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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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   101. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 20, 2002 at 02:35 PM (#559557)
re: Mario Valdez

Wonder why he never got much playing time before now?

He was blocked behind Frank Thomas in the White Sox organization most of his career.

-- MWE
   102. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 03:25 AM (#559933)
The first PTBNL is Neal Cotts, while the second can't be officially named until the Rule V Draft is over, as with the Bako-Gripp trade earlier in the week.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/news/021203closers.html

Someone else posted on Clutch Hits that Sickels rated Cotts as a C+ (I don't have the book, so I can't confirm). He's a soft-tossing 2nd-round pick with good numbers last year.
   103. Scott Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:47 PM (#559942)
Lets not forget that the White Sox have to pay Koch at least 4 mil this coming year probably (arbitration), and more next year. And they gave $ to the A's. And they gave them Mark Johnson so now they are playing Josh Freakin' Paul as catcher. UGH. It's a horrible trade for the White Sox. Period.

If you think this is a good trade for the White Sox, then can we trade you Kenny Williams for Beane? Please?
   104. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 05, 2002 at 05:00 PM (#559955)
I'll take any edge the other guy's willing to give me, no matter how small.
   105. KDub's CellPiece (BLtDH) Posted: December 05, 2002 at 05:52 PM (#559956)
As a Sox fan, I was seriously concerned when I first got word of this deal. After thinking about it more, I'm not really that disgusted. I think the A's get the short term advantage, and the Sox get a known commodity for the next few seasons, that is a bit pricey and overrated. That being said...

I won't miss Foulke all that much. He is a "trick" pitcher. Not similar to Zito, Maddux, others. If his changeup is not on, he is not effective. Plain and simple. He was topping out around 89 most of last year, and his slider is ineffective and he doesn't throw it often. He needs regular work for his changeup to work, and he didn't get that in '02. He did in 2000 and '01, and I attribute that to his success. Good news for the A's, as their starters will almost certainly get him regular work, not the infrequent appearances he experienced in the first half of last season with the Sox.

A slight edge to the A's, but not much more.
   106. Danny Posted: December 05, 2002 at 06:22 PM (#559957)
"If his changeup is not on, he is not effective. Plain and simple. He was topping out around 89 most of last year, and his slider is ineffective and he doesn't throw it often. He needs regular work for his changeup to work, and he didn't get that in '02."

Maybe I don't know what "effective" means, but I think a 2.90 ERA in 77 2/3 innings is pretty damn effective.

The only downside of this trade I see for the A's is that it looks like any chance of getting Kim and Durazo from the Snakes is gone with Koch leaving.
   107. KDub's CellPiece (BLtDH) Posted: December 05, 2002 at 07:36 PM (#559958)
Look at his era in the first half of the season (over 5) as compared to his era in the second half (under 1). That's a pretty huge difference. Again, this is probably most caused by Foulke's relatively inconsistent appearances in the first half as the closer and subsequent consistent appearances as a setup man after the break.

When I say effective, I was speaking entirely of his changeup. The pitch is awesome if working, but he isn't successful if it isn't. Foulke has personally stated as much throughout his days in Chicago.
   108. KDub's CellPiece (BLtDH) Posted: December 05, 2002 at 09:13 PM (#559960)
Harry-
   109. KDub's CellPiece (BLtDH) Posted: December 06, 2002 at 06:14 PM (#559963)
Crispix-
   110. Mikαεl Posted: December 11, 2002 at 06:24 AM (#559971)
Chad Bradford: "Player B was one of the top 5 relief pitchers in the American League."

Wha? He wasn't even close to being the best reliever in his team's mediocre bullpen - that was Billy Koch. It's a stretch to put Bradford in the top 20 in the league.
   111. Mikαεl Posted: December 11, 2002 at 09:34 PM (#559975)
I don't think trades are won and lost like a zero-sum game. If a trade makes one team better while simultaneously making the other team worse (Dye for Perez comes to mind), then one team lost and one team won. However, if one team - with a young catcher signed long term and a weak pen - gets a reasonably effective reliever, and the other - with a ton of arms at AAA and MLB and an injury-prone, crappy veteran catcher - gets a developing catching prospect, then they both won. One might conceivably have "won more," but we don't know nearly enough yet. Either way, trades and individual team needs are more complicated that the terminology of "winning" and "losing" suggests.

Olivo ... will almost certainly spend 2003 in the minors, and will likely spend 2004+ in the majors.

I'm pretty sure this is wrong. Olivo will be sharing time as starting catcher in 2003. His MLEs suggest he'll be reasonably effective.
   112. Jimbo Jones Posted: December 11, 2002 at 10:48 PM (#559976)
Wha? He wasn't even close to being the best reliever in his team's mediocre bullpen - that was Billy Koch. It's a stretch to put Bradford in the top 20 in the league.

Mikael--what criteria could possibly lead you to this conclusion? Koch had a slighly higher ERA, but he BB and HR rates that were literally three times those of Bradford. Koch had an edge in K rate (1 per inning to about 3/4 per inning), but the main reason he appeared to be in the same ballpark as Koch is the balls in play rate. I assume you're familiar with DIPS?

In summary: If you buy into DIPS theory, Bradford was much better. If you don't, he was a little bit better. I don't have time to figure out if he was really a top five AL reliever (this sounds like an exaggeration to me) but that doesn't mean he wasn't better than Koch.

On the Bradford-Olivo trade, can't we all agree that it is simply too soon to declare a winner? At this point, the trade provides more upside for Chicago, but more production so far for Oakland. Only time will tell who wins, speculating now is pointless.
   113. Mikαεl Posted: December 11, 2002 at 11:14 PM (#559977)
Jimbo,

Good points regarding Koch and Bradford. I must say, I was cheating and just going by the DIPS-ignoring reliever stats on Prospectus.

Reasons I'd still favor Koch:

1) He threw more than 20% more innings.
   114. Jimbo Jones Posted: December 12, 2002 at 03:01 AM (#559981)
Mikael--fair enough. It is a close call, I'll grant. I've always been inclined to focus on K, BB, and HR rates when evaluating relievers, and what I see is Bradford winning two of these in a big way and losing the third, but not by a lot. Of course, given the stiffs in the rest of the pen, those extra innings were pretty important.

Harry, I think Mr. Congeniality does have a point. OF COURSE, every bad outing should be part of how we evaluate pitchers. But, especially with relievers, we should be very careful with how we use them to evaluate a pitcher's trend. We could take any relief pitcher, find their worst outing of the year, combine it with their stats from a couple weeks in one or both directions, and it would look like a bad stretch--in this sense Foulke is no different than anyone else.

Your point about his slipping K rate is well taken and cause for concern (another reason it's good for the A's that he is a FA after 2003), but they are still not bad and there are simply too many other indicators suggesting he is a better pitcher than Koch to read too much into this.

As to him being lucky in early 2002, I can't really speak to this, as I saw very little of him. I don't really trust my perception too much about this sort of thing, though. When I first started watching Jamie Moyer pitch regularly when he came to Seattle, I thought he was getting incredibly lucky. Of course, unless he has had the luckiest six year stretch in the majors, I might have simply not been able to see about how he succeeds.
   115. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 03, 2003 at 01:13 AM (#562179)
Whoops, thought Fikac was added to 40-man earlier than he was.
   116. John Posted: January 03, 2003 at 03:35 AM (#562181)
Omar probably wanted 2 years before he'd agree to wade into the miasmic cesspool that Angelos has allowed the Orioles to become...

Either that, or they realize that he's always had the "potential" to break out with something pretty impressive, even if he's getting a little long in the tooth to do it. I like the signing, too (assuming reasonable $$, maybe 3-per), and wish the Rangers had picked him up instead of making googly eyes at James Baldwin, or whichever gopherballer it is they're eventually going to sign.
   117. John Posted: January 03, 2003 at 04:13 AM (#562184)
Off-topic re Jeremy Fikac, but I'm curious, O's Fan: who is the O's pitching coach, and what's his reputation? I've always thought Daal would be able to find some consistency (and a few more strikeouts, which he's got the stuff to get--his K/9 doesn't look "right" to me) with a good one.
   118. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 03, 2003 at 02:29 PM (#562187)
Regarding the O's coaching staff, I find the most interesting story to be the legend of Terry Crowley, the hitting coach. Throughout the organization and the public, any time a player has hitting problems, the whole city cries "Let the Crow fix it with his magic!"

I'm still trying to find a recipient of Terry Crowley's strange magic.
   119. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: January 03, 2003 at 05:28 PM (#562189)
It's hard enough to be blindly optimistic by hoping the Padres are clearing space to pick up some cheaper-than-usual talent in the early spring; then a Padres thread gets hijacked by a freakin' Snorioles discussion?!?

This is painful.
   120. Geoff Young Posted: January 03, 2003 at 06:37 PM (#562190)
Relax, fracas. Just remember, we have Mark Loretta; they have Deivi Cruz. It's all good....
   121. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: January 04, 2003 at 01:46 AM (#562192)
If Felipe Alou promises to play Neifi Perez at second, I'll be happy.
   122. Barry Bonds Posted: January 04, 2003 at 09:15 AM (#562193)
As long as I'm playing in Qualcomm, we could win starting Neifi, Feliz, and Livan. I oWN j00! MUAHAHAHAHAHA
   123. fables of the deconstruction Posted: January 04, 2003 at 10:10 AM (#562194)
Dan,

A Charles Johnson half season goes a long way...

------------
   124. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: January 18, 2003 at 01:21 AM (#563820)
I started to trust Halama a little bit last year, at least as a long reliever. But most Seattlites trust Halama about as far as they can throw Jose Mesa.
   125. Eugene Freedman Posted: January 18, 2003 at 02:00 AM (#563822)
I wrote a letter to the Orioles telling the two-headed monster that is the GM to waive Erickson and sign Halama and Thomson for low contracts. Instead they signed Omar Daal for a lot of money and decided to hold onto Erickson as well.

Until one of us is running the O's they will not make wise moves. Any wise GM will be fired before he starts making changes that would actually help the team.
   126. Greg Franklin Posted: January 18, 2003 at 02:33 AM (#563826)
And fans say ballplayers are self-absorbed jerks who know their salaries and stat lines by heart. This thread disproves that old saw. Ed and John are both all about the team!

Anyway, dsm about sums it up from my POV. Will there be room on the A's staff for Halama to have a bigger role than long relief?
   127. Scott Posted: January 18, 2003 at 04:02 AM (#563831)
So Yarnall's stats are on the borderline of indicating likely success or likely failure in the majors.... Sounds like he's worth a shot for <$1m. If he's getting much more than that, he's approaching 1/24 of the A's' payroll (40m-50m, I think?), which is a bad move: a guy like Yarnall should be BELOW your average salary.
   128. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2003 at 05:11 AM (#563835)
If they're planning on using him as a long man and spot starter and they didn't give up too much coin for him, Halama's a good pickup. Yarnall's interesting, as Japanese lottery tickets go. I probably would have gone for Buddy Carlyle first, though.

The O's moves this offseason didn't _all_ suck. The Daal signing's OK, and the decision to dump Singleton was excellent. That said, any gain made there is wiped out but good by the decision to make Deivi Cruz the everyday shortstop. If they start making some better decisions, we'll stop being such meanies.
   129. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2003 at 04:48 PM (#563843)
GOOOO is correct in his explanation of years. Remember the fuss at Fox over "That '70s Show"? It used to be "That 70's Show", but the network changed it after pressure from grammar mavens, who presumably had nothing better to do than watch bad TV.
   130. Christopher Posted: January 18, 2003 at 06:21 PM (#563846)
OK how many lefties can you possibly have on one team? Zito, Mulder and Lilly in the rotation for sure. Rincon in the bullpen. Now both Halama and Yarnall. I'm guessing Bowie and Venafro aren't going to be around, still that's a lot of lefties. Especially when you consider both the Angels and Mariners hit better versus southpaws (ANA .802ops vL, .761 vR - SEA 778 vL, 766 vR).
   131. Scott Posted: January 18, 2003 at 09:36 PM (#563851)
Wow, he REALLY is a slime. For those of you who don't feel like clicking on the article, here are the highlights (I know this isn't technically germane to the thread, but it's fascinating):

Neel made enough money during his stay in Japan to reportedly buy a private island in the Pacific that he says he wants to turn into a hedonist community for wealthy men.

After coming to Korea for the beginning of the 2001 season, hopes were high that he could help the Bears with his bat like he did in Japan. Those hopes faded quickly when he hit only .193.

He was released by the Bears after he and his wife were reportedly the cause of a fight in a bar district of Seoul that left one person in the hospital and his teammate, Mike Farmer, in jail for three weeks.

The victim in the fight said he wanted to be compensated and Farmer agreed to pay half but Neel chose not to pay anything and instead decided to allow his teammate to remain in prison.

A month after the fight, Neel quietly left Korea and has not been heard from since.
   132. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2003 at 06:20 AM (#563855)
It's not necessarily a standard, but the two most commonly used manuals of style are probably the AP Style Book and Libel Manual and The Manual of Style from the University of Chicago, and in both, no apostrophe is placed between the year and the "s". I know the New York Times does it differently, but they just feel the need to be different because they're the Times, dammit!
   133. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 19, 2003 at 06:56 PM (#563858)
the As (that's the correct plural; I don't care what the hats say)

No, "A's" is correct, because it's not a plural, it's a contraction of the word "Athletics".
   134. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 19, 2003 at 06:57 PM (#563859)
I nominate myself for a Primey for "Most Anal-Retentive Post".
   135. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 20, 2003 at 06:11 PM (#563863)
I love this blog.
   136. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 20, 2003 at 06:38 PM (#563864)
My point's still true. If you write for publication, your editor will most likely ask you to use the version with no apostrophe before the "s", since he uses a manual of style to standardize details for publication. That editorial preference constitutes a consensus, IMO.

Also, I'd write that sentence as follows: Elvis Presley was the greatest singer of the 1950s. I can't think of a situation where a writer would be forced to make a decade possessive, though I guess it's possible. Maybe we should stick to the version I prefer simply because it uses fewer characters, and appeals to our laziness?
   137. Bill Posted: January 21, 2003 at 05:48 AM (#563866)
I'd just like to set the record straight and point out that Ed Yarnall was in fact NOT part of the 70's variety duo, Shields and Yarnell. Thank you.
   138. Darren Posted: February 25, 2003 at 07:53 PM (#565140)
3 year splits:

Gant vs. Lefties:
   139. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: February 25, 2003 at 08:07 PM (#565141)
Pardon the hijack, but Trevor Hoffman will indeed have surgery, but not as serious as was first contemplated. They won't do any rotator cuff work, only shave down the end of his collarbone, so he should be back around the All-Star break.

http://signonsandiego.com/sports/padres/20030225-9999_1s25hoffman.html
   140. Mikαεl Posted: February 25, 2003 at 08:13 PM (#565142)
Much of the good stuff in Long's three-year split came three years ago when he busted an 840 OPS vs. northpaws. He's been pretty weak since then.

I've read in a number of places that the A's are hoping that moving to an easier defensive position will help Long's offensive game. It makes sense on some level; he can focus more on hitting and won't be quite as worn out. Have there been studies on this issue? Do players moved to the left on the defensive spectrum improve?
   141. John Posted: February 25, 2003 at 08:19 PM (#565144)
<i>Long vs. Righties:
   142. Danny Posted: February 25, 2003 at 08:27 PM (#565145)
Mikael,

That study would likely be biased because most players that move to an easier defensive position do so because they are past their physical peak.

Long is very unlikely to be as bad as he was last year, given his age and previous production. If he is that bad again, the A's have plenty of options to replace him (Piatt, Byrnes, McMillon, Johnson). The A's certainly understand the concept of sunk costs: Olivares, Heredia, Magnante, Venafro.
   143. Darren Posted: February 25, 2003 at 10:16 PM (#565146)
I agree that Piatt or Byrnes or someone would be a better option than Long, but I'm guessing that Long will get first crack at it.
   144. Scott Posted: February 25, 2003 at 10:45 PM (#565147)
In '87-88, Gant played about 140 games at 2B. Trying him at 2B would be consistent with Beane's approach of "who needs baseball gloves, we can hit!"
   145. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: February 26, 2003 at 09:03 PM (#565153)
Gant was a pretty good defensive OF last year, I don't know why everyone has it in their heads that he can't field. He and Chris Singleton are a perfect platoon, should the A's go that way. Gant hits lefties very well, and is pretty good defensively. Singleton hit righties adequately and is very good defensively, it's a no brainer, and it will be very productive. There are many worse OF situations than Dye, Singleton, Gant, Rontrez Johnson and T. Long. The A's will be fine offensively in the OF, and much improved defensively.
   146. Gold Star for Robothal Posted: February 26, 2003 at 09:36 PM (#565154)
"He and Chris Singleton are a perfect platoon, should the A's go that way."

you must be kidding...geez, is Beane really such a deity around here that all critical intelligence has been lost?

two below average players, one of whom (Gant) likely won't make the club, do not make a perfect platoon.
   147. Scott Posted: February 26, 2003 at 10:30 PM (#565155)
I don't think Scott has any idea what he's talking about.

What do you mean, exactly? I am absolutely correct that Gant played 142 games at 2B those years. Check it out.

If you're disagreeing with my swipe at Beane, you're free to do so, or to think it wasn't funny (I was kidding in suggesting that Beane could actually try him at 2B). But I was making a point that you either didn't get or disagree with: that SABR/stats-minded teams like the A's have tended to focus on offensive stats at the expense of defense, which is more difficult to measure. The A's outfield defense in particular has been poor. The newly stats-minded Red Sox replaced Sanchez at 2B with Walker. I actually like the Walker addition, but I think we have to be conscious of the bias we SABR/stat-types have in favor of the measurable (offense) and against the less measurable (defense).
   148. Danny Posted: February 26, 2003 at 10:35 PM (#565157)
Scott,

Look at the A's defense for this coming year.

C-Hernandez
   149. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: February 26, 2003 at 11:29 PM (#565159)
Danny, Dye was awful in the OF last year, other than that you are on the mark. Ellis, Chavez, Hernandez and Singleton are all well above average defensively, as is Gant. Ron Gant absolutely could play for any of the 30 teams, at least as a LF or RF vs. LHP. There's no reason for him not to make this team, and I don't worship at the alter of Beane, although he gets more out of his available resources than anyone in the game.

Erubiel Durazo is pretty bad defensively though, and could be a problem if they don't DH him.
   150. Danny Posted: February 27, 2003 at 12:11 AM (#565160)
Dye was horrible last year, but he was above average before that. Since his hitting rebounded in the 2nd half, I'd like to think his defense will too.

Macha and Beane have stated that the A's will carry an 11-man staff. With Halama pencilied in as the 5th starter and the opening day lineup settled, let's look at the remianing roster spots.

3 slots of the 6-man bullpen are taken by Foulke, Bradford, and Rincon. The A's have a plethora of young pitchers that could fill the last 3 slots adequately. There's Buddy Hernandez, Joe Valentine, Micah Bowie, Jeremy Fikac, Mike Neu, Jose Silva, Chad Harville, Roy Smith, Chris Mowday, and Ed Yarnall. One lefty should make it (Yarnall or Bowie). The last 2 slots are TBD in spring training.

Out of the 5 bench players, they will probably take a C, a corner infielder, a middle infielder, and two OF. Mark Johnson, Mitch Meluskey, and Frank Menechino are virtual locks, which leaves two outfield spots. There's no need for a backup CF because Long and Singleton are both on the roster. Gant would make a very good RH 1/2 of a LF platoon. Piatt and Rontrez Johnson have the most upside, but Byrnes can pinch run and McMillon could probably outhit every A's OF except Dye.
   151. PhillyBooster Posted: February 27, 2003 at 12:40 AM (#565161)
I just noticed that Bernard Gilkey signed a minor league deal with the Brewers. As someone who is not an avid Gilkey-follower, what happened? Was he injured last year? Just bad? Is playing for Milwaukee part of a criminal sentence?
   152. Greg Franklin Posted: February 27, 2003 at 06:38 AM (#565167)
davey, not only did Beane use the I-word to describe Dave Justice, he also used it in public for John Mabry.

Beane's paraphrased argument (I think): the statistics and performative numbers absolutely do matter, especially for everyday players; but when you are looking for a role player, you must consider intangibles.

Looking at Gant's projection and his clean behavior record (no known antics since his dirt bike injury), he seems like a good A's acquisition, better than I thought when my impression of him was that he was playing out the string in SD and Colorado.
   153. Danny Posted: February 27, 2003 at 07:30 PM (#565171)
BaseballProspectus rates Hatteberg as 17 runs above average defensively at 1B in just 81 games. BPro's defensive stats are not the most reliable, but 34 runs above average over a full season for a first baseman, that's far, far above average.

What makes you think he's below average? Is it simply because he was below average defensively as a catcher?
   154. Walt Davis Posted: February 27, 2003 at 07:56 PM (#565172)
Scott, the point is that Billy Beane clearly does care about defense. Ben Grieve was traded in part because of his defense. Shifting Damon to center and Long back to left was about defense. Mabry for Giambi was in part about defense. Signing Chris Singleton is all about defense. Players that came up through the system like Chavez, Tejada, and Ellis are average or better fielders. I wouldn't be surprised if part of the reason Hinske and Bellhorn were traded was about defense. And last year the A's were #3 in defensive efficiency.

The only position where they appear to be minus defensively is LF with Long, but you sure can't argue that he's out there for his bat.

The "keg softball" image of the A's is at least 3 years out-of-date, so why don't we give it a rest.
   155. Cris E Posted: February 27, 2003 at 11:49 PM (#565173)
I just noticed that Bernard Gilkey signed a minor league deal with the Brewers. As someone who is not an avid Gilkey-follower, what happened? Was he injured last year? Just bad? Is playing for Milwaukee part of a criminal sentence?

I don't think it's community service or he'd have been forced to join the big league team. As it is, his contract doesn't even call for an NRI. He's strictly minor leaguer right now.

(From http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brew/feb03/121147.asp )

Gilkey, 36, was sentenced to four months in jail last year after a series of drunken driving arrests in his hometown of St. Louis.

He did not play baseball last season and is currently working out at the Brewers' minor-league facility.

"We had planned on bringing him into camp, but then we ended up claiming Brady Clark on waivers and signing (John) Vander Wal," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said.

"Now, we don't see the same need for him. He knows how to play the game. If he ends up doing well enough, I wouldn't stand in the way of his getting a big-league job. If I can pick up a younger player in a deal or a little cash in a waiver transaction or something, I'll do that."
   156. jwb Posted: February 27, 2003 at 11:55 PM (#565174)
Tim McCarver, vuy ne govorit po-russkii! Byezumnik!
   157. Chris Dial Posted: February 28, 2003 at 06:36 AM (#565175)
Gant has been one of the surprisingly better fielding LFs for the better part of the last decade. He struggled when first moving to the OF, but has caught balls hit out there very well. For that matter, so has Greg Vaughn (which usually surprises people).
   158. ColonelTom Posted: March 07, 2003 at 04:52 PM (#565182)
Rickey has always been one of the best for drunken heckling - he has fun with it. I went to a game in SF a couple of years ago, when he was still with the Mets. One group of fans kept chanting, "Hey Rickey... he's a bum!" A few of Rickey's female fans started responding "Hey Rickey... he's got buns!" Then, finally, Rickey was near the wall before an inning started, and it got very quiet. A lone guy screamed "Hey Rickey - you suck!" Rickey turned around, stared at the guy, and said loudly - with perfect comedic timing - "Why don't you just suck my ****?" and then turned back around, laughing. The crowd loved it.

One more year for Rickey!! Tony LaRussa, are you listening?
   159. NTNgod Posted: July 26, 2003 at 12:25 AM (#552459)
   160. MM1f Posted: July 26, 2003 at 03:31 PM (#566855)
As a Braves fan, please don't bring up the Dye for Tucker trade, makes me sick. Honestly Keith Lockhart gave the Braves more than Tucker did.

I hope Jermaine gets it back again, one of my favorite players. It takes guts to have your knee drained before the game and then go all out on the field like I've seen him do.
   161. flournoy Posted: July 26, 2003 at 04:31 PM (#566856)
How could trading Jermaine Dye for Neifi Perez possibly constitute coming out on top, no matter how Dye has played? The only thing good about that trade for the Royals is that Perez is no longer on the team.
   162. Eric Posted: July 26, 2003 at 04:36 PM (#566857)
The Royals may have actually signed Dye to a $10/a year long term contract, had they kept him.

As you said, Perez is no longer on the team.
   163. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 26, 2003 at 05:00 PM (#566858)
That's with hindsight; it was still a dumb trade. But Neifi's gone and not hurting the Royals anymore on the field or in the wallet while Dye cost the A's $19.5 million for 2002 and 2003 and will get another $11 million next year plus the $1.5 million buyout.
   164. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 26, 2003 at 05:22 PM (#566859)
I guess the merit of the deal depends on the salary, but more than a million bucks a year for Hatteberg is a bad idea in my opinion.
   165. BrandonMO (U L) Posted: July 26, 2003 at 05:56 PM (#566861)
So, who came out on top in the Appier and Jeremy Giambi deals? :)
   166. Darren Posted: July 26, 2003 at 06:12 PM (#566863)
As Vlad notes, a lot depends on the $ involved. If Hatteberg acts as a captain and mentor for younger players, preaching the party line, and presenting a good example work-ethic wise, then signing him cheaply for a couple years makes some sense.
   167. McCoy Posted: July 26, 2003 at 07:38 PM (#566866)
Of course if Jermaine Dye doesn't get traded then he doesn't break his leg in the playoffs and he continues to hit well. Justifying his salary. I'm thinking a .360-.390 OBP and .540-.560 SLG is worth 10 million a year. I'm sure the Royals wouldn't mind that kind of production out of their right fielder this year.
   168. BrandonMO (U L) Posted: July 26, 2003 at 08:05 PM (#566868)
Homepage link is the Royals trade history

I think Baird took over in 2000, it's not like he's been ripped off constantly, even through 2001, alot of these deals seem good
   169. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 26, 2003 at 08:16 PM (#566869)
Then again, if the Royals keep and extend Dye, they probably don't keep and extend Sweeney...

I think Beane just signed another Long.
   170. Danny Posted: July 26, 2003 at 08:55 PM (#566870)
Long was signed after he posted a .288/.336/.452 line (in the then pitcher-friendly Colliseum) as a 24 year old, for a .270 EqA. Was it horribly stupid to expect Long to be able to pump his EqA up to the .275-.285 level and be an average LF? Only in hindsight. While I believe the Long deal was a mistake, I think that the process behind it was not nearly as bad as Long's collapse has made it seem.

While I don't particularly like the Hatteberg extension, mostly because of the price, it isn't as if he's blocking better players. The A's have Koonce and Johnson, neither of which figure to be better than Hatteberg over the next 2 years. Hatteberg also has a sizable platoon split, meaning the A's could pick up a lefty-masher for cheap and set up a decent 1B platoon.
   171. Danny Posted: July 26, 2003 at 10:14 PM (#566874)
Beane also picked up Lidle and Ellis in the Damon trade. Lidle was one of the 30 best starters in MLB in 2001 and 2002, while Ellis has been an above average starting 2B (when combining offense and defense).

And before anyone gets too excited over Berroa, keep in mind that Kaufman inflates offense 29.3% (3 year, B-Pro). For reference, Colorado is at 36.6% and Houston is at 7.3%.
   172. NTNgod Posted: July 26, 2003 at 10:47 PM (#566875)
While I don't particularly like the Hatteberg extension, mostly because of the price, it isn't as if he's blocking better players.

Considering that there probably will be players in the David Ortiz/Robert Fick mold available for $1 million again this offseason, a comparable or better player could have been picked up for much, much cheaper before the start of next season.
   173. Ken Arneson Posted: July 27, 2003 at 12:43 AM (#566876)
Aw, heck, I'll defend this signing, if no one else will. I'm of the opinion that the ability to catch throws at first base is underrated. I don't know of any stats that I could use to support or discredit that idea (there was some article comparing Olerud to Mo Vaughn a while back, but I don't remember where), so I'm just going on my observations as an A's fan here.

Hatteberg doesn't have much range, but he's a pickin' machine over at first base. (Well, except in the Metrodome last week.)

With three extreme groundballers on the staff through 2005 (Hudson, Mulder and Harden), a first baseman who can catch well is pretty valuable to the A's. The A's lead the league in defensive efficiency; it's probably the main reason why they're in the pennant race right now, and I think Hatteberg deserves some credit for that.

If Hatteberg is overpriced, he's not THAT much overpriced that it will handcuff the A's budget. I think the extra $1.5 million over a comparable offensive replacement ensures good defense behind the groundballers, and is not really such a bad investment.
   174. Noffs Posted: July 27, 2003 at 07:03 AM (#566878)
People are definitely forgetting the rest of the trades. A's also got Lidle, who was huge in 2001 and 2001 then flipped to the Jays for prospects, and Ellis is the starting 2B, barely older than the aged Berroa (who I wouldn't take over Crosby, btw), and they picked up 2 first-round draft picks when Damon left. Spiffy.

As for the Dye trade, I thought the Royals lost big, but with Dye hurt and none of the prospects panning out in Colorado, they did all right comparatively. I still see no way of justifying Dye-Neifi straight-up, unless you somehow think you're getting draft pick compensation too.

I don't understand this signing at all, although a good platoon man would give you an above average 1B for <$4M/per, which ain't bad. JBH is right though - Ortiz and Fick are comparable (meaning younger) and cheaper. Maybe there was some previous handshake deal.
   175. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 27, 2003 at 01:21 PM (#566880)
Pretty weak year for Ken Phelps candidates at 1st.

Recently, I've done some research into seeing how in-season stats have an effect on future projections so that I can use ZiPS in-season the way Don Malcolm can use YEPS. For Hatteberg, Mr. Computer coughs up this:

2003 so far: 259/346/373
   176. Ziggy Posted: July 27, 2003 at 03:50 PM (#566881)
Possible reasons for this signing:

1) Beane isn't as smart as we thought he was.

2) Beane is smarter than we think he is, and has access to some information/projections/statistics that we just don't.

3) The ownership group is really big on Hatteberg and forced Beane into it. (a la Steinbrenner)

4) The manager really likes Hatteberg's "clubhouse presence" or "veterine leadership" or something, and Beane is doing him a favor.

All idle speculation, of course. My suspicion, although I don't know much about the A's ownership group, is that this is a case of owners meddling in baseball affairs.
   177. Danny Posted: July 27, 2003 at 05:20 PM (#566884)
BP has Hatteberg at 13.5 runs below average offenively so far this year. I doubt his defense is the ~20 runs a year above average that would make him merely an average player overall.

Well, BP also rated Hatteberg as 12 runs above average defensively in 2002, in just 91 games at 1B, which, conveniently, means he would be 20 runs abov average for a whole season. Anyway, I'm sure the deal is predicated on the assumption that Hatteberg will hit better than he has so far this year.

Considering that there probably will be players in the David Ortiz/Robert Fick mold available for $1 million again this offseason, a comparable or better player could have been picked up for much, much cheaper before the start of next season.

I think picking up a $1M lefty masher as Durazo insurance/platoon partner for Hatteberg is still probable.
   178. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 28, 2003 at 02:23 AM (#566887)
Val Pascucci's played some 1B in his career, and he's at .271 as of today. Everybody talks about Sledge deserving a shot in Montreal, and he does, but Pascucci's not too far behind.

I don't know why Pascucci doesn't have more groupies on here. He's got a cool name, and he's always been a solid Three True Outcomes guy (though he appears to have learned to hit for average this season as well).
   179. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: July 28, 2003 at 02:31 PM (#566888)
2 years, $5 million, with a team option for $2.7 million in 2006, according to the Bay Area papers.

Jaw hits floor.

What a crap signing.
   180. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2003 at 06:22 PM (#566890)
Yuck. Bad pointless signing. Travis Lee is doing better.
   181. Buddha Posted: July 28, 2003 at 10:54 PM (#566893)
Boys, there's more to life (and baseball) than statistics. Hasn't John Mabry taught us anything?

"-Andy Abad (.264)
   182. NTNgod Posted: July 29, 2003 at 06:43 AM (#566898)
>>>I'm really disappointed. I thought that if anyone understood the concept of replaceable talent, it was Billy Beane.

With a few more signings like this, would the general adoration of PrimateLand (The Jungle, if you will*) eventually shift over to J.P. ?
   183. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 31, 2003 at 12:57 AM (#567035)
Far from my worst typo. I once spelled duck with one of the letters next to it and had an unfortunate result.
   184. Ziggy Posted: July 31, 2003 at 01:01 AM (#567036)
Much though I hate to see the Reds give up their hottest hitter, I agree completely with Dan's analysis. Picking up a reasonably talented starting pitcher in Harang who went 8-2, 2.71 with 60/17 K/BB in AAA this year is a great moving for the pitching starved Reds. Bruksh is a bit on the wild side, but he's still K'ing for than walking, and since he's only in A ball it's a bit to early to speculate what'll happen to him. Valentine's ERA isn't sparkling, but he's doing about 1K/IP in AAA, which has got to be better than what 3/4 of the Reds' staff could manage. And Guillen, for his part, will give the A's some much needed OF depth for their playoff run.
   185. AGF Posted: July 31, 2003 at 01:35 AM (#567039)
Guillen will obviously strengthen Oakland's outfield even if he can't keep up the pace completely. His home-away splits are pretty even so it can't just be the Great American ballpark effect that explains his sudden production. His K/BB ratio is not too Beane-like, though...

Giving up Harang and two minor leaguers seems a bit steep for an outfielder whose contract expires at the end of the year (I assume), and has no track record prior to this year. Especially considering all the praise Valentine (Minor League reliever of the year etc.) received when he came over in the Foulke-Koch trade. He was pretty much appointed as Oakland's closer from 2004 going forward. Maybe Beane saw something (a stat I presume) he didn't like, as with Pena, but he was very high on him only a few months ago.
   186. TeddyA Posted: July 31, 2003 at 01:43 AM (#567042)
Carlos, who else was available for the A's? They certainly weren't going to get Drew or Giles with this kind of package.
   187. AGF Posted: July 31, 2003 at 01:47 AM (#567044)
I dont think Beane's problem was proposing an acceptable package to Cincy or the Cards for Giles or Drew, but the fact that the A's owner did not want to take on any money.
   188. Scott Posted: July 31, 2003 at 02:04 AM (#567045)
Harang has much greater upside than Guillen

In a pennant race deal, you can't expect "better upside" if you're getting the player who's performing well this year. I give Beane credit for recognizing "ok, Guillen isn't my type of player, but I need an OF who can hit." This is much less of a "mortgage the future" deal than pennant-race deals often are.
   189. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: July 31, 2003 at 02:17 AM (#567048)
Who is being sent down for the A's? The evaluation of the trade depends on how it will affect PT.

If Guillen replaces Long, that's obviously a huge plus. However, Macha quote from http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/story?id=1587533 :

"We're looking at putting him in rightfield and move Terrence (Long) over to left, and probably have a combination in center with Eric Byrnes getting the most time there."

This seems to indicate that the guy Guillen will be replacing is Billy McMillon, who has been excellent. This is not a major improvement given what I expect from them going forward. With this in mind, I have to give a tremendous thumbs-down to the trade. Harang can be a solid major-league pitcher, though the problem is that he simply isn't going to get enough PT in Oakland to cultivate that reputation to the point where Beane can trade him. Valentine is a pseudo-prospect who might pan out someday, not a big loss there.

What's Guillen's contract? I can't find it anywhere. (Is there cash involved?)

As for players the A's should be targeting, Reggie Sanders should be at the top of the list. He's cheap, good, and (like Guillen) right-handed (and unlike Guillen, he's actually a lefty-masher -- Guillen's splits are pretty much dead even historically, he's actually significantly better against RHP this year.) I assume that Beane knows this and that other GM's know this and that Littlefield is holding the line on Sanders, though.

Guillen also strikes me as a malcontent who will not sit well with Macha's tendency to play the hot hand.
   190. Danny Posted: July 31, 2003 at 02:22 AM (#567049)
I think some people here are ignoring the facts.

1) Harang is a 25 year old with a career 4.97 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.

2) Harang could not hold down a rotation spot with the A's this year.

3) The A's have 5 starters that a clearly better than Harang, and an additional 3-4 prospects that will likely be better than Harang.

4) Guillen isn't just having a "good" season, he's having a really good season. His OPS is over 1000, he's one of the top 20 NL players according to RARP (despite limited playing time), and he's a decent RF.

5) The A's are 3 games behind Seattle and 2.5 games behind Boston. They have a glaring weakness in RF, where they have two of the worst regulars in MLB this year (Long and Dye.)

Obviously, there's no certainty that Guillen will continue to hit the way he has. He's a great bet to outhit Terrence Long for the rest of the season. And what did the A's give up? A pitcher who could potentially be above average. A minor league closer. An A ball pitcher with poor stats. The A's will likely never miss any of these guys. Even if Valentine turns into a handy reliever, it's worth the final push toward the playoffs.

This isn't to say that Natti got ripped off. They made a great return on a minor league free agent. Harang will likely be one of their better starters. Both teams got what they needed but trading excess.
   191. Danny Posted: July 31, 2003 at 02:25 AM (#567050)
Well said, AS. Sanders would be a great addition to the A's.
   192. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 31, 2003 at 03:09 AM (#567053)
While I can certainly be wrong, I object to the idea that I'm in favor of the trade because it's Beane. I've complained about a lot of Oakland moves - Hatteberg's contract extension, the Giambi trade, Chris Singleton, and so on. Heck, if I wanted to give Beane unfair credit, I'd do it for Hatteberg, who I've always liked.
   193. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 31, 2003 at 03:24 AM (#567054)
.810? I'd take the over on that.

All the same, I think the A's gave up a hell of a lot for a guy they probably aren't going to re-sign.
   194. NTNgod Posted: July 31, 2003 at 04:39 AM (#567061)
Guillen might be a Type B, since his 2002 will be factored in.
   195. The Other Kurt Posted: July 31, 2003 at 05:10 AM (#567062)
RH, where'd you see the $500,000 contract info for Guillen? I couldn't find it anywhere.

And if that's the case there is no way he takes arbitration after the season (even if his OPS is .810). Could someone give me a refresher on the compensation picks rules? Does a Type B Free Agent get you just the first round pick from the team that signs him, Type A gets 1st round and extra round, and Type C gets just extra round?

Thanks to whoever enlightens me.
   196. APNY Posted: July 31, 2003 at 05:20 AM (#567063)
Interesting. My question is would any team actually sign Guillen if they know it's going to cost them a first round pick?

He may be forced to accept arbitration.
   197. Darren Posted: July 31, 2003 at 02:36 PM (#567067)
It should be pointed out that Harang never really got a chance to make the A's rotation this year. Expecting him to dominate immediately is unreasonable.

I don't know about this talk of "outpitches" but his pitches seemed to work well in the minors. I don't think he's #5 material--more like a #3-4 with potential to be better.
   198. Danny Posted: July 31, 2003 at 02:48 PM (#567068)
Darren,

You're correct that Harang has pretty good minor league numbers, but I have no idea why you think he's a #3/4 starter right now. He has 21 starts over the past 2 years with a 4.97 ERA. I'd say he's a marginal 5th starter right now, with a chance to improve to #3/4. His K-rate is pretty good, so I don't think he'll disappear.
   199. Jason JL Posted: July 31, 2003 at 03:35 PM (#567072)
I think that the fact that there's such a wide variation in opinion on this trade indicates that it was, indeed, a well-balanced one.

I think that its a wash. The A's get something that they need (an outfielder that's better than what they have now), and Cincy gets something that they need (a pitcher who's better than what they have now). The chance that Harang will turn into something special is about the same as the chance that Guillen will repeat his performance this year in the future, roughly speaking, of course.
   200. Darren Posted: July 31, 2003 at 03:51 PM (#567073)
I didn't mean to say that Harang's a #3 right now. I meant that that was his likely fate.

Harang has had every opportunity to make the rotation but hasn't improved his performance.

I don't agree with this. Harang outpiched Halama this spring, then didn't get the #5 starter job. After about 10 games of mediocrity, Halama finally lost his job. Harang came up in May, made a nice relief appearance, made 2 lousy starts, then 3 good ones, than one terrible one. At that point he lost his job.

Is that really a fair way to judge a young pitcher? On 7 appearance, 4 of which were good? Was there a good reason to pitch Halama 10 times before giving Harang a chance?

Harang has done everything possible to prove he deserves a chance this year. He's posted 60K, 17 BB, and 5 HR in 69 AAA IP.
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