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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pirates - Acquired Casey

Pittsburgh Pirates - Acquired 1B Sean Casey from the Cincinnati Reds for P Dave Williams.

It’s nice to see the Pirates actually acquired a player whose strength is getting on-base and Dave Williams was the most expendable starter that could fetch something with the exception of Mark Redman.  Casey’s not a star, but the 1-year, $6.5 million he’s given by the Pirates isn’t really bad.  It could be bad, though, if the team gets frustrated with Craig Wilson’s defense in right and benches him.  Brad Eldred could use a full season at AAA - the blind squirrel swing isn’t going to cut it in the majors.

This trade is awful for the Reds.  Williams practically guarantees that they’ll again have a rotation with all 5 pitchers that both allow more balls into play than average and allow more flyballs than average in an outfield with a tremendously awful centerfielder and pretty bad leftfielder, assuming that’s where Wily Mo ends up.  Kearns will give the Reds a regular outfielder who can actually play a bit of defense, but the sight of an outfielder actually catching flies might confound Pena and Griffey, actually making them worse.  It’s really too bad the Reds don’t have many prospects that other teams would want - they would have gained a lot be grabbing Cameron before the Padres or getting Juan Pierre.

I’m starting to think this is the year the Reds finish last in the Central.  Even the Pirates are actually improving, if seemingly by accident.

2006 ZiPS Projection - Dave Williams
———————————————————————-
W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
———————————————————————-
6 11 26 25 131 138   80 21 61 96 5.50

 

2006 ZiPS Projection - Sean Casey
————————————————————————————-
AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
————————————————————————————-
540 69 169 34 1 11 64 48 46   2 .313 .373 .441

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 07, 2005 at 12:42 PM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. cougarfreak Posted: December 07, 2005 at 01:39 PM (#1765261)
this trade will only benefit the Reds if they take the $7 million they save on the deal and invest it in a front line starter.
   2. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 07, 2005 at 01:44 PM (#1765264)
$5 million. The Reds are sending $2 million of Casey's salary and have to pay Williams $1.4 million.
   3. cougarfreak Posted: December 07, 2005 at 01:54 PM (#1765266)
Well........that makes even less sense.
   4. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 07, 2005 at 02:25 PM (#1765285)
Won't this also benefit the Reds in that either Griffey or Kearns can play 1B now? They've obviously been unable to decide how to break up their outfield logjam for a few years now. All things considered, freeing up another 1B was probably the smartest way to accomplish that.
   5. Artie Ziff Posted: December 07, 2005 at 02:25 PM (#1765287)
Looks even with the money tossed in there. It will be interesting to see how effectively Williams throws at home.
   6. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: December 07, 2005 at 02:28 PM (#1765290)
Well, I've always been a fan of a Cubs/Reds challenge trade of Patterson for Kearns (sliding Griffey to a corner). I know it's not likely, and the Cubs would have to include a pitcher (probably one of the guys heading to Fla as we speak).

But I think moving Casey is for the Reds only the sense that it gets their 4OF fulltime jobs. But the actual trade is a little poor.
   7. cougarfreak Posted: December 07, 2005 at 02:32 PM (#1765296)
Yes, Kearns, Dunn, Griffey, and Pena can now play everyday, but the downside of the deal was getting rid of our really only consistent contact, non 150 strikeout guy.
   8. Vida Blew Over the Legal Limit Posted: December 07, 2005 at 02:48 PM (#1765321)
I would have dumped Casey for a bag of balls, and that's just about what the Reds did. I'm fine with it...but it ought to be interesting to watch the balls fly out of GABP with a 2-3 punch like Uncle Milty and Williams.
   9. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 07, 2005 at 02:50 PM (#1765323)
The Reds are sending $2 million of Casey's salary and have to pay Williams $1.4 million.


mlb4u.com lists Casey as making $7.8 million this year, and also says that last October the Reds guaranteed Casey's $8.5 million option for '06.

-- MWE
   10. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 07, 2005 at 03:07 PM (#1765334)
I would have dumped Casey for a bag of balls, and that's just about what the Reds did.

I thought the groupthink was always that the Reds first priority had to be to dump Casey (even if he's the most popular with the ownership) because the alternative of dumping Dunn, Kearns, or Pena made far less sense.

Now that he's gone, I don't see how the deal is suddenly so lousy for the Reds, just because they didn't get a top-flight pitcher in return. I don't think Williams is all that great, but I like him more than Szym does and while I don't *love* this deal from the Reds standpoint, I don't think it's godawful either.
   11. Rick Vaughn Posted: December 07, 2005 at 03:24 PM (#1765360)
As far as I can tell Dunn with be covering first base duties.
   12. sunnyday2 Posted: December 07, 2005 at 03:25 PM (#1765363)
Don't see how this moves the Reds forward at all. Blame your producers for not being Albert Pujols.
   13. Vida Blew Over the Legal Limit Posted: December 07, 2005 at 03:44 PM (#1765400)
I thought the groupthink was always that the Reds first priority had to be to dump Casey (even if he's the most popular with the ownership) because the alternative of dumping Dunn, Kearns, or Pena made far less sense.

Exactly, I'm not displeased. It's just that Williams isn't a world beater...I'm just being a fanboy on this one.

I will not miss that fat, grinning, slaphitting, double play machine that runs like he's heading into a hurricane headwind...If the Reds take any $$$ from this and lock up Dunn, that's the real goal. Williams might be disposable, and that's fine, as long as he's not Jimmy Anderson/Haynes...then I'm not displeased.
   14. Damon Rutherford Posted: December 07, 2005 at 03:50 PM (#1765412)
They still need to find someone else to play CF. I do not want to see Griffey there on opening day, damn it.
   15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 07, 2005 at 03:57 PM (#1765423)
Man, what a lousy deal for the Pirates. This trade was made to chase Craig Wilson out of town, mark my words.

The only thing better than a slap-hitting 30-year-old 1B making $8M+ a year is one with early collapsers Alvin Davis, Mike Greenwell, Bill White, and George Kelly on his comp list (as well as Shannon Stewart, who tanked last year).

All the yinzers will cheer it, and it'll buy McClatchy more time to squeeze every last bloody nickel out of the team.
   16. GabeMartinez Posted: December 07, 2005 at 04:26 PM (#1765487)
You're going to look awfully silly when Craig Wilson gets traded and hits .260 with a .320 OBP in an everyday role.

But hey, as long as he hits 30 homeruns......

He's swag. Giant swag.
   17. GabeMartinez Posted: December 07, 2005 at 04:32 PM (#1765506)
Swag with a capital "S."
   18. Spahn Insane Posted: December 07, 2005 at 04:42 PM (#1765528)
All the yinzers will cheer it

Tha parrots gawt tha mayor'n'at!
   19. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 07, 2005 at 04:48 PM (#1765545)
You're going to look awfully silly when Craig Wilson gets traded and hits .260 with a .320 OBP in an everyday role.


So, the 7 games he didn't play in 2004 kept him from being technically everyday?

Or is this the random "his platoon split was pronounced in 2003 even though it's been normal every other time" argument again?
   20. 44magnum Posted: December 07, 2005 at 05:04 PM (#1765599)
I'm hoping they don't sign Larue & then they'd have close to $7M to acquire pitching. Instead of paying part of Casey's contract, it would have been nice to get Craig Wilson in the deal.

How concerned is everyone about the now exclusively strike out prone lineup that Cougar mentioned?
   21. Gainsay Posted: December 07, 2005 at 05:05 PM (#1765605)
I'm with Vlad on this one. It's a lousy deal for the Pirates. Casey is a below average 1B who isn't young. This isn't a kind of player who really has any value to the Pirates. He's also a hometown guy, so I doubt they view him as somebody who they can flip mid-year to a contender desperate for a 1B.

I'm also not sure why everybody is so down on Dave Williams. The guy obviously isn't good, but I think he's a reasonable 4th or 5th starter on most teams. He had an ERA+ of 97 last year in 25 starts.

I would have preferred the Pirates either let Wilson or Eldred play 1B and sign somebody like Hatteberg or Doug Mink...icz to a 1 year $1 million deal as a backup/emergency stopgap. They then could have tried to trade a more valuable pitcher for either a 1B/3B/corner outfielder who would be more useful long term.
   22. OlePerfesser Posted: December 07, 2005 at 05:05 PM (#1765607)
I'm starting to think this is the year the Reds finish last in the Central.

On the bright side, wouldn't that pretty much guarantee a FO house-cleaning in which the franchise could get a real GM adept at diagnosing and solving problems?

One odd thing here is you've got some big-market teams like the Red Sox with vacancies at 1B (and talking about similarly uninspiring options like Aubrey Freaking Huff), and O'Brien works a deal with a tiny-market team, to whom Casey's worth far less?

Also, O'Brien appears not to get the subtle concept that in GABP you need pitchers who have relatively high K rates, relatively low BB rates, or preferably both. Lacking any of the forementioned, it's very likely Williams will just have to be discarded fairly soon. It would have been better to get almost any "live arm" than him.
   23. Freddy Posted: December 07, 2005 at 05:40 PM (#1765687)
I think this is an OK deal for the Pirates. Only 2006 is guaranteed, and the Reds are picking up some of that salary. Eldred's 2005 showed that he has potential, but also that he needs to develop a little more. Even a full year in AAA wouldn't be a problem.

I do agree that I hope the Pirates don't trade Wilson, unless they pair him with a pitcher to get a bat even bigger than his. This is probably unlikely. With Bay in LF, Casey at 1B and Wilson in RF, they have 3 guys that can get on base, which is 2 more than they had in 2005.

Also, while we often overlook it, the Pirates are running a business and marketing is an important part of that. Casey is very marketable and that does have value. If he helps increase revenues that is a good thing. Assuming, of course, that the money actually goes towards future payroll and not into the ownership group's pockets.
   24. s.zielinski Posted: December 07, 2005 at 06:06 PM (#1765732)
Littlefield has a propensity to make these negative-sum deals, e.g. the Benson trade, the Kendall trade and now the Casey trade. The Suppan-Sauerbeck trade looked to be another one till Sanchez had a respectable rookie campaign.
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 07, 2005 at 06:08 PM (#1765740)
"You're going to look awfully silly when Craig Wilson gets traded and hits .260 with a .320 OBP in an everyday role."

When was the last time Wilson had an OBP under .330 at any level? Oh, yeah, that's right: At Hagerstown in 1996, when he was a 19-year-old in his first year of full-season ball.

He's been due, I tell you! DUE!!!

"Assuming, of course, that the money actually goes towards future payroll and not into the ownership group's pockets."

Pull the other one, it's got bells on.
   26. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 07, 2005 at 07:27 PM (#1765878)
I get the feeling that the Reds are exactly what the Devil Rays under Lamar would have been with a higher payroll.
   27. Spike Owen 10/2/1987 Posted: December 07, 2005 at 07:58 PM (#1765951)
So Dave Williams is the Reds #3 starter.

Here's the rotation with last year's IP and ERA+, and some salary info:

IP -- ERA+
211 - 116 Aaron Harang, only $440K in '05
166 - 105 Brandon Claussen, only $320K in '05
138 - 97 Dave Williams, $1.4 million in '06
186 - 69 Eric Milton, $8.5 million in '06
057 - 46 Paul Wilson, $3.75 million in '06
084 - 70 Luke Hudson, $318K in '05

So imagine Eric Milton's $8.5 million going to somebody useful and suddenly you've almost got a major league pitching rotation. But, will Harang and Claussen (and cut off your Slaussen?) stay league average or better? Opinions?
   28. villainx Posted: December 07, 2005 at 10:40 PM (#1766212)
This seems like a great deal for the Pirates, Casey is a home town boy, will move from a hitter friendly park to a hitter friendly park, and at least is a better option at 1B than most anyone the Pirates have.

For Cincy, a salary dump is good too. It's not like they were going anywhere anyway, right?
   29. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 07, 2005 at 10:45 PM (#1766224)
I get the feeling that the Reds are exactly what the Devil Rays under Lamar would have been with a higher payroll.
Well, the D-Rays have done a better job of developing talent (which the low payroll forced them to use).
   30. Robert S. Posted: December 07, 2005 at 11:06 PM (#1766258)
Yes, Kearns, Dunn, <strike>Griffey,</strike> and Pena can now play everyday

And that's all that really matters here. Neither team is competing for anything other than to not finish last in the Central. At least the players who deserve a chance to play everyday at an appropriate position will get that opportunity.
   31. GabeMartinez Posted: December 08, 2005 at 12:10 AM (#1766329)
Wilson blows. On a team full of hackers that have no clue as to what they're doing at the plate Wilson is one of the leading culprits from a statistical standpoint and flat out observation. He doesn't walk, he strikes out at an Adam Dunn rate without Adam Dunn power (or Adam Dunn Walks) and has zero value anywhere on the field defensively.

He's basically a glorified Josh Phelps (who also was pegged as an easy 30 homerun man and always "just needed a shot"..... how's that BP coverboy doin' now?)

He excels against lefties, can hit a few select righties, and is eaten alive by anyone with even average stuff from the right side.

And it's not like this year was a surprise struggle. After the first month of last year he was one of the worst hitters on the team. Yeah, his final numbers looked pretty but for a vast majority of the season he was swag.
   32. GabeMartinez Posted: December 08, 2005 at 12:21 AM (#1766344)
He's also baseballs answer to the 10 yard run on 3rd and 15. It looks nice, but it doesn't really accomplish anything. I love me those solo homeruns in the 8th inning of 7-2 losses.

Not that it's ever easy to hit a homerun in the big leagues, but it's a lot easier hitting a get me over fastball in the 8th inning of a blowout over the fence than it is hitting the 2-2 curveball in a 4-3 game.

Craig Wilson eats rats.
   33. A triple short of the cycle Posted: December 08, 2005 at 12:41 AM (#1766366)
I am sensing some negative feelings.
   34. DCW3 Posted: December 08, 2005 at 12:54 AM (#1766392)
Even with his "struggle" this year, Wilson put up a .387 OBP and walked 30 times in only 238 PAs, which would project to 80+ BBs over a full season. Pretty good for someone who "doesn't walk."
   35. Russ Posted: December 08, 2005 at 03:07 AM (#1766624)
Even with his "struggle" this year, Wilson put up a .387 OBP and walked 30 times in only 238 PAs, which would project to 80+ BBs over a full season.

He also learned to get plunked from the master, Jason Kendall. Wilson got plunked 10 times in those 51 games last year, so it's really like he walked 40 times in 51 games which is a hell of a lot.
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 08, 2005 at 05:06 AM (#1766779)
"Yeah, his final numbers looked pretty but for a vast majority of the season he was swag."

I think you're complaining about the wrong guy.

Craig Wilson's month-by-month splits, 2004:
APR: 1.102
MAY: 1.080
JUN: .587
JUL: .786
AUG: .878
SEP: .626
OCT: 1.250

Rob Mackowiak's month-by-month splits, 2004:
APR: .782
MAY: .977
JUN: .635
JUL: .791
AUG: .665
SEP: .597
OCT: .000

Also, I flat-out refuse to throw stones at Craig for defense when the the last four 1Bs brought in were Brad Eldred, Daryle Ward, Randall Simon, and Kneeless Kevin Young. He's a slightly-below-average defender in an outfield corner, and about average at first. Neither one is a hanging offense.
   37. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 08, 2005 at 05:30 AM (#1766812)
"He's also baseballs answer to the 10 yard run on 3rd and 15. It looks nice, but it doesn't really accomplish anything. I love me those solo homeruns in the 8th inning of 7-2 losses.

Not that it's ever easy to hit a homerun in the big leagues, but it's a lot easier hitting a get me over fastball in the 8th inning of a blowout over the fence than it is hitting the 2-2 curveball in a 4-3 game."


Because I'm a glutton for punishment, here's a hand-sorted breakdown of Craig's HR by game score at the time of the HR for 2004:

Pirates up 2: 2
Pirates up 1: 2
Game tied: 9
Pirates down 1: 6
Pirates down 2: 5
Pirates down 3: 1
Pirates down 4: 2
Pirates down 5: 1
Pirates down 9: 1

So, in summary, you're about as wrong as it's possible for someone to be without talking about Zionist conspiracies. 86% of Craig's HR came in game situations where the outcome was seriously in doubt, and he actually hit more as either the tying run in the 9th or the winning run in extra innings than he did during blowouts.

Nice try on the slander; too bad we have Retrosheet to help point out when people are full of ####.
   38. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 08, 2005 at 06:39 AM (#1767026)
Considering how long Craig Wilson's been hitting well when he can't hit guys with average stuff, you'd think the Pirates offense would be better considering all these below-average pitchers they're constantly facing.

Wilson's platoon splits are perfectly normal - they just weren't good in 2003.

Now, do you have an actual argument rather than loud conjecture?
   39. Walt Davis Posted: December 08, 2005 at 11:14 AM (#1767261)
you'd think the Pirates offense would be better considering all these below-average pitchers they're constantly facing.

You've seen their lineup, right? :-)
   40. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: December 08, 2005 at 11:45 AM (#1767263)
So, in summary, you're about as wrong as it's possible for someone to be without talking about Zionist conspiracies.

Shush.




They'll hear you.
   41. Russ Posted: December 08, 2005 at 01:03 PM (#1767275)
You've seen their lineup, right? :-)

Strong words from someone whose team will be giving Neifi Perez 400 AB's next year...

:-)
   42. Mellow Yellow Posted: December 12, 2005 at 06:47 PM (#1773670)
A terrible trade for the Reds. Now the reds have no one who can get on base consistently; they are going to have to score runs one HR at a time. Plus, Dave Williams is not the type of pitcher you want at Great America. He's going to put a lot of balls in play, or should I say "out of play" over Griffey's head.
   43. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 12, 2005 at 07:34 PM (#1773793)
Now the reds have no one who can get on base consistently

Did they trade Dunn, Freel, and Griffey too?
   44. chris p Posted: December 12, 2005 at 07:38 PM (#1773799)
i thought you weren't supposed to trade within your division.
   45. JPWF13 Posted: December 12, 2005 at 08:08 PM (#1773843)
Because I'm a glutton for punishment, here's a hand-sorted breakdown of Craig's HR by game score at the time of the HR for 2004:

If you were really a glutton for punishment you'd do that for Ron Santo's career- I think the biggest (ok 2nd biggest- the cubbies faioure to win is the biggest) obstacle to his candidacy is teh insistence of Cubs fans than Santo ONLY hit when it didn't matter.

Back on point- The NY Post just ran one columnist's opinion on the off season to date (don't have it with me- can't remember the moron's name)- he gave the Reds an "F" and said trading Casey for an unproven pitcher was easily the worst move of the year so far.

Same guy also gave the Redsox a "C"- the Beckett move was deemed praise worthy- but he condemned the redsox for trading Renteria for "nothing". (the nothing is an actual quote- he didn't say, "prospect", "unproven 3B" or anything like that)

I just thought I'd share that, even BL and MHS while frowning at the "prospect droolfests" would agree/admit that Marte has value (even if only as trade bait)
   46. JPWF13 Posted: December 12, 2005 at 08:12 PM (#1773847)
Now the reds have no one who can get on base consistently

I didn't realize Dunn and Freel were traded also...
It's amazing how trading a guy with a .371 OBP will leave a team with an OBP of .339 (second best in the league) without baserunners.
   47. charlie Posted: December 13, 2005 at 02:39 AM (#1774594)
You're going to look awfully silly when Craig Wilson gets traded and hits .260 with a .320 OBP in an everyday role.

Wilson hits .260 every year and has never posted an OBP anywhere near .320. And as long as he's allowed to wear that baggy uniform, the difference between the OBP and the BA will probably always be greater than 60 points. Yeah, he doesn't walk a ton, but he always manages to get on base a lot.

Has anyone who visits Pirates messageboards ever noticed that Craig is the victim of an absolutely insane amount of unfair criticism? I think it's probably because his weaknesses are so visible - there's nothing a fan hates more than watching a player miss a strike-three breaking ball in the dirt by a foot. Never mind the many good things he brings to the team.
   48. JPWF13 Posted: December 13, 2005 at 01:17 PM (#1775050)
Has anyone who visits Pirates messageboards ever noticed that Craig is the victim of an absolutely insane amount of unfair criticism?

Virtually every player who strikes out a lot is.
It seem sto me that more people now than 20-30 years ago acknowlege that having a batter who Ks a lot is no big deal- but those who think it is have become much much more vociferous- they really believe that someone who hits .270 with power but Ks a lot is worse than a .270 hitter with no power who doesn't K, etc.
   49. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 13, 2005 at 10:04 PM (#1775784)
Interesting factoid about Craig Wilson (which I've pointed out in a couple of places): Of his top-10 comps on baseball-reference.com, almost all of them fell off the table after the age of 30.

Interesting factoid #2 about Craig Wilson: Two of his top-10 comps, Trot Nixon and Craig Monroe, have been suggested as possible replacements.

I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that CWilson won't ever have another good season. His skill set seems (to me, at least) to be the type that could atrophy quickly. He's not a really patient hitter - some of his OBP is tied up in his ability to be hit by a pitch - and his power isn't overwhelming. If he loses *anything* in bat speed, he'll crash and burn quickly.

-- MWE
   50. charlie Posted: December 14, 2005 at 09:24 PM (#1777365)
Kevin Mench is #2 on Wilson's other list of similar batters, too.
   51. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 15, 2005 at 11:35 PM (#1779255)
"How concerned is everyone about the now exclusively strike out prone lineup that Cougar mentioned?"

IIRC the 1993 Tigers led the league in batter strikeouts by a large margin and were a run or two away from being the first team in like 40 years to score 900 runs.

I could be off on a detail or two, and don't feel like researching it right now . . . but I'm pretty sure that's accurate.

I don't think lots of batter strikeouts will be an issue . . .
   52. OCF Posted: December 16, 2005 at 12:17 AM (#1779321)
Ah, the 1993 Tigers. And they even dumped Rob Deer in midseason!

Some details: 99 park factor. .275/.362/.434 in a /267/.335/.408 league, for a team OPS+ of 115.
Scored 5.55 R/G versus a league average of 4.71 and a 2nd place (Toronto) of 5.23.
1122 strikeouts, or 6.93 per game, versus a league average of 5.71 and a 2nd place (Oakland) of 6.47.

Tony Phillips "only" tied for 6th in the league in runs scored with 113, but then he only played 151 games.

No one Tiger towered over the rest of them, but I'll take the definitive or characteristic player of the team as the DH/2nd catcher: Mickey Tettleton: .245/.372/.492 with 139 strikeouts and an OPS+ of 132.

Whitaker and Trammell were old and out of the lineup a lot, but hitting just fine when they were in. Travis Fryman played more SS than Trammell - he hit well, too. Chad Kreuter went .286/.371/.484, which is basically the same production as Tettleton. The only weak-hitting "shake the glove tree" guy was Milt Cuyler.

Eric Davis only got 75 AB, but he hit like he belonged to this bunch.

They dumped Deer because .217/.302/.381 wasn't up to the standards of this team.

Just don't start talking about their pitching.

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