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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nationals - Acquired Snelling

Washington Nationals - Acquired OF Chris Snelling and P Emiliano Fruto from the Seattle Mariners for 2B Jose Vidro.

Bavasi’s having a great week.  I’m starting to think there’s a Cosmopolitan-type magazine floating out there for people who only have jobs due to nepotism.  Inside, it contains articles such as “Is Dumb the New Smart?” and “66 Sexy, Sassy Gifts to Give to Your Dad on Christmas” and “Is Special Education Right for You?”

Here, Buzzie’s Other Idiot Son took Branch Rickey’s old axiom and cleverly twisted it to fit his needs.  Why trade away a player a year too early when you can acquire a player two years too late?

It’s such a waste.  The Mariners finally get Snelling, who was a deserving top prospect previously, generally healthy and ready to play.  So what do they do after all this time?  Dump him for the first guy that Bavasi heard of.  Oh, and throw in Fruto just the sweeten the deal for no apparent reason.  That’s some high quality thinking.  The Mariners even get the privilege of getting to pay $8 million over 2 years to be a bad DH!  Excelsior!

Is Bowden getting smarter or does he wisely only trade with people he knows are dumber than him?  In 6 months, he’s picked up Kearns, Lopez, and Snelling for practically nothing of value.  It’s kind of harsh to describe Vidro that way, as he once was a terrific player, but he can’t really handle 2B anymore and his aging offense has declined to the extent that he’s worthless at easier positions.

I’ll always have soft spot for Snelling - I saw him tear his ACL and it’s great to see him back.  Looking around, it’s not just me that thinks the Mariners were robbed, so I’m glad it’s not just my bias in favor of Snelling that’s telling here.  Snelling fits right into center for the Nats.  The bad news is, of course, that Cristian Guzman is written in pen as the shortstop, but the team was probably going to do that anyway.  The Nats being stupid otherwise doesn’t make this trade any less great.

2007 ZiPS Projections
———————————————————————————————————
Player     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————
Snelling   309 44   81 17 2   8 41 30 66   4 .262 .338 .408
Vidro     387 43 108 22 0   6 40 37 43   0 .279 .344 .382
———————————————————————————————————

 

2007 ZiPS Projections
——————————————————————————————-
Player     W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————-
Fruto     4   5 59   1   95   89   48 11 49 76 4.55
——————————————————————————————-

 

 

 

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 14, 2006 at 02:57 PM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Tom Cheney Posted: December 14, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#2261134)
Once again Jim Bowden does something to undermine my fundamental belief that he's an idiot. Vidro is useless. He can still get on base, but his defense, speed and power have all disappeared. If Bavasi's planning to DH Vidro, couldn't he have found something a lot cheaper and just as good in the FA market?
   2. AROM Posted: December 14, 2006 at 03:46 PM (#2261138)
We traded Vidro? Great trade. Who'd we get?

You can't count on Snelling though. Put him and Escobar together in one outfield spot, and you'll still need 1-2 more players to get you through 162 games.
   3. Bwef Posted: December 14, 2006 at 03:46 PM (#2261139)
People in Seattle are ripping their clothes and donning sackcloth and ashes. Shouldn't the commissioner's office step in to prevent utterly destructive trades?
   4. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: December 14, 2006 at 03:52 PM (#2261142)
The dream of Church-to-Oakland is alive!
   5. Matt in Toledo Posted: December 14, 2006 at 04:40 PM (#2261204)
Crap, couldn't the Tigers have shipped them Thames for Snelling if Vidro is just going to play DH? Oh well.

Hey Dan, I hate to suggest work for other people, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Inge signing. I'm not mentioning- Mesa because I just expect you to have the same WTF reaction everybody else did.
   6. spycake Posted: December 14, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#2261229)
Snelling fits right into center for the Nats.

Can Snelling play CF? I thought he was a corner guy...
   7. this space for rent Posted: December 14, 2006 at 04:56 PM (#2261231)
Is Bowden getting smarter or does he wisely only trade with people he knows are dumber than him?

I'm actually leaning towards the former. Bowden has always had a fetish for toolsy outfielders, but his recent acquisitions of that sort (Kearns, now Snelling) can actually hit as well, which is an improvement. And getting those players for a song, whether because he recognizes the suckers at the table or because he simply waives around marginal players as bait and waits to see who bites, is another step up.

Bavasi, on the other hand, is heading in the wrong direction. Is the Beltre signing his best move as the Mariners' GM?
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2006 at 05:00 PM (#2261235)
Free Ryan Church!
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 14, 2006 at 05:06 PM (#2261245)
Hey Dan, I hate to suggest work for other people, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Inge signing. I'm not mentioning- Mesa because I just expect you to have the same WTF reaction everybody else did.

Didn't I do Inge? I'll double-check - I really got backlogged when my laptop died early last week.
   10. Lou Patterbrock Posted: December 14, 2006 at 05:12 PM (#2261251)
I think I heard that Daryle Ward went to the Cubs, too. I thought he was decent once...
   11. zonk Posted: December 14, 2006 at 06:04 PM (#2261334)
I would consider Bowden the sort of Bob Boone or Tony LaRussa of GMs...

Boone (not so successfully) and LaRussa (successfully) both have this sort of idea that they're only doing their job if their making lots of moves... they manage frenetically -- while I have no numbers, both seem to employ a lot more double-switches, lineup changes, and both more than the average manager 'strategic' (the introduction of LOOGYs for example) and 'tactical' (more than normal hit-and-runs, IF shifts, bunts, etc) actions. Basically -- in sharp contrast to Earl Weaver's best 'strategy' -- sitting back and waiting for the 3 run homer. That's not to say Weaver didn't make good use of something like platoons, for example... but there wasn't a sense of 'doing something just to do something'.

Wasn't it Bill Curry who said "Never confuse activity with accomplishment"?

Again - without numbers - it seems like Bowden just "does" a lot more than most GMs... lots of roster moves... constant waiver wire scanning... lots of offseason 6 year minor league FA signings...

While LaRussa has had a successful career (and Boone not so much) -- Bowden seems to come right down in the middle, neither bad nor good.

Maybe Bowden's got a little Allen Iverson in him -- he scores plenty -- but it's as much because he takes tons of shots as it is a great scoring ability.

Would I want Bowden as my GM?

Only if I could put him on an ADD drug--- or maybe introduce him to a regular diet of 'special' brownies ;-)
   12. jianfu Posted: December 14, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#2261412)
If the Mariners needed a 2B/DH so badly, why not just try to sign Marcus Giles, or Ron Belliard, or Mark Loretta?
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2006 at 07:20 PM (#2261433)
Sounds like Vidro will DH most of the time. He'll play 2B 1-2 times a week according to him.

So....what's wrong with Ben Broussard?
   14. faketeams Posted: December 14, 2006 at 09:15 PM (#2261552)
Bingo! Bowden can only out-smart those stupider than himself. With the discovery that Bavasi qualifies, I'm sure he's readying a Nook Logan for Jeff Clement and Eric O'Flaherty deal.
   15. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 14, 2006 at 09:20 PM (#2261557)
Can Snelling play CF? I thought he was a corner guy...

No, he can't. Ichiro agreeing to move to center was the only way that the Mariners could get Snelling into the lineup.
   16. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 14, 2006 at 10:39 PM (#2261638)
Vidro will be ALCS MVP next year.
   17. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: December 14, 2006 at 10:41 PM (#2261643)
So....what's wrong with Ben Broussard?


Broussard will need to play 1B when Sexson goes to the Giants. I can only hope that Bavasi doesn't make Sabean look like Bavasi. I really hope that Sabean can dump Benitez for Sexson and still get the M's to pick up a chunk of Sexson's salary.
   18. NBarnes Posted: December 14, 2006 at 11:06 PM (#2261673)
Terrifyingly, I'm not convinced that this is a move that sets up future moves. As incredible as it seems, Bavasi seems to seriously look at Vidro and see the Mariners' starting DH for 2007. Frankly, I figure it's better than 50% that Sexson is a Mariner at the start of the season.

If the Mariners needed a 2B/DH so badly, why not just try to sign Marcus Giles, or Ron Belliard, or Mark Loretta?


Nobody knows. That's what's bizzare about this. What was stopping Bavasi from going to Marcus Giles and saying, 'Hey, hard luck about Atlanta, Schuerholz is a dick. Wanna play in Seattle? We'll pay you.'?!? Instead, we have to give up a promising bullpen arm and a lovely little corner outfield prospect for Jose Vidro? I'm not sure if there's one single skill that Vidro has that Giles doesn't.
   19. NBarnes Posted: December 14, 2006 at 11:08 PM (#2261678)
Also, watch for Giles to end up in Boston as a backup / Pedroia insurance / possible 2b while they see if Pedroia will play SS at an MLB level.
   20. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 14, 2006 at 11:24 PM (#2261701)
What about Lugo?
   21. Chris Needham Posted: December 14, 2006 at 11:43 PM (#2261725)
Bowden seems to be in the perfect situation for him now. He's got Stan Kasten watching him like a hawk from above, preventing him from making a total ass out of himself, and also putting constraints on him, forcing him to think long-term instead of the seat-of-his-pants transaction he typically makes.

With Mike Rizzo running the development side, Bowden doesn't really have to focus on that either; he can just focus on the 25-man roster, getting input and looking for solutions there.

They've looked at his weaknesses, taken steps to prevent him from doing them, and allowed him to do what he excels at -- hunting under rocks, and the strange sort of deals that seemingly come out of nowhere, but, more often than not, seem to come out in his favor. (Burba/Casey, Soriano, etc)
   22. JPWF13 Posted: December 14, 2006 at 11:47 PM (#2261729)
What was stopping Bavasi from going to Marcus Giles and saying, 'Hey, hard luck about Atlanta, Schuerholz is a dick. Wanna play in Seattle? We'll pay you.'?!? Instead, we have to give up a promising bullpen arm and a lovely little corner outfield prospect for Jose Vidro? I'm not sure if there's one single skill that Vidro has that Giles doesn't.


Vidro has intangibles????

What I've never understood is how professional baseball men can wake up and realize that, hey, that guy on that small market team over their has been a damn fine player, a star even if the casual fan has no clue who he is- and then go out and get said player- YEARS AFTER THE FACT-

Vidro was one hell of a player for a few years after turning 25.
Problem is he'll be 32- he can no longer play an acceptable 2B, and his offense is cratering fast-
to be an acceptable DH he doesn't have to arrest that decline he has to reverse it and revert to his peak.

Vidro in 2006 hit about as well as Carl Everett did in 2005- how did that work out for Seattle?
   23. NBarnes Posted: December 14, 2006 at 11:55 PM (#2261742)
Vidro in 2006 hit about as well as Carl Everett did in 2005- how did that work out for Seattle?


One of the uncanny / infuriating things about this trade is that Bavasi appears to have learned not one little thing from 2006's Everett debacle.
   24. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: December 15, 2006 at 12:32 AM (#2261786)
So who plays 2B for the Nats now? Lopez, with Guzman at SS?

Acquiring Vidro to play 2B with guys like Giles and Loretta available for mere money instead is silly. Planning for him to DH is mad.

It wasn't until I read this entry that I learned that Fruto was also in on the deal. If the kid (he's only 22) can get a grip on the strike zone, I think he's a real pitcher.

FACT: When Emiliano Fruto faced Orlando Cabrera last year, it was the first time two Colombians had faced each other in the major leagues.
   25. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 15, 2006 at 12:36 AM (#2261789)
So who plays 2B for the Nats now? Lopez, with Guzman at SS?


Yes.

-- MWE
   26. Shredder Posted: December 15, 2006 at 12:36 AM (#2261791)

Wasn't it Bill Curry who said "Never confuse activity with accomplishment"?


Bill Curry has probably said it, but I believe John Wooden has been credited as the first person to say it, and I've always heard it as "Don't confuse activity with achievement".
   27. G A Delgado Posted: December 15, 2006 at 01:23 AM (#2261831)
Giles to Boston as a backup?!

That is probably the most idiotic thing I have heard in a while.

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