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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, January 12, 2004

Philadelphia Phillies

Signed OF Doug Glanville to a 1-year contract.

Apparently, the Phillies were worried that their outfield situation of Burrell, Byrd, and Abreu with Ledee and Michaels backing them up was way too solid and dependable.  Enter Doug Glanville to be the smartest guy and the worst player on the team and the situation’s rectified.  Jason Michaels is the likely victim of this puzzling signing, which will not help the Phils one bit.

Glanville, Doug - 2004 ZiPS Projection
436 45 107 14 2   8 44 18 59 14 .245 .279 .342

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 12, 2004 at 03:57 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Greg Franklin Posted: July 28, 2001 at 06:45 PM (#551607)
Dec 18 1997
   2. Robert Dudek Posted: July 28, 2001 at 08:25 PM (#551608)
This trade is a shock to me.

To give up on someone like Chen for a reliever ? I don't understand.
   3. . . . . . . Posted: July 28, 2001 at 09:16 PM (#551611)
this Adam Walker fellow who was also in the deal is another example of a "minor league finesse pitcher" who "dont excite scouts too much". However, anyone with 91-IP 50-H 81-K 28-BB in Double-A is doing something right. Maybe he turns out to be nothing (especially considering his recent elbow problems.....beware the elbow "sprain"), but he's certainly got a shot to surprise people. Anyone know how a guy who's only reputed to throw 86-88 mph has such a good K rate? Deceptive delivery?
   4. . . . . . . Posted: July 28, 2001 at 09:22 PM (#551612)
Interestingly, Fletcher Bates played briefly on the Reading Philles with Adam Walker this season.
   5. Eugene Freedman Posted: January 15, 2002 at 01:12 AM (#552626)
The interesting thing is that Doug Glanville is probably the smartest player in the Majors. He might make a great GM one day as long as teams consider a black GM and he is smart enough to realize why he is not a successful player.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 15, 2002 at 02:25 AM (#552627)
Dunno... if you're talking about smart marginal outfielders, don't forget that Quinton McCracken went to Duke.
   7. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: January 15, 2002 at 03:55 AM (#552628)
Yeah, but the difference is that Glanvile is actually smart. You think going to Duke makes you smart? Christian Laettner went to Duke and he's as dumb as ten rocks.

God, I'm in a ###### mood.
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 15, 2002 at 04:04 AM (#552629)
For those that don't know, Glanville has an engineering degree from Penn and was on the Academic All-America team. He even published a study on infrastructure for a new stadium for the Phillies.
   9. Greg Franklin Posted: January 15, 2002 at 10:04 AM (#552633)
A disturbing mixture of threads. Will we see "Glanville the Gray" making his red cap all pointy and smoking Philly's finest weed?
   10. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 15, 2002 at 01:20 PM (#552635)
I had pretty much the same reaction to Hugo Weaving as did half the audience at the theatre judging from all the "Mr. Andersons" I heard when he appeared on-screen.

Elrond was written as excessively self-righteous, too. Whenever the elves started bashing humans, I was really hoping Aragorn would say "Look, dumbass, I read the Silmarillon and know that you guys are a hapless bunch of idiots, too."
   11. Cris E Posted: January 15, 2002 at 02:51 PM (#552637)
I saw it last weekend with my wife, who'd never read the books. At first she asked if Gandalf was really that big, and I explained that everyone else was that short. Later she asked if those children were going to go along too and I explained they were adults but small. As we were leaving she said "I'm glad you didn't tell me what this was about or I wouldn't have gone. I never liked that fantasy stuff." She likes baseball though, so I won't complain.
   12. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: January 15, 2002 at 03:52 PM (#552638)
If Glanville is getting $4M, he IS smart!

"How come he's too stupid to learn how to control the strike zone? "

I think you could say that about most posters on this board. At least me.
   13. Bull Pain Posted: January 15, 2002 at 08:48 PM (#552640)
I'm friends with an ex-minor league radio guy who told me McCracken was the smartest player he had ever known. Said the guy had a photographic memory that was plain scary. Him and Glanville are really any different, other than McCracken's injury history. Give me a flier on Marlon Byrd any day.
   14. Alan Posted: January 16, 2002 at 03:44 AM (#552641)
Larry Bowa said the following quote before last season began. I remembered it from an edition of The Week In Quotes from BP. It's all you need to know about the team's philosophy on walks and OBP: <a href="">
   15. Voros McCracken Posted: January 17, 2002 at 03:38 AM (#552764)
For whatever it's worth, Adams DIPS numbers last year were terriffic, and he simply gave up a ton of hits per balls in play.
   16. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2002 at 02:46 PM (#552643)
Laettner's not all THAT dumb. He's smart enough to realize that he's mean enough to beat the hell out of anyone that annoys him, anyhow...

If, instead of Laettner, you'd reached into your bag of big scary men and pulled out Greg Newton, I'd have to agree with you there.
   17. Repoz Posted: January 31, 2002 at 01:54 AM (#553598)
5 Tool Magazine ran a very interesting article this month on Ricky Ledee, citing his problem with staying with one club,entitled "All The Tools But No Locker To Store Them"....quite revealing.
   18. Dan Turkenkopf Posted: January 31, 2002 at 03:48 AM (#553599)
Here's the Philly take on the Mabry signing...

I love Ed Wade's quote - "He's got some power [55 homers in 2,361 at-bats] and his versatility is an asset". (bracketed info was added by the reporter) Shows you some of what's wrong with the Phils and the fictional "small market" of Philadelphia, although as minor league signing it's not terrible. And if Mesa breaks down, Mabry can step in and close - nice career ERA of 63.00
   19. Alan Posted: January 31, 2002 at 03:59 AM (#553600)
I like his career ERA+ of 7.
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 31, 2002 at 04:54 PM (#553601)
Ledee is young and skilled enough that he's worth a cheap contract and a spring training invite as a lottery ticket. If he turns it around, the payoff is big. If he doesn't, it's not like he was all that expensive or important.

Mabry's a warm body.
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 31, 2002 at 04:54 PM (#553602)
Ledee is young and skilled enough that he's worth a cheap contract and a spring training invite as a lottery ticket. If he turns it around, the payoff is big. If he doesn't, it's not like he was all that expensive or important.

Mabry's a warm body.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 31, 2002 at 04:54 PM (#553603)
Ledee is young and skilled enough that he's worth a cheap contract and a spring training invite as a lottery ticket. If he turns it around, the payoff is big. If he doesn't, it's not like he was all that expensive or important.

Mabry's a warm body.
   23. MattB Posted: February 01, 2002 at 06:01 PM (#553615)
"And by the way, if Glanville's so smart (UPENN grad) why can't he figure out how to tak a walk?"

Glanville was in the engineering school. He won't take a walk, but he can probably build a walkway.

Only students in the liberal arts departments think they'll get paid to stand around and do nothing.
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 03, 2002 at 03:46 PM (#553616)
Yeah, yeah, kill me for trying to write in an echo chamber.
   25. Alan Posted: February 20, 2002 at 04:32 AM (#554850)
This should help the Phillies a great deal in their negotiations with Rolen, as it shows their "commitment to winning." Many people probably will think that's the best part of this deal. However, $12 million a year for Abreu until he's 32 is a steal, if you ask me. I'd be surprised if he wasn't more valuable over the next 5 years than Giambi. He's great, though very much underrated, offensively, and good defensively as far as I know. Abreu, not Rolen, is the best player on the Phillies, although the media does their best to make it not seem that way. It isn't even all that close.

I was hoping he would be a Met next year. I was thinking that at least he wouldn't be a Phillie. This really disappoints me.
   26. RJ in TO Posted: February 20, 2002 at 05:03 AM (#554851)
I would agree that Abreau is probably the most valuable guy on the Phillies in terms of raw offensive numbers (or even refined numbers). But I would be inclined to believe that Rolen is more valuable on the basis that it is a lot harder to find his kind of production at 3rd base, as compared to Abreau in the OF. Of course, the difference between the two is not exactly huge.

Anyways, Abreau (assuming that he is the right age, and I have yet to hear even the slightest claim that he's not) for $12M a year is a spectacular deal, even considering the relatively weak market this offseason.
   27. Alan Posted: February 20, 2002 at 07:32 AM (#554853)
It seems strange to me that so many people think there isn't much offensive talent at third base these days. In addition to Rolen, there's Chipper, Nevin, Glaus, Ramirez, Pujols, Chavez, Coskie, Cirillo, and Beltre, who has great potential. The only reason you could say there's a lack of talent there is because teams are moving these players away from third, even though it's the position they've become most used to playing(Chipper, Nevin, Pujols). For the next few years, I'd prefer to have Nevin, Glaus, Chipper, and Pujols over Rolen. With Abreu, the only right fielders I'd prefer to have are Sosa, Vlad, and maybe Shawn Green. If you want to include left fielders, you can throw in Bonds and Berkman. What I'm trying to say here is that there are basically the same number of third baseman who will put up comparable numbers to Rolen as there are corner outfielders that will put up comparable numbers to Abreu. I think we agree that both are fine defenders. Rolen probably is better defensively relative to his peers, but I'm inclined to believe that a good defensive corner outfielder is of more value than a good defensive shortstop.

I guess I'll say that Abreu is not as superior to Rolen as I implied in my first post, but I still think he's the best player on the Phillies in terms of plain offensive performance and in terms of positional value.
   28. RJ in TO Posted: February 20, 2002 at 05:17 PM (#554860)
Not to be a pain about this (as I really like the signing), but does anyone else question the Phillies signing Abreau to this contract when he's not in the country yet, given that a whole bunch of players from outside the US have turned out to be older than they said. I haven't heard anyone question Abreau's age but, then again, I never heard anyone question Ordonez, Colon, Ortiz or any of those guys before this season either.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 20, 2002 at 05:18 PM (#554861)
Getting longterm deals with Burrell and Rollins would certainly make it hard for Rolen to claim that the front office isn't interested in building a winner.
   30. Alan Posted: February 20, 2002 at 05:21 PM (#554863)
So, you'd rather have Abreu than Ichiro for the next 5 years? Given that they're about the same age, that would be an interesting comparison.

I'd much rather have Abreu than Ichiro. I think Abreu is clearly the better player. Like evad said, if my decision was based on the player's ability to bring money into the organization, I'd take Ichiro. But that's not what I was talking about.
   31. Alan Posted: February 20, 2002 at 05:44 PM (#554864)
At the same time I think there's a good chance Ichiro's next several years will be better than his rookie season as he learns the pitching and adjusts to American baseball and (hopefully) becomes as selective as he was in Japan

I'd have to disagree. On your first point, I think he's likely to be worse, not better, than he was last year, but that's just a hunch. My shiny new Baseball Prospectus 2002 agrees with you, predicting a .362/.417/.502 season for him, with 18 HR and a .325 EQA. I just don't think it's going to happen though.

On your second point, Ichiro never really was all that selective in Japan. He drew more walks than he did last year, but for his career, his BB/AB ratio was just barely 1/10. The difference between the two defensively is not huge, and, like you said, Abreu is the safer bet.
   32. Alan Posted: February 20, 2002 at 10:31 PM (#554874)
Kevin, I'm actually an optimistic Mets fan. This team should be good this year, and at least not suck next year(or at least, I hope they won't suck). They have no real good upper level prospects, but they do have a bunch of young, capable pitchers up in AAA and in the major league bullpen(D'Amico, Seo, Dicky Gonzalez, Roberts, Chen, Yates). They have Pat Strange who has a lot of potential. BA rated their 2001 draft as one of the top 5 in baseball, and others have called it a very strong draft. They have 2 players, Reyes and Heilman, who are on the brink of top prospect status. And they have A LOT of talent and impressive performances down in A ball(Wright, Huber, Cruz, Caligiuri, Musser, Keppel, Maness, DiNardo, Garcia). In a couple years, this quite possibly could have one of the better farm systems in baseball. That is, if the front office doesn't manage to screw it up by trading away Heilman or Reyes, or does nothing to teach the hitters how to hit.
   33. Alan Posted: February 21, 2002 at 12:55 AM (#554877)

I was not implying that third basemen as a whole are as good offensively as the right fielders in baseball. I don't think that's true. My point was that I don't think it's any harder to find third baseman of equal value to Rolen than it is to find corner outfielders of equal value to Abreu. Given that I said several times that I think Abreu is a clearly better player than Rolen, I don't know why you thought I was saying that the third basemen in baseball are as good offensively as the right fielders. If you're going to quote me, at least get the exact quote. I was half asleep when I made that post, so disregard my quote about defensive shortstops and corner outfielders. There is no way right field is a more important position than shortstop. I meant to say that I think right field is a more important defensive position than third base, but that too is very much arguable.


Unfortunately, I have to admit that you're probably right. That's why I put in that little line at the bottom about the front office trading away Reyes Heilman.
   34. Paul Posted: February 24, 2002 at 12:36 AM (#554884)
Funny, last summer the Mets got rid of Wendell and Cook, which everyone here says was a bad move for the Phils. Maybe the Phils will be as helpful to the Mets this summer.
   35. jwb Posted: February 27, 2002 at 03:44 AM (#554885)
I wonder at what point in time it was that Bobby Abreu and Kevin Stocker were no longer seen as being players of equal future value.
   36. Matthew Rich Posted: May 22, 2002 at 08:02 PM (#556679)
This is probably the strangest trade I have ever seen. Does anybody have any idea what in tarnation Billy Beane is trying to accomplish here?

And speaking as an Indians fan, I have to ask why Mark Shapiro wasn't in on this. Maybe we could've gotten Jeremy G for Brady Anderson a couple days ago!
   37. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: May 22, 2002 at 08:07 PM (#556680)
Sure wish the Braves could have gotten Giambi. This move makes no sense, unless Jeremy is truly a horrible person who wrecks office morale. Oh well!!! Its nice to see the A's screw up every once in a long while.
   38. Greg Pope Posted: May 22, 2002 at 08:27 PM (#556690)
I vote for the broom closet theory. Sending Pena down and trading Giambi for nothing within a day is incomprehensible.
   39. Brian Posted: May 22, 2002 at 08:28 PM (#556691)
OMYGOD!!! I feel like I've seen a train wreck. This is awful. It can't be a talent issue, Giambi must be auditioning for the priesthood or something.
   40. All you Need is Glove Posted: May 22, 2002 at 08:38 PM (#556696)
Hey, penchant for overated middle relievers aside...Wade has done a credible job accumulating talent...playing the young (before this year) pulling a KC on the A's...I like the team and this moves the Phils one step closer to bringing Lee behind the vet and executing him... if only Byrd could get called up so that Glanville could be equally expendable.

Is it time to give Wade some credit? For yo non-Phillie phans this team was absolutely unwatchable 3-4 years ago.

By the way did Beane really get a Vetran Clubhouse Presence (TM) for young talent.
   41. Robert Dudek Posted: May 22, 2002 at 09:07 PM (#556700)
A sad day. Think about it - Neyer will have to come up with another name for his "Beane Count" or suffer in shame a la Enron.
   42. MattB Posted: May 22, 2002 at 09:14 PM (#556702)
Cheer up, Jeremy. Coulda been worse. Coulda been Dave "Spiderbite" Hollins.
   43. Colin Posted: May 22, 2002 at 09:28 PM (#556705)
Except that Jeremy isn't good enough for anyone outside of Oakland to care. So this wouldn't even accomplish THAT goal

Jeremy would have been a several orders of magnitude improvement at 1B for Atlanta. Hell, a package fo Keith Lockhart and Wes Helms would be better than Mabry, and that is saying something about how truly bad this deal is.
   44. bob mong Posted: May 22, 2002 at 09:30 PM (#556707)
Except that Jeremy isn't good enough for anyone outside of Oakland to care. So this wouldn't even accomplish THAT goal.

Giambi: Age=27, Career: .272/.369/.416
   45. Big Ed Posted: May 22, 2002 at 09:36 PM (#556708)
Ok. Everyone take a deep breath. Maybe two.

Now then. I have never been one to canonize Billy Beane, and have referred to him sarcastically as St. Billy more than once, but jeez, isn't this reaction a bit extreme? No doubt it's a bad trade, but everyone makes mistakes. I think he is 1) trying to shake up the A's, prod them a little, and maybe (since I don't have details) 2) trim salary. But a little perspective please. This is Jeremy Giambi, not Babe Ruth.
   46. ColonelTom Posted: May 22, 2002 at 09:38 PM (#556709)
NL East, not NL Central. :)

As a Phillies fan, I'm obviously ecstatic. But I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop - the league ought to be investigating this deal. It's absolutely one of the most lopsided trades I've ever seen.

Is Billy Beane actually trying to get fired?
   47. Voros McCracken Posted: May 22, 2002 at 09:41 PM (#556711)
Big Ed,

He's trimming $500,000, it's notl ike he's trimming a couple of million and he got a player that is now essentially about the 177th best player in the A's Organization for him.

It's John Mabry for crying out loud. It's like trading him for F.P. Santangelo or Fernando Lunar, except Santangelo and Lunar possess a few marginally useful skills.
   48. Colin Posted: May 22, 2002 at 09:53 PM (#556713)
I think this makes the Phils a very strong contender in the N Least. Their offensive core beats the pants off that in Atlanta, and as I just posted elsewhere, even Mike Lieberthal's weak 660 or so OPS beats the OPS the Braves are getting from four of their positions.
   49. Dylan Posted: May 22, 2002 at 10:43 PM (#556717)
DW said "Does anyone else think that the "sabermetric revolution" is swinging towards paying more attention to defense - what with Voros' DIPS work, etc... Wonder if the A's are reconsidering the lack of glovework in their outfield... "

If they were, why trade Giambi for a poor defensive player. Why not Doug Glanville? Why demote Pena, and play Hatterburg in his place? I heard this deal, and I just couldn't believe it. This is one of the worst deals I have seen.
   50. Mike Posted: May 22, 2002 at 11:13 PM (#556720)
I think it's pretty obvious that this was a non-baseball decision. The only real issue is whether Beane could have gotten more for him once it was decided that Giambi had to go. Whether the public ever learns the details or not is another question. I don't think you can jump all over Beane until you know what else was going on. Beane also had to disclose (I think) whatever happened to the other team. If there is not a rule requiring such disclosure, then I think simple decorum and the hope of ever getting your phone calls returned it again requires it. It may be that once other teams learned of it, the only deal he could find was for nothing. This also gets Jeremy out of the American League, for what it's worth.
   51. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: May 22, 2002 at 11:43 PM (#556724)
Maybe Beane's auditioning for the Red Sox job: "Hey, I can screw things up, too!"
   52. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 23, 2002 at 02:58 AM (#556731)
   53. Ken Arneson Posted: May 23, 2002 at 06:16 AM (#556740)
I'm grasping at straws to figure out this deal. But I'll try anyway:

In 1999, the A's were in the wild card hunt in July, when they traded their best pitcher (Rogers) for two minor leaguers (TLong, Leo Vazquez). It seemed like a white-flag trade. But one week later, he landed Olivares and Velarde in another trade, essentially replacing Rogers for the present, and improving for the future.

If it's not a "Jeremy did something bad" trade, then maybe he's clearing salary for something else. Another trade? Maybe drafting a Boras client with one of the 7 draft picks? I'm gonna reserve judgment until after Lidle and Justice return from the DL and the draft is over. I just find it hard to believe that Beane suddenly went insane.
   54. Jason Robar Posted: May 23, 2002 at 02:39 PM (#556742)
"You still have to ask -- Did he get as much as he could have for a commodity based on prevailing market conditions?"

Boston was only able to get Darren Oliver for Carl Everett.

Just saying...

   55. Alan Shank Posted: May 23, 2002 at 04:13 PM (#556745)
Among other questionable recent A's signings are, IMO:

   56. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 23, 2002 at 04:21 PM (#556746)
Will H
   57. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: May 23, 2002 at 05:31 PM (#556748)
Looks like Giambi likes to party a little too much, Frankie complains a little too much about Jason being gone and Billy banished Jeremy to the land of plastic grass.
   58. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: May 23, 2002 at 07:39 PM (#556750)
-Maybe Beane is the one with the drug problem.

-John Sherhoultz must have been asleep at the wheel on this one. He could offer a box of baseballs for Giambi and been in contention. I can't fathom how Beane didn't get more for Mabry.

-I think this signals another Philly move is in the works. I wonder if Burrell could move back to third (his college position). We could see Rolen packaged with Glanville or Lee to get pitching or a big bat. Byrd could come up and play center, leaving LF, 3b, and 1b to be manned by some combination of the left overs.

Just some thoughts...
   59. Klobedanz Posted: May 23, 2002 at 07:41 PM (#556751)
Who's leading off for the A's now? Can they get Matt Stairs back to be the catalyst at the front of the lineup?
   60. RJ in TO Posted: May 24, 2002 at 01:22 AM (#556754)

I don't think anyone here has said that speed is undesirable in a leadoff hitter. What people have said is that it's secondary to the ability to get on base.

And the issue is not that the A's should never have traded Giambi. It's that they should not have traded Giambi for so little, especially since they undoubtedly have better players than Mabry just wandering around in their minor league system - who also make less than Mabry. And that doesn't include all those players wandering around the independent leagues. Besides, even if Giambi is a free agent after 2003, he is presently signed to a quite reasonable contract, and is a lot better lefty-off-the-bench than Mabry is ever likely to be.

Now, I understand that the market for potential DH's is not very strong (Just look at Fullmer for Cooper), but I don't see how this trade is anything but bad, as it doesn't seem to adress a need (either through dumping salary, or improving the club on-field).
   61. Alan Shank Posted: May 24, 2002 at 01:29 AM (#556755)
"THe A's are losing. Jeremy Giambi is an unrestricted free-agent next year, and has been grousing about the A's not resigning his brother. He is their leftfielder (terrible) and their leadoff hitter(trying hard, but anybody who thinks speed is undesirable in a leadoff hitter, has been spending too much time bench-pressing their Baseball Prospectus)."

I don't think anybody with the A's thinks that speed is "undesirable" in a leadoff hitter. They just think (and I agree) that getting on base is the #1 consideration. You can't use speed if you're in the dugout; ask Tony Womack. TLong was tried at leadoff but didn't get on base enough. Johnny Damon had speed, but his OBP was very weak for a leadoff hitter (last year). Jeremy was not an ideal leadoff hitter, but I think he was a better choice than a speedy guy with a .330 OBP. The A's think German will be their leadoff guy, and then Jeremy could have moved down in the order. I'm not at all sure about German's future, as he's a year older than we thought. In any case, prospects don't always pan out - see A. J. Hinch and now probably Ramon Hernandez, too.

"They have Adam Piatt ready in AAA."
   62. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 24, 2002 at 07:45 AM (#556759)

THe A's are losing.

Not because of Jeremy Giambi, so what does that have to do with anything?

.Jeremy Giambi is an unrestricted free-agent next year,

Unless I've counted wrong, he doesn't become a free agent until after the 2004 season.

He is their leftfielder (terrible) and their leadoff hitter(trying hard, but anybody who thinks speed is undesirable in a leadoff hitter, has been spending too much time bench-pressing their Baseball Prospectus).

Nobody thinks speed is "undesirable" in a leadoff hitter. It's desirable in anybody. It's just least valuable in a leadoff hitter, and completely unimportant compared to getting on base. He's not "trying hard." He's succeeding.

They have Adam Piatt ready in AAA. They have Esteban German, an outstanding prospect to be the A's leadoff hitter of the future, and quite conveniently a second baseman to replace the stinky Frank Menechino. So where's Giambi going to play if they want to look at Piatt and German.

German is a second baseman. He has absolutely nothing to do with where or whether Giambi plays.

DH? That's going to be David Justice's job. 1B? Well, as the Phillies are about to find out, Giambi is a terrible first baseman. And I predict that Carlos Pena will get it going and they'll bring him right back up. The only hole in this lineup is they might need a left-handed bat off the bench. And, despite everything you hear, John Mabry is a perfectly adequate left-handed bat off the bench.

Yes, Mabry has all the skills required for that job, except the hitting. There's nothing Mabry does well.

Look at the A's lineup right now. I really think even subtracting Giambi, this lineup looks about as good as it did before

Based on what? The As do not have a LF or DH or 1B right now. Justice fills one of the slots. Assuming Pena comes back, that fills a second slot. That still leaves an open slot. And if they did magically find someone else, Giambi is still better off the bench than anybody else.

and like a much better lineup for 2003, which is what the A's should be thinking about now.

Why? Did the owners cancel the season already? And what does that have to do with this trade, anyway? How does replacing Giambi with Mabry reflect "thinking about 2003?"
   63. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 24, 2002 at 02:21 PM (#556761)
Ike, like many people who try to denigrate Giambi, you're missing the point. It doesn't matter whether he was a "particularly great player" -- though at this point, he's one of their best. The point is that he's directly comparable to Mabry, but clearly better.

If you're trying to prove that this wasn't as bad as Abreu for Stocker, fine. That's true. But it was still an awful trade, because there's no possible (baseball) justification for it.
   64. Law Boy Posted: May 29, 2002 at 02:40 PM (#556767)
just been reading my old abstracts, and this has Keith Hernandez in the 80s written all over it.
   65. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 09, 2002 at 03:23 AM (#556768)
Oracle. You were wrong about this one.
   66. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 09, 2002 at 03:23 AM (#556769)
Oracle. You were wrong about this one.
   67. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 09, 2002 at 03:27 AM (#556770)
Oracle. You were wrong about this one. Mabry has been huge this last month. Piatt and Dye are sitting because of John's great play. At the games, he is a huge fan favorite and we all wonder why Howe does not play him every day. Long live bean.
   68. Greg Franklin Posted: July 09, 2002 at 07:30 AM (#556771)
The Aaron-sized Mister G / Mister M thread is zapped, but here's performance for each player from the time of trade. Stats from USA Today.


   69. Srul Itza Posted: July 20, 2002 at 07:43 PM (#556772)
[Stolen from elsewhere:]

Since they were traded for each other:

John Mabry: .371/.382/.639 in about 100 PA
   70. Larry Bowa Posted: July 24, 2002 at 07:06 PM (#557924)
I hear he eats nails and craps bullets!
   71. SM in DC Posted: July 24, 2002 at 08:49 PM (#557927)
In more phenom news -- Orlando Hudson up, Joey (Whoa!) Lawrence down.
   72. Greg Franklin Posted: July 24, 2002 at 10:00 PM (#557928)
Larry, you forgot about the belching.
   73. Larry Bowa Posted: July 24, 2002 at 11:33 PM (#557929)
   74. Bill Posted: July 24, 2002 at 11:42 PM (#557930)
Myers only needed 90 pitches to go eight innings, and he looked very good for the ABs I was able to watch on WGN (of course, this is the Cubs we're talking about, so it's even money they were just looking that bad). I had to turn the channel during the Chip Caray/Joe Carter/Peter Frampton love fest, which they kept up for the better part of two different half-innings rather than showing the game.

On a tangent, are there any managers more religious about the 9th inning save opportunity going to the closer no matter what than Bowa? As a Phillies fan, it's especially hard to watch as Mesa continues reverting to the mean (and hard, too).
   75. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 22, 2002 at 12:41 AM (#558511)
Blecch. You'd think the Phillies would know better, since they get to watch Javy Lopez stumble through town every couple of weeks, being in the same division as the Braves and all.

Is it just me, or are there an unusual number of franchise-killing catcher contracts out there right now?

Even without including Jason Kendall (who has performeda little bit better every month since his spring operation) there are Hundley, Lopez, and Charles Johnson. Pudge Rodriguez might turn into another millstone this offseason, if teams aren't careful. Historical confluence, or trend?
   76. Michael Posted: August 22, 2002 at 10:13 AM (#558515)
I think any time someone does any of the following warning bells should go of, and the GM in question should be sure to run the contract by some assistants as a sanity check, as often times it represents something going wrong. If all of them go off then you are in big trouble:

1. You offer a contract with a yearly salary over $4 million. There are a number of players who are worth more than $4 million a year; however IMO, there are more than twice as many who are paid more than $4 million a year. You do the math.
   77. Walt Davis Posted: August 22, 2002 at 08:22 PM (#558517)
2. You offer a multi-year deal to a catcher.

Given 3B, for whatever reason, don't seem to last too long, I'd add them to this list. Less risky than C's surely, but sill questionable.

Not that I have the answers, but evaluating injury risk in multi-year contracts strikes me as the area where teams can improve greatly. Seems that almost every contract is written under the assumption that a player won't get hurt or decline over the life of the contract.
   78. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 23, 2002 at 01:37 AM (#558520)
I'd be willing to pay a fair bit more to not employ DiFelice, as he seems like a complete jackass. This incident got a lot of coverage in town, since it's local news and all...
   79. MattB Posted: October 09, 2002 at 06:08 PM (#558966)
This assessment seems overly harsh for a player who actual had a .258 EQA in 2002 (just a tad below average) and was 6.6 runs above a replacement player.

Above the six runs, however, Perez has been consistently near-average as a utility player for two years. The advantage of the known commodity goes above the expected gain against an unknown like best-minor-league-option Nick Punto. Punto -- or another minor league free agent -- may be about at replacement level, but the wide range of the unknowns for any individual player (he could be a little above, or he could be below) makes Perez worth a premium.

The assumption seems to be that replacement level players are easy to find, but the problem is finding consistency. It may take a month or two to find out that whomever was picked up off the slag heap is actually below replacement level and then you got to go find someone else in late May.

At a time when the median salary is about $2million, don't underestimate the value of the slightly-below-average major leaguer.
   80. MattB Posted: October 09, 2002 at 07:14 PM (#558968)
Of course, you will never have a horribly large sample size when comparing utility infielders. They just don't get full seasons to compare. But a 711 OPS in 2002 and a 784 OPS in 2001 in over 350 combined plate appearance seem to be the closest we can get to a "projected level of performance." In fact, even if we projected just by taking the average of his last three years (unweighted for more recent performance), I'd take Perez's 693 OPS over a potential replacement play.

Punto's 705 OPS and Doster's 775 OPS(both at Scranton) MAY work out to be comparable to Perez, but these two hardly make the Ken Phelps All Stars (let alone the Josh Phelps All Stars). Punto necessarily projects as a worse option (lower numbers at a lower level), and David Doster project to be comparable, but how much stock do you want to put in the 6th Best Yokahama Bay Bear who, at 32, is on the downslope of his career?

Worst case scenario: You don't re-sign Perez, Rollins gets injured in April, Doster doesn't pan out, and suddenly you're stuck with the starting shortstop for the Camden Riversharks or Newark Bears batting a robust .198 for the Phillies down the stretch.
   81. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: October 09, 2002 at 09:19 PM (#558970)
All this talk of not bringing back Perez assumes that Wade couldn't have made the same deal for, say, half a million dollars less.

Is there that much demand out there for Tomas Perez? There's nothing wrong with Perez per se, he has talents. I think this is a reasonably good deal at 2 years, $400,000 per, because Perez is for better or worse an asset.

Even if you want him back, more than double the minimum does seem like a lot.
   82. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 10, 2002 at 03:31 AM (#558971)
Getting Perez in the first place only cost the Phillies Wayne Gomes. If that's not an indication of his expendability, I don't know what is.
   83. MattB Posted: October 10, 2002 at 02:00 PM (#558973)
I think there are issues of scale here. Homer Bush is making over $3 million this year. Tomas Perez will be making less than a quarter of that amount. Mendy Lopez of the .714 OPS in the PCL, I agree, falls into the same category of Punto and Doster (although I have never actually seen him play, so cannot comment on whether he measures up to the three Phillies system guys in terms of being acceptable on defense.)

I agree that there are any number of available replacement level players to fill the hole at league minimum. What you have not convinced me of, however, is that Tomas Perez is a replacement level player as well. You have merely argued, in perfect Socratic fashion, that I have presented no compelling evidence that Perez is not a replacement level player because his numbers over the past two years are too small of a sample size.

There must be a probability, however, that Tomas Perez's 2002 OPS (711) and EqA (258) represents at least his actual ability. (Say, for lack of reason to say otherwise, 50%). The percentage should be somewhat higher (say, 75%) that Perez will perform above a lower threshhold (say, replacement level).

Then, looking at you best readily available replacement players (Punto and Doster, say) take Punto's 705 OPS (247 MjEqA) and Doster's 775 OPS (246 MjEqA) discounted for increased age. What are the chances that either of them will have a EqA for the Phillies of at least 258? Probably lower, since they performed at a lower level this year, and in sufficient plate appearances to be significant.

So, if we assume that Perez has a 50% chance of matching his 2002 performance, and Punto and Doster (or whomever else, Mendy Lopez had a .222 MjEqA) has a 50% chance of being replacement level players and a much lower chance (say, 25%) of matching Tomas Perez's 2002 numbers, I don't see a problem in saying, before the fact, that Perez is, today, twice as valuable to the Phillies as Punto or Doster (and at least equal to the combined salaries of Punto and Doster).

The issue with minimum salaries is that it does not just effect the salaries of those at the bottom, but the salaries above them too. (That's why companies that don't pay anyone less than $10 an hour still oppose raising the minimum wage from $5 to $6.) If the minimum is $100K, Perez certainly would not be worth six times that much, but by tripling the minimum, the cost of errors in judgment increase. If you have 6 potential replacement players, chances are one of them will catch fire and have a Tomas-riffic year. If you can only afford two with your $600K, odds are in your favor that the devil you know will outperform the devils who haven't performed yet.
   84. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: October 11, 2002 at 04:39 PM (#558977)
John, someone just poked their head in my office and asked why I was laughing so hard.

   85. ColonelTom Posted: October 11, 2002 at 10:16 PM (#558979)
Much as I've been known to bash Ed Wade, this doesn't strike me as that bad a signing. Perez has done a fairly good job off the bench for the Phils the last few years, he's a switch-hitter who can actually hit a little, and he can play shortstop reasonably well. That puts him one up on many utility infielders -- usually it's an either/or, you can either hit or play a decent shortstop. The Phils are planning to contend over the next two years, and Perez provides solid insurance in case of injuries. Not a bad move IMHO.
   86. Walt Davis Posted: October 13, 2002 at 06:17 PM (#558980)
Well, there are two issues:

1) money. $650 K for Perez is probably too much, but it's not that big a deal

2) guaranteed years. While you can argue that Perez is a better than average backup infielder, and therefore worth twice the minimum, I can imagine no logical reason to sign him for 2 years. Given that no one is exactly clamoring for Perez now, why expect anyone to be hot on him next year? At worst, you sign a guy like this for 1 year plus an option.

2a) A scary thought and the only reason I can think to sign Perez for two years -- the Phils don't intend to do anything about their 3B hole, and expect Perez to see significant time in a 3-man, 2 position platoon with Polanco and Anderson.
   87. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 15, 2002 at 04:10 PM (#558982)
Hmmph. Another mistake, recorded for posterity.
   88. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: October 21, 2002 at 06:19 PM (#552648)
Joel, I guess you didn't go to Penn then :)

And I agree about Duke. After all, they turned me down twice, so their standards obviously aren't right.

I didn't mind Hugo Weaving that much, but then again I only saw The Matrix once.
   89. MattB Posted: October 23, 2002 at 03:46 PM (#558983)
Speaking of inadequate replacements for Tomas Perez, has anyone checked out David Doster's numbers in Mexico?

He's leading the Hermosillo Orange Growers with a .412 batting average (14 for 34) with five doubles and 3 homers (more XBH than singles). Of course, with only one walk, it's a pretty empty .412.

His OPS is 1.229, which is probably a record for a person whose OBP has dropped below his batting average.
   90. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 24, 2002 at 08:55 AM (#552650)
Actually, Penn's not really like Cornell; Penn caters to the athletes who aren't smart enough to get into a real Ivy League school.
   91. MattB Posted: October 24, 2002 at 04:19 PM (#552651)

Not that we want to put too much stock in U.S. News and World Report, but Penn was ranked as the fourth best University in the country this year (tied with Duke, MIT, CalTech, and Stanford). It ranked behind 3 Ivy League Schools (Harvard, Yale, Princeton) and ahead of four others (Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth). It is a pretty exclusive club if only about 3 out of 8 get to be "real" Ivy League schools.

Or is it not a real Ivy because it has a state in its name, which makes it sound kind of like a public school?

Also, no Ivy League schools give athletic scholarships.
   92. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 25, 2002 at 03:54 AM (#552652)
It's not a real Ivy because they cheat to occasionally beat us at basketball. And they only _say_ they don't give out athletic scholarships.
   93. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: October 30, 2002 at 08:33 PM (#558987)
The ultimate off-topic post.
   94. MattB Posted: October 31, 2002 at 02:55 PM (#558988)
I assume that means that god doesn't think Doster would make an adequate replacement for Perez either.

BTW, speaking of long and rambling, anyone want to read my undergraduate Honors Thesis? It's a little mildewy, but the biting critique of post-modern analyses of Edgar Allen Poe rings almost as true today as when it was written almost a decade ago.
   95. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 24, 2002 at 10:30 PM (#559687)
I'm completely relieved that Bell didn't end up with the Cubs, but I have to say this is probably not a bad signing for the Phillies. Not a very good one, but not bad. They were second in the league in EqA last year, and Bell is a significant downgrade from Rolen, but otherwise the Phillies should continue to be a strong offensive club, and that's assuming they stick with what they've got and lose in the Thome sweepstakes. They can probably afford to be defensively strong and offensive mediocre at 3B.
   96. NTNgod Posted: November 24, 2002 at 10:43 PM (#559688)
Why do this when Jarrod Patterson is out there for the taking
   97. Bill Posted: November 24, 2002 at 10:48 PM (#559689)
As a Phillies fan, they at least got him for less than I thought they would, and at $4.25/yr average it's not like they're going to break their budget doing this instead of one of their other options at 3B. I'm guessing the good PR from this signing and maybe one or two other good ones will probably make up the money pretty quickly.

The real question is whether they use this as an opportunity to jettison Marlon Anderson. If they move Polanco to 2B, they get an upgrade in offense at 3B (.273 EqA for Bell vs. Polanco's .258 EqA), an upgrade in offense at 2B (Anderson was .250 EqA, and the gap between Polanco and Anderson is probably bigger than that since Polanco is younger), and they probably improve their defense at 2B a bit without hurting their defense at 3B by much. Given what I've read about the lack of progress of Chase Utley, this seems like a good two to four year bridge to their next shot at IF upgrades.

This wouldn't be the worst lineup in the NL, especially if one of Bell/Rollins/Polanco can put up a .340-.360 OBP in the two hole.

   98. Mikαεl Posted: November 24, 2002 at 11:01 PM (#559690)
This wouldn't be the worst lineup in the NL, especially if one of Bell/Rollins/Polanco can put up a .340-.360 OBP in the two hole.

Not the worst, in-freakin-deed. If Rollins or Polanco posts a .350 OBP, this is the best lineup in the NL. I list 2001 and 2002 EqA and age in 2003:

Byrd: 274, 268, 26
   99. Bill Posted: November 24, 2002 at 11:17 PM (#559691)
Of course, what they really need is the loom the Braves are using to spin relievers out of straw (rather than throw money at the straw).
   100. Michael Posted: November 25, 2002 at 12:29 AM (#559692)
The Phillies are good enough offensively that signing Bell won't exactly hurt them, true. But you don't build a winner by giving a guy who "won't hurt you" a long term deal for $17 million. Bell is at the top of his game now, and will only get worse. By the time his deal is done, he could be a 3B version of Doug Glanville.

It just doesn't make sense.
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