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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Brewers - Signed Kendall

Milwaukee Brewers - Signed C Jason Kendall to a 1-year contract, pending physical.

This was plan B?  The Brewers didn’t want an over-30 catcher with defensive problems so they trade Estrada for a terrible reliever and the next in the series of moves was to get an even older catcher with even worse defensive problems and also can’t hit?

Jason Kendall was once a terrific player.  I was also once 160 pounds.  While catcher throwing arm tends to be overrated, when a catcher is as bad as Kendall was, it really does have significant effects on the run prevention.  It got even worse as the season went on and it became obvious that Kendall couldn’t throw anybody out any longer and after being acquired by the Cubs, basestealers went an impressive 52-for-57 in Kendall’s 50 starts with the Cubs, making the season total 111-for-131, or roughly 23 runs worse than break-even.  Brewers pitchers have enough to worry about with some defensive issues to work out behind them without having to worry about an even higher rate of singles becoming de facto doubles.

Kendall’s even getting less hits-by-pitch (hit-by-pitches?) than he used to, tying his career-low with 9.  Apparently, opposing teams are realizing that it’s not within their self-interest to risk sidelining Kendall.

Terms are undisclosed so far, but in a wild guess, I gotta think that the dollars involved in this contract are a wee bit fewer than the ones in the last contract.  He does have a vesting option of some type for 2009, reportedly, which simply befuddles me - why would any team want to reward Kendall for playing?

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Jason Kendall
———————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Projection   518 61 133 23 0   2 47 46 51   5 .257 .332 .313
———————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  533 76 151 30 1   3 53 57 45   8 .283 .369 .360
Pes. (15%)  350 35   82 13 0   0 24 26 42   1 .234 .297 .271
———————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Muddy Ruel, Rick Ferrell

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 22, 2007 at 12:07 AM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Mark Brouhards Jelly Donut Posted: November 22, 2007 at 12:37 AM (#2623066)
If he even approaches the Optimistic OBP Projection, I have no real problem with this, as long as it's for one year. Plus, i'm optimistic that this will make our Wisconsin cows(pitchers) behave more like California cows. A one-year character move for a young team with a potentially UBER-young rotation ain't necessarily a bad thing.

Should he not, then, well...I guess we just committed a BONER~!
   2. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: November 22, 2007 at 12:52 AM (#2623076)
I’ve never been more insulted.
   3. Moe Greene Posted: November 22, 2007 at 12:52 AM (#2623077)
Wait... When did Wayne Krivsky become GM of the Brewers?
   4. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 22, 2007 at 01:05 AM (#2623085)
It got even worse as the season went on and it became obvious that Kendall couldn't throw anybody out any longer and after being acquired by the Cubs, basestealers went an impressive 52-for-57 in Kendall's 50 starts with the Cubs

I mentioned this in primer's Estrada-Mota Trade thread: of the 5 baserunners Kendall is credited with throwin out, 3 were actually pitcher-to-1B pick off plays where the runner broke for second. Kendall never touched the ball.

In reality, he tossed 2 of the 54 runners who ran on him - Ken Griffy Jr and some guy on the Pirates.
   5. BeanoCook Posted: November 22, 2007 at 01:07 AM (#2623087)
Why the raged directed at Melvin? He is giving Kendall a couple million. Billy Beane was the village idiot that spent enough money on Kendall to provide clean drinking water for all of sub-saharh Africa.
   6. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: November 22, 2007 at 01:56 AM (#2623108)
Beane traded two dead weight contracts for Kendall. And Kendall was good when Beane traded for him.
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 22, 2007 at 02:09 AM (#2623115)
Top Comps: Muddy Ruel, Rick Ferrell


Weren't they both excellent defensive catchers, though?
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 22, 2007 at 02:26 AM (#2623122)
I should've appended "offensive" comps like I do with the the full ZiPS projections,
   9. Sean Forman Posted: November 22, 2007 at 02:57 AM (#2623130)
Do they lose a draft pick as well on this pick?
   10. BeanoCook Posted: November 22, 2007 at 03:08 AM (#2623132)
Beane traded two dead weight contracts for Kendall. And Kendall was good when Beane traded for him.


Kendall was disgraceful for the A's. He did more in 3 months with the Cubs than 3 years in Oakland. Beane had his a$$ handed to him with Kendall.
   11. harrball Posted: November 22, 2007 at 03:10 AM (#2623134)
This is a great signing. For the Cubs, Cardinals, Astros, Pirates and Reds.
   12. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 22, 2007 at 03:16 AM (#2623136)
Do they lose a draft pick as well on this pick?

I checked earlier today and he was listed as a Type B free agent. Does that mean a 2nd round pick?
   13. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 22, 2007 at 03:18 AM (#2623138)
Hrm. Since someone once made a bad move in acquiring Kendall, I guess that means all future moves that involve him cannot be criticized. Thanks for the update.
   14. NTNgod Posted: November 22, 2007 at 03:40 AM (#2623147)

I checked earlier today and he was listed as a Type B free agent. Does that mean a 2nd round pick?


Since the intro of the new CBA, Type B FAs don't cost the signing team anything.

The previous team does get a supplemental pick, though - but NOT from the signing team.
   15. 1k5v3L Posted: November 22, 2007 at 03:50 AM (#2623154)
I believe the Brewers now need to acquire a stud closer. Brandon Lyon for Gallardo? :P
   16. lincarnate Posted: November 22, 2007 at 03:54 AM (#2623156)
So, if Kendall hits his optimistic projection, does he reach replacement level once you factor in his arm (or lack thereof) into the equation?
   17. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: November 22, 2007 at 03:58 AM (#2623158)
Kendall was worth every penny to the A's for three reasons:
1. Ending a game by tagging out the potential tying run with his face. HIS FACE! And then he walked off like nothing happened.
2. Ending a game against the dreaded Angels by drawing a catcher's interference.
3. Ending a game by scoring from third when the dreaded K-Rod dropped a return throw from the catcher, which capped a thrilling run of .800 ball and catapulted the A's into first place.

His badassery knows no bounds.
   18. lincarnate Posted: November 22, 2007 at 04:03 AM (#2623159)
In response to my own question:

Kendall was worth 4 batting runs over replacement according to Baseball Prospectus in his time with the Cubs. If he hits just as well in Milwaukee as he did there, that'll be 12-13 runs above replacement in ~530 ABs. If he puts up a similar year with his arm (very possible with the pitchers in Milwaukee and everybody running on him) he'll cost the Brewers a game compared to a replacement level player.

Maybe Melvin should call and ask about Gerald Laird.
   19. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 22, 2007 at 04:15 AM (#2623168)
Why the raged directed at Melvin? He is giving Kendall a couple million. Billy Beane was the village idiot that spent enough money on Kendall to provide clean drinking water for all of sub-saharh Africa.

Your baseball analysis is just as coherent as your political analysis.
   20. BDC Posted: November 22, 2007 at 04:24 AM (#2623172)
Kendall's even getting less hits-by-pitch (hit-by-pitches?) than he used to, tying his career-low with 9

Indeed. At one point he was on pace to threaten the career record. Now, it looks like he will come up way short. So the prospect of a Kendall Plunking Countdown can't be why the Brewers have signed him (as opposed to the big Career Games Played at SS Watch that the Giants evidently intend to market using Omar Vizquel).
   21. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: November 22, 2007 at 04:30 AM (#2623176)
111-for-131, or roughly 23 runs worse than break-even

I'm getting 11 runs worse, not 23. What numbers are you using for SB/CS values? (I am using +.18 and -.45).
   22. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 22, 2007 at 04:39 AM (#2623179)
I'm getting 11 runs worse, not 23. What numbers are you using for SB/CS values? (I am using +.18 and -.45).

Just a quick guesstimate using the average player's run created line per 150 games and adding 111 SB and 20 CS.
   23. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 22, 2007 at 04:39 AM (#2623180)
See, everyone accuses Ned Colletti for doing something stupid - "Kemp, Kershaw and LaRoche for Cabrera? Arrgh!" - although he hasn't done it yet.
But now everyone gets an icy blast of perspective, because this is what it looks like when a GM actually does something stupid.
   24. Spahn Insane Posted: November 22, 2007 at 04:57 AM (#2623186)
Kendall was worth 4 batting runs over replacement according to Baseball Prospectus in his time with the Cubs. If he hits just as well in Milwaukee as he did there, that'll be 12-13 runs above replacement in ~530 ABs.

Of course, his time with the Cubs was about the best stretch he's had over the last few years, so figuring he'll do that over a full season's pretty unrealistic. (And he put up all his positive value with the Cubs in his first month. After that, he did jack.)

As a Cub fan, I'm pretty pleased with this signing, not only because it saddles a division rival with a lousy player at a key position with no apparent backup plan, but because it officially cements Don Geovany as the starter for '08. Not that there was much doubt about that anyway, but the scars a Cub fan bears after the Baker years take a while to heal...
   25. Spahn Insane Posted: November 22, 2007 at 04:59 AM (#2623187)
Your baseball analysis is just as coherent as your political analysis.

And just as astute as his pennant drive predictions.
   26. McCoy Posted: November 22, 2007 at 05:55 AM (#2623196)
Whew, Cubs and well pretty muched everybody in the NL Central got some nice needed relief these past few days. I'm no scout whiz, don't ask me about mechanics and what not but Kendall last year had to be the absolute worst defensive catcher I have ever seen. About the only guy I could compare him to was the Reds backup catcher who had to get pulled because he was dehydrated and was about to collapse. I pointed it out last season but Kendall's stat line for the Cubs was a complete fluke. For whatever reason when Kendall first came over pitchers simply could not find the plate every time he came up to bat. He had something 12 of his first 13 at bats be 4 or 5 pitch sequences, and if you watched those pitches you will know that at least 4 of the pitches would usually not even be close to the plate. I guessed and it looks like I guessed correctly that once pitchers overcame their "fear" of Kendall his numbers would plummet, and plummet they did. The guy is toast and the Brewers with their last two transactions have taken a step back. They remind me of the early 2000's Phillies. A team with a great core but with a GM who seemed to make the team worse not better.
   27. BeanoCook Posted: November 22, 2007 at 07:03 AM (#2623216)
Your baseball analysis is just as coherent as your political analysis.

And just as astute as his pennant drive predictions.


the Cubs had one of the worst playoff showings in recent history. I nailed that!
   28. lincarnate Posted: November 22, 2007 at 07:19 AM (#2623220)
Of course, his time with the Cubs was about the best stretch he's had over the last few years, so figuring he'll do that over a full season's pretty unrealistic. (And he put up all his positive value with the Cubs in his first month. After that, he did jack.)

Which makes the signing go from really bad to downright horrible.
   29. Spahn Insane Posted: November 22, 2007 at 07:32 PM (#2623461)
the Cubs had one of the worst playoff showings in recent history. I nailed that!

Their making the playoffs at all blew your other prediction out of the water.
   30. Spahn Insane Posted: November 22, 2007 at 07:33 PM (#2623463)
Which makes the signing go from really bad to downright horrible.

Indeed. And that's without mentioning his being another year removed from his prime [though once you're 5 years removed, who the hell cares].
   31. Ennder Posted: November 24, 2007 at 12:26 AM (#2623972)
Actually Kendall was better in 2006 than he was for the Cubs in 2007, so nto sure what you are talking about. If he puts up stats like he did with the Cubs last year or like he did in 2006 or even his 2005 numbers which were a little worse he'd still be an above average C before defense.
   32. Urban Faber Posted: November 24, 2007 at 01:20 AM (#2623984)
OK, I laughed out loud at #2 ...
   33. Spahn Insane Posted: November 24, 2007 at 01:37 AM (#2623992)
Actually Kendall was better in 2006 than he was for the Cubs in 2007, so nto sure what you are talking about.

I specified that he was better in his first month with the Cubs than he was with the A's in '06, which he was (and his total output with the Cubs was only marginally worse than his '06).

And of course, hair-splitting over Kendall's offense is pointless, since even if I grant your point about Kendall's hitting, saying Kendall's an "above average catcher not counting defense" is one of those "Other than that, how'd you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln" sorts of things.

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