he drafted him in the first round. For what it's worth, I like Tracy a bunch. Just not at third base. This won't be a seamless transition for him.
   95. MM1f Posted: December 30, 2005 at 08:48 PM (#1800316)
I don't know what you mean by "transition"...that sort of implies a guy is learning a position.
   96. shoewizard Posted: December 31, 2005 at 12:11 AM (#1800545)
Arizona's infield will have subpar defenders at the corners. If Counsell or Cintron is at SS, that gives Az. a third subpar defender in its infielder. Brandon Webb will be undermined.

Counsell won't be any worse than Clayton at SS, who though sure handed, had terrible range. "Past a diving Clatyon" would have been used more often in AZ if it were not already copyrighted in NY ;)

Glaus was pretty bad at 3b last year, poor range, and alot of errors. If you compare Tracy from 2004 at 3b to Glaus 2005, not much difference really.

Hudson will be even better at 2b than Counsell was last year. So I see them about the same at 3b & ss, and better at 2b.

Now, that still leaves 1b, and at this point it does look like Jackson will be quite a downgrade on defense compared to what Tracy did there last year. But who knows...maybe he improves.

Brandon Webb will be fine. It's the flyball pitchers I worry about. Our OF will be Gonzo/Byrnes/Green. Nuff said.
   97. xfactor Posted: December 31, 2005 at 03:13 AM (#1800711)
Transition? A passage from one state or stage to another. Doesn't imply a guy's learning a position. If that was my intent, I would have used conversion.

Last year, Chad Tracy was a first baseman. Next year he'll be a third baseman. There's your transition. Hope it doesn't affect Chad's bat. Moving to first appeared to calm him down. He hit well. When you don't have great feet, that throw to first base can fray the nerves. Go out on a field and try it. It's a long way. He reminds me a little of Konerko, who benefited from the move from 3B to 1B.

As for Glaus, while it's true he wasn't a great 3B last year, he was playing despite a bum knee. He's a far more natural left-side infielder than Tracy, even played some SS in college and in high school.

Maybe you have some contradictory defensive stats, but as far as the Counsell/Clayton comp, major league scouts unaminously would deem Clayton the better SS. Defense is why he's stayed in the league as long as he has.

With Tracy/Counsell/Jackson, Az. might want to grow the grass to Wrigley dimensions. Perhaps Drew will upgrade the defense, if he can manage to stay in the lineup.
   98. Robert S. Posted: December 31, 2005 at 03:36 AM (#1800726)
RE: Infield defense

Jackson looked like an adequate 1B to me the couple of times I saw him in Tucson. His first week or so was bad after the call-up, but he did adjust and looked mostly fine in limited PT. He's already better at scooping throws than Tracy and nowhere near as awful as Hillenbrand was at first. Hopefully, Grace will be useful this spring and help him with footwork and his throws.

Counsell worries me. I suspect a not-insignificant portion of his outstanding defense at second last year was tied to positioning (read: playing RHB up-the-middle) that he won't be able to duplicate at short. He's got good instincts and above-average range, though, so I expect him to be a huge improvement over Johnny Noskills at a minimum; however, I also expect Counsell to get hurt. And, man, Cintron is a crappy shortstop.

Tracy was never as bad at third as Glaus was last year. Never. Not only was Glaus a statue, he made more than a few throwing errors and mental mistakes. Glaus was improbably awful and his issues extended beyond his knee. Tracy played fine defense for extended periods of time in '04 at third. A spring with Matt Williams should be a great benefit to him.

My hope is that with Jackson and Tracy both being set in their positions from the start, they'll be fine. Jackson, in particular, probably just needs to have a position given how much he's moved around the last three years.
   99. MM1f Posted: December 31, 2005 at 03:45 AM (#1800730)
"Transition? A passage from one state or stage to another. Doesn't imply a guy's learning a position. If that was my intent, I would have used conversion."

I just reread my comment and it did sound like i didnt know what the word meant...oops. (i do of course)
Still the transition itself won't be the problem with Tracy. That was my point.

"Johnny Noskills "
Who is this a derisive nickname for? I assume not Clayton if youre talking about D
   100. Robert S. Posted: December 31, 2005 at 03:48 AM (#1800732)
Last year, Chad Tracy was a first baseman. Next year he'll be a third baseman. There's your transition. Hope it doesn't affect Chad's bat. Moving to first appeared to calm him down. He hit well. When you don't have great feet, that throw to first base can fray the nerves. Go out on a field and try it. It's a long way. He reminds me a little of Konerko, who benefited from the move from 3B to 1B.

Given that he moved to RF last year and kept hitting, I suspect he'll be fine. Hell, his worst months were at first! He already knows third; RF was a conversion last year. In any case, I'd pencil Tracy in for regression just because I don't buy his .550 SLG, especially via a reverse home/road split. If it's legit, HALLELUJAH!
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