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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, November 30, 2007

Nats - Acquired Milledge

Washington Nationals - Acquired CF Lastings Milledge from the New York Mets for OF Ryan Church and C Brian Schneider.

Yuck.

While the initial reaction is revulsion, it’s not really as bad as the Kazmir trade as the Mets do get a worthwhile player back in Ryan Church.  It’s still pretty bad, though, as Brian Schneider’s arm is still living off the reputation he garnered in 2003-2004 when he threw out more than 50% of baserunners (he’s been down around 30% the last few years) and while his platoon splits are large, he doesn’t really hit righties all that impressively either; he’s just that much worse against lefties.  He’s an inferior player to Castro and while $5 million a year isn’t a crippling amount for the Mets, why pay it for a player who should be a backup catcher?.  This would have been a better trade for the Mets if it was straight up for Church, though not a good deal by any stretch.  Hell, it would have been a better trade for the Mets if they picked up John Schneider with the intention of making a straight-to-DVD-thriller “Bo Duke and the Thundercats in The Prisoner of Zenda.”

I like Ryan Church.  He’s a solid player in a corner, not a star, and not really a centerfielder, either.  He was treated rather shabbily with the Nats who thanked him for his 287/353/446 rookie season by giving Brandon Watson his job for no particular reason after Church didn’t have a great spring.  Even after his best professional season, most of which was wasted toiling in the minors and off the bench, again for no particular reason, the Nats acted like they were doing a favor by letting him get at-bats.

All this being said, I’d rather have Milledge.  Milledge is a good player now, has tremendous physical tools, is 7 and a half years younger than Church, and has less service time to boot.  Yes, there have been some questions about Milledge in center and while I don’t buy them, we know that Church isn’t a centerfielder.

I don’t think I have to even go into detail why this is good for the Nats.  The Nats get the cheapest player in the trade, the most valuable player in the trade, and the player with the least service time in the trade, and the player that most fills a need for their new team in the trade.

Oh, wait, I forgot.  Milledge likes rap music, said an expletive, and doesn’t always wear his baseball cap to complete professional standards.  Whoop-de-doo. 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Ryan Church
———————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Projection   410 54 112 31 1 17 63 48 99   3 .274 .356 .482
———————————————————————————————————
Opt. (15%)  460 71 137 38 2 24 92 61 98   3 .298 .386 .546
Pes. (15%)  267 29   65 16 0   8 38 26 69   0 .243 .315 .393
———————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Ruppert Jones, Gus Bell

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Lastings Milledge
———————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Projection   392 55 108 20 4 15 60 42 88   7 .276 .360 .462
———————————————————————————————————
Opt. (15%)  547 91 162 33 6 28 98 71 107 12 .296 .390 .532
Pes. (15%)  362 44   89 17 2 12 48 36 85   3 .246 .323 .403
———————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Andruw Jones, Curt Flood

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Brian Schneider
———————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Projection   365 29   87 14 0   5 38 41 62   1 .237 .317 .316
———————————————————————————————————
Opt. (15%)  399 37 107 18 0   6 41 49 55   1 .258 .353 .358
Pes. (15%)  228 13   48   6 0   1 15 20 42   0 .211 .277 .250
———————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Johnny Oates, Jorge Fabregas

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 30, 2007 at 06:55 PM | 151 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:48 PM (#2629674)
I just can't believe I'm not dreaming right now. What a terrible move by Omar.
   2. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:50 PM (#2629688)
The only thing I can think of right now is that the Mets are doubtful that Milledge will be able to hit righties in the big leagues. Which doesn't make sense since he has hit them in the minors. Mets get smacked around here.
   3. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2629690)
Another thing is that almost everybody that age likes rap, no matter what race they are. Surely the Mets have several other players who like rap.
   4. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:53 PM (#2629692)
Top Comps: Andruw Jones, Curt Flood


That's rather impressive.

How come ZIPS gives Church such an advantage in doubles when the two players otherwise seem very very near in offensive profile?

I know, there probably isn't much of an answer to that question.
   5. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:54 PM (#2629695)
Oh, wait, I forgot. Milledge likes rap music, said an expletive, and doesn't always wear his baseball cap to complete professional standards. Whoop-de-doo.

He also, get this, sometimes celebrates home runs.
   6. Honkie Kong Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:55 PM (#2629698)
Top Comps: Andruw Jones, Curt Flood

Andruw is a weird one. Milledge has never flashed that kind of power, while he has shown oodles more patience.
   7. dtro Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:55 PM (#2629699)
Terrible. Just terrible. Maybe tomorrow Omar can trade John Maine for Jose Contreras and AJ Pierzynski. Because you can never have too many medicore catchers.
   8. Neil Kinnock...Lord Palmerston! (Orinoco) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:55 PM (#2629700)
Top Comps: Andruw Jones, Curt Flood


Kill me now.

As long as I'm a Mets fan, I'll never understand this trade. Nor will I forget or forgive it either.
   9. Honkie Kong Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:56 PM (#2629701)
He also, get this, sometimes celebrates home runs.

He had sex in high school! How can you trust him to be a honourable gentleman anymore?
   10. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:56 PM (#2629704)
Oh yeah and he used to have braids and he also had sox but with an e in the middle with a girl that was younger than him while he was in high school.
   11. Bad Doctor Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:57 PM (#2629705)
So this trade is sorta equivalent to Gus Bell and Jorge Fabregas for Andruw Jones?
   12. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2629714)
Will there ever come a time I won't be embarassed to be a Mets fan?
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:01 PM (#2629722)
I wouldn't sweat too much Mets fans, this trade is likely to be vetoed by other owners as being too one-sided. At least it would be, if this were a fantasy baseball keeper league.
   14. Chris Needham Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:05 PM (#2629729)
I wouldn't sweat too much Mets fans, this trade is likely to be vetoed by other owners as being too one-sided. At least it would be, if this were a fantasy baseball keeper league.

I dunno... if it's late in the season and the team needs a few more GIDP to move up in the standings, I might let it slide.
   15. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:07 PM (#2629732)
Schneider is probably a little better hitter that he showed last season. He had a .255 BABIP.
   16. Gaelan Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:07 PM (#2629733)
I wouldn't sweat too much Mets fans, this trade is likely to be vetoed by other owners as being too one-sided. At least it would be, if this were a fantasy baseball keeper league.


That is so true.
   17. J. Cross Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:08 PM (#2629734)
I take back anything positive I've ever said about Minaya. He's a moron. This is a truly craptastic move and I would have mercilessly made fun of any other team for having made it.

Will there ever come a time I won't be embarassed to be a Mets fan?

Several months ago it looked like that time had come. Now I'm feeling embarrassed again.
   18. cooper7d7 Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:10 PM (#2629741)
Does this mean that former Mets' farmhand and Rule 5 draftee Jesus Flores will be starting?
   19. Honkie Kong Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:13 PM (#2629750)
Request for latest snapshots of Bowden's doodlepad
   20. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:15 PM (#2629755)
Does this mean that former Mets' farmhand and Rule 5 draftee Jesus Flores will be starting?


Until he's 35 and on the downside. That's when the Mets trade for him.
   21. Johnny Tuttle Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:16 PM (#2629756)
This deal, while not great shakes itself, is worse by the extension that the Mets might not make another trade this offseason (unless they suddenly want to part with Reyes).

(Lost) Opportunity cost detracts from the deal.

And did I hear properly that they might be non-tendering Estrada? Why deal for him in the first place then?
   22. Gaelan Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:16 PM (#2629759)
I take back anything positive I've ever said about Minaya. He's a moron. This is a truly craptastic move and I would have mercilessly made fun of any other team for having made it.


Makes you want to redo your calculations of a Santana deal doesn't it?
   23. Loren F. Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:22 PM (#2629774)
Ryan Church isn't a bad player. But it's likely that Milledge out-hits him in 2009 and thereafter, while also providing more defensive value. And costing less.

My condolences to Mets fans.
   24. J. Cross Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2629777)
Makes you want to redo your calculations of a Santana deal doesn't it?

Absolutely. I just had no idea that a deal this bad was even possible. A merciful commissioner would veto it.
   25. rfloh Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:28 PM (#2629790)
#15

Schneider's OPS+ last 5 years: 78, 83, 97, 72, 77.


Top Comps: Andruw Jones, Curt Flood


Great.

So, Mets fan get to watch 2 home grown young players who could be stars start for the Nationals due to Omar's idiocy.
   26. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:33 PM (#2629802)
Oh yeah and he used to have braids and he also had sox but with an e in the middle with a girl that was younger than him while he was in high school.

Don't forget he wore a gold chain on the field!
   27. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:55 PM (#2629858)
Don't forget he wore a gold chain on the field!

The enormous wooden cross really worried Minaya. Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself!
   28. Loren F. Posted: November 30, 2007 at 08:59 PM (#2629871)
Dan, if you had the urge to run ZiPS projections for Milledge and Church in 2009, I'd love to see them.
   29. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:01 PM (#2629874)
Re: 28

Seconded!
   30. BTL: Lesser Primate, 4th Class Trainee Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:04 PM (#2629882)
Attempt at discerning the rationale for trade from Mets' perspective:

We need a catcher. Brian Schneider is a catcher. We need an outfielder who is definitely ready to play full-time next year --Ryan Church. We fill two needs by giving up a guy who might not be ready in 2008.

Second attempt: Church and Milledge will be roughly equivalent value players in 2008. Plus we get a catcher. So it's a good deal for us.


Third attempt: Milledge has permanent injury. But other team will be so excited by lopsided nature of trade, they'll waive physical exam.

I SOLVED THE PUZZLE?
   31. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:09 PM (#2629896)
Milledge 2009: 286/365/500
Top Comps: Rondell White, Andruw Jones (Flood down to 3rd)

Church 2009: 263/344/461
Top Comps: Don Lock, Gus Bell
   32. Kyle S Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:10 PM (#2629899)
Schneider is probably a little better hitter that he showed last season. He had a .255 BABIP.

I get .260. 90 non-HR hits divided by 346 non HR, non SO at bats.

Still, these are his BABIPS the last 5 years: .271, .277, .286, .298, .260. Career BABIP of .284. He's 31 and doesn't hit home runs any more. Maybe he'll get better, but not by much. He just doesn't hit the ball very hard. On contact, he's a career .300 avg/.450 slg. That's AWFUL.
   33. Kyle S Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:10 PM (#2629902)
That's very mean, Dan.
   34. Loren F. Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:16 PM (#2629912)
Dan, thanks.
Wow. Milledge moves up quickly while Church starts to decline already -- I would've guessed that Church stabilized in 2009, still only his age 29 season, and wouldn't start to decline until 2010, but whatever. This could still be an okay trade for the Mets if major league baseaball is abolished after the 2008 season.
   35. jyjjy Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:27 PM (#2629935)
The pessimistic projection for Schneider is brutal.
.211/.277/.250
   36. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:35 PM (#2629943)
That's very mean, Dan.

No, this would be mean:

ZiPS Career Projection - Lastings Milledge
   37. MM1f Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:36 PM (#2629945)
"
Andruw is a weird one. Milledge has never flashed that kind of power, while he has shown oodles more patience."

What? No.

What other Andruw Jones are you thinking of
   38. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:38 PM (#2629948)
If Milledge has that career path, this is an Anderson-Bagwell trade. Yikes.
   39. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:40 PM (#2629950)

Andruw is a weird one. Milledge has never flashed that kind of power, while he has shown oodles more patience.


Andruw walks. You can look it up.

My condolences Met fans. The 'dump a guy because the manager doesn't like him' trades are almost always a disaster.
   40. Bob Koo Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:42 PM (#2629956)
Yikes indeed. Ugh.
   41. Big Ears Teddy shouldn't see TFTIO Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:44 PM (#2629961)
Makes you want to redo your calculations of a Santana deal doesn't it?

Indeed it does.
   42. TaySan Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:46 PM (#2629964)
The enormous wooden cross really worried Minaya. Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself!


If that's the case Ryan ,Jews will burn in hell forever, Church is not your guy.
   43. Sam M. Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:49 PM (#2629974)
No, this would be mean:

ZiPS Career Projection - Lastings Milledge


I hate you, Dan. I should hate Omar right now, but I think I have to settle for just hating you.
   44. Bad Doctor Posted: November 30, 2007 at 10:04 PM (#2629994)
The pessimistic projection for Schneider is brutal.
.211/.277/.250


Hell, the optimistic is .258/.353/.358.

Meanwhile, Milledge has a tad lower optimistic projection than Church, but a tad higher pessimistic projection. Odd.
   45. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 30, 2007 at 10:06 PM (#2629996)
You know this trade is bad when Sam changed his username. I think that's the first time I've seen him do that.

I just want to say one thing. If Milledge approaches that career path, Omar isn't the only GM who should get skewered because it's pretty obvious that he was very available.
   46. dtro Posted: November 30, 2007 at 10:11 PM (#2630003)
I just want to say one thing. If Milledge approaches that career path, Omar isn't the only GM who should get skewered because it's pretty obvious that he was very available.


True, but Omar should get destroyed for this. Did he even shop Milledge around when he decided to dump him? This is really all he could get?
   47. JPWF13 Posted: November 30, 2007 at 10:20 PM (#2630015)
No, this would be mean:


Fortunately I just can't see quite that kind of power,

Unfortunately I can see just about everything else.

Then again even if Milledge's career looks like .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
the Mets lose this trade.
   48. JPWF13 Posted: November 30, 2007 at 10:22 PM (#2630021)
ok that didn't work, I meant this guy's
   49. John DiFool2 Posted: November 30, 2007 at 10:27 PM (#2630030)
f Milledge has that career path, this is an Anderson-Bagwell trade. Yikes.


Anderson-Bagwell (and Smoltz-Alexander) are better than this if for no other reason than that they got someone on their staff to pitch them into the playoffs, even if they ended up losing the trade big time in years 2-infinity; here that's not a consideration. Players like Church who get a late start on their careers tend to tank quicker than you think (responding to post #34), while there's always a chance that a youngster like Lastings will catch lightning in a bottle and develop like mad. Insane trade.
   50. rfloh Posted: November 30, 2007 at 10:39 PM (#2630044)
OMG.

If he puts up those numbers while playing mostly CF, that's a no doubt HOFer.
   51. The Answer to the TWolves (GMoney) Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:17 AM (#2630170)
This gets a Oracle but the big Delmon Young/ Matt Garza trade gets bypassed? Or did I miss it or is it coming?
   52. 1k5v3L Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:27 AM (#2630175)
Oh, wait, I forgot. Milledge likes rap music, said an expletive, and doesn't always wear his baseball cap to complete professional standards. Whoop-de-doo.


Obviously, Dan, you don't realize that intangibles, character and clubhouse chemistry win world championships. Milledge didn't have enough of those to make the Mets a winner.

This season, I had to trade one of Milledge or Kemp for some saves so I could strengthen my chance to win my NL only keeper league. After a long deliberation (three seconds), I kept Kemp and gave up Milledge. Mind you, I thought they were comparable prospects, but also knew that Milledge wouldn't start for the Mets in 08, and had a 50/50 chance of being in the AL busting rhymes. Of course, Kemp might be AL-bound as well... Oh, and I won my league.
   53. 1k5v3L Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:31 AM (#2630177)
No, this would be mean:

ZiPS Career Projection - Lastings Milledge


Dan, that indeed is really mean. I didn't think you had so much evil hiding in your soul.
   54. Swedish Chef Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:32 AM (#2630178)
This gets a Oracle but the big Delmon Young/ Matt Garza trade gets bypassed? Or did I miss it or is it coming?

Is that trade official yet?
   55. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:35 AM (#2630182)
This gets a Oracle but the big Delmon Young/ Matt Garza trade gets bypassed? Or did I miss it or is it coming?

That's coming later tonight - the Milledge trade had less 3 players to project instead of 6, so I did it first!
   56. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:36 AM (#2630185)
ZiPS Career Projection - Lastings Milledge

Go to hell.
   57. 1k5v3L Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:36 AM (#2630186)
Dan, you could've just written "teh suck" next to Schneider's projection and saved yourself 10 minutes.
   58. Lassus Posted: December 01, 2007 at 12:41 AM (#2630191)
Dan - thanks for the group of trees, even if I haven't had an INSTANT to look at them this week and thank you thank you thank you.

And, yes, that ZIPS thing was cruel like the death of Anton Webern.
   59. user Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:04 AM (#2630215)
   60. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:08 AM (#2630223)
True, but Omar should get destroyed for this. Did he even shop Milledge around when he decided to dump him? This is really all he could get?


Minaya isn't the GM of a rebuilding team. If he's going to use his best trade chit, then he's going to target what (he thinks) the team needs to contend next year. That would really be the only reason to shop him around.
   61. baudib Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:29 AM (#2630242)
Milledge could fall well short of those projections and only be ... say...Andy Van Slyke. That would still be a horrendous trade.

The only hope is a 1 in 10,000 shot for a Roberto Kelly-Paul O'Neill type ending.
   62. TerpNats Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:31 AM (#2630243)
I just can't believe I'm not dreaming right now. What a wonderful move by Bowden.
   63. PerroX Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:33 AM (#2630244)
Guess I'll have to exchange "Milledge" for "Kazmir" in my Mets baiting.

Nah. Two bad trades are better than one.
   64. VegasRobb Posted: December 01, 2007 at 01:53 AM (#2630265)
I'm thinking that he could have done better than that for Milledge.
   65. Neil Kinnock...Lord Palmerston! (Orinoco) Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:06 AM (#2630287)
I'm thinking that he could have done better than that for Milledge.

Don't think about the deal. It only hurts your brain more.

The longer after the shock, the more baffling this trade seems.
   66. Skloot Insurance Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:17 AM (#2630292)
Has anyone here actually watched Milledge play?

For every positive or exciting play he makes, he makes two dumb and inexplicable ones. He hasn't shown an aptitude for hitting offspeed stuff, especially from quality righthanders. He misses time with injury every year. For all his natural athleticism, neither playing the outfield nor running the bases comes naturally to him.

Sure, all this is part of being a young player, and the Nats didn't give up any cornerstone guys to acquire him. But, please, can we stop referring to Milledge as if he's a championship-caliber center fielder?

He's proven nothing.
   67. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:17 AM (#2630293)
Just crazy - makes no sense at all.
   68. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:19 AM (#2630296)
Guess I'll have to exchange "Milledge" for "Kazmir" in my Mets baiting.

Nah. Two bad trades are better than one.


Does Bill James really sponsor Doug Flynn's page?
   69. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:27 AM (#2630302)
He's proven nothing.

Bull. He's proven an outstanding ability to hit LHPs. He's proven he can play CF; his difficulties in the OF have virtually all been in playing the corners, an adjustment he was trying to make at the major league level. He's proven, most critically of all, an impressive ability to make adjustments at the plate, altering his approach last season from a (nearly) pure pull hitter who tried to mash everything to an all-fields swing that yielded better success. A young player who shows that he is able to actually make adjustments based on the way pitchers are getting him out is a rare thing, and IMHO it is the single most important attribute that separates a prospect who might or might not be successful from a player you can be confident will translate his potential into performance. Milledge showed me he can and does do this. It will serve him -- and, unfortunately, the Nats -- extremely well. He will make multiple all-star teams. Mark my words.
   70. Neil Kinnock...Lord Palmerston! (Orinoco) Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:34 AM (#2630309)
Dude! #66 is parody, Sam.

Parody of what, I don't know.

Where does this rank on the horrible Mets trade scale? Definitely below Ryan and Kazmir. Above Singleton?
   71. PerroX Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:35 AM (#2630313)
He will make multiple all-star teams.

I think that's a pretty good bet.

Unless Minaya has inside info that Milledge is about to go down for multiple felonies and bet on baseball and slept with his teenage daughter, there cannot be an excuse for this trade.
   72. Amit Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:41 AM (#2630319)
"You know this trade is bad when Sam changed his username. I think that's the first time I've seen him do that. "

When Bob Murphy died.
   73. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:42 AM (#2630320)
Where does this rank on the horrible Mets trade scale?

1. Seaver for dreck
2. Kazmir for 10 minutes
3. Ryan for a sub-.500 manager
4. Otis for Foy
5. Dykstra for a guy named after me (sort of)
6. Milledge for nuttin'
7. Staub for Lolich
8. Singleton et al. for Staub
9. Mitchell for McIDon'tCare
   74. PerroX Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:46 AM (#2630326)
Sam --

Bids start at 4.99 for a nice 8x10 glossy of Bad Kevin.
   75. Skloot Insurance Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:53 AM (#2630334)
> He's proven an outstanding ability to hit LHPs.

That's nice, but he's going to see RHP about 75 percent of the time if he plays every day. And close to 90 percent of the time after the sixth inning.

> He's proven he can play CF; his difficulties in the OF have virtually all been in playing the corners, an adjustment he was trying to make at the major league level.

Correct. Should such a gifted CF struggle with the adjustment, though?

> He's proven, most critically of all, an impressive ability to make adjustments at the plate, altering his approach last season from a (nearly) pure pull hitter who tried to mash everything to an all-fields swing that yielded better success. A young player who shows that he is able to actually make adjustments based on the way pitchers are getting him out is a rare thing, and IMHO it is the single most important attribute that separates a prospect who might or might not be successful from a player you can be confident will translate his potential into performance.

Yes, he did change his approach noticeably from Year 1 to Year 2. But his pitch recognition when facing RHP has to improve *dramatically* for me to have the level of confidence you do.

> He will make multiple all-star teams. Mark my words.

By virtue of *someone* from the Nats having to go, you may be right.
   76. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 01, 2007 at 03:03 AM (#2630341)

Correct. Should such a gifted CF struggle with the adjustment, though?


Insert Mike Emeigh's speech about prospects adjusting defensively here and add caveat regarding Milledge playing an unfamiliar position.
   77. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: December 01, 2007 at 03:36 AM (#2630376)
Like virtually all non-dreamy GMs, I think Bowden gets ragged on a bit too reflexively here. But he's made some pretty solid moves the last few months. I think between Lastings and Wily Mo, they might have something pretty interesting for not much salary.

Offhand, I can't think of a team in the majors with two outfielders who are such good bets to be excellent bangs for the buck.
   78. Rough Carrigan Posted: December 01, 2007 at 03:41 AM (#2630380)
Yup. Bowden definitely has some aptitude for the job.
   79. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 01, 2007 at 04:07 AM (#2630406)
Skloot = Emad?
   80. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 01, 2007 at 04:14 AM (#2630410)
Bowden's recent track record:

- Majewski/Bray for Kearns/Lopez/Wagner.
- Vidro for Snelling/Fruto/$$$$$ on Vidro's contract.
- Fruto for Willy Mo Pena.
- Livan for actual prospects, at least one of whom pitched almost the entire year in the rotation.
- Finding Dmitri Young and Ronnie Belliard on the scrapheap.
- Stealing Jesus Flores from under Omar's nose.
- Best haul of any team for the 2007 amateur draft (and they signed every last one of them too).
- Church/Schneider for Milledge.

This is a remarkably good record over the last two years...all good moves, arguably two genuine heists, and NO bad moves. The contracts given to Belliard and Young, sometimes criticized, make a lot more sense when you realize that a.) Belliard is at least putting up league-average numbers at 2B for relative peanuts; b.) Young's contract makes a lot more sense given the fears that Nick Johnson might be done.

There was a time when I couldn't express just how much I hated Jim Bowden as Nats GM. These days I'm convinced he's the most underrated GM of the 30 MLB clubs.
   81. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: December 01, 2007 at 04:16 AM (#2630411)
The funny thing about Bowden is that he was thought of as a good GM for his first several years in Cincinnati. Then the last three or four he seemed to lose it. Sort of a Dan Duquette arc. The beginning of his Washington tenure seemed like a continuation of the trend -- the cringe-worthy Guzman move being the low point -- followed by a period where he was making moves that looked decent in isolation but didn't appear to be part of any coherent plan, and then somewhere along the way he seems to have turned back into the bargain hunter he was renowned for being a decade ago. The snarkers are behind the curve. Or ahead of it, in the event he falls apart again.
   82. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: December 01, 2007 at 05:02 AM (#2630451)
Funny seeing your post Esoteric because I was just on the phone saying to a friend that Bowden ain't as bad as I thought he was
   83. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: December 01, 2007 at 05:13 AM (#2630458)
Funny reading my post, because I can't speak English properly!
   84. Walt Davis Posted: December 01, 2007 at 05:15 AM (#2630459)
When did Kasten take over? Is that related to Bowden's string of pretty good to good moves?
   85. MM1f Posted: December 01, 2007 at 05:23 AM (#2630467)
"- Best haul of any team for the 2007 amateur draft (and they signed every last one of them too)."

It is waaaaaaay to early to have any real clue about that
   86. Chris Needham Posted: December 01, 2007 at 05:23 AM (#2630468)
Kasten's takeover has done wonders for Bowden. He's part of a structure with a clear goal, allowing him to focus on specific tasks instead of jumping all over the place.

It's also been great because Kasten has reigned him in with his media appearances. You don't get those wackyass Bowden quotes that make you cringe anymore -- a blessing and a curse I s'pose.

(The Lerners and Kasten didn't officially take over til about 1/3 of the way through last season... early May, I think)
   87. 1k5v3L Posted: December 01, 2007 at 05:35 AM (#2630482)
Best haul of any team for the 2007 amateur draft (and they signed every last one of them too)


I believe that's also what the Red Sox fans were saying after the 2006 draft... granted, I really don't know how the 2006 Red Sox draftees are doing... but worse than Joba/Kennedy, I'd guess...
   88. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: December 01, 2007 at 05:49 AM (#2630489)
Wouldn't it be something if Lastings Milledge goes in the HOF as a member Washington Nationals .
spends his whole HOF career there ..

wouldn't that be something :)
   89. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 01, 2007 at 05:52 AM (#2630491)
Wouldn't it be great if he was inducted the same year as Kazmir?
   90. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2007 at 06:13 AM (#2630496)
88 & 89 . . .

There's no reason to get nasty, now.

But hey, tell you what. They can both go in the same year as Wright and Reyes, career Mets whose plaques will read, in (identical) part:

Cornerstone of Mets franchise that dominated the NL and baseball, winning nine pennants and five World Series titles during his career, despite the mind-numbingly dumb things the people running the team did from time to time

And then we can all enjoy that sunny day in Cooperstown together!
   91. J. Cross Posted: December 01, 2007 at 06:19 AM (#2630498)
The Mets willingness to actually build around them would help the chances of Wright and Reyes too. Their chances of winning championships took a hit today.
   92. Margo Adams FC Posted: December 01, 2007 at 06:39 AM (#2630509)
I don't want any Mets fans to jump on my account, but is it possible that Omar never stopped working for the Expos? Between Flores and this we have more clues than Frank Costello did, don't ya think?
   93. J. Cross Posted: December 01, 2007 at 06:41 AM (#2630512)
Oddly, he didn't really seem to be working for the Expos when he was the GM of the Expos.
   94. Margo Adams FC Posted: December 01, 2007 at 06:44 AM (#2630514)
Nah, he was with Cleveland then.
   95. J. Cross Posted: December 01, 2007 at 06:46 AM (#2630516)
Right. I just hope that he gets fired and starts working for the Mets.
   96. 1k5v3L Posted: December 01, 2007 at 06:52 AM (#2630521)
Come on now, guys. Give Omar the benefit of the doubt here. I'm sure this is just step one of his plan to re-build the Mets into the NL East champion. Rome wasn't built in one day. He'll make a few more trades before his roster pleases his artistic senses.
   97. bibigon Posted: December 01, 2007 at 06:56 AM (#2630523)
I believe that's also what the Red Sox fans were saying after the 2006 draft... granted, I really don't know how the 2006 Red Sox draftees are doing... but worse than Joba/Kennedy, I'd guess...


Well, in fairness...

1. It's what BA was saying.

2. The Yankees draft was rated second.

3. Some of us saw it coming that Bard blew goats. Others of us just knew well enough to listen to Temple.
   98. 1k5v3L Posted: December 01, 2007 at 07:04 AM (#2630532)
The back to back collapses of Hansen and Bard has to be frustrating for the Sox front office. At least they've got decent pitching depth right now... until they fork it over to the Twins, that is.
   99. J. Cross Posted: December 01, 2007 at 07:15 AM (#2630534)
I realize that the Yankees and Red Sox play under a slightly different set of rules than most teams in that they're looking to get star or near star quality players at every positions and that the value of a superstar relative to an average players in greater for them than for other teams so *maybe* it makes sense for them to pay the kind of bounty the Twins are looking for. Still, I doubt it even as great as Santana is. I think the more foolish of the Yankees/Red Sox ends up with Santana and I'm betting it's the Yankees.
   100. J. Cross Posted: December 01, 2007 at 07:16 AM (#2630535)
btw, I've moved on to just rooting against the Yankees b/c I can't bring myself to think about Mets baseball right now.
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