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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, December 16, 2005

Royals - Acquired Decidedly Unmagical Magic Beans

Kansas City Royals - Signed P Scott Elarton to a 2-year contract; signed 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, and C Paul Bako to 1-year contracts.

Congratulations Allard, you’ve blown the Royals’ offseason wad in order to turn a 62-100 team into a 64-98 team.  Grudzielanek is the only one that really has any kind of value to the Royals.  To the teams lamenting that they can’t get Jonny Gomes from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays - the Royals just released Matt Diaz, who can probably be the next Gomes.  Mientkiewicz has no utility to this team and Elarton and Bako are terrible.  Thumbs up for Grudz, who’s probably a 25-run improvement over Gotay in the field.  Thumbs way down for the rest, in the gladiator games sense.

I think Joe Posnanski should receive reparations for having to follow this team.

To make space, the Royals designated Ken Harvey, Matt Diaz, Shawn Camp, and Chris Demaria for assignment.

2006 ZiPS Projections
——————————————————————————————-
Player       W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————-
Elarton     6 12 31 31 171 200 105 30 54 98 5.53

 

2006 ZiPS Projections
———————————————————————————————————
Player     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————
Bako       138 12   29   9 1   0 12 15 32   0 .210 .290 .290
Grudzielanek 490 60 142 29 2   6 55 25 69   6 .290 .330 .394
Mientkiewicz 448 48 122 33 1   7 48 66 59   2 .272 .369 .397

 

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:42 PM | 71 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:22 PM (#1780171)
That's a harsh projection for Elarton. He's been a passable innings-eater since joining the Indians. I don't see him being quite so terrible.
   2. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:22 PM (#1780173)
I think "thumbs-down" actually meant "spare him" in the arena. The thumb pointed down was a sign to thrust your sword into the ground, ending the battle.

If you wanted the victorious gladiator to kill the other one, you drew your thumb across your neck, like in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons.
   3. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:25 PM (#1780175)
Matt Diaz should catch on somewhere, but the other three DFAs are no real loss. The fact that the Royals might conceivably miss those guys is kind of sad.
   4. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:29 PM (#1780186)
I don't know enough about ZiPS to comment on that Elarton projection, but it's fairly close to what I'd expect with that defense in that park.

Elarton's going from a pitcher's park to a hitter's park, and from a pretty decent defense to an absolutely awful defense. I can see those two changes tacking at least a half-run onto his ERA immediately.

I like Scott, I think he's a solid #5 starter, but Kansas City just may have been the worst place in all of baseball for him to sign. Other than Colorado, I guess.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:35 PM (#1780193)
I don't know if this can be counted on "blowing their wad." I would be surprised if any of these guys got more than $2 million a year, and none are signed for more than two years. They won't make the Royals a ton better, but they do improve the club slightly without burdening the club with terrible long-term contracts.
   6. 1k5v3L Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:38 PM (#1780199)
How much did Grudz get? Must be quite a bit...
   7. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:42 PM (#1780206)
Bako got $700,000. Which is at least $350,000 more than he's worth.
   8. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:48 PM (#1780219)
Elarton's going from a pitcher's park to a hitter's park, and from a pretty decent defense to an absolutely awful defense. I can see those two changes tacking at least a half-run onto his ERA immediately.

I like Scott, I think he's a solid #5 starter, but Kansas City just may have been the worst place in all of baseball for him to sign. Other than Colorado, I guess.


They moved the fences back at Kauffman before the 2004 season.
   9. The District Attorney Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:50 PM (#1780224)
They won't make the Royals a ton better, but they do improve the club slightly
Apart from Elarton (assuming he pitches better than that projection), I don't think the other three do.
   10. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:52 PM (#1780225)
I think "thumbs-down" actually meant "spare him" in the arena. The thumb pointed down was a sign to thrust your sword into the ground, ending the battle.

Darn, I was just going to post that but the JRE beat me to it.
   11. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:55 PM (#1780233)
Royals Stadium park factors from http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/KCR/attend.shtml

2005: 99
2004: 96
2003: 113
2002: 116
2001: 110
2000: 104
   12. 1k5v3L Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1780259)
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5173210

Grudzielanek will receive a one-year, $4 million contract with a $3 million player option for 2007 if he reaches 500 plate appearances.
   13. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:41 PM (#1780302)
Thanks Dan,

Now I feel terrible, Scott Elarton struck out 17 of 21(maybe 18, game I wanted to forget) of us in HS when he was a sophmore no less, you know one of those guys who you wonder if he brought his wife and kids to watch him play in a HS game

You would think at altitude we would have been yoking him, then again, this was pre arm injury
   14. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:46 PM (#1780309)
Royals Stadium park factors from http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/KCR/attend.shtml

2005: 99
2004: 96
2003: 113
2002: 116
2001: 110
2000: 104


Bah, that'll teach me to use the numbers from the BPro book.
   15. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:50 PM (#1780317)
That's not a terrible contract for Grudzielanek - if he plays well enough to warrant 500 plate appearances, he's at least fairly likely to not exercise that option and become a free agent.
   16. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:51 PM (#1780319)
Thank god Allard signed Mientkiewicz. I was worried the Royals might enter the season without a late-innings defensive specialist/fourth-string first baseman.

Tony Muser's spirit lives!
   17. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:53 PM (#1780323)
Well be happy Royals fans, now that Tampa Bay has a new GM there isn't a whole lot left where you have to ask why is he still employed again?
   18. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:19 PM (#1780381)
Tony Muser's spirit lives!

You kind of have to feel sorry for Muser - it's gotta be depressing to be a first baseman who's top 10 comp list includes 5 pitchers.
   19. Kyle S Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:25 PM (#1780395)
I'd say the over/under on Elarton losses is 14, but I'm not sure that I could find anyone to take the under. Thoughts?
   20. Nick S Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:35 PM (#1780416)
Mientkiewicz and Grudzielanek? Think of the added cost in printing the names on uniforms . . .

These are not bad moves. It depends on exactly how much cash they devoted here, of course, but Elarton and Grudz are improvements over 2005 and Mientkiewicz adds depth (a good fielding 1B who is a league average hitter - that has value.) I applaud this team for filling gaps with cheap 1-year deals.
   21. Zac Schmitt Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:42 PM (#1780429)
actually, no one would ever have pointed their thumb "down". when people read "thumbs down" they misinterpret it as the hand being upturned and the thumb pointing downward toward the ground in the roger ebert sense. the real meaning of "thumb down" meant the hand reamining upright but the thumb depressed against the index finger - basically, making a fist. and as far as i was always aware, that motion meant death, not mercy.

of course gladiatorial combat history is about as important to roman history as baseball history is to american history. i was going to say it's kind of inappropriate to talk about in that it simply doesn't matter, but considering my last statement this is the perfect place to talk about it, isn't it?
   22. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:29 PM (#1780550)
Sure Nick S, you say that now, but lets see what Royals announcers think everytime there is a 6-4-3 or a 4-3 putout
   23. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:42 PM (#1780571)
I'd say the over/under on Elarton losses is 14, but I'm not sure that I could find anyone to take the under. Thoughts?

I dunno, he's got a funky delivery and a history of arm problems. I'd at least think about taking the under and expecting an injury.
   24. Allard "I've left the cupboard" Baird (winzey) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:44 PM (#1780576)
Ouch on the Elarton projection. I'd be happy to get those numbers, along with his with solid D, from Minky at 1B next season.

I hate Paul Bako.
   25. Kyle S Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:46 PM (#1780580)
I dunno, he's got a funky delivery and a history of arm problems. I'd at least think about taking the under and expecting an injury.

Excellent analysis. I should have thought of that. It is tough for anyone to really pile up the losses just because the tendency is to replace them with someone different (if not better), but in the Royals' case, Elarton is what, their #1 starter now?
   26. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:51 PM (#1780590)
Oh, well...Guess I'm stuck with Kaz the Spaz.
   27. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:01 PM (#1780606)
I think "thumbs-down" actually meant "spare him" in the arena. The thumb pointed down was a sign to thrust your sword into the ground, ending the battle.

In fact there is no agreement on what 'pollice verso' (something like 'thumbs turned') actually means. The old thumbs-up/thumbs-down has been shown to be discredited, but what they actually did is anyone's guess.
   28. DCW3 Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:22 PM (#1780649)
People are clearly misunderstanding the reasons behind these contracts. A lot of writers see the White Sox' World Series triumph as proving that great starting pitching and "smallball" are the keys to winning. But the Royals obviously thought that the White Sox' success was due to players with funny, Eastern European-sounding names. Konerko. Pierzynski. Podsednik. Since these players weren't available, the Royals loaded up on the next best things: Grudzielanek, Mientkiewicz and Bako.
   29. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:23 PM (#1780652)
The old thumbs-up/thumbs-down has been shown to be discredited, but what they actually did is anyone's guess.

So in regards both to this question and some of the Royals decision making over the last decade, a time machine could come in handy.
   30. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:25 PM (#1780655)
But the Royals obviously thought that the White Sox' success was due to players with funny, Eastern European-sounding names. Konerko. Pierzynski. Podsednik.

The White Sox apparently think so as well - they traded for Rob Mackowiak, after all.
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:40 PM (#1780685)
The numbers:

Elarton 2 years/$8 million
Grudz 1 year/$4 million - $3 million option if 500 PA are reached
Minky 1 year/$1.85 million with $700k in incentives
Bako 1 year/$700k
   32. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:48 PM (#1780703)
I still have yet to see where this is better than acquiring Anna..I mean Kris Benson
   33. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:50 PM (#1780714)
Put their names on the board.....yes!
   34. DCW3 Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:52 PM (#1780719)
I still have yet to see where this is better than acquiring Anna..I mean Kris Benson

Benson would be a huge bust in Kansas City.
   35. Kyle S Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:01 PM (#1780728)
Wow, 8 million? Wow.

I'm definitely taking over 14 losses in that case. As the big money player, they can't afford to take him out of the rotation!
   36. esseff Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:03 PM (#1780733)
Kansas City's Sad Lexicon:

These are the saddest of possible words:
"Berroa to Grudzielanek to Mientkiewicz."
Trio of Royals, and fleeter than birds,
"Berroa to Grudzielanek to Mientkiewicz."
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a (team here) hit into a double-
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Berroa to Grudzielanek to Mientkiewicz."
   37. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:06 PM (#1780747)
Benson would be a huge bust in Kansas City

DCW3, I meant for the Mets of course

Like I care about the Royals, they haven't done nothing for me since Hearn for Cone
   38. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:11 PM (#1780757)
People are clearly misunderstanding the reasons behind these contracts. A lot of writers see the White Sox' World Series triumph as proving that great starting pitching and "smallball" are the keys to winning. But the Royals obviously thought that the White Sox' success was due to players with funny, Eastern European-sounding names. Konerko. Pierzynski. Podsednik. Since these players weren't available, the Royals loaded up on the next best things: Grudzielanek, Mientkiewicz and Bako.

Wow, Phil Rogers is a member of Primer. We're going places now.
   39. DCW3 Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:12 PM (#1780760)
DCW3, I meant for the Mets of course

All I meant was that any team that acquires Kris Benson is going to end up with a huge bust on their hands.
   40. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:14 PM (#1780762)
I know man, I was joking, I just want Kris, mainly Anna to go away
   41. DCW3 Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:16 PM (#1780765)
My apologies for not keeping abreast of the issues.
   42. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:21 PM (#1780772)
The best Royals' (and probably baseball) poetry is still Dave Brazeal's <A >preview</A> of a few years ago.
   43. Boof Bonser Tree Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:26 PM (#1780780)
The real catch here for the Royals is the Red Sox world series ball.

I am really suprised that Grudz ended up in KC. At least he had some value.

Let the Ken Harvey Sweepstakes begin
   44. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:27 PM (#1780781)
All I meant was that any team that acquires Kris Benson is going to end up with a huge bust on their hands.

True. Anna's got some big knockers.
   45. Boof Bonser Tree Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:28 PM (#1780782)
It needs to also be mentioned that Paul Bako's real first name is Gabor. The Royals will at least lead the league in effed up first names. That means you Ambediextorious
   46. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:34 PM (#1780790)
Let the Ken Harvey Sweepstakes begin

I thought Harvey was seriously injured, and wouldn't be ready to start the season.
   47. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:44 PM (#1780816)
Bako, Mientkiewicz, Grudzielanek, Berroa and Teahen around your infield

Not sure about a ring, but that has something to it
   48. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 16, 2005 at 10:55 PM (#1780896)
I just realized that "Teahen" is probably the least masculine compound noun imaginable.
   49. JH (in DC) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 11:01 PM (#1780902)
At least Jayson Stark has more material for one of those Wild Pitches columns now.
   50. esseff Posted: December 16, 2005 at 11:04 PM (#1780907)
Bako, Mientkiewicz, Grudzielanek, Berroa and Teahen around your infield

Not sure about a ring, but that has something to it


Bill James once remarked that the names on the Twins' infield of Hrbek, Lombardozzi, Gagne and Gaetti appeared to have been formed by someone upending a Scrabble game.
   51. Spivey Posted: December 16, 2005 at 11:22 PM (#1780928)
Grudz is a good player. He's worth more than this, in this market. I don't know why a team like the Rangers didn't want him (and fill in your favorite team that could use a good 2B). mgl hinted yesterday in the Looper thread something about how the split between STL and Grudz wasn't great but he didn't really know anything about it.
   52. chris p Posted: December 16, 2005 at 11:36 PM (#1780941)
hey dan, you don't KNOW they aren't magical beans! they could be ya know!!
   53. Mug was feeling pretty good, fa la la la la Posted: December 16, 2005 at 11:40 PM (#1780944)
Kudos to DCW3 for his subtle posts.
   54. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: December 16, 2005 at 11:43 PM (#1780948)
Kudos to DCW3 for his subtle posts.

The Cryptkeeper would be proud.
   55. Walt Davis Posted: December 16, 2005 at 11:46 PM (#1780952)
of course gladiatorial combat history is about as important to roman history as baseball history is to american history.

Ken Burns' GLADIATORS ... coming to PBS next Fall.
   56. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 17, 2005 at 12:07 AM (#1780968)
Well, there were African gladiators...
   57. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 17, 2005 at 02:46 AM (#1781212)
hey, I don't care what we play as long as I get to be "Spaniard"
   58. sunnyday2 Posted: December 17, 2005 at 02:49 AM (#1781221)
Enquiring minds wanna see ZiPS for Diaz and Harvey.
   59. Vrhovnik Posted: December 17, 2005 at 03:15 AM (#1781242)
Maybe KC should also consider moving Lubanski to 3B and play Clapinski at SS.
   60. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: December 17, 2005 at 03:49 AM (#1781256)
You know, Mientkiewicz for that money and those numbers isn't a bad deal...unless you're the Royals and have Calvin Pickering sitting around getting fatter, older, and moldier.
   61. DCW3 Posted: December 17, 2005 at 06:27 AM (#1781449)
Kudos to DCW3 for his subtle posts.

Yeah, I can just hear people tittering away at those bad puns.
   62. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: December 17, 2005 at 08:37 AM (#1781593)
I just realized that "Teahen" is probably the least masculine compound noun imaginable.

It's nothing compared to former Cub second baseman Ryne Daintypussy.
   63. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: December 17, 2005 at 12:07 PM (#1781619)
Yeah, I can just hear people tittering away at those bad puns.

You're such a boob.
   64. Most Favored Haitian Status Posted: December 17, 2005 at 03:27 PM (#1781661)
Benson would be a huge bust in Kansas City

Not to hammer a point home, but people were worried the Mets would be a huge bust in Anna Benson as well and that didn't turn out.
   65. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 17, 2005 at 03:56 PM (#1781678)
Name                 W   L    ERA   G  GS     INN    H   ER  HR   BB    K 
Demaria              4   5   4.71  56   0    86.0   90   45  14   23   80 
Camp                 4   6   5.02  52   4   104.0  119   58  13   31   62 

Name               P    AVG   OBP   SPC   G  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI  BB   K SB CS 
Diaz               lf  .297  .346  .476 126 445  63 132 38  3 12  68  23  60  8  6 
Harvey             1b  .275  .329  .425 127 487  55 134 26  1 15  64  34  89  2  2
   66. MM1f Posted: December 18, 2005 at 01:28 AM (#1782257)
How do you put up a 23/80 K/BB in 86 innings and have a 4.71 ERA? ooooh 14 HRs and bad Royals defense.

As for Diaz's projection...in the words of McDonalds..."doodoo do do do, I'm lovin' it!"
   67. Zach Posted: December 18, 2005 at 05:58 PM (#1783069)
Eh? At 2b, the Royals replace a 69 OPS+ with ~104 OPS+ (projection) and you can't see them improving? Maybe I dozed off when the terms were explained, but higher is better, right?
   68. Iwakuma Chameleon (jonathan) Posted: December 19, 2005 at 05:32 AM (#1783857)
Someone is going to give Jacque Jones a big fat contract and Matt Diaz is going to be plucked away for a dime and a song. I just don't get it.
   69. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 19, 2005 at 02:46 PM (#1784085)
Myself, I was surprised to realize a few years ago that gladiators didn't just wear whatever equipment they felt like. There were rigid sets of equipment for each style of fighter, and you'd never see one borrowing something from another, just like you'd never see a first baseman with a chest protector.
   70. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 19, 2005 at 02:47 PM (#1784088)
If it's not too much trouble, Dan, could you crank out a neutral-park ZiPS for DeMaria?
   71. Catfish326 Posted: December 19, 2005 at 06:28 PM (#1784623)
Mientkiewicz and Grudzielanek? Think of the added cost in printing the names on uniforms . . .

I read that they have a hot prospect named Harvey Madlewingleberriwiczyielanek.

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