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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, January 19, 2007

Braves - Acquired Gonzalez, Lillibridge

Atlanta Braves - Acquired P Mike Gonzalez and SS Brent Lillibridge from the Pittsburgh Pirates for 1B Adam LaRoche and OF Jamie Romak; signed 1B-OF Craig Wilson to a 1-year contract.

A fairly swanky series of moves by the Braves.  Looking down and out, they’ve now acquired Rafael Soriano for free and Mike Gonzalez, Brent Lillibridge, and a little bit of cash for a slight downgrade at 1B.  Gonzalez, along with Soriano, will make the Braves bullpen one of the better ones in baseball almost singlehandedly and Lillibridge is quietly a really good shortstop prospect, unlike the pretend-good middle infield prospects that the Braves have at the top of their system like Prado and Pena.

The Pirates?  They’re like the dorky kid in high school that gets a new IPOD - it’s a decent product, but all the popular kids already have them too and despite what he thinks, it doesn’t make him cool.  LaRoche is a decent-to-good player, not some special player that can turn around the Pirates.  They’re still an organization that can’t evaluate or develop talent and now, they’re a simply an organization that can’t evaluate or develop talent and have a decent first baseman.  Strangely enough, this might be the best trade that Dave Littlefield made on purpose - getting Jason Bay was an accident (the Pirates wanted Nady).  It’s hard to look at this trade and not remember the widespread reports at the time that Littlefield turned down Ryan Howard in return for Kris Benson.

2007 ZiPS Projections
———————————————————————————————————
Player     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————
LaRoche     445 65 124 36 1 24 89 45 91   0 .279 .345 .526
Lillibridge 450 73 113 22 3   9 45 55 105 32 .251 .337 .373
Wilson     368 59   94 18 2 20 61 32 124   1 .255 .344 .478
———————————————————————————————————

 

2007 ZiPS Projections
——————————————————————————————-
Player     W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————-
Gonzalez   5   1 55   0   55   39   15   2 27 69 2.45
——————————————————————————————-

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 19, 2007 at 04:10 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Frisco Cali Posted: January 19, 2007 at 05:05 AM (#2282913)
I like Jack Wilson, but did the Pirates really need to throw Lillibridge into this trade?
Is Lillibridge a candidate for 2007 starting 2b for the Braves?
   2. joshtothemaxx Posted: January 19, 2007 at 06:03 AM (#2282920)
In 2007 2B is Kelly Johnson's to lose, then I expect either Aybar or Prado to get a shot.
   3. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: January 19, 2007 at 06:31 AM (#2282927)
They're like the dorky kid in high school that gets a new IPOD - it's a decent product, but all the popular kids already have them too and despite what he thinks, it doesn't make him cool.

Nice
   4. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: January 19, 2007 at 07:08 AM (#2282938)
Lillibridge was projected at .251/.335/.369 in Pittsburgh; Jack Wilson is projected at .270/.312/.377.

It's even worse in PECOTA: Lillibridge is .277/.349/.428 and Wilson is .280/.325/.396.
   5. DCW3 Posted: January 19, 2007 at 08:47 AM (#2282952)
Is that ZiPS projection assuming LaRoche is going to be platooned? That projection's higher than I'd expect, and that's not very many PAs. From the Pirates' orgasmic joy upon acquiring him, it sounds to me like they're anticipating playing him every day.
   6. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 19, 2007 at 02:23 PM (#2282969)
How do you figure that the Braves get a little cash? Gonzalez + Wilson cost about $4.2M, a bit more than LaRoche is asking for in arbitration ($3.6M). What am I missing?

And just to nitpick a bit (inspired by the Sister Helena thread): if Gonzalez along with Soriano make for a great bullpen, then he's not doing it singlehandedly. But you more than made up for that with the i-pod line.

Is Lillibridge a candidate for 2007 starting 2b for the Braves?

Lillibridge hasn't played above class A.
   7. Kyle S Posted: January 19, 2007 at 02:45 PM (#2282974)
2B will be one of Kelly J, Aybar, or Prado. Probably KJ, although Aybar would be nice.
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 19, 2007 at 03:44 PM (#2283008)
OK, they're doing it doublehandedly.
   9. flournoy Posted: January 19, 2007 at 05:05 PM (#2283051)
Pretty nice that Lillibridge projects over .700 without touching AA yet. Loving that.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2007 at 07:23 PM (#2283141)
I like this trade for the Bucs, but this:

They're like the dorky kid in high school that gets a new IPOD - it's a decent product, but all the popular kids already have them too and despite what he thinks, it doesn't make him cool.

Is dead on.
   11. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: January 19, 2007 at 08:18 PM (#2283188)
They're like the dorky kid in high school that gets a new IPOD - it's a decent product, but all the popular kids already have them too and despite what he thinks, it doesn't make him cool.

Perfect.
   12. Honkie Kong Posted: January 19, 2007 at 09:43 PM (#2283256)
I hope this means that we trade Wickman.
Maybe Boston will give up someone interesting in return.
   13. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 19, 2007 at 10:42 PM (#2283300)
For what it's worth, here's a few comments on Lillibridge from earlier in the year (8/29):

* Emeigh: I haven't seen Lillibridge, and I haven't actually heard much about his glove. He was a little old for the SAL (which is not atypical for the Pirates) and his extra-base power has fallen off since he was promoted to Lynchburg. Interestingly enough, his numbers at Lynchburg are not all that different from those of Brian Bixler, who's a year older and has seen a dropoff going up to Altoona as well. Lillibridge has more pop than Bixler and makes more consistent contact, so he's a better hitting prospect in the long run, but I'm not sold on either yet.
* Me: I haven't seen Lillbridge as a pro (just on tv in college and in person w/ the national team), but I remember that he did things very quickly - quick swing, plus range (@ cf & ss), good runner. He *looked* like a ballplayer and I'd be surprised if he didn't eventually find a way to contribute at the major league level.
* Schuler: I've seen Lillibridge this season playing for Lynchburg. Lillibridge has hit leadoff everytime I have seen him play. He has a good eye and enough speed to stay at the top of the lineup. He is reliable with the glove and has a good enough arm to stay at SS. I am not sold that he has enough power in his bat to contribute as he advances up the chain - I think Mike's comments regarding Bixler will apply to Lillibridge.
   14. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 19, 2007 at 10:48 PM (#2283307)
Also, a subscriber-only article on BA quoted a scout who called BL a poor-man's Brian Roberts (meant as a compliment).
   15. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 19, 2007 at 11:14 PM (#2283326)
I remember the first time I got a real Trapper Keeper. definately didn't make me cool.
   16. David Golebiewski Posted: January 19, 2007 at 11:32 PM (#2283340)
I think the Braves likely got the better end of this deal long-term. Lillibridge is one of the more underrated prospects in the game, and generally it is much more difficult to find above average production at an up the middle position that it is to find production at first base.

I have an in-depth look at this trade on my blog:
kenphelpsallstars.blogspot.com
   17. Johnny Tuttle Posted: January 20, 2007 at 01:19 AM (#2283376)
Dan, don't ever stop doing what you do.
   18. The Adam Dunn Effort #44 Posted: January 20, 2007 at 01:22 PM (#2283521)
The ulitmate 'psychic' question, definitely calling for some immediate Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, is how will the Pirates ever get cool again? -(They're like the dorky kid in high school that gets a new IPOD - it's a decent product, but all the popular kids already have them too and despite what he thinks, it doesn't make him cool.)
   19. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 20, 2007 at 06:42 PM (#2283599)
The ulitmate 'psychic' question, definitely calling for some immediate Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, is how will the Pirates ever get cool again?

Take a shower once in a while, ditch the Members Only jacket, and stop talking about Star Trek constantly.
   20. andrewberg Posted: January 21, 2007 at 05:47 AM (#2283773)
The Pirates need a girlfriend. You know, for confidence.
   21. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: January 21, 2007 at 06:16 AM (#2283781)
I remember the first time I got a real Trapper Keeper. definately didn't make me cool.

Ha, what a blast from the past. I hadn't thought about Trapper Keepers in a long time (except maybe for a reference during a VH1 I Love the 80s/90s show). I had the same expereience, BLB.
   22. Darren Posted: January 21, 2007 at 06:25 AM (#2283782)
Parachute pants: I was a dork without them and a dork with them. Sigh.
   23. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 21, 2007 at 06:32 AM (#2283785)
Amazingly enough, once dorks get to college, they discover that there are girls who like dorks.
   24. DCW3 Posted: January 21, 2007 at 06:41 AM (#2283786)
Amazingly enough, once dorks get to college, they discover that there are girls who like dorks.

This is a damnable lie.
   25. robinred Posted: January 21, 2007 at 07:11 AM (#2283794)
Amazingly enough, once dorks get to college, they discover that there are girls who like dorks.

This is a damnable lie.


This statement rests uneasily against the hard fact that many Primates are married or have girlfriends.
   26. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 21, 2007 at 08:16 AM (#2283799)
Granted, I'm a dork who's incredibly handsome and has an excellent sense of humor.
   27. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 21, 2007 at 08:22 AM (#2283800)
But Daniel, there are lots of girls who like well-done toast, too! And if you're as charming in person as you are on the internets, then...
   28. DCW3 Posted: January 21, 2007 at 08:37 AM (#2283801)
And if you're as charming in person as you are on the internets, then...

Oh, believe me, I'm most definitely not. Terrifying thought, isn't it?
   29. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: January 21, 2007 at 09:17 AM (#2283804)
"This statement rests uneasily against the hard fact that many Primates are married or have girlfriends."

Supposedly.
   30. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 22, 2007 at 02:05 AM (#2284051)
Amazingly enough, once dorks get to college, they discover that there are girls who like dorks.

Damn, I went to all the wrong schools for my education.
   31. Astro-Bonilla Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:20 AM (#2284097)
Girls that like dorks do exist. Those girls are called dorks.

Nice moves by the Braves. If the Pirates were a contending team this move wouldn't be so bad for them. But they aren't. So it is exactly as described in the OP.
   32. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:22 AM (#2284100)
Well, who'd want a girl who wasn't a dork?

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