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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, December 19, 2005

Dodgers - Signed Nomar

Los Angeles Dodgers - Signed SS Nomar Garciaparra to a 1-year contract expected to be in the neighborhood of $6 million.

Nomar looks to be the new first baseman in Los Angeles.  The Dodgers won’t get hurt too badly in a short-term deal for Nomar, but at first base, the chances of the 1-year-deal becoming a coup are kind of thin.  At first, they’ll need him not only to be a lot healthier, but also hit like he did before the last 2 years.  The Dodger offense was terrible after May last year but the first basemen were fine overall, combining to hit 266/341/487, so this is unlikely to be a terribly relevant signing.  Choi will likely be traded or non-tendered this week, the Dodgers apparently not remembering another big, left-handed first baseman with a big platoon split who was non-tendered by his team a few years ago because he was a disappointment.

2006 ZiPS Projection - Nomar Garciaparra
————————————————————————————-
AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
————————————————————————————-
439 61 122 21 6 17 67 26 44   3 .278 .321 .469

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 19, 2005 at 03:01 AM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 19, 2005 at 03:25 AM (#1783656)
Are Nomar's days as a shortstop done? I think he'll do better than ZIPS thinks he will.
   2. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: December 19, 2005 at 03:31 AM (#1783666)
Thinking Choi could be Ortiz II, Dan?
   3. nycfan Posted: December 19, 2005 at 03:34 AM (#1783673)
the Dodgers apparently not remembering another big, left-handed first baseman with a big platoon split who was non-tendered by his team a few years ago because he was a disappointment.

Who was this?
   4. Sparkles Peterson Posted: December 19, 2005 at 03:35 AM (#1783674)
Nothing short of crazy on the part of Nomar and his agent. He needed to be calling a hitters' park home next season, he needed to find a team willing to let him play the middle infield (Or 3B at the very least), and he needed to be in a market where expectations are reasonable and reporters keep their noses out of clubhouse interactions. He's never going to get another $15 mil per season contract offer, but after a year playing 1B in LA he'll be lucky to get another $6 mil deal next year.
   5. Darren Posted: December 19, 2005 at 03:40 AM (#1783681)
Jeremy Giambi, of course.
   6. Darren Posted: December 19, 2005 at 03:41 AM (#1783682)
Well put, Sparkles. Maybe Nomar was opting for comfort over future earnings? Hard to see this being a good decision otherwise.
   7. 1k5v3L Posted: December 19, 2005 at 03:59 AM (#1783705)
And people complained when AZ gave Tony Clark $1m/year to help out at 1B.
   8. base ball chick Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:16 AM (#1783720)
i would really like to know why team after team after team finds some reason to not play choi and gets rid of him fairly quickly.

ok, i know dusty hates playing rookies, but jack mckeon? jim tracy?

must be something else...
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:28 AM (#1783731)
wow, i really thought Nomar would get more money and more years.
   10. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:32 AM (#1783736)
The Cubs and Dodgers certainly, but the Marlins didn't have a problem with Choi - they got a player they really wanted in return and McKeon handled Choi's playing time quite well and got him into the middle of the lineup.

Matt Stairs is a pretty good comp for Choi's early career - both the Expos and the Red Sox said he couldn't contribute defensively, was too patient, said he wouldn't hit lefties, and said he wouldn't hit a major league curveball.
   11. rr Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:33 AM (#1783740)
i would really like to know why team after team after team finds some reason to not play choi and gets rid of him fairly quickly.

ok, i know dusty hates playing rookies, but jack mckeon? jim tracy?

must be something else...


I had Choi in roto last year, so I followed the saga more closely than I normally would have. For Tracy, according to some, Choi represented DePodesta's attempt to shove sabr-stuff down Tracy's throat and Tracy sat Choi as a way to assert his managerial authority. Dusty Baker, as you know and said, prefers vets. I don't know about McKeon.

Choi is frustrating to watch. He takes a lot of pitches, and takes a lot of called third strikes. He doesn't seem to adjust well to the situation and at times looks like he doesn't care. I also suspect part of the problem is cultural. I work with Koreans quite a bit, and many of their communication patterns are very different than ours. It takes some getting used to and some effort on both sides. Both my dad, retired and following our team as a "consultant", and my roto partner got pissed off about Choi, too. Something about him, beyond what he does on the field, seems to rub some people the wrong way.

One story that got no play at all was that both Sun Woo Kim and Byung Yung Kim both seemed to find themselves, at least somewhat, pitching in Colorado. They both did some good owrk down the stretch, if memory serves. I will look that up. I wonder if having two Koreans on the team, as well as being on a team that gets NO attention, helped them.

I think Choi would be OK if you hit him 6th or 7th and platooned him. Then, if he did well, maybe let play some against lefties. I also suspect he may need more of a support system than he has had.
   12. NTNgod Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:36 AM (#1783746)
He takes a lot of pitches, and takes a lot of called third strikes. He doesn't seem to adjust well to the situation and at times looks like he doesn't care.

In other words, he's the Korean Ben Grieve.
   13. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:37 AM (#1783747)
Speculating, but I think Nomar could have gotten more years had he not chosen to play close to home. Allowing a team to move him to first, though, I think is a dumb idea - unless he believes his body couldn't take the wear and tear of a more demanding position any more.
   14. Darren Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:42 AM (#1783750)
I was thinking Bellhorn, NTN, but Grieve works too.
   15. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:42 AM (#1783752)
Matt Stairs is a pretty good comp for Choi's early career.
I love the idea of Choi lumbering about at the keystone.

In other words, he's the Korean Ben Grieve.
Very nice. Thankfully for him, he's a bit more athletic and versatile than that.
   16. base ball chick Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:43 AM (#1783755)
robin

that's interesting. it never really surprises me the interesting ways guys find to say eff u to the boss, even if it ain't really in they own best interest...

i thought sunny kim did reasonably well for the ex-spos. but you piss off frank, you gone byebye. frank got rid of, what 4 pitchers last year?

and BK kim was fine until his second year in bahstin so i don't think he really had a culture problem... and as i understand, his teammates in az liked him just fine.

maybe choi DOES have something unpleasant about his personality, or is just unlikable and maybe it outweighs his bat...

i'd take him on the stros but we have berkman and lamb already...
   17. Backlasher Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:48 AM (#1783759)
and as i understand, his teammates in az liked him just fine.


I thought I remembered that Schilling hated him, and the others weren't fond of the fact that his favorite hobby was taking naps.
   18. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:51 AM (#1783761)
maybe choi DOES have something unpleasant about his personality, or is just unlikable and maybe it outweighs his bat...

He insists on burying pots of fermenting cabbage all around the infield. The groundskeepers hate that guy.
   19. akrasian Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:55 AM (#1783768)
AFAICT, Choi is popular with his teammates. The fans really liked him, too. He was always smiling and supportive in the dugout, despite having Jason forgetting Phillips playing at first base against righthanders a good chunk of the time at the end of the season.

What I think annoys people is that he does stay calm, and strikes out a lot. Maybe if he smashed a few bats after striking out he would be more popular.
   20. chris p Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:58 AM (#1783771)
is having schilling hate you a point for or against?
   21. rr Posted: December 19, 2005 at 05:00 AM (#1783776)
What I think annoys people is that he does stay calm, and strikes out a lot. Maybe if he smashed a few bats after striking out he would be more popular.

People have said this about him. Most Koreans I have dealt with consider any public displays of emotion to be unseemly and disrespectful. Also, given the collectivist elements of the culture, it is generally considered unwise to call attention to yourself.

Re. the Kims: both pitched well in August, right after SW Kim joined the Rockies. Their September results were a mixed bag--but young Ps often get tired at the end. I will be interested to see how they do in 2006 ifthey stay together in Colorado.
   22. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 19, 2005 at 05:02 AM (#1783777)
My understanding is that a lot of the guys in Arizona disliked BK (what Backlasher said), while Choi is a popular guy (what akrasian said).
   23. chris p Posted: December 19, 2005 at 05:02 AM (#1783779)
What I think annoys people is that he does stay calm, and strikes out a lot. Maybe if he smashed a few bats after striking out he would be more popular.

so he probably wouldn't survive in a boston, as this was the problem people had with mark "shoulda been world series mvp" bellhorn.
   24. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: December 19, 2005 at 05:03 AM (#1783780)
the others weren't fond of the fact that his favorite hobby was taking naps.

The pre-game nap was the secret to Ramiro Mendoza's success. Nobody should criticize a napper.
   25. base ball chick Posted: December 19, 2005 at 05:08 AM (#1783785)
Backlasher Posted: December 18, 2005 at 10:48 PM (#1783759)

and as i understand, his teammates in az liked him just fine.

I thought I remembered that Schilling hated him, and the others weren't fond of the fact that his favorite hobby was taking naps.


- grinning

well, schilling got real stong feelings abolut just bout everything and everybody and he talk so long and so loud i don't pay him no nevermind

and i remember the naps. one of these days i gonna write to his mama and ask her HOW did she persuade BK that naps are a GOOD thing???

guess takin naps not as cool as playing xbox or watching tv or playing cards...

but i think it's sometimes hard to really tell how a guy is liked by his teammates. unless he's mitch melusky, say, or jeff kent...
   26. Raskolnikov Posted: December 19, 2005 at 05:20 AM (#1783799)
Query: Is the Cruz+Choi/DLee trade the most lopsided trade in the last decade? It's remarkable to see how far Choi's star has fallen in 2 years.
   27. stealfirstbase Posted: December 19, 2005 at 05:22 AM (#1783800)
is having schilling hate you a point for or against?

HAHAHAHAHA....heh, yeah.

He might be one of those folks like Jay Marrioti. Like I've said elsewhere, if you're standing on the same side of an issue as Mariotti, it's time to reevaluate your stance.
   28. stealfirstbase Posted: December 19, 2005 at 05:25 AM (#1783808)
Look, I spelled Mariotti two different ways in 50 words--three now. I'd love to be able to edit what I write.

Regardless of how you spell his name, he's always wrong. Always. Whatever he says, the opposite will occur. I think he wrote the White Star Line advertisements for the Titanic.
   29. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 19, 2005 at 06:23 AM (#1783855)
Choi is good and McKeon played him. Tracey just did not like him.
   30. Iwakuma Chameleon (jonathan) Posted: December 19, 2005 at 06:43 AM (#1783861)
Choi hit .270/.388/.495 with 15 homers in 281 at bats, in Pro Player, no less, before being traded to L.A.




Methinks if someone would just let the guy get in the lineup and hit the damn ball, he'd be fine.
   31. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 19, 2005 at 06:47 AM (#1783864)
I was thinking Bellhorn, NTN, but Grieve works too.

Bellhorn rules!

Say, any word on where he's going to end up? I'm sure he won't be given a starting job, but I can't imagine him not getting a job at all.
   32. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: December 19, 2005 at 07:23 AM (#1783896)
Query: Is the Cruz+Choi/DLee trade the most lopsided trade in the last decade? It's remarkable to see how far Choi's star has fallen in 2 years.

I don't think it's even the most lopsided trade that Hendry pulled off with the Cubs that season. Flotsam (in the persons of Jose Hernandez, Bobby Hill, and Matt Bruback) to the Pirates for Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton was highway robbery. At least the Marlins got a decent player in return (and it was Mike Nannini, not Cruz).
   33. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 19, 2005 at 08:04 AM (#1783916)
Garciaparra's an intriguing guy for 2006, but he's a pretty uninteresting as a 1B. This is one of those moves that might resonate well with fans and media, but it's not going to add a lot to their onfield performance.
   34. Halofan Posted: December 19, 2005 at 08:53 AM (#1783935)
All of the Dodgers' media losses could be won back with an offseason advertising campaign emphasizing Nomar returning to East L.A.
   35. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 19, 2005 at 03:10 PM (#1784044)
The Dodgers are just trying to corner the market on left-side infielders.
   36. Jimmy P Posted: December 19, 2005 at 03:22 PM (#1784050)
Methinks if someone would just let the guy get in the lineup and hit the damn ball, he'd be fine.


Choi is like Craig Wilson. He could play, but his manager hates him. These guys are going to go on killing sprees eventually.
   37. 1k5v3L Posted: December 19, 2005 at 03:57 PM (#1784108)
Schilling tried to do to Kim what Clemens did to him: take him into the gym and beat some sense into him. While Schilling claims he listed to old Roger, Kim didn't give a rat's arse about what Schilling had to say. I think Curt was complaining about Kim's (lack of) workout habits, and the fact he didn't think it was important to improve. At the time, however (2001/2002), Kim was a damn good pitcher, so I'm not sure what Curt thought needed fixin'...
   38. JPWF13 Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:05 PM (#1784124)
I'm sure someone's pointed this out already, but Nomar's OPS+ the last 3 years: 121, 112, 99
Choi: 101, 116, 110.

Choi is 6 years younger- who is more likely to be a productive 1B in 2006?
   39. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:28 PM (#1784173)
It's not like Choi doesn't play at all. Also, there's a solid rationale behind platooning him:
versus lefties: .151/.311/.267 (86 AB)
versus righties .250/.353/.455 (829 AB)
   40. VG Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:46 PM (#1784207)
The pre-game nap was the secret to Ramiro Mendoza's success. Nobody should criticize a napper.

Wasn't Lee Smith renowned as a mid-game napper? I wouldn't vote to put him in the Hall of Fame, but he had a heck of a career.
   41. H. Vaughn Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:47 PM (#1784210)
Bellhorn rules!
Choi is good and McKeon played him. Tracey just did not like him.

Talk about freely available talent. Somewhere in BizarroCubWorld these two are anchoring the right side of the infield and the Cubs lead the league in OBP.
   42. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 19, 2005 at 04:55 PM (#1784222)
Mike Nannini is a decent player?
   43. stealfirstbase Posted: December 19, 2005 at 05:56 PM (#1784358)
Talk about freely available talent. Somewhere in BizarroCubWorld these two are anchoring the right side of the infield and the Cubs lead the league in OBP.

Man, that is some Bizarre world. Except they wouldn't have DLee
   44. The Balls of Summer Posted: December 19, 2005 at 06:10 PM (#1784389)
I thought I remembered that Schilling hated him, and the others weren't fond of the fact that his favorite hobby was taking naps.


So that's why Felipe Alou don't get no respect!
   45. Kyle S Posted: December 19, 2005 at 06:27 PM (#1784436)
800 OPS against RHP is Adam LaRoche with a few more walks and a few less doubles. There are plenty of guys like him making their living as career AAA players. I'd love for Choi to prove me wrong but at this point i'm a mite skeptical.
   46. Eddie Gaedel Posted: December 19, 2005 at 11:38 PM (#1785314)
Kyle, Choi isn't a superstar, but he put up that 800 OPS from the ages of 23-26, the last two of which have been in pitcher's parks.

If he were to play at Kaufman, a 900 OPS over the next 3 years (ages 27-30) wouldn't be too unexpected.

Hell, after having an 850 OPS from ages 23-26, followed by an off-year at age 27 (700 OPS), Konerko put up two 900-OPS seasons, then signed a $60M contract.

Konerko's OPS+ is only 5-10 point above Choi's at a similar age.

Yes, I know the differences... Konerko had a higher average, as well as fewer walks and fewer strikeouts. But a 5/$60M contract for a guy that turns 30 before the season starts compared to Choi's possibly being non-tendered?

Can Choi play the OF? I wouldn't mind the Cardinals throwing him against a wall to see if he sticks. He's got to be better than Larso Biguchi.
   47. JPWF13 Posted: December 19, 2005 at 11:55 PM (#1785334)
Can Choi play the OF?

I seriously doubt that...
   48. Dizzypaco Posted: December 20, 2005 at 12:03 AM (#1785347)
I would guess that his performance in the outfield would be about the same as his performance against left handed pitchers.
   49. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 20, 2005 at 12:05 AM (#1785350)
Konerko's OPS+ is only 5-10 point above Choi's at a similar age.

Yes, I know the differences... Konerko had a higher average, as well as fewer walks and fewer strikeouts.


Konerko's also more durable, and doesn't have to be platooned.

There's also special considerations with Konerko, such as being a fan-favorite on a championship team.
   50. Kyle S Posted: December 20, 2005 at 12:25 AM (#1785377)
Choi, age 26: 110 OPS+ in 400 PA, mostly in a favorable platoon split
Konerko, age 26: 123 OPS+ in 620 PA without being platooned

       --PK--     ---HSC---
Age   OPS+   PA   OPS+   PA
23    120   564    60    57
24    108   586   101   245
25    120   650   116   416
26    123   630   110   368


In that space, Choi had one season better than Konerko's worst. That season, he was being platooned almost exclusively.

He hasn't really had much of a development curve at all. This year, his talent (walking) was decent by MLB standards but terrible by his standards - he had 1 walk for every 10 ABs. The guy might be Babe Ruth but he's not going a very good job of showing it.
   51. Chris Pummer Posted: December 20, 2005 at 04:03 AM (#1785721)
f he were to play at Kaufman, a 900 OPS over the next 3 years (ages 27-30) wouldn't be too unexpected.

Funny you should mention the K as your example, because I was just wondering what the #### the Royals were thinking signing an ass sack like Doug Mientkiewicz when they could have gotten a guy like Choi on the cheap.

Choi might have his weakness, like an unproven ability to hit ML-quality lefties, but he's not bad with the glove and has a lot more potential than a team can get by dragging in the Travis Lees and even the Matt Stairses of the world.

Call me crazy, but I think that's the kind of gamble a team like KC should be taking.
   52. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2005 at 05:44 AM (#1785828)
Yep. And Pittsburgh is paying Mr. Casey $7 million dollars to put up Choi numbers. I'm just worried that the Yankees will get their grubby hands on Choi. He's a perfect fit in that lineup and that right field porch ...
   53. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 21, 2005 at 01:48 AM (#1787354)
I'm just worried that the Yankees will get their grubby hands on Choi. He's a perfect fit in that lineup and that right field porch ...

If Choi does have to leave, than I hope that it is to the Yankees.

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