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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Oakland A’s

Acquired P Kirk Saarloos from the Houston Astros for P Chad Harville.

Nice bounty for the A’s for a DFAed player.  The A’s were in a roster crunch as they didn’t have anyone they could send down in order to call up Harden when his turn in the rotation came up.  Saarloos has had mixed results in the majors to date (last year had nice periphs but 2002 was legitimately awful) but still has time to turn it around and has a swank change-sinker combo.  Saarloos will be in the minors for now - it’s very likely the Astros promoted him too quickly.  Not every pitcher is Roy Oswalt.

Dan Szymborski Posted: April 17, 2004 at 01:46 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. David Jones Posted: July 25, 2001 at 07:40 PM (#551576)
This sure doesn't look like a good trade for the Royals. Neifi Perez? Boy, another Royal who can't hit for average OR power OR on base percentage. Dye is probably not that great of a hitter, but he's light years ahead of Perez (imagine what Dye would do in Coors Field) and a good defensive outfielder to boot. The Royals just found a younger version of Rey Sanchez. And they didn't get a single prospect. Great.
   2. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 25, 2001 at 08:23 PM (#551578)
Billy Beane always surprises at the deadline, and the best general manager in baseball comes up with another ballsy deal. It's wonderful to be a fan of a "small-market" team, and not have to deal with the "we can't afford to compete" crap. Anyway, it'll be fun to watch the best defensive outfield in all the bigs for the rest of this season.
   3. Steve Posted: July 25, 2001 at 09:28 PM (#551579)
I hope you aren't suggesting that Oakland has the 'best defensive outfield in all the bigs.'
   4. Eugene Freedman Posted: July 25, 2001 at 11:29 PM (#551581)
One could also argue that the Royals are really the Kansas City A's, the AAAA affiliate of the Athletics organization, trading over the past three years Jeremy Giambi, Johnny Damon, and Jermaine Dye for Blake Stein, Roberto Hernandez, and Neifi Perez. Nice job KC. Don't claim it's all about money because RoFato costs more than Damon by $1M this season and $3M more than Dye next year. Nice money management.

Here's the official transaction from MLB.com. "SS Neifi Perez traded to Kansas City Royals. Royals sent OF Jermaine Dye to Oakland A's. A's sent INF Jose Ortiz, OF Mario Encarnacion and LHP Todd Belitz to Colorado."

So, Dye wasn't traded to Colorado after all. The Royals can't even get the transaction right. For one reason or another, they are just trying to hide the fact that they are giving all of their good players to Oakland. Here's how they reported it. "The Royals announce the trade of outfielder Jermaine Dye to the Colorado Rockies for shortstop Neifi Perez." How could both the Rockies and Royals transactions be correct. I believe the Royals are engaging in spin control and the full transaction is the former.
   5. Robert Dudek Posted: July 26, 2001 at 12:40 PM (#551584)
I was worried that the Yanks would get either Giambi or Dye and now that that's not going to happen - whew - what a relief.
   6. Robert Dudek Posted: July 26, 2001 at 06:37 PM (#551587)
CTM - you've scared me.

Your rationale for the trade makes sense, but losing Giambi's bat would be a big blow to the hopes of the A's this year, which is why they ultimately won't do it. I've also read that Cashman is absolutely unwilling to part with Nick the Stick - even resisting pressure from the boss.

We could argue this, but Nick is not the best prospect in the minor leagues. Sean Burroughs is:

1) Burroughs is likely to play 3B at least for the first few years, making him potentially more valuable than Johnson defensively.

2) He is younger by two years and at this stage of development that is huge.

3) Nick has not hit for a lot of power, though he will probably develop some as he ages, and his average is way down. All those walks are nice, but Nick gets hit a lot, which suggests to me that he might be a higher injury risk. Burroughs doesn't hit for power, but neither did Bagwell at his age. Power is an old-players skill and given that Burroughs hits plenty of doubles, over time he is very likely to significantly increase his power.
   7. Robert Dudek Posted: July 28, 2001 at 12:52 PM (#551590)
I don't see Mario Encarnacion as anything more than a marginal prospect.

He hasn't moved quickly through the system and is getting old for prospect status (has yet to play in the majors. He hasn't improved his K/W ratio and his power is nothing special. Doesn't have the speed to play CF.

I see him as a Geronimo Berroa with less power.

Side comment: I think it was on yesterday's Red Sox radio broadcast that the following joke was delivered.

"You remember Geronimo Berroa. He's the guy who when he jumps out of an airplane, yells "Meeeee!"
   8. Robert Dudek Posted: July 31, 2001 at 07:38 PM (#551591)
The Royals have traded Rey Sanchez to the Braves for Brad Voyles and Alejandro Machado.

So for a slight upgrade at SS the Royals end up trading Jermaine Dye for a decent but raw arm and a marginal middle-infield prospect.

Unless Ash makes a stupid deal, Baird wins the dumbest GM award for this year.
   9. Danny Posted: September 27, 2001 at 11:09 PM (#551772)
How can you even say Cashman has been a better gm than beane? If you look at the caliber of players that the A's have been able to develop and acquire (tam, lidle, dye, damon, mecir, myers, bradford, given their payroll (2nd to last in the AL), it's clear that Bean has been far and away the better GM. With all the mistakes Cashman has made throwing money around (chuck, scott, paul, tino), he would destroy a team as poor as the A's. Beane cannot afford to make mistakes as large as those. He can deal with the meltdown of an Olivares or a Heredia because even though they each represent a decent share of the A's payroll for this season, they are not signed long term and are tradeable because of their relatively low salaries. Having the money to go out and sign Mussina is brilliant and all, but I think it takes a better GM to draft a pitcher in the 1998 and have him be one of the three best starters in the AL in 2001. Signing that player, along with the rest of the young and still developing core of team, to far well below market value contracts for the remainder of their arbitration years is another solid move. It would be great if Beane and the A's had the financial security to sign Giambi through the rest of his prime and the beginning of his decline for only $15 mil a season, but that would represent a 1/3 of the A's payroll and cripple their team. Bottom line: the Yankees get good players through good drafting, hyped prospects and oodles of cash, and the A's get good players through great drafting, great trades, and minor league free agency/trades.
   10. Alan Shank Posted: September 28, 2001 at 12:02 AM (#551773)
"The Yankees, as one example, started preaching the value of drawing walks, working the count, and general plate discipline several years before Beane became the general manager of the A's in 1997."

The Oakland organization-wide emphasis on plate discipline pre-dates Beane's ascension to GM. Sandy Alderson was really the architect of that. The 1999 "Big Bad Baseball Annual," in the A's article, talked about Beane vs. Alderson, and how several of the Oakland prospects did not continue their excellent walk rates after reaching the majors. Interestingly enough, Beane almost never walked in his short major-league career.
   11. Danny Posted: September 28, 2001 at 02:35 PM (#551777)
Yes, Dye was a great pick-up this year, he's probably had the largest impact of anyone traded this year. But look at what Beane has doneeach of the last 3 seasons. In 1999 with the A's hanging around the wild card race, he picked up omar olivares, randy velarde, and kevin appier for virtually nothing. Izzy was nabbed from the mets for (38 year old) Billy Taylor and Long was picked up for Kenny Rogers when Rogers was no longer worth his salary. All 4 played particularly well for the rest of that season, and long is now a starting outfielder. Last year in, an unheralded move, Beane picked up Jim Mecir. If not for Mecir's brilliance down the stretch, he even replaced Izzy a few times as closer, the A's don't make the playoffs (they were only 1/2 game up on the mariners and 1 1/2 on the Indians). Sal Fasano was also a nice pick-up in a trade last year, just as Greg Myers has slugged well this year. Ron Gant, who looked like just another Coors-inflated scrub, has had a .380 obp since being picked up by Beane. Beane is hands down the best GM at trading, even when you don't count the times he's mugged Allan Baird.
   12. Danny Posted: September 28, 2001 at 02:40 PM (#551778)
As for Tino, a .330 obp and .508 slg are below average for a first basemen and he is making $6,000,000 this year, enough to pay for the A's entire infield(giambi, menechino, tejada, chavez) and starting rotation (hudson, mulder, zito, lidle, hiljus) this year. then when you realize tino is only the 10th highest paid yankee and that brosius is making over $5 mil and O'neill over $6 mil, it's unquestionable that Beane is the better GM
   13. RP Posted: September 28, 2001 at 03:46 PM (#551779)
Although I think Cashman has done a good job, it's important to keep in mind that he's only been GM since 1998. The core of the team was drafted/acquired/developed long before then. Again, he's done a pretty good job, but given (a) the resources he's had to work with and (b) the team and farm system he inherited, he doesn't deserve *that* much credit for the Yankees success.
   14. Cris E Posted: September 28, 2001 at 03:59 PM (#551780)
Bruce -
   15. Jay Jaffe Posted: September 28, 2001 at 08:16 PM (#551782)
While the Yankees' record on his watch is unsurpassed (3 seasons, 3 World Championships), most of what I read in the New York papers suggests that Cashman doesn't have much power on his own. Gene Michael and Mark Newman (George's "Tampa people") wield a big influence over scouting and development issues. And then there also the type of meddling that only Steinbrenner can provide. Cashman probably gets more credit than he deserves, and should the Yanks falter he'll probably take more of the blame than he deserves. But he's done a hell of a job just to keep his head this long.
   16. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 29, 2001 at 02:04 PM (#551786)
I think what the Beane supporters neglect in comparing Beane to Cashman is that both GM's are experts at using their organizations respective advantages: in Beane's case, scouting/player development, in Cashman's case, money.
   17. Danny Posted: September 29, 2001 at 03:18 PM (#551787)
A few thoughts...
   18. Robert Dudek Posted: September 29, 2001 at 05:05 PM (#551789)
Bruce...

I don't understand why you and many other Yankees fans apparantly refuse to believe that the Yankees have a huge financial edge over most of the other teams.

No doubt, whoever makes the decisions in Yankee land has been doing an excellent job, but what the A's have done qualifies as a minor baseball miracle.

And to say that both of them have done well with the resources they had, well, the Yankees have 5 times the resources the A's have. Try competing in a fantasy baseball league where your competitors can spend 5 times more than you can.

One note: the Jays made a promise to Clemens that they would try and trade him if he felt they were not competitive when they signed him as a free-agent. They spoke to Roger in the 98/99 off-season and accomodated his wish (even though there was optimism that the Jays would contend after a winning record in 1998). They didn't have to: they could have waited until July and sent him to a contender, hopefully getting back a little more in return.

I don't think the main considerations were financial: David Wells was signed an extra two (or three) years and his salary wasn't too much lower than Clemens'.

P.S. Any way you cut it Tino is a below average first baseman - and not worth the money he's getting. It is only "veteran mystique" that keeps him in the lineup.
   19. Darren Posted: October 01, 2001 at 04:35 PM (#551790)
On the Clemens trade. Houston was in the running until they heard about Clemens's desire for a 1 year, $25 M extension (making his 3 year average around $14 M a year). At that point, they made a big stink and dropped out.

Ash had a trade in place with Texas for Mateo, Helling (I think) and a couple others (Texas had refused to part with the great Rusty Greer). Ash said okay, but wanted to call the Yanks 1st. He offered them Clemens for the 3 mentioned above.

On some level, Clemens extension demands did scare off some suitors.

It's also been widely reported that Steinbrenner's been fascinated with Clemens for years. I doubt Cashman was the impetus behind getting Clemens.
   20. Big Ed Posted: October 01, 2001 at 06:41 PM (#551791)
Danny,
   21. Robert Dudek Posted: October 01, 2001 at 07:02 PM (#551792)
Sure..

Why don't Cashman and Beane simply trade places for the next three years and all this will be settled.
   22. Big Ed Posted: October 02, 2001 at 07:02 PM (#551794)
On the flip side, Cashman is more likely to be canned if he doesn't succeed, compared to Beane. Will Beane be let go if the A's don't win it all? Not likely, but Cashman certainly has that hanging over his head. More money, but higher stakes.
   23. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 06, 2001 at 05:48 PM (#551815)
Bellhorn has hit very poorly in the majors in his limited time so far, but I believe he's a significantly better hitter than he's shown. He can definitely outhit Augie Ojeda (without the benefit of being a really good shortstop) and he's a better hitter than Cairo when Cairo's having a typical season. Certainly not a starter, but a utility guy with the capability of hitting 250/320/400 is a good thing.
   24. Geoff Young Posted: November 20, 2001 at 11:15 PM (#551847)
I like the signing of Colangelo, though I'm sorry to see him leave San Diego. He never got much of a shot here, but when he did play, he sure looked like a big-league hitter to me. At the very least he should make a nice fourth outfielder. I hope he gets a chance.
   25. Danny Posted: November 29, 2001 at 04:10 PM (#551850)
Am I the only A's fan disappointed to see McMillon leave? he was Detroit's minor league player of the year last year, posting a high on-base percentage (which is something the A's are seriously lacking from lf and cf.) He played great for the A's before his injury, and seems like a good, cheap replacement for Damon, or at least a competitor for the starting job.
   26. John Posted: November 30, 2001 at 05:33 AM (#551851)
I know how you feel Danny. It seemed to me I was the only fan in TigerTown last season who was upset when McMillon was let go to make sure Ryan "Action" Jackson and Wendell Magee got their ABs.
   27. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 08, 2001 at 07:35 AM (#551992)
Yanks, probably. Cashman and his staff are very strong, but the Yankees money tends to overshadow them.

The other teams, I'm less sure about. The M's are probably in the best shape merely because of the sheer quantity of pitching prospects, but they're also likely to have the most offensive holes to fill the next few years and there simply aren't enough players in the system like Chris Snelling. Gillick doesn't appear to be building the Mariners for the long-term and it could be inevitable that dross like Kingsale or Gipson could be a drag.

The Braves and Diamondbacks look to be in a bit of trouble to me. The Diamondbacks' core is very old and they've shown no willingness to use what talent they do develop.

The Braves are better in that respect, but they're clearly eroding; the starting rotation had to be bailed out by aliens possessing John Burkett, they can't find offense at the corners, and their position prospects are in a sad state compared to previous years. The Joneses are increasingly the Braves offense.
   28. Robert Dudek Posted: December 08, 2001 at 06:53 PM (#551994)
Maybe he didn't like the park because he had to face Athletics hitters.

Seriously, I can't see that Koch is significantly better than a decent middle reliever and Beane will soon show his understanding of this by dealing him to LA.

Apart from a select few, relief pitchers grow on trees, so if you can get a significant upgrade at 3B (I expect Hinske to start there this year) for a high-priced reliever that is a job well done.

Ricciardi's off-season mission - slash payroll and improve the team.

Next up: Raul Mondesi.
   29. Voros McCracken Posted: December 09, 2001 at 06:02 PM (#551997)
Koch to Arizona for Erubiel Durazo and Jack Cust would be hysterical.
   30. Jason Robar Posted: December 09, 2001 at 08:42 PM (#551998)
Speaking of Griffin, he (and most everybody else who wrote a Koch traded article for the Star) has said that Alex Gonzalez, Homer Bush and an outfielder (either Mondesi or Stewart) are next on the chopping block. A-Gon would be moved to allow Felipe Lopez to play short, while Bush would be moved to allow Orlando Hudson to play second.

My question is who is Orlando Hudson? The local media said nothing about him in the past couple of years, and now all of the sudden he's the future second baseman for the Jays (and the media is saying that he'd be an improvement for the Jays).

Jason
   31. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: December 10, 2001 at 05:41 AM (#552003)
I agree about Izturis's chances of getting a regular spot in Toronto. I'm sure the Jays will have him pencilled in for a lot of extra BP and a starting SS job in Syracuse.
   32. RJ in TO Posted: December 15, 2001 at 01:01 AM (#552199)
The Mets are supposedly covering at least 1.5M of Justice's salary. When you combine that with what Oakland ditched in terms of Guthrie's salary (1.8M), they are paying somewhere closer to 4M for Justice, not including if the Yankees are picking up any of the bill (probably not, given Ventura cost 8M).

If Justice can remain healthy (doubtful if he plays OF regularly), even at 4M he could be a great deal. Plus he could help in signing Dye to an extension (Good buddy), and Damon (Competetive team) to a contract.

Of course, the Dye-Damon thing is all speculation. After all, for enough money, a player can justify signing with any team (Cordova: "I just wanted to play for a team with a chance to win").
   33. Robert Dudek Posted: December 16, 2001 at 01:13 AM (#552203)
How many relief pitchers does a team need?
   34. Greg Franklin Posted: December 16, 2001 at 06:14 AM (#552204)
The oracle's confusion stemmed from Guthrie being dealt along with Tapani in the same 1995 trade: from Minnesota to LA in exchange for NRI-to-be Jose Parra, Greg Hansell, Chris Latham and

(wait for it)

Ron Coomer.
   35. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2002 at 08:23 PM (#552576)
Maybe Beane should have got me to play 2nd; I can spell my name.
   36. Cris E Posted: January 14, 2002 at 09:02 PM (#552589)
The trade was initially reported wrong. Texas got center fielder Ryan Ludwick instead of Hiljus. That makes it a better trade for the As, as it improves their fifth spot in the rotation. I don't know if it makes any difference for the Rangers (though I suppose any new average or better pitching is a plus in Texas...)
   37. Geoff Young Posted: January 14, 2002 at 09:29 PM (#552590)
Ramos, Ludwick, and Hart for Pena sounds like a pretty good deal for both clubs. Getting Ludwick rather than Hiljus is nice for Texas. What are they going to do with poor Gabe Kapler?
   38. Brian Posted: January 14, 2002 at 09:32 PM (#552591)
If I were the A's I'd rather have given up Hiljus. Ludwick is an actual prospect - not on the level of Pena or even Ramos, but a center fielder who can draw walks and hit for power is pretty useful. Yeah, the batting average is mediocre, but you'd think he's still more valuable than a 30-year old journeyman/fifth starter, even if Hiljus did have a pretty decent year last year.

Doesn't seem to make make much sense from the Rangers' standpoint, either, since they'd love to have even league-average pitching, and they've got outfielders coming out of their ears.
   39. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2002 at 10:13 PM (#552593)
Actually, there wasn't any changing of the MLEs.

The general difference between STATS MLEs and my MLEs is that they give AA and AAA the same adjustment factors (I've looked at it and found that it doesn't work and, if I'm not mistaken, Clay Davenport ended up with a similar result) and use 1-year park factors for the teams instead of 3-year park factors as I've chosen to do.
   40. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2002 at 10:16 PM (#552594)
I should also note that this is a larger than usual difference of the result between my MLEs and STATS' MLEs for AAA players. The typical difference is under 10 points of OPS.
   41. Mike Posted: January 14, 2002 at 11:05 PM (#552595)
Personally, I like the deal for both teams -- it looks to my semi (but not particularly) informed eye that it's quantity for quality. For most teams, it's better to get quality (not that Hart, Ludwick, and Ramos are slouches) and for the A's to get Pena looks like a more reliable upgrade with immediate potential. For the Rangers, though, getting more depth will help (especially Ramos). Nice trade for the A's and the Rangers haven't embarrassed themselves either.
   42. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 15, 2002 at 01:06 AM (#552597)
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   43. Darren Posted: January 15, 2002 at 03:20 PM (#552602)
According to Baseball Reference, Venafro's most similar at age 26 was Pedro Martinez. Look for him to start posting 300 Ks and sub-2.00 ERAs.

Of course, at age 27, his most similar was Dave Lieper. Little bit of a drop-off.
   44. Snowboy Posted: January 17, 2002 at 09:24 AM (#552609)
I don't see how Jason Hart is now "blocking" Blalock or Texiera. I think they are third basemen.

This trade shows that Fuson has John Hart's ear, for now.
   45. Alan Posted: January 17, 2002 at 08:12 PM (#552799)
Alex, I'd vote for Tino as the NL's most overrated player.
   46. Robert Dudek Posted: January 21, 2002 at 10:30 AM (#552807)
Dan...

Interesting List, but I think we should factor in likelihood of injury. I'll rank then according to expected performance in 2002:

1. Sammy Sosa (has made remarkable strides as a hitter; I'd say virtually unprecedented)
   47. Robert Dudek Posted: January 21, 2002 at 12:21 PM (#552808)
Juan Gonzalez will probably be playing RF this year - I'd put him 8th and move everyone else down a notch.
   48. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: January 21, 2002 at 06:16 PM (#552809)
Lance Berkman will also probably be playing RF this year. I wouldn't leave him off.
   49. Ken Arneson Posted: February 02, 2002 at 05:34 AM (#553970)
Well, he's only 24, and he had a 2.6:1 K/BB ratio in the minors, so he's probably worth a gamble.

I assume he has options left, because I can't see any room for him anywhere except Sacramento.
   50. Steve Treder Posted: February 02, 2002 at 09:44 PM (#553972)
If Levrault has options left, why in god's name did the Brewers waive him?
   51. Darren Posted: March 19, 2002 at 06:57 PM (#555479)
A lot of people (not you, Dan) seem to be down on Duchsherer for his lack of blazing fastball. Is there any evidence that one needs a blazing fastball, if one can put up insane K and BB rates?
   52. Darren Posted: March 19, 2002 at 07:30 PM (#555482)
Glendon Rusch and Steve Woodard put up insane K/BB rates, without real fastballs, and they get torched.
   53. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: March 19, 2002 at 07:38 PM (#555485)
According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Vizcaino is just passing through the Rangers on the way somewhere else, possibly the Mets. Supposedly, Hart wants to convert him into minor-league depth (I know, I know, then why would he be talking to Mets?) Still, the Rangers were reportedly shopping Vizcaino before they'd finalized the deal with the A's.
   54. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: March 20, 2002 at 01:27 AM (#555490)
There is a Jamey Newberg? Interesting.
   55. Darren Posted: March 20, 2002 at 04:09 AM (#555491)
Jim Rice--

You are towing the Sox fan party line on Tankersly/Duch never being heard of before trades. Of course, you never heard of these guys from Gammons, but I'd bet anyone looking closely at their minor league performance would have thought these guys were decent prospects before the trades (perhaps Tank's minor league injury would have masked his prospecthood).

These were lousy trades, I have to say, even if Tank and Duch were only decent prospects. As was the Reitsma for Bichette deal. In each case, the Sox got an overpaid and/or easily replaceable part and gave up guys with actual potential.
   56. Mike Posted: March 20, 2002 at 09:17 AM (#555494)
Its a classic late Spring Trade. Vizcaino was not going to make the A's or likely pass waivers. Durscherer is an underated pitching prospect, with a talent ceiling of a back of the rotation pitcher, but no room with the Rangers who actually have few decent pitching prospects.

As a Ranger fan, I'm kind of relieved to see another trade for prospects rather than established vetrans. I was concerned, and still am concerned, that Hart was hired as GM. But two trades and still no mediocre vetran trade to be seen (knock on wood). And if Hart can flip Vizcaino to the Mets (as has been rumoured) for non 40 man prospect than I will actually be pretty pleased.
   57. Voros McCracken Posted: March 20, 2002 at 08:56 PM (#555499)
I think, as others have mentioned, that Luis Vizcaino may be out of options and has no chance to stick in an unthinkably crowded pen. Duchscherer almost certainly does have options left.

I'm guessing Beane figures Vivcaino would get snapped up if he was placed on waivers and tried to get something for him.

If Vizcaino is indeed out of options, I don't think it's bias to say this is a nice little move by Beane turning a player he was about to lose for nothing into a player he gets to keep that might be of some help down the road.

Does anyone else get the impression that one of Beane's advantage over his competitiors is not that he's more "enlightened" than they are, but that he actually gives a damn about these kind of moves?
   58. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: March 20, 2002 at 10:32 PM (#555501)
I think, as others have mentioned, that Luis Vizcaino may be out of options and has no chance to stick in an unthinkably crowded pen. Duchscherer almost certainly does have options left.

Definitive answer on options: Duch has two options left, Vizcaino has none, hence the trade. Chad Bradford was having a better camp, didn't age two years, and is also out of options; the A's had to do something, and as others have said, it gives them more depth in the AAA rotation.
   59. Darren Posted: May 09, 2002 at 04:15 PM (#556424)
I'm curious why you think Zito's the best bet among the big 3. Is it his age?

Hudson's put up quite a consistent track record, so I might give him the edge right now. But it'd be close.
   60. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: May 22, 2002 at 07:54 PM (#556676)
I just saw a quote from Beane saying that Giambi was too "one dimensional". Hmmm, so Mabry isn't????
   61. Sharkbyte Posted: June 02, 2002 at 06:41 PM (#556891)
Jason - If that were true, wouldn't Beane likely also have had some other good minds on hand to back up the two who left this past year? (And if I recall correctly Paul DePodesta is supposed to be the brightest of the lot, and he's still around...)

My guess is that Beane's outthinking himself with the past few moves: he figured correctly that plate discipline and young pitching were the best ways to put together a cheap, successful team in the late '90s. Now, facing a record-setting division rival who combined those two elements with stellar defense and shrewd Asian recruiting and marketing, he figures he needs to find the next great leap in evaluating players as well...but doesn't quite know what that is, so he's messing around with veteran leadership and 1B defense in hopes that those are now undervalued, while losing what ground he'd made up on the rest of the league with his smart moves in the past.
   62. All you Need is Glove Posted: July 16, 2002 at 08:50 PM (#551819)
What, does every A's deal come back from the dead. Next we'll see a comment on how Finley should have been allowed to sell off Blue and Rudy.
   63. Big Ed Posted: July 26, 2002 at 12:43 PM (#557969)
Free the White Sox from Kenny Williams.

There were supposedly four other team intersted in Durham and this is the best he could do? Gawd.
   64. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: July 26, 2002 at 02:17 PM (#557971)
Apparently the White Sox are contracting themselves. What a dumbass.
   65. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 26, 2002 at 03:04 PM (#557972)
And here I was, thinking that Hiram Bocachica was going to be the best 2B traded yesterday...

So: Is this a rental, or would the A's be willing to extend Durham, offering him 2 years, or 2 and an option for a third?
   66. jwb Posted: July 26, 2002 at 03:26 PM (#557974)
Vlad, Durham is reported to be looking for a deal in the 4 years/$30M neighborhood. I doubt that Beane is.
   67. Darren Posted: July 27, 2002 at 12:37 AM (#557984)
Could someone explain to me the importance of keeping Terrence Long in the lineup.

Can Beane just trade him to the Expos for Brad Wilkerson and be done with it?
   68. Darren Posted: July 27, 2002 at 02:34 PM (#557987)
Tim,

How bout the A's pay the rest of Long's salary this year? After this year, his salary becomes someone else's problem.
   69. Voros McCracken Posted: July 29, 2002 at 06:03 AM (#557988)
Nobody really wants to believe this, but due to a lack of quality at the position in the league, Ray Durham _might_ be the best second baseman in the American League (It depends on whether this is for real for Soriano or a bit flukish).

Have I mentioned I'm not much of a Kenny Williams fan?
   70. Bud Selig Posted: July 31, 2002 at 02:54 PM (#558159)
(Stupid played joke goes here)
   71. B Posted: July 31, 2002 at 03:00 PM (#558160)
In 1999, Marshall McDougall hit six consecutive homers in a game.
   72. Walt Davis Posted: July 31, 2002 at 04:04 PM (#558164)
It was Sean Casey for Dave Burba. And the Giles trade is worse by a mile. Casey isn't half the hitter that Giles is and Burba gave the Indians over 600 innings of very good pitching (overall ERA+ in those three years of about 115).

In fact, given Casey's lack of development, I think we can declare the Indians the winners of that trade.
   73. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: July 31, 2002 at 04:09 PM (#558165)
First of all, Giles was potentially the worst trade in baseball in what, 10 years? And as an Indians fan, I only wish that memory would go away.
   74. Klobedanz Posted: July 31, 2002 at 04:13 PM (#558166)
Who'd they get in the Sexson trade?
   75. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: July 31, 2002 at 04:19 PM (#558167)
Lawton and Wickman, also giving up me thinks 2B Marcus Scuturo, who then went to the Mets...maybe with D'Amico?
   76. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: July 31, 2002 at 04:20 PM (#558168)
Okay, not Lawton. My bad.
   77. Walt Davis Posted: July 31, 2002 at 04:41 PM (#558170)
It was Woodard and Wickman. And I think somebody else.
   78. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: July 31, 2002 at 05:08 PM (#558171)
I looked it up b/c it's better than working - the Sexson trade included Paul Rigdon, Kane Davis, and Scuturo for Wickman, Bere, and Woodard. Boy, am I glad Hart's gone.
   79. Alan Posted: July 31, 2002 at 06:02 PM (#558173)
Lawton and Wickman, also giving up me thinks 2B Marcus Scuturo, who then went to the Mets...maybe with D'Amico?

The names of who was involved in the trade have been corrected. Just wanted to point out that Scutaro was a waiver claim by the Mets and that he's probably better than at least half the everyday 2Bmen in baseball.
   80. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: July 31, 2002 at 07:16 PM (#558175)
Lets not forget the David Justice trade that Hart made that eventually gave the Tribe jackshit.
   81. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: July 31, 2002 at 07:53 PM (#558178)
Joel, I agree that the Justice trade doesn't look bad from a player perspective...but the tribe was also without 3 of the better months of Justice's carreer in a season where they missed the playoffs by one game. Sequi was a decent replacement, but you still have to wonder.
   82. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: August 01, 2002 at 02:59 AM (#558182)
Okay Joel, fine, burn me with actually looking up numbers...you're right, it was a big assumption. Did it probably make a difference, no. Could it have made a difference, yes, I think we both have to agree with that. Justice got a whole lot better after the trade - maybe it was health, maybe it was a change of scenery...there's certainly no way to tell.
   83. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: August 01, 2002 at 03:06 AM (#558183)
Remember 1989? In the off-season the Indians traded thier biggest star for 2 minor leauge prospects. People here in Cleveland were all up in arms about it. It was ugly.
   84. Cris E Posted: August 30, 2002 at 05:57 PM (#558586)
What hole is he filling? Who left or went on the DL?
   85. Brian White Posted: November 12, 2002 at 07:32 PM (#559304)
Correct, Dan. He was born March 27, 1972.

Question about the MLE's - he hit .348/.424/.609 in Colorado Springs...does that really translate to .333/.393/.570? Isn't that one of the best places to hit in the PCL? That translation seems really high to me.

Also, is there somewhere we can go to figure out how to get MLEs using stats from a particular level/ballpark?
   86. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 14, 2002 at 05:23 PM (#559346)
A few more Oakland signings:

C Mike Rose
   87. Greg Franklin Posted: November 16, 2002 at 12:43 AM (#559350)
DW, apparently there already has been a Roy Smith on the Indians -- a Yoshiic-Harkeyesque starting pitcher from the 1980s. Beane is smarter than Ken Williams, so I bet he acquired the right Roy Smith and not the inferior clone.
   88. Cris E Posted: November 18, 2002 at 06:26 PM (#559352)
The old Roy Smith was one of my favorite players when he was a Twin. He had a slow curve that was fun to watch and not much else. He got Jesse Barfield on it for strike three twice in one game, but the third time up Barfield mashed it like batting practice. He later went on to a career in the Pirates front office.
   89. Mikαεl Posted: November 18, 2002 at 11:19 PM (#559535)
I can see it already. Meluskey wins the starting first base job and hits 270/400/450 in April and May. Stories start to circulate out of Oakland about his attitude and temper, and a hastily covered-up practice incident involving Thad Bosley and an batting donut. In mid-June, Beane trades him to the Phils - who lost out in the Thome sweepstakes and need a 1B - for MIKE FREAKIN' COOLBAUGH??!!
   90. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 19, 2002 at 12:32 AM (#559536)
Well, crap. I'd been banking on the Pirates signing Meluskey to play first and hit off the bench. All good signings by the A's, and I could see any one of the four doing well if given the chance.

I wouldn't want to have a locker next to Silva, though, out of fear that I'd get struck by lightning or trampled by stampeding cattle.
   91. strummer Posted: November 19, 2002 at 03:46 AM (#559539)
Chaz, I would hardly say the Tigers gave up on Meluskey. They paid him for two years and he never (well almost never) saw the field. Then figure in that they have Pena, Young, Munson, Simon, Palmer, et al competing for DH/1B duties. It hardly seems prudent to re-sign a player that has given them all of 27 ABs in two years to play a position at which they have half a dozen others.
   92. Danny Posted: November 19, 2002 at 05:26 AM (#559541)
Ellis has been mentioned as a possible replacement at SS when Tejada leaves, and he presumably played ahead of Durham at 2B because of his defensive skills. I watched Ellis play around 20 games this year and he looked pretty good in the field. But I just looked at his BP player card, and they say he was 11 runs below average defensivley at 2B. This came in limited playing time as well, which nearly translates into Jeteresque territory over a full season. A .360 OBP at 2B is great, but I doubt Ellis can provide enough offense to overcome his apparent defensive shortcomings in the long run. That said, he is still only 25 and has room to improve in both areas.

I would love to see McMillon win an everyday corner outfield job; I think he can be league average in LF. With Piatt and Byrnes also capable of contributing, the A's can save their money for Durham. Assuming Durham plays 2B and Ellis shifts to the UT role, this still leaves a hole at DH for the A's, which I am shamelessly hoping will be filled by Cust or Durazo. I think this lineup would score a lot of runs:

1) Durham, 2B
   93. John Posted: November 19, 2002 at 07:55 AM (#559543)
Chaz,

You're assuming that Dombrowski is actually still any good. I know he did a good job in Montreal and did a good job hoarding talented young guys in Florida but he might just be past his prime now.

I do think its funny that Detroit's lack of a plan is coming up in like 3 different threads. I mean at least they didn't pick up Hampton, right? Then they'd be getting hammered in all the threads.

Then again, I heard they tried to trade for Neagle again and are even considering uping his contract a bit to entice him to go to Detroit so give them some time.
   94. Greg Franklin Posted: November 19, 2002 at 09:35 AM (#559544)
John Mabry is still a free agent AFAIK. Is his asking price too high, for the A's or anyone else?
   95. strummer Posted: November 19, 2002 at 01:51 PM (#559545)
Wouldn't that be more incentive for them to keep the guy?

No, not really. They have paid him for 2 years to only walk onto the playing field 8 times. As the saying goes, don't throw good money after bad. And what guarantee is there that he can actually play (and play well) now.

You just have to get a guy like that in the lineup, especially if you can sneak him in at catcher a couple of times a week.

Heh, like they were able to get him in the lineup the last 2 years. And after missing two and a half years due to shoulder trouble, I think his catching days are over.
   96. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 19, 2002 at 02:50 PM (#559546)
Meluskey isn't just a hitter with a good track record at every level in every pro season, he's also a switch hitter without even a slight platoon split.

Since Chaz did it, I'm going to do it too:

Posted 12:55 p.m., November 14, 2002 - Vlad
   97. bob mong Posted: November 19, 2002 at 05:49 PM (#559548)
I think Meluskey is an excellent candidate to be this year's Scott Hatteberg

Despite all the (mostly deserved) praise given to Billy Beane, I think it is worth noting:

- Scott Hatteburg had an .807 OPS this year. This is nice for a cheap bench player or a player at a defensive position. It sucks for a starting 1B/DH.

- Scott Hatteburg is a 32-yr-old 1B/DH with this career line: .271/.361/.419 - he is a nice, cheap bench player who gets on base, but doesn't have very much power and is underwhelming as a starter.

- The Oakland As had the third-worst-hitting 1B in the AL this past year (ranked by OPS), ahead of only Detroit and Boston. Their 1B hit worse than Minnesota's, Tampa Bay's, Baltimore's, and Anaheim's (among others). That .755 OPS their 1B put up was pathetic. And their DHs weren't much better, ranking 8th in the league, behind every other playoff team except Minnesota. For all the talk about good-hitting/no-fielding 1B/DH types being easily, and cheaply, available, Billy Beane couldn't find any last year.
   98. Darren Posted: November 19, 2002 at 06:46 PM (#559549)
Hatteberg's OPS was OBP heavy. His .292 EQA is about league average.
   99. bob mong Posted: November 19, 2002 at 07:51 PM (#559551)
His .292 EQA is about league average

Yeah, and as Walt Davis (I think) mentioned over in Clutch Hits, I neglected park factors also.

However, league-average is not the same as good.

That's not totally fair; he had Mario Valdez, who was once one of the stathead world's favorite free-talent 1b/dh types, but Valdez was hurt all year and contributed squat. I'd rather have a healthy Valdez than Hatteberg any day, but it didn't work out that way for the A's.

Yeah, I checked out his minor league stats; he looks like a serious masher (career AAA line (500+ games): .301/.408/.509, though probably not any kind of "prospect" due to his age. Wonder why he never got much playing time before now? But anyway, if 1B/DH talent is so freely available, why couldn't Beane pick up someone to fill his injured shoes well? Instead, he shipped off Pena and slotted in a bunch of guys who were league-average, at best.

My contention is that either Beane isn't quite the genius at finding those cheap, good-hit/bad-field guys as we think he is or that those type of players aren't as readily available as we think they are.
   100. strummer Posted: November 19, 2002 at 09:12 PM (#559553)
One thing I want to make clear. I do think Meluskey is a good pickup for Oakland. It is a risk worth taking for a lot of teams. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, I think it was also a good move by Detroit to finally part ways with him.
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