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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Los Angeles Dodgers

Acquired OF Milton Bradley from the Cleveland Indians for OF Franklin Gutierrez.

The Dodgers needed a hitter, so that’s what they went out and got.  Bradley’s not Bonds material, but the Dodgers offense was so bad last year that marginal offensive runs have nifty value and it’s not like Juan E’s arrival was going to be a huge help.

The Indians didn’t come out of this empty-handed, far from it, despite their announcement that they had to trade Milton before the season started.  Gutierrez is a very interesting prospect with a lot of talent.  282/345/513 isn’t jaw-dropping, but a 20-year-old doing that in Vero Beach is mighty impressive.  He had a great cup of coffee in AA ball and should start there this year.  Young outfield depth is a plus for the Indians, so they won’t surh him.

Dan Szymborski Posted: April 04, 2004 at 09:07 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. NTNgod Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:07 AM (#560011)
Of course, if Hundley and/or Grudzielanek don't agree to re-do their deals, all this speculation is for nothing :)
   102. jeff angus Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:07 AM (#560012)
ESPN Radio in Chicago is reporting that this is the first leg of a multi-team trade that will eventually send Karros to Colorado

Why would the Rox keep Karros? He's perfectly okay in my book, but I can't see the Rockies benefiting from trading Helton. I think Karros would have to be part of another trade.

So...if the back-end of this trade cascades through all these teams (and roll in probably Karros from Colorado for ??) can anyone remember seeing an off-season (or in-season) w/multiple trades of such compound-ness before?
   103. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:11 AM (#555879)
Forgive me for asking an on-topic question, but how did the Dodgers get Goodwin back in order to release him? The last time I saw him, he was playing for the Giants in the World Series...
   104. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:33 AM (#560021)
"Stunnigly bad"? Only if Karros and Grudz actually, you know, play.

Actually, it not being my money, I like the idea of Karros as an $8 million lefty-masher off the bench and occasional platoon partner for Choi.

Also, ESPN Radio in Chicago is reporting that this is the first leg of a multi-team trade that will eventually send Karros to Colorado, Bobby Hill to Montreal, and Denny Neagle, Jose Vidro, and others to the Cubs.

This is nuts. People, Vazquez and Jimenez are free agent eligible after 2003. You don't give up two top prospects for the benefit of one year of these guys. And Vidro isn't signed beyond 2004.

This is SO much worse than the trade as it stands, which is only a problem if Baker actually plays these guys. Of course, we know he will....

At least, as the trade stands, the damage is only for one year.
   105. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:45 AM (#560024)
Why would the Rox keep Karros? He's perfectly okay in my book, but I can't see the Rockies benefiting from trading Helton. I think Karros would have to be part of another trade.

They would keep Karros if it means losing the Neagle contract, and keep Helton to boot.
   106. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: December 04, 2002 at 02:00 AM (#560025)
Phil "the Shill" Rogers is on Chicago sports-talk radio (the Score) aying that both Hundley and Grudzielanek had no-trade clauses that need to be worked out. Don't know if that's true, but thought I'd offer it up.

He's also saying he doesn't buy into the rumors about the Expos or Rockies, so I guess those deals are certain.
   107. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 02:20 AM (#560030)
The trade is good for the Dodgers because it's a lot easier to compete with one dead roster spot than it is to compete with two dead roster spots. A team with both Karros and Grudzielanek on the bench is locked into two players who can only play one relatively easy position each. Assume an eleven man pitching staff, and that leaves four more bench spots. Those will probably be a catcher, a corner outfielder, a center fielder, and a backup shortstop, which potentially makes for a VERY thin bench. This assumes no platoons, no 12-man staff, and a manager who's comfortable with only two catchers. It's also probably a bench with only one power threat for pinch-hitting purposes, a team whose second-best bench bat is likely Karros.

Roster spots are valuable. Hundley can be a decent 25th man, spot-starting at first or catcher once a week and providing a power threat off the bench. Even with his struggles last year, he averaged 2 bases per hit, and he's streaky enough that a rebound wouldn't be entirely out of the question.

That doesn't even account for the way that it forces the Dodgers to use the young players on their roster. Thurston is probably already better then the iron-gloved Grudzielanek, and it's time for LA to fish or cut bait on Chen, who isn't going to get any better with more time at AAA.
   108. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 02:22 AM (#560031)
Nope, reverb, these rumors are legit. Or at least as legit as rumors can be, but they are legit rumors. Check it out</i>

This is like a case study in how rumors get started -- I only posted that column based on what I had read here. Of course, now that Phil Rogers of the Corporate Mouthpiece is talking about it, it must be true.
   109. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 04, 2002 at 02:23 AM (#560032)
I don't buy the 2 years reasoning. $12.5 million isn't more money just because it's paid over 2 years instead of 1 year. In fact, it's even ever-so-slightly less.

The total Grudz/Karros bill comes to $14 million at best (Grudz has a 500K buyout). If Karros gets the dreaded 500 PA, he gets that 9 million; remember moving that vesting into a straight club option was only unless Karros was traded.

The value of all these guys is approximately zero, so I don't see the point of paying $14 million in 1 year rather than $12.5 over two.

Karros mashing lefties as justification doesn't really do it for me. Finding the small part of a platoon is child's play, even in an unusually weak minor league FA market. I also don't believe it's in the Cubs interests to start pigeonholing Choi in the manner that Shawn Green was.
   110. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 04, 2002 at 02:34 AM (#555880)
Check the date! This is a revived thread from April.
   111. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 04, 2002 at 02:44 AM (#560034)
Karros mashing lefties as justification doesn't really do it for me.

Me either, but it's a way that this could work out okay for the Cubs.

The report is that both Karros/Grudz and Hundley amount to $15.5 million, with Hundley being paid over two years. Both Hundley and Grudz apparently have to agree to some deferment. Overall, it's pretty much a wash money-wise.

As it stands, with this deal the Cubs turn Hundley, whom they view as the baseball equivalent of a fart in a spacesuit, into Karros and Grudz. Objectively, I think there is no way this is anything but a bad deal for the Cubs, but the Cubs came into this with a certain point-of-view. You can look at the bright side regarding Hundley, who 1. did not perform as badly as people thought and 2. would actually be useful. But the Cubs got their panties in a wad about Hundley months ago and can't get them unstuck again. They HAD to get rid of him. Looking at the bright side with Karros and Grudz, you have two guys who are good bench players in exchange for something you absolutely had to get rid of.

Are the Cubs worse off with Karros/Grudz as bench players than they are with Hundley? Probably, but not too badly. Certainly they are much worse off if they have larger roles.
   112. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 02:49 AM (#560035)
the Cubs then send Farnsworth, Hill, and Zambrano to the Expos for Vazquez, Vidro, and Tatis

Would this mean that the Expos payroll has been set? If so, Minaya has been spinning a farrago of lies, and I for one don't buy it.

It would also be, in no uncertain terms, a horrible deal for the Expos, unloading Tatis notwithstanding. They can get more for these players separately.
   113. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: December 04, 2002 at 02:52 AM (#560036)
Damn, I long for the day when players got traded because of perceived talent levels and not contract length and salary.

Just had to get that off my chest.
   114. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: December 04, 2002 at 02:53 AM (#560037)
Among the many questions I have at this point are what details need to be worked out. Rogers has reported that both Hundley and Grudzielanek have no-trade clauses, which I don't think is true in Hundley's case but may be in Grudzielanek's. Meanwhile, the AP report (on ESPN's website and several others) states that "Hundley and Grudzielanek must agree to have their contracts restructured," without specifying why or how. Finally, Ted rightfully points out above that Karros is a 5 and 10 man, which no other published report I've seen mentions.

What gives?
   115. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: December 04, 2002 at 02:57 AM (#560039)
Also, as the Oracle points out, the ESPN/AP reports are wrong about Hundley -- he makes $12.5 million over the next two years, not $15.5 million.
   116. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 03:20 AM (#560042)
Hammonds, the writer of that article (or someone using his name) just posted in the thread to say that he was relying on the rumors reported here when he wrote the article...
   117. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: December 04, 2002 at 03:26 AM (#560045)
Here's a proposal: Why not conceive of a deal, wait for it to get cited elsewhere on the Internet, then see how long it takes for someone back here to cite to that source for its authenticity?

The Cubs are in active trade discussions with Texas, whereby the Cubs would send Corey Patterson, Courtney Duncan, and Kyle Farnsworth to Texas in return for Alex Rodriguez and cash. Certain details need to be worked out (namely, the amount of cash and A-Rod's no-trade rights), but sources close to the negotiations report that the deal is essentially done.
   118. Neil Posted: December 04, 2002 at 03:53 AM (#560055)
i don't believe true blue's rumor for a second. i mean maybe the rangers are looking to cut salary, but they would want a better package than that! sheesh!
   119. steve Posted: December 04, 2002 at 03:59 AM (#560057)
It's sad that these people use their blogs to spread untrue rumors just to pat each other on the back and say "good investigative journalism". No wonder neither of these fools gets paid to write about the cubs.
   120. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 04:06 AM (#560058)
There were rumors to this effect on FanHome a couple of days ago, and there are now posts on FanHome cropping up that use discussion of said rumors on BaseballPrimer as confirmation of said rumors. Who knows? Maybe Rogers reads Primer, or FanHome, or Christian's website. Maybe he's the one who started the rumor in the first place.

I'm just saying that I'd like to see something besides smoke before I shout "Fire!"
   121. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 04:59 AM (#560075)
The thing on FanHome was the Expos-Cubs deal, not a Koch rumor; Billy-to-the-Sox seems to have been pretty much of a surprise.
   122. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 05:40 AM (#560081)
Wow, I log off for a few hours,and when I come back, I'm working for the Sun-Times! I love the Internet.

Just so we're clear, I don't work for the Sun-Times, and I don't have any "sources" for the Koch-to-the-Cubs rumor other than the two posts that I read on this thread, both of whom reported it second-hand from radio programs. I don't have any other sources because it's, you know, a rumor.

Anyway, how about that Hundley-to-the-Dodgers trade? I stand by my original statement that it could turn out to be a decent trade on its own merits, as long as Dusty can keep himself from writing Karros and Grudz's names on the lineup card every day.
   123. Bob T Posted: December 04, 2002 at 06:39 AM (#560082)
The trade becomes official when the Dodgers and Cubs say so. Then we can read it in the agate in the "Transactions" section of our local papers.
   124. Greg Franklin Posted: December 04, 2002 at 09:27 AM (#555882)
It is kind of a funny thread revival, seeing that LA was paying almost all of Goodwin's salary this year. Hmm, how often have GMs returned a waiver-claim guy to the sender?

Perhaps Brian Sabean was in a Pontius Pilate mood.
   125. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:58 PM (#560085)
Just so we're clear, I don't work for the Sun-Times, and I don't have any "sources" for the Koch-to-the-Cubs rumor other than the two posts that I read on this thread, both of whom reported it second-hand from radio programs. I don't have any other sources because it's, you know, a rumor.

For what it's worth, Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald says that Hendry vehemently denies that any of the rumors being floated have any basis.

Phil Rogers mentioned the possibility of a Farnsworth/pitching prospect trade to Texas for Hank Blalock, which sounds great to me if not hard to believe, but as of now it seems that the Cubs intend to hold on to Karros and Grudzielanek.

What IS scary is the fact that both the Sun Times and Tribune are talking about the Cubs sending Hundley AND a PTBNL. This is very bad, unless the Cubs are going to dump more roster dead weight.
   126. Mike Posted: December 04, 2002 at 03:37 PM (#560090)
Why would Karros agree to a trade (to the Cubs or Rockies) that would put him into a situation where his $9MM option wouldn't vest?
   127. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 04:16 PM (#560092)
I have watched Karros closely for the last 3 years and his Dodger Stadium warning track power will translate into 30+ HR's at Wrigley.

This is the same Eric Karros who had four home runs on the road all of last year, and who has 27 road home runs in the last three years?(Compared to 32 at home.) Forgive me if I am sceptical.
   128. Sweet Posted: December 04, 2002 at 05:05 PM (#560096)
Brian C's "anti-Cubs" comment makes me wonder when the Cubs last traded a "proven veteran" (TM) straight-up for a fledgling major leaguer with star potential. De Jesus for Sandberg?
   129. Sweet Posted: December 04, 2002 at 05:23 PM (#560098)
Whoops . . . forgot it was DeJesus for Sandberg and proven veteran/threat to humanity Larry Bowa. So that one's out.
   130. Sweet Posted: December 04, 2002 at 05:23 PM (#560099)
Whoops . . . forgot it was DeJesus for Sandberg and proven veteran/threat to humanity Larry Bowa. So that one's out.
   131. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 04, 2002 at 06:31 PM (#560103)
Trade Damian Miller (who is loved by Buck Showalter) and Farnsworth to Texas for Blalock and then to sign Pudge.

I think Rogers was saying Farnsworth, Miller plus a pitching prospect, and presumably a good one (Zambrano or Cruz).

I would do it.

That makes that alot more interesting, and I believe would set a record. How many teams have traded 3 ML Catchers in one off season and signed a 4th?

Who would the third be? Hundley, Miller....
   132. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 07:28 PM (#560106)
The Cubs waived Chris Stynes for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release, presumably opening up a spot on the 40-man roster for Grudzielanek.

That's one more post-Santo third baseman gone -- the next person to play third base for the Cubs will be, by my count, the 98th person to do so since Santo was traded after the '73 season.
   133. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: December 04, 2002 at 07:32 PM (#560107)
I heard that as well, which surprised me because I thought Stynes only had a one-year deal for 2002 anyway.
   134. AMcK75 Posted: December 04, 2002 at 07:55 PM (#560110)
I miss the numbering on the posts, but I would like to acknowledge the Medieval Madness pinball reference way up there (at least that's how I percieve "TROLLS!")
   135. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 04, 2002 at 08:41 PM (#560111)
When did the Cubs trade Paul Bako?

So, Stynes is gone, huh? Talk about a guy who was never given a chance to succeed.

Baylor was completely incapable of handling role players, particularly figuring out how to use the lefty-masher.

When was the last time the Giants started a promising young player?

When was the last time the Giants had a promising young player to play? Baker's record in the few chances he had is spotty, but he didn't have a whole lot to work with.
   136. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 08:46 PM (#560112)
Josh, are you implying that Stynes is another "promising young player" that Baker has given up on? Because leaving aside whether or not he's promising, he ain't young. He'll be 30 for all of the 2003 season.
   137. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 09:30 PM (#560116)
What IS scary is the fact that both the Sun Times and Tribune are talking about the Cubs sending Hundley AND a PTBNL. This is very bad, unless the Cubs are going to dump more roster dead weight.

The LA Times reports this today, and says the PTBNL will be "another major leaguer." Unless it's Stynes, this will tip the trade, in my mind, from "potentially good" to "50/50 or less."
   138. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: December 04, 2002 at 09:37 PM (#560117)
This morning, on Chicago sports-talk radio (the Score), Chris Kahrl of BP said that the Cubs and Dodgers were working out a lesser side-deal to piggy-back off the Hundley deal. No names were mentioned, but perhaps this refers to the PTBNL that the papers are discussing.
   139. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 10:50 PM (#560119)
I think Stynes would look pretty good in Pittsburgh. He can hit lefties, and that makes him useful on a team with Pokey Reese AND Jack Wilson.
   140. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 05, 2002 at 12:47 AM (#560123)
Mueller, who is marginal to average 3B and not a spring chicken blocked Pedro Feliz, who in 2001 was the premier ROY candidate and has hardly seen the field in SF

Mueller may have "blocked" Feliz in 2000 (and that's debateable), but by 2001, he had been traded to Chicago to make room for Feliz at third. Feliz got a fair trial at third -- Russ Davis, brought in as insurance, was eventually released and Feliz eventually shared time with Ramon Martinez. Feliz ended up posting really poor numbers (227/264/373) in over 230 PAs -- a decent, if not large, sample size.

I've been a pretty vocal critic of Baker throughout his tenure in San Francisco, but Jeff is right in pointing out that, for the most part, it's not like Baker had a whole bunch of promising youngsters on the bench and chose not to play them. When he had young players, he often let them play. Some turned out well (Mueller, and especially Rich Aurilia, come to mind), most (Benard, Feliz, Rios, Estalella) did not.

With the Cubs, he's got highly touted young players who many people around baseball feel are ready to play every day, something he rarely had in San Francisco. Now that he has Karros & Grudz, we will see if his reputation is deserved or not.
   141. Mike Posted: December 05, 2002 at 01:06 AM (#560124)
The PTBNL is Chad Hermansen.
   142. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 05, 2002 at 03:14 AM (#560127)
Either way, [Aurilia] didn't get over 400 ABs in a season until 1998 when he was 26 going on 27, and had been bouncing around on the team since late 1995.

True, but a bit misleading. In 1996, at age 24, he got the majority of the PT at shortstop (318 ABs, 352 PAs) and put up 239/295/296 numbers. Much like Feliz 5 years later, he got a shot and didn't come through.

I feel like I'm in some Bizarro world, arguing against the concept that Baker doesn't let young talent develop. You're right, the Giants have had a pretty poor record when it comes to young talent. But it seems to me it was more a problem of poor scouting & player development, since a number of younger players got the chance to play. It's not (necessarily) Baker's fault that, when given playing time, they didn't perform.

I absolutely agree with you, though, that if he ends up playing Grudz and Karros, it will be indicative. The Cubs fan in me hopes he won't, but the baseball fan in me fears he will.

Hermansen, huh? Talk about unfulfilled potential. I think he's still got a decent chance of becoming a good player. He's only 25, even though it seems like he's been around forever.
   143. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 05, 2002 at 03:21 AM (#560128)
Feliz was never really very impressive and that's a kind description. The value of his 2000 season, the only thing that even hits at him having a future, goes right out the window once you take into account that he did it at Fresno and in the PCL.

   144. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 05, 2002 at 03:48 PM (#560131)
He renegotiated it into a team option that shifted back into a vesting option if he was traded. He was traded, so it's back to its original state.

Hermansen's got all kinds of ability, and the only think he needs right now is a coach who can teach him how to spot breaking balls. The Pirates never worked on that part, for some reason. He's in sort of the same place that Ruben Rivera was at age 24; maybe a season with the Giants will do for Chad what it did for everybody's favorite glove-napper.
   145. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 05, 2002 at 04:20 PM (#560132)
Dodgers, not Giants, unless there's another trade I haven't heard about yet...
   146. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 05, 2002 at 08:36 PM (#560133)
Got Brian Giles rumors on the brain, I guess...
   147. Russ Posted: December 05, 2002 at 08:42 PM (#560134)

I'm not sure what you meant by your comment... Jack Wilson *crushes* lefties... it's those nasty northpaws that cause him fits.
   148. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 05, 2002 at 11:16 PM (#560135)
Holy crap, you're right. I thought Reese had a platoon split, too...

Disregard anything I've said in the last 24 hours; I'm obviously losing my grip on reality.
   149. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 06, 2002 at 05:46 AM (#560139)
I also still don't see why paying a lot of salary now is better than paying it over 2 years

Because theoretically, they now have more payroll flexibility for next year, when they might be able to make some moves that will take them from decent to good, instead of this year, where the best they could hope for would be to move from bad to decent.
   150. Fog City Blues Posted: December 21, 2002 at 04:55 AM (#561705) says the contract is for "about $5 million."
   151. Bob T Posted: December 21, 2002 at 07:16 AM (#561707)
Chin-Feng Chen.

No, it's unlikely he will be the platoon partner. Kinkade or another free agent pickup.
   152. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 21, 2002 at 02:18 PM (#561712)
McGriff's range is probably not that bad at this point, but he is completely unwilling to make the stretch for throws. Apparently, this really drives the other infielders nuts.

He should be a DH.
   153. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: December 21, 2002 at 05:48 PM (#561714)
While I certainly agree that McGriff was defensively inept last year, allow me to be more precise -- IMO, it wasn't that he was a "statue" on groundballs, per se, so much as he didn't, wouldn't, or couldn't dig errant throws out of the dirt, etc. That's just personal observation, though -- it could be that his RF is low too (I haven't checked).
   154. VegasRobb Posted: December 21, 2002 at 07:27 PM (#561715)
Why not just play Chin-Feng Chen?

Unless he's moving back to the outfield, at some point he needs to be allowed to learn on the major league level.
   155. John Posted: January 17, 2003 at 04:34 AM (#563752)
It's hard to believe Alvarez is still only a few years on the wrong side of 30.

What's harder to believe is that Alvarez was the hotter prospect in the Fletcher/Alvarez/Sosa for Baines/Manrique trade.

Of course what's hardest to believe is that Scooter Fletcher had just recently been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but that's really not relevant.

I guess he could be turned into a useful long reliever for LA. Can't hurt to try.
   156. Mr. Crowley Posted: January 17, 2003 at 05:15 AM (#563755)
It's a trap!
   157. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 17, 2003 at 02:17 PM (#563765)
Have we had the same problem with Venezuela as we've had with the Dominican Republic and Cuba?
   158. Cris E Posted: January 17, 2003 at 02:43 PM (#563767)
Have we had the same problem with Venezuela as we've had with the Dominican Republic and Cuba?

Not exactly: The Soviets never tried to put missles in Venezuela and we've never bought a lot of oil from the D.R. But if names like Shin-Soo Choo, Ed Rogers and Chao Wang are on that BA list it seems likely that a Venezuelan or two might have taken a shot at it.
   159. Bob T Posted: January 20, 2003 at 02:28 AM (#563777)
I doubt that Alvarez has anything left and it's just another effort by a team to get a look at another arm.

Perhaps he's going after Omar Daal's Venezuelan lefty spot in the rotation?
   160. Mr. Crowley Posted: January 26, 2003 at 12:09 AM (#564294)
It's a trap!
   161. Bob T Posted: January 26, 2003 at 01:39 AM (#564301)
Roberts had an OBP of .353 last year.

Daryle Ward has hit a foul ball completely out of Dodger Stadium. I believe he hit off of Darren Dreifort in a Sunday night game (or was it Park).

It was a mighty poke, although it actually went over the roof between home and first.
   162. good_ol_gil Posted: January 26, 2003 at 05:05 AM (#564307)
Well if Ward couldn't hit in Enron/Astros/Minute Maid Park/Field it should be harder for him to hit in Dodger Stadium. Though it seems Minute Maid isn't the hitter's park it once was.

I may pay attention to Lugo since I heard on a local news report that he went to my high school. Crap like that interests me since Rich Aurillia is the only player I've ever heard from to come from my old high school.
   163. Noffs Posted: January 26, 2003 at 07:13 AM (#564309)
I've been a Daryle Ward fan for some time now, but there are points of concern: he hit only 3 homers in 226 road ABs last year, and his slugging percentage away from the home the last two years has been .395 and .394. Hmmm....
   164. Scott Posted: January 26, 2003 at 07:23 PM (#564313)
Ward's road OPS has barely hit 700 from 2000-02. Expect even worse in Dodger Stadium. He's done as someone people consider a promising player.
   165. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 26, 2003 at 08:35 PM (#564314)
Ward could improve substantially at the plate this year without changing his stat line one tick. At least McGriff won't be showing him up too badly on D...
   166. Scott Posted: January 27, 2003 at 12:00 AM (#564315)
What's the evidence that he "could improve substantially"? He's turning 28 this season, and here are his OPS+ stats:

1999: 100
   167. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 27, 2003 at 02:25 AM (#564316)
Please read the WHOLE comment next time before climbing on your high horse, Scott. I was saying that Ward's stat line wouldn't look any better even if he did show substantial improvement; in effect, I was commenting on the same park-effects matters that you were. The Juice Box pumps up power stats, while Chavez Ravine deflates them. Hence: "Ward could improve substantially at the plate this year without changing his stat line one tick."
   168. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 27, 2003 at 07:58 PM (#564320)
I thought that at least one other guy had made the river on the fly, but I could be mistaken. Drew, Helton, and Berkman all put one in the drink on the bounce, as did Rob Mackowiak, the only Pirate to do so.

I saw the Mackowiak HR live. We were playing either Oakland or Texas and getting killed, and it was just about the only thing to cheer for that day. Except the free hat (the Frost Cap I'm wearing right now), if it was in fact Oakland.
   169. Jefferson Posted: July 15, 2003 at 02:25 AM (#566537)
FREE RICKEY! Go show 'em, Rickey!
   170. wcw Posted: July 15, 2003 at 02:55 AM (#566538)
I dunno if I'd be so down on Victor Diaz. what is he, twenty-one? 21 years old, potentially able to play 2d base and already hitting at a level that suggests he could step into the majors right now and hit around the Neifi Line.

I'd take that plus a lottery ticket reliever (I think the other Diaz is a throw-in) for an outfielder I didn't need.
   171. Darren Posted: July 15, 2003 at 03:07 AM (#566539)
Dan's ZiPs, 3/2003 projection for Burnitz:
   172. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 15, 2003 at 03:19 AM (#566540)
Hmph. I was pulling for Hermansen, in part because I hoped he'd make McClendon look bad. I guess Chad gets to resume his run at .400.
   173. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: July 15, 2003 at 03:21 AM (#566541)
Never stop, Rickey!
   174. flournoy Posted: July 15, 2003 at 03:35 AM (#566542)
Until Dave Roberts returns, who would you want in center for the Dodgers? Shawn Green and Jeromy Burnitz are both corner outfielders who can fill in adequately in center in a pinch, and the rest of the outfielders on the team are young guys or role players.
   175. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 15, 2003 at 03:46 AM (#566543)
My projection system didn't think Burnitz would recover *that* much. In this case, I agreed with it personally. And sometimes I don't agree with the projections that it spits out (Endy Chavez, for one). Sometimes, *everyone* is wrong (say hi, Mr. Konerko!).

Now that Burnitz has played very, very well for 3 months, my personal expectations for him have changed. I was wrong and the computer was wrong about Burnitz and I have no problem with that.
   176. Jason Posted: July 15, 2003 at 05:53 AM (#566545)
Since Rickey's a Dodger does this mean I have to root for them? It'd be hard to actively root against them while rooting for Rickey. Ah sweet ambivalence, how I long for thee.
   177. Sam M. Posted: July 15, 2003 at 12:09 PM (#566547)
Re. # 10:

I hope the Mets already know that Timo Perez is *not* an everyday player, at least not on a good team.

Sadly, the contracts to middle relievers was one of the smaller mistakes of the Phillips regime. Think about it: you've got Mo V., Alomar, Cedeno, Billy Taylor, not resigning John Olerud, banking on a David Cone comeback -- on that list, where does overpaying guys who, for the most part, have at least done an OK job, fall? But I agree that I prefer the stockpiling approach.

I will say this, though: for all the (justified) bashing of Steve Phillips, his basic approach to building a team actually worked for several years, culminating in the 2000 NL championship. In the debacle that was the 2001-02 off-season, he didn't really do anything different (acquiring veterans with substantial histories of success) than he'd done when he stockpiled veterans like Piazza, Hampton, Olerud, Leiter, and Ventura. The difference is that before, it worked. The real, underlying problem with Phillips was not whether his judgment calls panned out. I mean, at the time, acquring Robby Alomar was pretty much exactly the same move as acquiring Mike Piazza had been. The first time it worked spectacularly; the second time, well . . . . No, Phillips' real problem was two-fold: First, he was a one-trick pony (trade prospects for -- or sign as free agents -- veterans), and lacked the flexibility to combine multiple approaches to building a quality team over time. And second, he got desperate and began to take bigger risks hoping for a bigger pay-off (Mo Vaugn being Exhibit A).

The more I read about Victor Diaz the more I like. Right now, I can't think of anyone in the Mets' organization other than Kazmir who has a better combination of the young age and quality performance that leads me to see a potential star at the ML level. It's only potential, yes, but would I rather have that, or the next 2+ months Burnitz? Not a close call.
   178. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 15, 2003 at 12:54 PM (#566548)
Diaz is a good prospect, just "not a top prospect."
   179. BillH Posted: July 15, 2003 at 01:05 PM (#566550)
Phillips did not "stockpile" Olerud. Olerud was acquired before Phillips became GM.
   180. Sam M. Posted: July 15, 2003 at 02:56 PM (#566556)
The Olerud debate is a draw. Olerud *did* want to go back to Seattle, and it's unclear whether the Mets could have persuaded him to stay with an offer significantly higher than what the M's had on the table. The Mets were rightly (or at least reasonably) concerned that they were just being used to hike the price, and Olerud wouldn't return for anything short of a truly insane contract. To this day, the Mets believe Olerud was a lost cause; they don't think $24-25 million would have been enough. On the other hand, as Dr.Dooby points out, the Mets didn't even try to offer a premium, and that (combined w/ their judgment that Zeile would be an adequate replacement) was a big mistake. IMO, Olerud was certainly worth $7 million more than Zeile over three years, so if they were going to give Zeile $18 million, they should at least have offered Olerud $25 million.

It is true they liked Zeile's potential to play 3B if necessary. But that was one expensive insurance policy for Ventura . . . .
   181. Sam M. Posted: July 15, 2003 at 03:01 PM (#566557)
Re. 19: If Diaz turns into Carlos Baerga, I'll be thrilled. Give me the 91-95 ride, and I'll take my chances with the rest. That would be a hell of a return on Jeromy Burnitz.
   182. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 15, 2003 at 03:08 PM (#566558)
I was talking with some Dodger fans on another board, and supposedly Diaz lost a lot of weight over the offseason.
   183. mike Posted: July 15, 2003 at 04:24 PM (#566559)
Have you guys SEEN Butnitz this year? It's one thing to see it on paper, another to watch the games. The guy's swing has been dramatically altered and it's made a huge difference. Even in his best Mil years he never had so much control and balance. I just can't believe it took him so many years to doff the ugliest swing in the league. Doesn't say much for the Mets minor league system back then, does it?

I think Burnie's here to stay, as a much improved hitter in his mid 30s, Finley style. Until his body breaks down, I see no reason for the current numbers to decline. He swung this well before a broken hand and then came back without missing a beat. He's a great pickup for LA as long as Diaz doesn't become something special
   184. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: July 15, 2003 at 05:05 PM (#566561)
Yeah, he doesnt swing with just one hand anymore. He also goes the other way at times, which is incredible after watching him pop out to second every time he didn't strike out. Duquette also mentioned the possibility of bringing him back next year, i hope that if he shows that he can handle the pressure of being a pennant race, he'd be the perfect hitter behind Piazza next year.

Anyone else scared about Duquette getting four relievers out of six so far? I mean sure its nice to have pitching depth in the minors, but i'd like to see some young OF prospects coming back instead. When no one in your minor leaguers could be better than Roger Cede?o and Timo Perez you've got a problem.

Re Olerud: I believed it was his wife the one that wanted to go back to Seattle, but he wasn't so sure. Either way, when the catalyst of your lineup is trying to leave, you have make sure you do anything in your power to make him stay.

What did you guys think about letting Fonzie go, i mean in hindsight that was a stroke of genius, but i certainly thought it was going to be a part deux of the Olerud fiasco.
   185. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: July 15, 2003 at 06:25 PM (#566565)
Well considering that Wigginton is making the minimum, i'd say that at least for this year he is a better option (Fonzie would have to have a MONSTER 2nd half just to go back to his career averages, and i doubt that happens while playing in Pac Bell). With that being said, i think Fonzie will be worth it the next three years, he is a great player, and i wish we had kept him instead of Alomar.
   186. Sam M. Posted: July 15, 2003 at 06:37 PM (#566566)
The Mets did the right thing re. Alfonzo. It was a tough call, since he was about the only valuable player they actually developed, but signing him would have meant not signing Floyd. It's that simple. And Floyd was about the only guy they signed in the last two off-seasons who actually made some sense. And it also meant they gave Wigginton a chance. That will prove, I think, to be a turning-point moment, even more than actually firing Phillips. Finally, the Mets decided to let one of their own prospects have a season to establish himself as a bona fide major leaguer, which Wigginton is well on his way to doing. I only hope he's the first in a long line, with Phillips and Reyes right behind. Lord only knows which of them will pan out as quality players in the long run, but at least we're going to find out. Overpaying Alfonzo for past production (which, face it, is what the Giants are doing) would have been a *little* more palatable than overpaying Alomar and Glavine for past production, because at least in Alfonzo's case we got the benefit of the past production. But better not to overpay any of 'em.
   187. Walt Davis Posted: July 15, 2003 at 07:06 PM (#566569)
As Dan points out, the Mets may have made the right call on not re-signing Alfonzo, but they made the wrong call on not offering him arbitration.
   188. BillH Posted: July 16, 2003 at 03:23 AM (#566573)
Even if Olerud was a "lost cause" in November, what was wrong with talking to him earlier. Phillips had an unbreakable rule against talking to potential free agents before their contract was up, unbreakable unless he chose to make an exception (as with Leiter last year). I guess Olerud didn't look good enough in 1998 to lock up for a few years. On the other hand, Olerud was a Joe McIlvaine pickup, and Steve seemed to like the idea of winning with his own guys.
   189. Darren Posted: July 16, 2003 at 03:20 PM (#566574)
Floyd/Alfonzo wasn't an either/or. The Mets could've gotten rid of Alomar instead of Alfonzo. Or signed a cheaper pitcher than Glavine. Or done a number of other things.

They should have offered arbitration. Alfonzo's RBIs would have kept his price quite reasonable on the off chance that he accepted.
   190. Sam M. Posted: July 16, 2003 at 06:16 PM (#566577)
Re: # 38 -- They couldn't have gotten rid of Alomar. He wasn't a free agent, and no one would have taken his salary for this year without the Mets taking a similar one back. Heck, no one would take his salary in July, much less before the season. In their planning, Alomar was a "given." The pivot point in the decision re. Floyd was whether they were paying Alfonzo.

And even apart from the Floyd issue, they made the right call not keeping Alfonzo. You know, you can't have it both ways. You can't nuke Phillips for not giving young players a shot, being too wedded to "established" veterans, etc., and then be unhappy that he gave Wigginton a shot. (Granted, he only did it when his efforts to replace Alfonzo with someone else fell through, but still; the result was to give a farm system product a chance.) Valuable as he was, Alfonzo is *precisely* the kind of player who, if he was coming from Detroit or Houston or someplace else, we would be up in arms if Phillips had signed. Why should we feel differently if he had resigned him?

And as far as offering arbitration to retain the draft picks goes, OK, that's an option. But it's a big gamble, if what you really want is to shed your payroll of a particular player. If he takes the offer, you're screwed.
   191. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 17, 2003 at 09:12 PM (#566580)
I've seen Victor Diaz play a couple of times. He doesn't have the range to play 2B, even if he has lost weight, and I don't think he has the hands for it, either. He was a 3B originally, converted to 2B a year ago. I also wasn't especially impressed with his hitting approach; his strike-zone judgment needs a lot of work. I don't think he'll be able to stay at 2B, and he won't hit enough to play a corner position.

-- MWE
   192. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 18, 2003 at 06:18 PM (#566582)
I suspect he's a Wil Cordero type.

Before I posted #44 I was racking my brain trying to think of a comp. Cordero never came to mind, probably because I've blocked out his performance in a Bucco uniform :) Nice call.

-- MWE
   193. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 11, 2003 at 01:35 PM (#560152)
Nice of Grudz to play well in September - he had to considering how hard Karros tried to keep the Cubs out of the playoffs in the final month.
   194. Walt Davis Posted: November 14, 2003 at 06:15 PM (#568147)
With that bullpen, why sign this guy? Unless they're planning on shipping out some of the relievers via trade....which still wouldn't really explain signing this guy.
   195. ColonelTom Posted: November 14, 2003 at 06:22 PM (#568148)
Well, if they haven't fired their GM yet, now would be a good time. Yuck.
   196. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 15, 2003 at 05:18 AM (#568151)
I wouldn't go much over the minimum for Martin, and I generally don't like two-year deals for relievers, so I'm not a big fan of this signing.
   197. flournoy Posted: December 08, 2003 at 08:45 PM (#569447)
I hope it affects Adrian Beltre. Maybe it will remind him that if he continues to play like garbage, he loses his job. He didn't hit a lick in 2002 until the Dodgers acquired Tyler Houston, then he decided that his job (and moreover, his paycheck) was in jeopardy. He did the same in 2003 when Ventura came over. He's worthless.
   198. Tony B Posted: December 13, 2003 at 11:20 PM (#569913)
Over at the message board, they think Encarnacion will be an upgrade over Jordan/Burnitz and they want Todd Zeile to platoon with Ventura at 1B.

Look at that OPS! But Hey, he's an RBI guy. Nevermind that the Dodgers problem is getting men on base.
   199. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 14, 2003 at 02:10 AM (#569917)
If I understand, the Dodgers can non-tender Juan if they can't reach an accord on his new deal. That would result in LA sending a lame-o PTBNL to the Fish.
   200. Mike Posted: December 14, 2003 at 03:29 AM (#569919)
Or maybe they should keep Yorvit, to, I don't know, catch? Considering the only other option from last year just bolted to KC.
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