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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, December 16, 2005

Cardinals - Signed Looper

St. Louis Cardinals - Signed P Braden Looper to a 3-year, $13.5 million contract.

You have a second base battle between Aaron Miles and Deivi Cruz the upcoming season, you cry about money, even though you’re awash in it, and you spend more than $4 million a year on an OK setup man?  I normally like Jocketty, but the Cardinals have had quite the unproductive offseason.  Interestingly enough, I was looking at game logs for closers last month and of all pitchers with 10 saves, Looper was saved the most by walkoff losses.  By run expectancy, Looper’s ERA should have been 0.33 runs a game higher if he had to finish out his walkoff losses.

The STATS scouting report for Lupus is pretty funny after his 2005 season.

The Mets were pleased with the closing efforts Looper provided last year, with the reliever blowing just five saves in 34 opportunities. His services were acquired for little more than a song, and he remains a relative bargain for a solid closer.

Yup, they love the guy in New York now.

Looper should be the primary setup man for the Cardinals and taken out quickly against lefties.  In all seriousness, he should pitch decently for the Cardinals - Looper’s a groundballer and the redbirds should have a nice defensive infield again.

2006 ZiPS Projection - Braden Looper
———————————————————————-
W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
———————————————————————-
5   4 73   0   73   72   33   6 22 44 4.07

 

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:17 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 16, 2005 at 01:38 PM (#1779893)
The master plan seems to be Hector Luna starting at 2B.
   2. snakestl Posted: December 16, 2005 at 02:51 PM (#1779925)
As a die-hard Cardinal fan, I was frustrated during the Winter Meetings when the Cardinals got nothing done. But the off-season, for the Cardinals at least, is just beginning and I trust Jocketty to get things done between now and Opening Day.

This is just one of a series of moves. There will be another right-handed reliever added for LaRussa to mix and match between Flores, Johnson, and Rincon from the left and Isringhausen, Looper, and Rodriguez/Dotel/Nelson/etc from the right.

As for 2B, yes, Luna is the one they're looking to as a starter for the season. I have my doubts, but it's not out of the question that he can provide the same production as Grudzielanek and Womack did over the last couple of seasons.

One more good OF would be nice, but there's plenty of time.
   3. Old Matt Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:16 PM (#1779941)
Looper is great except for two caveats:

1. He should never close again.
2. He never ever pitch against a lefty.

Follow these two simple rules (we all know LaRussa can do it) and he's a very solid reliever. This is where Willie went wrong.
   4. DTS Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:08 PM (#1780019)
As for 2B, yes, Luna is the one they're looking to as a starter for the season. I have my doubts, but it's not out of the question that he can provide the same production as Grudzielanek and Womack did over the last couple of seasons.

I think Luna will be fine with the bat. I just don't hear much about his glove and with the GBers in the rotation, I'd hate to lose anything there.
   5. snakestl Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:26 PM (#1780045)
That's true, concerns about Luna's defense. I don't remember his defense at 2B being an issue and the raw numbers don't show any problems. I'm sure some people more well-versed in defensive statistics can answer that question.
   6. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:01 PM (#1780123)
I wouldn't trust Luna's defensive stats with sample size being what it is. His hands aren't that good, but he moves well enough.
   7. mbd1mbd1 Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:01 PM (#1780124)
I don't like this Looper deal, but the market for middle relievers is wack this time around.

Grudz and Eck were a great double play combination last year, those numbers will almost certainly come down in 2006. But having Rolen healthy all year should pick up the slack in IF defense. Now to shake loose a corner OF.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:21 PM (#1780170)
Luna had a good defensive rep in the minors, for whatever that's worth.

"...saved the most by walkoff losses."

This concept amuses me.
   9. Eric Opperman Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:22 PM (#1780536)
Well, if the Cardinals can go out and get Pablo Ozuna they will have reversed the Edgar Renteria trade...

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